Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Uncommon and fairly widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jul-Aug

Forewing: 11-13mm.

Foodplant: Yarrow, Sneezewort.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded192919821929
Year last recorded201120112011
Number of records32926710
Number of individuals43130922
Unique positions787170
Unique locations676146
Adult records31626684
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 710 records from 146 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1929.


1838 Tawny Speckled Pug 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species with a general distribution in Britain, the larva feeding on the flowers and leaves of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica). In Dorset, the moth is at low density and commonest on unimproved coastal grassland where yarrow is abundant. Inland, the moth is locally frequent on unimproved grassland, and at low density in transient habitats, such as roadside verges, lawns and on waste ground. There is no evidence that the Tawny-speckled Pug colonises sneezewort-rich habitat on ill-drained clay soils, so, trapping at Rooksmoor, Pamphill and Holt Lodge Farm have failed to yield any moths.

The following records refer to sub-species cognata, where the reddish suffusion of the forewing found in sub-species subfulvata is suppressed. Sub-species cognata is dominant in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and forms a variable percentage of the population in other northern and western regions of Britain but remains largely absent further south and east: Scar Bank, at light on 23 July 1932, 14 August 1936, 17. August 1946, 20 July 1948 (A Russell).

The following light trap records from localities on or close to the coast refer either early emergences or potential immigrants. The moth is on the wing as early as the end of May in the southern part of its European range: West Bexington, on 7 June 1997, 28 and 31 May 2006, 1 June 2006 (R Eden), Woolgarston, three between 25 May 1992 and 10 June 1992 (R Burt), Swanage, on 6 June 1995, 19 May 2000, 3 and 4 June 2004, 23 May 2007 (R Cox), Hengistbury Head, 23 May 2004 (M Jeffes).

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