Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Jul.

Forewing: 10-11mm.

Foodplant: Wild Angelica and Hogweed.

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 recorded19051905
Year last recorded20092009
Number of records612
Number of individuals2142
Unique positions612
Unique locations48
Adult records24
Immature records48

For the region, we have a total of 12 records from 8 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1826 Triple-spotted Pug 01
© Dave Foot

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species confined to southern and eastern Britain, the larva feeding on the flowers and ripening seed capsules of wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris) and hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium). In Dorset, the moth is rare. In 1953, searches were undertaken for this species amongst wild angelica in many localities from Lydlinch in the west, to Warmwell Heath in the south, to West Moors in the east. Pug caterpillars were found, but all of them turned out to be the White-spotted Pug1835, although one larva was located on wild angelica the following year. Forty years on, larvae have been discovered on wild angelica in dense woodland on the northern slopes of chalk downland. More recently, larvae were discovered once more on wild angelica growing along a woodland ride on a north-facing scarp in the far west of the county. Larvae are best sought by closely inspecting the seed-heads atop host foodplants; the slender caterpillars pose in typical geometer fashion, jutting out cryptically within the fabric of the old flower head; plump Pug larvae not in cryptic pose are most likely to be White-spotted Pug1835. The few records indicate that the moth prefers wild angelica in shaded, even wooded habitat rather than in open situations: Cranborne-Damerham area, larva September 1954 emerged 8 July 1955 (Dr H King), Batcombe, larva on wild angelica seeds 13 September 1993 (Dr P Sterling), five larvae on wild angelica seeds 13 September 2003 (P Davey), Chedington Wood, seven larvae on wild angelica seeds 4 September 2008 (B Henwood et al). Wild angelica is often an important nectar source for invertebrates, so habitat management plans might give consideration to sowing damp woodland rides with wild angelica seed as part of a neutral grassland seed mix to benefit this species and increase the diversity of the field layer.

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