Geometridae : Larentiinae
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Bilberry Pug
Pasiphila debiliata

(Hubner, [1817]) 1861 / 70.145
Photo © Anthony Arak,  28/06/2022 Barkisland, Calderdale, VC63

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Green Pug
Pasiphila rectangulata
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Express Record Bilberry Pug

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Yorkshire Status: Rare and restricted to areas of foodplant.

Argus 78, 2016: A welcome and not entirely unexpected addition to the county list as it occurs at several sites to the west of our borders. A larva was found on bilberry and bred through to confirm the identification. This species should be looked for where Bilberry grows under the cover of light woodland especially conifers. It is most easily found by netting just after dusk. It may well occur in other parts of the county.

VC63. Halifax - North Dean Woods, larva on 16.5.2016, adult emerged 5.6.2016 (CS). NEW COUNTY RECORD.

Argus 81, 2017: The second county record following one near Halifax in 2016. This was found by identifying a likely site (bilberry under scots pine) and going back with a net and torch. It is highly likely that it occurs in other parts of the county, especially in the west. It does come to light but not strongly and is more likely to be found by dusking.

VC64. Beecroft Moor Plantation, 26.6.2017 (CHF). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.

Argus 90, 2020: This attractive and quite distinctive moth was first found in Yorkshire in 2016; these are the fifth to seventh county records. The extension of range this year to the east of VC62 is large, and it is likely that it occurs undetected at many other sites. It comes to light but it may be more easily found at dusk in lightly wooded areas with bilberry and a cover of scots pine.

VC62. Low Moor, 26.6 & 5.8.2020 (DM). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD. VC64. East of Otley, 14.7.2020 (AMS).

2020 (CHF): If you have the first edition of Waring and Townsend's Field Guide you will read that this Nationally Scarce B species apparently occurs at Strensall Common. This has been removed from subsequent editions as I collared Paul Waring and he has no idea where the record came from. Our first documented record was near Halifax in 2016 when one was bred from a larva on bilberry. It was subsequently found in VC64 near Fewston in 2017 and there were records in VC63 & 64 in 2019. In 2020 it was found near Otley and it has jumped to the east of VC62 with two records at the same site. It has also been found recently in Durham and the south of Northumberland. The Atlas says the distribution trends for this species shows a steep long-term decline which is rather at odds with what I am seeing. Has it been here all along? Is this a rapid wave of invasion? What is going on? It does come to light, but it isn't the sort of species you are going to get in your garden. The way to find it (and this worked for me!) is to look for a lightly wooded area with a good bilberry understorey. If there is a covering of Scots Pine then that is ideal. Go at dusk in the second half of June or the first half of July on a calm warm evening with a torch and net, and there is a high chance you will find it. It is almost certainly more widespread than the map suggests. It is a most attractive species when fresh and you're not going to mistake it for anything else. So in Spring when we're still under lockdown, use your daily exercise to identify some potential sites to target later in the year.

Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.

Recorded in 10 (5%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 2016.
Last Recorded in 2022.
Additional Stats

< Green Pug  |  Haworth's Pug >
Forewing: 9-11mm
Flight: June - July
Foodplant:   Bilberry
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Nationally Scarce
Verification Grade:  Adult: 3
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
18/07/2022262SE88 - Pickering (E)
17/07/2022162SE88 - Pickering (E)
28/06/2022163SE01 - Marsden
24/07/2021162NZ51 - Middlesbrough
04/07/2021163SE00 - Saddleworth Moor
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