Note on Pauper Pug Moth Eupithecia egenaria
The Pauper Pug Moth is a relative rarity within Worcestershire and indeed, much of the country. First found in Worcestershire as recently as 2000, the main stronghold has been at Shrawley Wood where they have shown up in good numbers. Until recently this has been the only site in the county where this species has been recorded (bar a single individual which was captured and identified from the side of the Malvern Hills in 2010).
On a trapping session in early May 2011, Danny Arnold & Dean Fenton discovered a hitherto unknown and new strong population of this Red Data Book species at a Hanley Dingle, one of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s more difficult to access sites. Several dozen were caught in the two moth traps set up, along with a host of other ‘new moth records’ for the site. Identification was confirmed by dissection of both a male and female.
The Pauper Pug larvae are a Lime Tree feeders and Hanley Dingle supports both Large & Small leaf Limes.
(Comment. This moth was first discovered in Britain in 1962 in the Wyre Valley limewoods. (Riley, A.M. & Prior, G. 2003. British & Irish Pug Moths. Harley Books). There seems to be some discussion on whether the larvae feed on small-leaved or large-leaved lime. Hanley Dingle contains both species and the largest stand of large-leaved lime in Worcestershire). Shrawley Wood is of small-leaved lime. Limes are widespread in west Worcestershire. (Ed)).
Fig. 1. Pauper Pug Moth Eupithecia egenaria from Hanley Dingle. Picture ©Danny Arnold