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Golden-rod pug

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Goldenrod pug
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus: Eupithecia
E. virgaureata
Binomial name
Eupithecia virgaureata
  • Eupithecia notata Dietze, 1913
  • Eupithecia offirmata Speyer, 1869

The goldenrod pug (Eupithecia virgaureata) is a moth of the family Geometridae. The species was first described by Henry Doubleday in 1861. It is found throughout the Palearctic region. In the British Isles it is widespread but rather locally distributed.


The ground colour of the forewings is pale grey brownish or fuscous, occasionally with an ochreous tinge, darker along the costa, and are marked with distinctive pale fascia and a whitish tornal spot. The forewing patterning is dominated by a conspicuous, dark discal and smaller costal spots. The obtusely angulated dark grey striae are not defined except on the costa. There is a pale interrupted subterminal line. Melanic forms are quite frequent. The wingspan is 17–20 mm.[2][3] The larva is slender with short brushes, light yellowish brown with white slashes on the sides and a variety of bell-shaped brown spots on the back.

Eupithecia virgaureata male genitalia Trawscoed, North Wales, May 2016

The species is difficult to determine without examining the genitalia.

Two broods are produced each year with the moths flying in May and June and again in August.aestiva Dietze, the summer generation, is considerably smaller.

The caterpillars exhibit different behaviour depending on the generation. The caterpillars of the first generation feed mainly on leaves of deciduous trees, while the second generation is mainly found on the flowers of goldenrod and ragwort. The species overwinters as a pupa.


  • Eupithecia virgaureata virgaureata
  • Eupithecia virgaureata alternaria Staudinger, 1897 a very weakly marked, sometimes almost unicolorous form from Finmark, Lapland and Transbaikal.
  • Eupithecia virgaureata invisa Butler, 1878


  1. ^ Yu, Dicky Sick Ki. "Eupithecia virgaureata Doubleday 1861". Home of Ichneumonoidea. Taxapad. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017.
  2. ^ Eupithecia virgaureata full description Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. British insects: the genera of Lepidoptera-Geometridae. Version: 29 December 2011
  3. ^ Prout, L. B. (1912–16). Geometridae. In A. Seitz (ed.) The Macrolepidoptera of the World. The Palaearctic Geometridae, 4. 479 pp. Alfred Kernen, Stuttgart.pdf Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  • Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984

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