Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Eupithecia cretaceata


Moths of the genus Eupithecia are known as "pugs". D. C. Ferguson lists 176 North American species in the Hodges Checklist, and Klaus Bolte lists 62 Canadian species in his monograph on the genus. The adult moths are generally easy to recognize as belonging to this genus; they are small geometrids with characteristically narrow wings (a high "aspect ratio"). Most pug caterpillars feed inside flowers and are fairly consistent in the flowers they choose. Some unusual Hawaiian species have the remarkable habit of catching and devouring flies. Identifying species is not easy for the nonspecialist, but E. cretaceata is one of the easiest to recognize. It is one of the largest Canadian pugs, and its pale colour and distinctive pattern make it stand out. The caterpillar, too, is unusual in its choice of foodplant - the flowers of Veratrum viride (Liliaceae).

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