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Dark Spinach
Pelurga comitata (Linnaeus, 1758)
Geometridae: Larentiinae
1749 / 70.069
Photo © Tom Morris,  Alderholt

Similar Dorset Species
Spinach
Eulithis mellinata
Forewing: 16-18mm
Flight: July - August
Foodplant:   Goosefoots, Oraches
Red List: Vulnerable (VU)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2

Davey, P., 2009: A species found across much of Britain, apart from northern Scotland, the larva feeding on goosefoot (Chenopodium spp.) and orache (Atriplex spp.). In Dorset, the moth is rare (less than thirty records) and tends to be observed singly on any given night suggesting perhaps that the species is either at a very low density indeed, or it is a transient resident of high-nutrient verge and disturbed ground, or that it has immigrant rather than resident status. Unlike the Plain Pug which also depends on goosefoots and oraches, this species does not seem to be associated with oraches growing on muddy shorelines, for example there are no records from the Fleet region nor from twenty-five years trapping at Arne next to Poole Harbour. The species moths appeared unexpectedly at light traps in Hampshire localities on 21 August 1996, 9 August 1998 and 29 July 1999, respectively. The following were noted in Dorset coincident with these dates: Portland, on 19 August 1996, 29 July 1999 (M Cade), Grove, on 19 August 1996 (D Walbridge), Gaunts Common, on 14 August 1996, 9 August 1998, 13 August 1998 (P Davey).

Recorded in 16 (40%) of 40 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1960.
Last Recorded in 2016.
(Data up to end 2019)

Latest 5 Records (Data up to end 2019)
Date#VC10k Area
24/07/201619SZ09 - Poole
19/07/201619SY66 - Portland Bill
24/08/201519SZ09 - Poole
23/08/201519SZ09 - Poole
22/08/201519SY99 - Lytchett Matravers
Further info: Pelurga comitata
 
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