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Green Pug Moth (Pasiphila rectangulata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Green Pug Moth

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Image Credit: Carolyn F., taken near Plain, WI
Full-sized image of the Green-Pug-Moth Thumbnail image of the Green-Pug-Moth

Green Pugs may also be brown or gray, but those densely-packed wavy lines on the wings are consistent for all of them.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Green Pug is a non-native moth that sometimes comes in a shocking, green color. It could also be brown, gray, or a mixture all of these colors depending on its maturity. The green color fades as the moth experiences weathering. Regardless of hue, the wings are covered in a tight formation of dark squiggly lines. A dark patch on each wing can be found at the wing tip and again a little further in. The green or brown body has a single black dot at the bottom of each segment and a dark ?belt? across the middle of it. It is the only one of its genus in North America.

The caterpillar likely feeds on the same plants here that it does in Europe. Apple, cherry, serviceberry, hawthorn, and pear trees are possible hosts. It is not considered a pest. Adults are most active from the beginning to the end of summer, and they are attracted to lights at night. Look for them in open areas that sport some vegetation like parks, undeveloped lots, gardens, and orchards.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Geometridae
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          Genus: Pasiphila
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            Species: rectangulata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Pasiphila rectangulata
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 21mm (0.59" to 0.82")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; black; gray; brown
Descriptors: bright green; olive army green; brown; lots of wavy lines; green and brown; flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 21mm (0.8in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 18mm
Hi: 21mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Green Pug Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Green Pug Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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