Green Pug (moth) Pasiphila rectangulata labeled not native to North America

I’m wondering why the Green Pug is listed as introduced in eastern North America by iNat but is described as Holarctic in Beadle & Leckie, Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America

It’s native to Europe, which is also in the Holarctic.


Agreed, but Beadle and Leckie note which species are introduced in their guide and they do not mention this for Green Pug.

The Holarctic is a big place. Just because a species is native to one part of it does not mean it is native to all of it.

My own knowledge of it was based on the bugguide page, which also lists citations ( Possibly, the other source you mentioned isn’t distinguishing between NA and Europe, or they missed it (if they were implying native to NA). Unless the BG sources were incorrect, I guess they could be checked.

Not to take away from the Field Guide mentioned as it’s a good intro to NE moths, but this was authored by amateurs. There are a number of updates and errors. Someone(s) from the NE US has been keeping a list but I can’t recall who they are now or where the list resides (maybe the Facebook Group Moths of Eastern United States?).

In the case of Pasiphila rectangulata, it is considered to be an introduction from the Old World as there are no specimens in NA research collections before 1970.

The Annotated Checklist of of the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska, Pohl et many al (published Pensoft Series Faunistica No 118, 2018) is available as a free .PDF:

The authors also included in their analyses species occurring in the northern parts of the United States to ensure they didn’t miss leps that might be found in southern Canada but without Canadian collection data.

That Checklist gives a legend of symbols used as applied to individual genera or species. Here is the descriptor of the specific symbol for Pasifila rectangulata as well the the entry for the species:
Introduced and Holarctic species:

“Species that were introduced to the Nearctic region are indicated with a plus symbol “+” following
the original genus. Species that were introduced to nNA from other parts of NA are not indicated in this
manner, but that information is included in a note. Holarctic species are indicated with an asterisk “*”; taxa
of unknown origin (either holarctic or introduced) are indicated with a double-dagger “ǂ”.”

Pasiphila Meyrick, 1883
tax info: Ferguson & Mello (1996)
910466 rectangulata (Linnaeus, 1758) (Phalaena)+ R – – – – BC – – – ON QC – NF NB NS PE
nigrosericeata (Haworth, 1809) (Phalaena)
rectangularia (Boisduval, 1840) (Eupithecia)

It is resident (R), resident meaning a self-sustaining population in the provinces listed, but the + indicates it was an introduced species to North America.

BugGuide doesn’t specifically assign a symbol or other character to introduced species. As @brian_d mentioned one has to look at the species page for links to sources. We also have to remember that BugGuide, like iNat, depends on volunteer editors who may, or may not, update multiple sections.

All this as a reminder that often one can’t depend on a single source, but must research multiple sources to find the most current info.


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