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Foxglove Pug Larvae

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:45 pm
by JulianB
Inspired by Brain Hancock's amazing pug book, we decided to take a look at some of the foxgloves in our garden for evidence of foxglove pug larvae. Brian H. implies they aren't overly easy to find, but beginner's luck may have been with us as we found two larvae within a few minutes.

We were looking for sealed / spun flowers, and we initially found two sealed flower heads immediately adjacent on the same stalk. One had a small (?exit) hole in the sealed flower. This flower didn't contain a larva, but the adjacent fully-sealed flower did (see pictures). We're assuming the larva fed up in the first flower, then moved across to the second. This was a good sized larva, and his flower head was one of the next due to drop off the plant (as you know, the flowers ripen and fall sequentially, starting from the base).

The second, smaller larva was present on a different plant, with just a single spun flower present.

Does anyone know if the larva falls to the ground with the flower, or instead burrows into the developing seed pod to stay up on the plant? I think they can eat the seeds too?

Finally, we also spotted that an enterprising spider had made a web instead another flower (picture), perhaps hoping to catch a pug as well!

Cheers, Julian

Re: Foxglove Pug Larvae

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:21 am
by stevehind
Well done Julian
I have looked on the odd occasion but never found any.