Six-spot Burnet

Zygaena fillipendulae

Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena fillipendulae)

Who said moths were drab and uninteresting? Well this day-flying moth will give any butterfly a run for its money on the eye-ball popping colour and brightness scale. Black bodied and black winged moth with six distinct red spots on each forewing. Wingspan up to 38mm.

Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena fillipendulae)

The caterpillars feed mainly on Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil, but also Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil.

Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena fillipendulae)

It flies June to August. Diurnal moth, often seen in flowery meadows, roadside verges, woodland rides, and grassy coastal sites such as dunes. Common and widespread throughout Britain.

Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena fillipendulae)

Photographs of Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena fillipendulae), taken July 2005, local field, Staffordshire, © Pete Hillman 2005. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1.

About this family of moths : Zygaenidae – The Foresters and Burnet Moths

There are ten British species in this group of brightly coloured day-flying moths, divided into two subfamilies, the Procridinae – the Foresters , and the Zygaeninae – the Burnets. Easily confused with butterflies because of their diurnal activities, which maybe be observed slowly fluttering about grassy meadows and fields amongst the wild flowers. The Burnets have large clubbed antennae and brightly coloured markings, and both the adults and caterpillars are poisonous to predators, releasing hydrogen cyanide when attacked.


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