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FIVE-SPOT BURNET

MOTH

Zygaena trifolii

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2nd July 2011, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
On Greater Knapweed


2nd July 2011, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The forewings seem to be slightly transparent, but not anything like as much as they are in Transparent Burnet.


Some similarities to : Burnet Moths: Narrow-bordered Five-Spot Burnet (but that has a narrower border around the periphery of the hindwings) and to Transparent Burnet.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The five red spots, not six.

Burnet Moths contain two defensive chemicals or poisons, hydrogen cyanide and pyrazines, which they exude from parts of their bodies such as the mouth or joints of the legs when under attack by other predators. The pyrazine compounds are pungent, and help repel enemies by smell; they need not be tasted first. Birds refuse to touch them because of these chemicals; they recognise them from their red (or sometimes yellow) warning spots. The Burnet moths obtain the HCN from Birdsfoot Trefoil and Clover when in the larval stage, munching away. They synthesoze the pyrazines themselves.

The two central spots are sometimes merged.

The hindwings of all Burnet moths have a large red mark.

These moths fly on hot sunny days; one of the few day-time flying moths.


  Zygaena trifolii  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Familyus  

FIVE-SPOT BURNET

MOTH

Zygaena trifolii

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