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SIX-SPOT BURNET

MOTH

Zygaena filipendulae

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29th June 2009, Nob End SSSI, Clammerclough, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
In Clover


19th Aug 2010, St Annes on Sea, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
On Yarrow


19th Aug 2010, Lytham, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
On Lucern


6th July 2007, Tentsmuir Nature Reserve, Fife. Photo: © John Brailsford


Some similarities to : Burnet Moths: Five-Spot Burnet and Transparent Burnet.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The six red spots, not five.

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 synthesize the pyrazines themselves.

The six red spots can be quite variable, even merging into a single splurge in some individuals.

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 filipendulae  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Zygaenidae  

SIX-SPOT BURNET

MOTH

Zygaena filipendulae

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