|Six -Spot Burnet Moth (Zygaena filipendulae)|
So, here are the facts:
- I saw this in the bright sunshine around 9 o'clock in the morning. So you might think this is a lovely butterfly, but it's actually a day-flying moth.
|It was busy feeding on the Knapweed |
so I got some good shots
- This is a very brightly coloured moth, an these bright colours warn potential predators that they are poisonous. Predators need to take this seriously as apparently they contain Cyanide (a very toxic chemical!)
- They are called Six-Spot Burnets, but the number of spots can vary, and sometimes , the spots are fused. This is jolly confusing because there are also Five-Spot Burnets!
- Antennae on this moth are club shaped, which is apparently unusual. They use them for feeling and smelling
- They like to live in grassy areas where they can find the wild-flowers that they and the caterpillars feed on. They like the coast where I found this one but are found inland too.
- The adults have a wingspan of 30mm - 38mm and the caterpillars measure but 22mm.
|It was very busy so I got very close|
- Adults will take nectar from a range of wildflowers but the larvae are a bit more fussy and tend to feed on Bird's Foor Trefoil, Clover and Kidney Vetch.
- In July of August the adults lay their eggs on the food plants.
- Caterpillars hatch quickly, in just a few days, and get busy eating! They hibernate as caterpillars.
- As they are growing, they will moult several times, and may even stay as caterpillars for two Winters.
- Once they are fully grown, the caterpillars spin cocoons with silk from a special gland called a spinnaret. In this cocoon, called a pupa, they undergo the transformation to adults.
- Adult Moths emerge in June or July and fly around on sunny days.
|Saw another one on a different plant too|
- Sadly the Adults only live for a short time. Once they have mated and the Females lay their eggs, they die.
- They aren't a moth that is threatened at present but the grasslands that they live in are disappearing so they could be in future.
Here are a few links to some more information:
Hope you enjoyed,