Six-spot Burnet Zygaenidae

Maps updated: April 2008

Zygaena filipendulae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 25-40mm. A distinctive day-flying species with bright red spots on dark bluish black-coloured forewings. The red spots are often quite variable within individuals and in some specimens merge to form a blotch.

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Late May to the end of September.

Status: Widely distributed in coastal localities especially Down, parts of Antrim and Londonderry. More localised inland especially in the west.

Ecology: A common day-flying species, colonial in its habits with a fondness for coastal grasslands. It can be seen abundantly in some localities during the summer months. It is much less common inland preferring disused quarries and roadside verges. The adults are most active in bright sunshine visiting a wide variety of grassland flowers. On dull days they retreat low down among the vegetation and are often difficult to detect. The larvae feed on bird's foot trefoil and their paper-like cocoons are often conspicuous on grass stems during early summer. It over-winters in the larval stage.

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=5670

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