Jonathan's picture

5-spot burnets mating on field scabious

Observed: 12th July 2009 By: Jonathan
iSpot team
Jonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in Invertebrates
5-spot burnet
5-spot burnet2

5-spot burnets mating on field scabious. There was just this one plant of field scabious flowering in the field and it had three or four mating pairs on it.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae) interacts


JaseJ's picture

Six-spot burnet

I think there are six spots on the wings in the photo on the left - the spots nearest the head are very close together and often look like a single spot. The picture on the right could show both the Five and Six-spot species. It's the spots towards the end of the wing tips that are most important and the upper of the two moths might only have a single spot at that position, but it could just be a faded marking. (All the wind and rain is making these moths look pretty tatty at the moment!)

If it is a Five-spot, it's probably a Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet due mainly to geography and also because the species has a fairly positive sighting just down the road at Walton Hall.

Six-spot Burnet:
Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet:

BTW, nice flower spot!

the naturalist man's picture

Six-spot burnet moth

My vote goes with JaseJ, assuming these are the same two animals.

The left picture is definately two six-spot burnet moths. Assuming the upper animal in the right hand picture is the same as the upper animal in the left, showing its other side, then it can not be half five-spot and half six-spot! In fact if you click on the righthand picture and examine it in expanded format you can see the faint trace of a second spot at the posterior end of the wing, making six spots.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

Martin Harvey's picture

Field Scabious

Agree with the comments above. Field Scabious is a favourite flower for them at the moment, saw hundreds on these flowers at the weekend.

Look out for other insects on Field Scabious as well, there is quite a community, will try and post some photos soon.

Entomologist and biological recorder

Jonathan's picture

OK, guys. You win! 6-nil.

OK, guys. You win! 6-nil.

University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)