The Moths of Suffolk
169 Six-spot Burnet, Zygaena filipendulae, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Reasonably widespread, can be abundant where it occurs (SMP Status 1)

Habitats : Coastal grassland and other grasslands, fen and meadows

Flight Period : Single-brooded; mid-June to mid-August, predominantly in July

Larval foodplants : Common Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus uliginosus)

Comments : Frequently recorded along the coast from Aldeburgh to Southwold and the Brecks (Barnhamcross Common, Icklingham, Eriswell, Culford). Also recorded from other suitable grassy sites through the county.

Morley's Final Catalogue : Pastures are now so rarely allowed to be rough that this species can no longer be termed 'common,' as in 1890. Along the coast it is enabled to persist upon the cliff-slopes at Felixstow, Dunwich, Burgh Castle, &c.; but inland it is become very local indeed, lately taken by only Norton Garrard in two pastures at Wissett, where it was common so late as 19 August in 1922, and Dr. Vinter at Badley Walk.

Wingspan details : Forewing 15-19mm, Wingspan 25-40mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultSlender Scotch Burnet, Zygaena loti

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Tunstall Forest, Suffolk (vii.1998) © N Sherman

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
2 100 5

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
larval diapause larval diapause larval diapause larva larva larvapupa ovapupaimago ovalarvapupaimago larva larval diapause larval diapause larval diapause

Further Photographs

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Larva - Aldeburgh (24.vi.2003) © A Prichard
Cocoon - Aldeburgh (24.vi.2003) © A Prichard
Adults on Dactylorhiza fuchsii - Lindisfarne, Northumberland (1.vi.2005) © Jonathan Tyler
 
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Icknield Way, Suffolk (13.vii.2006) © Paul Bryant
Brandon, Suffolk (6.vii.2009) © Lee Gregory
Downe Bank, Kent (18.vii.2010) © A Prichard
 
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Barnhamcross common, Suffolk (20.vi.2011) © Neil Sherman
Mating pair - Barnhamcross common, Suffolk (22.vii.2012) © Neil Sherman