Skip to main content

Mint Moth

Pyrausta aurata

Mint Moth, Small Purple and Gold

A small red moth - pyrausta aurata

by Michael Palmer. CC BY-SA 4.0

A close up image of a small mint moth Pyrausta aurata
Pyrausta aurata, or the Mint Moth, is a small, delicate insect. From spring, Mint Moths look for Mint plants to lay their eggs. They can also be attracted to Cat-mint, Calamint, Wild Marjoram, Clary or Culinary Thyme. The adult moths can be seen in the daytime or at night. Not only are moths important as garden pollinators, but they also have an important role in the food chain, as adults and caterpillars. Mint Moths inhabit chalk and limestone grassland, woodland, marshland and gardens.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


May be minor pests of Mint.
Moths are important pollinators!


Adults: The wingspan measures roughly 2 cm. Its front wings are reddish-purple brown, with distinctive yellow spots (variable). Its back wings are black-brown with yellow markings. Larvae: Caterpillars are tiny light yellow and slightly translucent caterpillars with black dots and a thick stripe running down the back. Sometimes, caterpillars can be light or dark green and brown. They measure approximately 1 cm. Pupae: Elongate, slender and brown-black, attached beneath the leaves of the host plant.











Well-distributed across the UK and Europe. Records also exist in parts of Asia and the Middle East.

Biological treatment

Pyrausta aurata isn't a severe pest, so you don't need to remove them. If you feel your plant has too many caterpillars to support, you can pick them off by hand and relocate.


Mentha rotundifolia

Mentha rotundifolia


Mentha spicata

Wild Marjoram

Origanum laevigatum

Meadow Clary

Salvia pratensis

A hand holding a some green Melissa officinalis leaves

Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis

A close up of a Nepeta cataria flower


Nepeta cataria

Lesser Calamint

Calamintha nepeta

A close up of some Thymus vulgaris flowers


Thymus vulgaris

Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


About usCareersPrivacy policy

Candide is your guide to visiting UK public gardens. Find the best gardens, buy tickets and enter with just your phone. Download the app for offline tickets, community access and more.

Terms & ConditionsCode of Conduct

© 2022 Candide

Made in Bristol