Six-Spot Burnet, Six-Spot Burnet Moth
Zygaena filipendulae is a medium-sized, common moth which graces gardens from as early as May in the UK, Ireland and Europe. They love Thistle and Knapweed, which they're often seen perched on in pairs- if you get our drift! They're day-flying, looking gorgeous with their shimmering black and red wings. They can easily be attracted by planting a good mixture of wildflowers. Sometimes they're mistaken for butterflies due to their behaviour when flying. They thrive in an array of habitats, including grasslands, meadows, woodland rides, hedgerows and coastal sand dunes.
Gorgeous moths that can be seen on the wing from early summer.
Caterpillars will graze the leaves of Bird's Foot Trefoil.
Adults: Wing length: 15-19cm. The forewings are shimmery black with 6 red spots per wing. The hindwings are vibrant red. They possess fluffy scales on the thorax. Larvae: Stout, chunky yellow caterpillars with black spots, covered in fine white hairs. Roughly 3-4cm in size. Pupae: Pupae are brown-yellow coloured and papery to touch. They are conspicuously attached to the back of grass blades. Eggs: Tiny and laid beneath the leaf of the food plant.
Caterpillars will feed on Bird's Foot Trefoil.
Europe and the UK
These caterpillars are harmless in most cases. If you spot loads on a desirable plant, remove a few using gloves and relocate. They may not be eaten by birds but serve as a yummy treat for spiders and parasitic wasps. Their eggs are a food source for other garden wildlife. You can attract them to your garden by planting Thistle abnd Birds Foot Trefoil.
It's not advised to remove these insects from the environment because they pose only a small risk to garden plants.
Moths enjoy the nectar of Thistle and Knapweed. The caterpillars love Bird's Foot Trefoil!
Predatory insects will eat the moths and caterpillars.