The Suffolk Wildlife Trust site at Carlton Marshes proved to be a good place for Burnet Moth sightings. We always used to enjoy seeing these dazzling creatures on the cliffs in Cardiganshire, so we are pleased to have found a more local habitat now that we live in East Anglia.
Unlike the Cinnabar Moth (another striking red species) which flies by night, the Six-Spot Burnet Moth is a day-flying insect. It does not always have six spots - I thought I counted more than six - and in some cases one spot will merge into another. These moths live in colonies, and we saw many pairs mating, like the ones above, as we scanned the long meadow grass.
|David striding out at Carlton Marshes ...|
According to the Arkive site, wild thyme is one of the moth's favourite foods. I did not see any thyme, but the moths seemed quite content with thistle, a variety of purple vetch and bright yellow Bird's Foot Trefoil, this last flower being the one on which eggs are laid.
I am intrigued by the little orange spots on the antennae of the moth in the photo below. At first I presumed they were pollen, but then I wondered if they might be a parasite. I would be grateful for any answers!
Burnet Companion' ... but I have yet to see one of these moths. The orange insect below is the Skipper again.
|Bird's Foot Trefoil, the plant on which Burnets lay their eggs|
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