54.008 (0169) Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae stephensi Dupont, 1900 

Status
Resident. Common.
 
Flight period
J F M A M J J A S O N D
























 
History
Lennon (1860) stated that he had bred 30 on, presumably from larvae he had found around Dumfries where he walked everyday. By (1863) he had found it not common but had recorded it from Lochaber, a site where it was still found as recently as July 2006. W. Douglas Robinson (1870-71) had stated it was very local, but abundant where it occurs in June. Gordon (1913) stated it to be locally abundant at the coast, but scarce inland in Wigtownshire.
 
It was 1969 before it was recorded again and that was at the Mull of Galloway. There were two records in the 1970s, from Port William and Gretna, with four records during the 1980s.
 
From 1990 to 2010 there were two hundred records from widely scattered sites, but only a handful were from Dumfriesshire.
 
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a larva during August to June, with pupation taking place in a exposed cocoon on a plant stem. Both larva and pupa have been noticed in the field to have been paratised.
 
Larval foodplants
Larvae feed on Bird's-foot Trefoil, mainly Common, but sometimes also Greater.
 
Identification
The red and black markings are a warning to predators that the moth has a chemical defence in the form of cyanide!
 
Habitat
This colourful day-flying moth is generally to be found on grassland near the coast, in abundance on occasions.
© Steven Morgan, Mersehead RSPB, 11 July 2011
© Gavin Chambers, Mull of Galloway, 2 July 2010 

Local distribution map

The gadget spec URL could not be found

Distribution map displays records from the National Biodiversity Network (See terms and conditions).

The following datasets are included:

  • Butterfly Conservation - Macro-moth provisional distribution for the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) from the National Moth Recording Scheme
 Powered by the  NBN Gateway