Zygaenidae: Zygaeninae

0170 (ABH54.010) Five-spot Burnet Zygaena trifolii, (Esper, 1783)



General Information

It is difficult to distinguish this moth from the more common Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet. The Five-spot Burnet is slightly smaller than the Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet and is found where foodplant Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil is present.


Moths with the middle pair of spots merged are more frequent in this species. The Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet flies earlier.


A rare form exists where the red spots are replaced by yellow.


Overwinters as a larva, sometimes twice. Pupates in a cocoon formed low down on the food plant.


The larvae have shorter hairs than the Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet.


Overwinters as Overwinters as a larva.
Flies during the day

Forewing length: 14-19mm.
Foodplant(s): Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Flying: One generation, June-August
UK Presence: Resident
National status: Local


Dry calcareous grassland on chalk and limestone.

Regional Information

This species has been recorded in Huntingdonshire, but without locational data.

Last recorded in

Similar Species
Great Staughton
Great Staughton
 Photo © Peter Bissell

Larva Type:
white, green, yellow, black
No. of Proleg Pairs: