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Sunday, 15 June 2014

A Field Afternoon

My wife alerted me to the presence of a 'Cinnabar-like' moth in a paddock ("it had better be good to drag me away from the cricket!")  After a bit of patient strolling around I was delighted to see this Burnet - from the forewing pattern I assume that it's of the Five-spot or Narrow-bordered Five-spot kind, but would welcome advice on this, please.

This has made my day - I haven't seen a Burnet Moth for years, and certainly not here at Maenol.  But I wasn't finished, continuing my stroll into the garden I saw what I thought to be Micropterix aruncella on a Rock-rose flower, but on seeing the photo I don't think that the markings are right.  Any suggestions?


  1. I understand that it`s usually quite difficult to tell 5-spot from narrow-bordered 5-spot burnet as an adult, but it`s much easier as caterpillars....something to do with the length of the setae/hairs, if I remember correctly (long in one, shorter in the other). The `narrow species` is also said to prefer drier situations than the 5-spot, which is typically a moth of damper pastures etc.

  2. Thanks Ian, 'damper pastures' certainly fits our land in normal times but it's pretty dry at the moment! The difficulty in distinguishing 5-spot from the narrow-bordered raises the question of how to record it, it certainly deserves to be recorded somehow. I note that in Jon's 2006 Annual Report he only recorded 6-SB and 5-SB, no mention of N-B5-SB, and the 2008 Report only recorded 6-SB.

  3. There are no Carms records of Narrow-bordered, whereas Five-spot is pretty common in damp pastures. In contrast, Narrow-bordered is common in much of Monmouthshire and Five-spot is very rare and north-western. I think the chances are that yours is going to be a Five-spot, Chris.