Wednesday, 21 June 2017

How Many Spots, Mr Burnet?

A walk around our conservation and garden areas at work today has revealed that spotty burnet moths, these fairy tale creatures from a child's book, have erupted out of their hiding places and are making merry among the thistle and ragwort on our campus.

I came across them while on a photographic expedition at work - well, it wasn't really, I was crossing the site to collect a parcel that turned out not to be for me, but it was a wonderfully serendipitous thing.

No pretend parcel, no nature spectacle. And these moths are a spectacle, fluttering slowly around like storybook creations, wings a-blur until they settle to reveal an irridescent sheen against which the red spots stand out like rubies.

But how many spots???

These photographs would tend to indicate that these are 5 spot burnet moths - don't go there with that "narrow bordered" stuff that's above my pay grade - and when the teasel flowers, that's when they'll go mad.

I'm waiting.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.06.17


  1. Stunning photos, so nice to see this moth. I have not seen any so far this year.
    Amanda 🐰🐰

  2. I just think they are so beautiful that I don't care how many spots they have.

  3. I saw some more on the way home and I thought those ones were 6 spot!

  4. Excellent photographs,especially the first.

  5. Great photos Simon and good to see so many. I spotted one in the garden recently and, as we have some Ragwort in the lawn "no mow zone", I am so hoping for some caterpillars :)

  6. Thank you so much! Robin, if you have ragwort, then you will have cinnabar caterpillars soon, just as the sun will rise in the morning sky.