Mint Moth

  • Mint Moth
    Mint Moth

Scientific name: Pyrausta aurata

March to October. England, Wales, Southern Scotland. Small brown moth, usually has a single yellow spot on forewing. Found in gardens, grasslands, open woodland and marshland. Usually occurs near mint or thyme.

There are a few related species similar to this dainty little moth, although it is distinguished from these by its generally darker and more unicolorous forewing with the single conspicuous golden yellow spot.

There are two generations, occurring from mid-April to June and again from July to mid-September. It has also been found in mid-March and sometimes into early October. Flies actively in sunshine and also at night. During the day adults are often found sitting on the leaves of Mint or related species.

Size and Family

  • Family – Pyrales
  • Small Sized 

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

The caterpillar feeds on various Labiatae, such as Mint (Mentha sp.) including garden cultivars, Cat-mint (Nepeta cataria), Calamint (Clinopodium sp.), Marjoram (Origanum vulgare), Clary (Salvia sp.), Culinary Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and probably also Wild Thyme (T. polytrichus).


Associated with chalk and limestone grassland, quarries, woodland, marshland, amongst waterside vegetation and, increasingly, gardens.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland
  • Patchily distributed in England, Wales, southern Scotland and the Inner Hebrides. Occasionally found in numbers where it occurs. Also recorded from the Channel Islands.

Similar species