The largely orange-yellow hindwings, combined with the warm brown forewings are characteristic of this species which can be confused with no other. Often seen in the company of the Mother Shipton and some burnet moths, this species flies in sunshine and warm overcast weather. Very alert and readily disturbed from low vegetation, generally flying only short distances.

The larvae can be seen from late June to late August before overwintering as pupae in a cocoon among plant debris.

Size and Family

  • Family – Catocalines
  • Medium Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 26-30mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

White Clover (Trifolium repens), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), Black Medick (Medicago lupulina), Lucerne (Medicago sativa), Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and probably other trefoils and vetches.


Dry or damp grasslands, usually on calcareous soils, including downland, flower-rich hay meadows, woodland rides, verges and embankments.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland

  • Fairly well distributed in the southern half of England and south-east Wales, becoming more restricted in distribution in the rest of Wales, northern England, southern Scotland and Ireland. Scarce on the Channel Islands

Burnet Companion by Mark Parsons

Burnet Companion

Burnet Companion by Mark Parsons

Burnet Companion