Very similar to and sometimes difficult to distinguish from the Five-spot Burnet. In general, the forewing of the Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet is longer and more pointed, the upper angle of the hindwing is more pointed and the black border of the hindwing is narrower than those of the Five-spot Burnet. Sometimes, although infrequently, the red colour is replaced by yellow.

Sometimes found commonly. The moth flies in sunshine and is attracted to a range of flowers, including thistles, knapweeds, and scabious.

Size and Family

  • Family – Burnets and Foresters (Zygaenids)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 30-38mm

Conservation status

Subspecies latomarginata

  • UK Biodiversity Action Plan: Not listed
  • UK status: Common

Subspecies jocelynae

  • UK status: Rare (Red Data Book category 3)

Subspecies insularis

  • Occurs in Ireland only

Caterpillar Food Plants

Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia)and Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus uliginosus). Occasionally also Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), White Clover (Trifolium repens) and Bitter-vetch (Lathyrus linifolius).


Associated with rough grassland, both dry calcareous grasslands and on damper soils, undercliffs, roadside verges, embankments, woodland clearings and rides and the margins of wetlands. Subspecies jocelynae occurs on steep, coastal grassy slopes.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Well distributed over much of England north to the Scottish Borders and in north and south Wales. Found on Jersey. Subspecies jocelynae is restricted to Skye. Subspecies insularis is widespread in Ireland, particularly in the north.
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: