Superficially similar to several of the other burnet moths, but perhaps closest to the Five-spot Burnet. The New Forest Burnet has a round-tipped forewing with five clearly defined red spots and a dark area beyond. It is smaller and stouter than the Five-spot Burnet, with more slender and weakly clubbed antennae. The Five-spot Burnet also has more pointed wings.

The adults are rather sedentary, though the male flies in warm, calm conditions. During inclement weather it conceals itself low down amongst the vegetation. Visits the flowers of Wild Thyme and occasionally other nectar sources.

Size and Family

  • Family – Burnets and Foresters (Zygaenids)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 24-28mm

Conservation status

Subspecies argyllensis

  • UK BAP: Priority Species
  • Endangered (Red Data Book category 1)

Subspecies ytenensis

  • Extinct

    Caterpillar Food Plants

    Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis) and Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus).


    Only known from a single steep, south-facing, herb-rich, grassy slope with rocky ledges. Subspecies ytenensis was found along woodland rides and in clearings.


    • Countries – Scotland
    • Subspecies argyllensis is only known from one small area in Argyllshire, where it was first found in 1963. Subspecies ytenensis formerly occurred in the New Forest and was last found there in 1927.
    New Forest Burnet - Tapio Kujala

    New Forest Burnet

    New Forest Burnet - Oskar Gran

    New Forest Burnet

    New Forest Burnet (male & female) - Ilia Ustyantsev

    New Forest Burnet (male & female)

    New Forest Burnet (caterpillar) - Ilia Ustyantsev

    New Forest Burnet (caterpillar)

    New Forest Burnet (cocoon) - Ilia Ustyantsev

    New Forest Burnet (cocoon)