Superficially similar to some other burnets, in particular the Six-spot Burnet (Z. filipendulae).The male can be found at the flowers of milkworts and thyme, the female usually nectaring at the flowers of the larval foodplant.

Size and Family

  • Family – Burnets and Foresters (Zygaenids)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 25-35mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Priority Species
  • Red Data Book

Caterpillar Description

Overwinters as a larva, sometimes twice. The larvae are mostly found on shorter plants, usually less than 6cm. Pupates in a dull oval-shaped, dirty whitish cocoon spun amongst grass or other herbage on or near the ground.

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)


  • Countries – Scotland
  • Mull, Ulva and Gometra, formerly on the Scottish mainland in the Morvern district, Argyllshire
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: Declining


Grassy slopes by the sea, usually south to south-west facing slopes