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Six spot burnet

Zygaena filipendulae


The six-spot burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae) is a brightly coloured day-flying moth. Its bright colours warn potential predators that it is poisonous. The blackish forewings have a metallic sheen and feature red spots that earn the species its common name. Despite the name, however, the number of spots can vary between individuals, and may be fused in some cases. The red hind wings have a fine bluish border and the antennae are club-shaped. It is an aposematic moth because it is distinguished by its colors as toxic to predators like birds and lizards. If attacked it emits a liquid containing cyanide.


In a grass field next to the road. Near Tracarta, on a coastal road South/Western Ireland.


Such a magical moth. If you look at the first and the second picture you see that the colours change depending on the light.

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Spotted by

West Cork, Ireland

Spotted on Jul 14, 2017
Submitted on Nov 12, 2017

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