Species of the Month - June 2017
The Transparent Burnet is
one of several rare Burnet moths that are restricted to a few localities
on the Scottish west coast and islands. Some of these species are
hard to tell apart, but the Transparent Burnet is
easy to recognise as it has red bars instead of spots. Be careful
not to confuse it with the Cinnabar Moth whose wings each have one
narrow line and two spots in red on a black background. The
Transparent Burnet has 3 broad bars on each wing and no round spots.
moth inhabits south-facing slopes below rock outcrops that support Wild
Thyme, its larval foodplant. It has colonies on Mull, Skye and the
Small Isles, and mainland colonies in Lorn and Kintyre. Colonies
are usually near the coast. Even in dull weather the moths sit
around conspicuously on the vegetation, and in sunshine they are very
active. Like all Burnet moths they are a day-flying species.
The flight period is from early June to early July.
black part of its wing is not exactly transparent, but is certainly
translucent, as this photo shows.
Andrew Masterman, the county moth recorder, is
survey work on this species, and has asked LNHG to help with this
project. We have pheromone lures which we can lend out to anyone
who's interested. It is likely that new colonies remain to be
This one, taken in late June, is getting on a bit and showing signs of wear.
The larva is distinctive, hard to spot but easy to recognise once found. Most sightings have been in early May, when the larva is full-grown and about to pupate, which it usually does in an exposed position on bare rock, risking predation to maximise heat intake. Some pupate in the colder but safer soil layer at the base of the foodplant.
Please send in
your Transparent Burnet sightings
using the form below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
with the details if you prefer. If you are not sure of the
identity of your moth, please send a photo to email@example.com,
or put one on the
LNHG Facebook page.
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