Tuesday, 4 July 2017


Over the last three days I've at last found time to use the trial Burnet Moth lures.  Six-spot Burnet has emerged fairly recently and has been responding to the filipendulae pheromone in good numbers.

Six-spot Burnets at pheromone lure

However, the Five-spotted varieties have been out for a while locally and are probably getting a bit long in the tooth.  It wasn't until today that I had any kind of response from them, but at two BBOWT sites this afternoon, the eastern side of the Calvert Jubilee lake in SP 6824 and, on the south side of the A41, at Leaches Farm Meadows in SP 6419, both trifolii (Five-spot) and lonicerae (Narrow-bordered Five-spot) turned up to their respective lures.  Two examples from Calvert are illustrated below.

Five-spot Burnet, Calvert Jubilee 4th July

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, Calvert Jubilee 4th July

These two particular individuals do seem to fit quite well with the fore-wing illustrations in the field guide, trifolii showing a tendency towards merged middle spots (sometimes all five are merged) which is not seen anywhere nearly so often in lonicerae although does occasionally occur in that species too.  Separating the adults on looks alone can therefore be a bit of a nightmare.  Unfortunately, finding both species rather goes against the accepted wisdom for Bucks that we only have Narrow-bordered apart from one odd site at Greatmoor (SP 7022) which has in any case probably been destroyed due to the construction of a large incinerator plant.  Good luck to the county recorder, trying to sort out this mess!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


  1. I tried the lures (with the Forester lures as well) at the COAM meadow this afternoon; one moth to the 5-Spot lure, although it didn't settle for a photo opportunity.

  2. Clearly this needs further investigation - proper scrutiny a number of the moths coming to each of the 2 lures, egg batches, larvae...
    I know very little about these lures (nor do I currently have time to look into it) but if this was VC 23, without further information I would not be happy about records of trifolii purely based on the pheromone lure they were attracted to, especially given that these are very closely related species.


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