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Burnet Moth (Family: Zygaenidae) - Wiki
Subject: Burnet Moth (Family: Zygaenidae) - Wiki
Five-spot Burnet moth, Zygaena trifolii.jpg
Resolution: 600x310 File Size: 48280 Bytes Date: 2003:07:02 09:41:06 Camera: E995 (NIKON) F number: f/1.0 Exposure: 15625/1000000 sec Focal Length: 196/10 Upload Date: 2007:11:30 10:46:02

Burnet Moth (Family: Zygaenidae) - Wiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
(unranked) Apoditrysia
Superfamily: Zygaenoidea
Family: Zygaenidae

[Photo] Five-spot Burnet moth, Zygaena trifolii; Zygaena trifolii (Esper), the five-spot burnet. (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae). Photographed by Keith Edkins ?? 2003. Cornwall, UK. Author: Keith Edkins (
Copyright (C) 2003 Keith Edkins
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

The Zygaenidae are a family of Lepidoptera (moths) typically day-flying with a slow fluttering flight, and with rather clubbed antennae. They generally have a metallic sheen and often prominent spots of red or yellow. The bright colours are a warning to predators that the moths are distasteful - they contain hydrogen cyanide throughout all stages of their life-cycle. Unlike most insects with such toxins, they manufacture these themselves rather than obtaining them from host plants (Scoble 1992). They are known to have mimicry complexes based on these toxins (Naumann et al., 1999).

Larvae are stout and may be fattened. Most feed on herbaceous plants, although some are vine or tree feeders. A fleshy extension of the thorax covers the head. Most feed on herbaceous plants, but there are some tree-feeders. Larvae in two subfamilies, Chalcosiinae and Zygaeninae, have cavities in which they store the cyanide, and can excrete it as defensive droplets (Niehuis et al., 2006)

The majority of Zygaenids are tropical, but they are nevertheless quite well represented in temperate regions. There are about 1000 species. Various species are commonly known as Burnet or Forester moths, often qualified by the number of spots, although other families also have 'foresters'. They are also sometimes called Smoky moths.

Selected taxa
Genera incertae sedis include:


Pest species include:
Almond-tree leaf skeletonizer moth (Aglaope infausta)
Vine bud moth (Theresimima ampellophaga)
Grapeleaf Skeletonizer (Harrisina americana)

10 Species are found in the UK:
Scarce Forester (Adscita globulariae)
Cistus Forester (Adscita geryon)
Forester (Adscita statices)
Scotch Burnet (Zygaena exulans)
Slender Scotch Burnet (Zygaena loti)
New Forest Burnet (Zygaena viciae)
Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae)
Five-spot Burnet (Zygaena trifolii)
Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet (Zygaena lonicerae)
Transparent Burnet (Zygaena purpuralis)

African species include:
Fire Grid Burnet (Arniocera erythopyga)
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zygaena trifolii
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