Burnet Companion Moth

As its Butterfly Conservation web-page suggests, this burnet companion moth was spotted the same day as the mother shipton, not far away, on some of the very short vegetation areas which I’m told were scraped by Gallagher’s diggers at the request of local conservationist Jeff Best. (This might seem counter-intuitive, but in fact many species die off in rich soil and need poor or rocky soil in order to compete and thrive!) The good results of this removal of soil are still visible nearly 20 years later in the valley areas near the Morrison’s entrance, where there is an especially bright carpet of beautiful wild flowers every summer.

Bradlaugh Fields Hills & Holes early June

The picture shows the very short turf, mostly made up here of black medick, a food-plant of the burnet companion moth as well as the mother shipton.

Incidentally, the name, burnet companion, is nothing to do with the salad burnet plant, but derives instead from the observation that this moth is often found together with burnet moths, and, no surprise, I saw some of them that day in the Hills and Hollows as well, only didn’t manage to get any photos.

And finally, what does ‘burnet’ mean? you may well ask. Well apparently it means ‘dark brown’, ‘brunette’, which may, possibly, refer to the dark, sometimes reddish colouration of both the burnet moths’ wings and the burnet plants’ flowers.


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