Burnet Moths on Mull

Often mistaken for butterflies these conspicuous colourful day flying moths are bright and easy to spot. They have a slow buzzing flight, and are quite attractive with their crimson and black colours.

Where to find them ?

We took to the hill behind Penmore House Self Catering on the Isle Mull to look for the colourful moths.

The whole hills side was a mass of colour, a carpet of wild flowers, and it wasn't long before our youngest researcher shouted out excitedly "I think I found one I think I found one" sure enough a six-spot Burnet was clinging up side down onto some Devil bit scabius, and then it was off, gone, Soon we were all finding them, they seemed to like sunny bare areas with Wild mountain Thyme or orchids.

The Six-spot Burnet and Transparent Burnet moths can be found on the North of Mull. The rarer Slender Scotch Burnet only occurs on Mull and Ulva.

6 Spot Burnet moth
Six-spot Burnet moth

Burnet moths are easily recognisable by their crimson dots or blotches on a black background. Species ID requires a carful look at the size and shape of the crimson dots and blotches.

Transparent Burnet moth
Transparent Burnet Moth

The Six-spot Burnet can be see flying from mid June to late August on the isle of Mull, The Transparent Burnet flys from June to July.

six-spot and transparent burnet side by side
side by side for ID

The best places to find them are along the coast in sheltered glens on a bare South facing sunny bank without too much braken. Look out for Wild Thyme, and Birds-foot-trefoil, the caterpillars food.