Common on grassland, uncut road verges, embankments, woodland and marshes.
Very similar to Five-spot Burnet (Z. trifolii) and extremely difficult to identify as adults either in the field or under the microscope.
The population itself should be studied with foodplant and flight times noted. It should then be apparent as to the identity of the population. Even then more than one species may be present so extra care should be taken.
Middle pair of spots tend to not merge as in trifolii but variation can occur. The apex of forewing more pointed and black terminal band on hindwing narrower.
Rare aberration in which the usual black ground colour etc. is replaced by a beautiful chocolate violet-grey colouration, observed at Sheringham in 2009.
Best recorded as larvae where the comparatively long hairs on the caterpillars are diagnostic.
Please record as the aggregate if unsure.
Verification Grade Comment: Difficult to identify as adults either in the field or under the microscope
|Determination by Genitalia Examination (gen. det.) Required|
Recorded in 33 (48%) of 69 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1874.
Last Recorded in 2020.