A tale of two species

On our meadow walk we came across two species that complement each other nicely, the six-spot burnet moth and the bird’s foot trefoil.

Bird’s foot trefoil, with its attractive yellow flowers, is a favourite food source for the burnet moth caterpillar.

 The caterpillar becomes a pupa in preparation for its transformation into the adult moth.

A discarded pupa case after the moth has flown

The adult six-spot burnet moth
As the bird’s foot trefoil ages it turns gradually from yellow to red,
hence the common name “eggs and bacon”
Finally its three leaves start to resemble the toes of a bird’s foot,
hence the name “bird’s foot trefoil”

(Photos by Isabel Ryan) 

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