The air traffic around our lavender is heavily congested in the summertime, as can be seen by this moth and a small bee both heading for the same flower head.
I haven’t identified the bee, but thanks to the advice of my moth expert friend John Firth, I now know the moth is a Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae. According to John, and to Mr Wikipedia, the Burnet’s are grass, clover and bird’s foot trefoil feeders, but they are clearly partial to a tasty morsel of lavender as well, as shown in the supplementary image below.

Image captured 1July 2011in my garden, south of Arezzo, Italy.
Canon 1DMkII with a Canon 300mm f2.8 IS lens, Canon 1.4x extender and Canon 25mm tube; ISO 250 f4 1/4000

Uploaded 9 July 2011
Number of views on 8 December 2011: 124
31 January 2012: 200

Mr Wiki’s wisdom on the subject is (partially) as follows:
The Six-spot Burnet, Zygaena filipendulae, is a day-flying moth of the family Zygaenidae. It is a common species throughout Europe.
The sexes are similar and have a wingspan of 30–40 millimetres (1.2–1.6 in). The forewings are dark metallic green with 6 vivid red spots (sometimes the spots are merged causing possible confusion with other species such as Five-spot Burnet). Occasionally the spots are yellow or even black. The hindwings are red with a blackish fringe. The adults fly on hot, sunny days from June to August,[Note 1] and are attracted to a wide variety of flowers such as knapweed and scabious as well as the larval food plants bird’s foot trefoil and clover. The species overwinters as a larva.
The larva is plump and hairy with variable markings, usually pale green with rows of black spots. It pupates in a papery cocoon attached to foliage.


moths, six spot burnet, insects, wildlife, italy, nature

Living for partly in Italy, partly in Phuket and partly in other locations around the world – Hong Kong & Kenya when I can – I spend a lot of time photographing anything and everything. I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing shots of wildlife large and small – from elephants to insects. A wider selection of my work can be seen on my website at

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  • TheResin
    TheResinabout 3 years ago

    Awesome image!

  • Many thanks, TheResin!

    – David Clarke

  • Michaela1991
    Michaela1991about 3 years ago

  • Thanks very much, Michaela!

    – David Clarke

  • Catherine  Howell
    Catherine Howellabout 3 years ago

    love this shot!!

  • Many thanks, Catherine:))

    – David Clarke

    JUSTARTabout 3 years ago

    great shot

  • Thanks very much, Sylvia:))

    – David Clarke

  • jesika
    jesikaabout 3 years ago

    .Gorgeous. It really isn’t easy to photograph a moving insect. Super shot

  • Many thanks, Jesika:))

    – David Clarke

  • mspfoto
    mspfotoabout 3 years ago

  • Wow! Thanks, Mark; I’m delighted with that news!

    – David Clarke

  • Macky
    Mackyalmost 3 years ago

    I hope your ATCO is adequately qualified for this amount of air traffic!! :-)

    Well captured David, very challenging and rewarding!!

  • Thanks, Macky! They are well qualified but I can only keep them on 20 minutes shifts – after that, they’re cross-eyed!

    – David Clarke

  • Karen E Camilleri
    Karen E Camilleriover 2 years ago

    Congratulations David from the Hosts of the 100-499 viewings group.

  • Many thanks, Karen, that’s brilliant news! Thanks to for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • Glenn Cecero
    Glenn Ceceroover 2 years ago

    Belated Congratulations on your featured image! Well done!!

  • Many thanks, Glenn, much appreciated. Thanks too for the fav!

    – David Clarke

  • Goca
    Gocaover 2 years ago


  • Thanks very much, Goca:))

    – David Clarke

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