Zygaena carniolica

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Zygaena carniolica
Crepuscular burnet (Zygaena carniolica).jpg
in Bulgaria
Scientific classification
Z. carniolica
Binomial name
Zygaena carniolica
(Scopoli, 1763)

Zygaena carniolica, sometimes described as the crepuscular burnet or eastern burnet, is a member of the family Zygaenidae.



Subspecies include: [1] [2]


This species can be found in most of Europe, except Britain Isles and northern Scandinavia. [1] [2] It is also present from Asia Minor to Iran. [3]


It inhabits warm and dry areas, grasslands and limestone substrate, steppe slopes and dry pastures.


Lateral view Zygaenidae - Zygaena carniolica-003.JPG
Lateral view

The wingspan is 30–35 mm. Forewings are bluish-black with six red spots surrounded by yellow. Hindwings have a red color with a black border. The outer spots are often in the shape of a crescent. The abdomen is black-blue, sometimes with a red belt. [4] The caterpillar is light green with a series of triangular black spots on the sides of the body. Pupae are black-brown, with a white or yellowish ovoid cocoon. [5]

This species is rather similar to Zygaena algira , Zygaena maroccana , Zygaena occitanica , Zygaena orana and Zygaena youngi .

Technical description and variation

Z. carniolica. It is hardly possible to give a general description of the colour and pattern of the 20 odd forms which are being united under this species. The antenna is strong, being enlarged to a stout club; collar and edge of thorax mostly with whitish hairs; legs black-blue, yellow beneath. Forewing metallic black-green, densely scaled, fringes light reddish yellow; 6 spots, the 6 halfmoon-shaped , parallel with the distal margin, its normal colour in exceptional specimens absent, but then always recognizable by the scaling having a different gloss. The species is distributed throughout Central and South Europe, as well as North Africa and Western Asia, extending to Turkestan and the Altai. "To enumerate all transitions and aberrations would fatigue even the most patient," says Ochsenheimer; we also shall therefore only characterize the forms which alone till now have received names. The name-typical form, carniolica Scop.(= onobrychis Schiff. & Den., caffer Esp. (8d) has white edged spots on forewing and a red abdominal belt. From Central Germany- southwards to the Mediterranean and eastwards to the Altai. — ab. flaveola Esp. (= luteola Boisd.) [Zygaena carniolica ssp. flaveola Esper, 1786 ] (8d) has the hindwing and the spots of the forewing straw-yellow instead of red. As a rarity everywhere among the normal form.especially often found in Austria. — ab. dichroma Hirshke has the red mixed with yellow. — In ab. grossi Hirshke [ now junior synonym of Z.carniolica Scopoli, 1763] the red is replaced by coffee-brown. — hedysari Hbn. (= astragali Hbn., onobrychis Boisd., meliloti Hbn., sedi Dup.) [Zygaena carniolica ssp. hedysari Hübner, 1796] (8e) has no red abdominal belt: the commonest form in Germany, but locally predominating also in Italy and other countries. — diniensis H.-Sch.[Zygaena carniolica ssp. diniensis Herrich-Schäffer, 1852] (8e) has a red belt; the spots of the forewing very large, fiery red, with very thin light borders. French Riviera. — In bohatschi Wagn.[ now junior synonym of

Plate from Seitz Diegrossschmette02seit 0023.jpg
Plate from Seitz

depicting a few subspecies]] Z. carniolica Scopoli, 1763] the spots of the forewing are confluent in pairs ; Liguria.— In ab. jurassica Blachier [ now Zygaena carniolica ssp. virginea Müller, 1766] the central spots are very large and connected with the red basal area by a costal streak, while the 6 spot remains isolated; found near Geneva in July and August. — ab. weileri Stgr. (= diniensis Oberth.) [ now Zygaena carniolica ssp. modesta Burgeff, 1914] . Here the proximal spots are merged together to a large red patch which bears single red dots, only the 6 (lunate) spot remaining separate; in Germany, Austria and at the Riviera. — ab. ragonoti Gianelli (8f) [now Zygaena carniolica ssp. virginea Müller, 1766 ] from Turin, is only a modification of the form weileri ; the forewing is almost entirely red, but, besides the 6 spot being isolated, there are some more black markings in the basal area of the forewing than in weileri. — In the Tring Museum there is an aberration with entirely red wings, which may be named totirubra ab. nov. [now junior synonym of Zygaena carniolica Scopoli, 1763] (8f), since the corresponding forms of other species of Zygaena have received names. Found in Hungary.— In amoena Stgr. [now junior synonym of Zygaena carniolica Scopoli, 1763 ] (8ef), from Hungary and Lower Austria, the whitish edges of the spots of the forewing are so enlarged that the white almost entirely displaces the dark ground-colour, the hindwing being sometimes pale pink, as in the third specimen figured as (amoena on 8f.) — In berolinensis Stgr. [ Zygaena carniolica ssp. berolinensis Lederer, 1853 ] (8g) , occurring singly everywhere among the normal form, but being especially typical at the Italian Riviera, the white margins of the spots of the forewing are completely absent and the abdomen is without belt. — As taurica Stgr.[ Zygaena carniolica ssp. taurica Staudinger, 1879 ] (8g) a Lydian form is known in which the proximal spots are broadly white-edged, while the 6 transverse, spot has almost disappeared. — In apenina Tur. (= wiskotti Calb.) [ now Z. carniolica ssp. hedysari Hübner, 1796 ] (8g), which flies not rarely near Genoa behind the Campo Santo among hedysari and berolinensis, the 6 transverse spot is completely absent or is only indicated as a dull shadow in the ground colour.- graeca Stgr. [ Z. carniolica ssp. graeca Staudinger, 1870] resembles a small carniolica of the name-typical form, and has like this insect a red belt, but the whitish yellow edges of the spots of the forewing are much thinner; from Greece.amasina Stgr. (8j) [Zygaena carniolica ssp. amasina Staudinger, 1879 ], from Asia Minor, closely resembles amoena but is beautifully bright-red instead of pink and has abundant traces of the black ground colour, which in amoena is almost entirely replaced by white.wiedemanni Men. [ Z. carniolica ssp. wiedemannii Ménétriés, 1839 ] (8h), from Anterior Asia, on the contrary has so much white on the forewing that this is the prevalent colour: moreover, the abdomen is vermilion except the base and tip.— albarracina Stgr. [ Z. carniolica ssp. albarracina Staudinger, 1887, from Andalusia, is a small form which approaches orana, but has less red on the abdomen.In transiens Stgr. [ Z. carniolica ssp. transiens Staudinger, 1887 ] the spot 6 which is edged with white in the previous forms, has become all white, the red centre disappearing, this form therefore approaching the occitanica group, which one has several times endeavoured to distinguish specifically from the carniolica-forms from Western Asia. [6]


It is a univoltine species. Adults are on wing from July to August. Adults feed on the nectar of flowers in the family Fabaceae. The larvae feed on Lotus , Anthyllis , Dorycnium and Onobrychis species. [7] They frequently rest large numbers on flowers. Pupation occurs in May–June. The caterpillars hibernate.


Related Research Articles

Six-spot burnet Species of moth

The six-spot burnet is a day-flying moth of the family Zygaenidae.

Silver-ground carpet Species of moth

The silver-ground carpet is a moth of the family Geometridae. The species was first described by Michael Denis and Ignaz Schiffermüller in 1775. It is common throughout the Palearctic region including the Near East and North Africa.

Zygaena transalpina Species of moth

Zygaena transalpina is a moth of the family Zygaenidae.

<i>Zygaena</i> genus of insects

Zygaena is a genus of moths in the family Zygaenidae. These brightly coloured, day-flying moths are native to the West Palearctic. Adalbert Seitz described them thus "Small, stout, black insects, sometimes with metallic gloss. Antenna very strongly developed; the club being considerably incrassate distally. Tongue long and strong. Legs rather short. Forewing elongate oval,black or red, rarely spotted with white or yellow. Hindwing small, usually red, seldom black. —Larva strongly humpbacked, very soft, downy-haired. Pupa in a paper-like silky cocoon, the sheaths of legs and wings being loosely soldered together. The moths are mostly local, their stations being often restricted to a mountain, a meadow, etc. They appear mostly in large numbers at their special localities, swarming about flowers, which they suck, fore instance Scabious, Thistles, Eryngium, etc., their flight being slow and straight on. The body of these insects contains, as in the other Zygaenids, a yellow, acrid, oily hquid which renders them nauseous, protecting them not only against their enemies among the vertebrates, but apparently even against predatory insects, fore instance Asilids. Like all insects protected by the body-juices, they are extremely tenacious of life, enduring considerable wounds as well as resisting strong poison for some time. They conceal themselves in no way, mostly resting conspicuously on stalks or sprigs, hardly taking to the wing when touched, so that one can often pick them off by the long antennae. The latter are not concealed beneath the wings when at rest, as in other Heterocera, but are held straight forwaid. The main locality for the genus are the Mediterranean coast districts, of Europe as well as of the Atlas countries and the Levant, where the Zygaenae occur in a great abundance of forms, which partly intergrade and are found in immense numbers of specimens. There are often several individuals of different species on a flower, which easily explains that hybridisation obtains here more often than in any other group of Lepidoptera. However, such copulations appear to be mostly without result. The Zygaenae are best killed by injection of some strong tobacco juice With the help of the hollow needle of a morphia syringe.As in all protected Lepidoptera the specifically distinct forms are without exception very common at their localities, the commercial value depending solely on the accessibleness of these places. The number of species is largest in South Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor, thence decreasing rapidly in all directions. The pacific coast of Asia is reached by one species only and the higher North of Europe by two, while not one occurs in South Asia. Outside the Palaearctic Region there occur only a few speciesin South and East Africa, while two Palaearctic forms extend into the Punjab and the Nepalese valleys of the Himalayas.The species are on the whole very similar to one another and also very constant, varying only in certain directions. There occur of nearly all species individuals for instance with yellow instead of red markings. The normally six-spotted species may exceptionally have five spots, and inversely. In species which bear a red belt the latter may sometimes be absent, and in non-belted forms the belt may appear in rare cases. The spots of the forewing may be edged with white and merged together. Lastly, the marginal band of the hindwing may be so widened as to more or less displace the red ground-colour. These various aberrations have in may cases received names.

<i>Zygaena ephialtes</i> Species of moth

Zygaena ephialtes is day flying species of burnet moth found in Europe. It is typically found in xeric habitats, and populations have recently decreased. It also exhibits Müllerian mimicry with other species, like Amata phegea.

<i>Zygaena loti</i> Species of moth

Zygaena loti, the slender Scotch burnet, is a moth of the family Zygaenidae.

<i>Diacrisia sannio</i> Species of moth

Diacrisia sannio, the clouded buff, is a moth of the family Erebidae. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. It is found in the Palearctic ecozone from Ireland to Siberia. It is not in North Africa. In the Russian Far East, eastern China, Korea and Japan it is replaced by Diacrisia irene.

<i>Zygaena exulans</i> Species of moth

Zygaena exulans, the mountain burnet or Scotch burnet, is a moth of the family Zygaenidae.

<i>Zygaena laeta</i> Species of moth

Zygaena laeta, the bloodword burnet, is a moth of the family Zygaenidae. It is found in Central and South-Eastern Europe.In Z. laeta the collar and patagia as well as the apical half of the abdomen are red: also the wings are testaceous red except some black spots on the forewing. Larva of light bluish green, with while dorsal and lateral lines, along which there are blackdots. Pupa yellow, anteriorly dark brown, in a whitish cocoon. The wingspan is 26–34 mm.

<i>Zygaena lonicerae</i> Species of moth

Zygaena lonicerae, the narrow-bordered five-spot burnet, is a moth of the family Zygaenidae. The species was first described by Theodor Gottlieb von Scheven in 1777.

<i>Zygaena purpuralis</i> Species of moth

Zygaena purpuralis, the transparent burnet, is a moth of the family Zygaenidae.

<i>Zygaena occitanica</i> Species of moth

Zygaena occitanica, the Provence burnet, is a moth of the Zygaenidae family. It is found from the Algarve and southern Spain up to the eastern parts of the Cantabrian Mountains then to southern Russia and the Caucasus and east to the western fringe of Central Asia.

<i>Zygaena sarpedon</i> Species of moth

Zygaena sarpedon is a moth of the Zygaenidae family. It is found in France, Italy and on the Iberian Peninsula.

<i>Zygaena brizae</i> Species of moth

Zygaena brizae is a species of moth in the Zygaenidae family. It is found in France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Balkan Peninsula, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia.

<i>Zygaena cynarae</i> Species of moth

Zygaena cynarae is a species of moth in the Zygaenidae family. It is found from France east to Russia.

<i>Zygaena erythrus</i> Species of moth

Zygaena erythrus, common name sluggish burnet, is a species of moth in the family Zygaenidae.

<i>Zygaena punctum</i> Species of moth

Zygaena punctum is a species of moth in the family Zygaenidae. It is found in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, the Balkan Peninsula, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey.

<i>Zygaena angelicae</i> Species of moth

Zygaena angelicae is a species of moth in the Zygaenidae family. It is found in Central Europe, from Greece to southern Germany and Thuringia. Z.angelicae has blue-black or green-black forewings, whose inner angles are strongly rounded off. On the forewings there are five or six red spots, two of which are always close together. In the five-spotted individuals, the spots on the underside of the wings are connected by a red stripe, in the six-spotted ones this is a large patch. The black margin of the red hind wings is wide. The antennal club is white at the tip less so than in Zygaena transalpina and the white may be completely absent. The wingspan is 30–33 mm.

<i>Zygaena anthyllidis</i> Species of moth

Zygaena anthyllidis is a species of moth in the Zygaenidae family. It is found in France and Spain.

<i>Zygaena dorycnii</i> Species of moth

Zygaena dorycnii is a species of moth in the family Zygaenidae. It is found in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and Armenia.


  1. 1 2 Fauna Europaea
  2. 1 2 Funet - Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and some other life forms
  3. Nature Wonders
  4. Chinery, Michael (1989). Collins new generation guide to the butterflies and day-flying moths of Britain and Europe. Collins. str. 157. ISBN   9780002197854
  5. Lepiforum.de
  6. Adalbert Seitz, 1913, in Seitz, Gross-Schmett. Erde 6: 22.,The Macrolepidoptera of the Palearctic Fauna 2. Volume: The Palearctic Bombyces & Sphinges. pdf PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. Paolo Mazzei, Daniel Morel, Raniero Panfili Lepiforum.de Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa