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« Back Butterflies, Moths & Caterpillars (UK)

Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata)
Photo By Impy The Garden of England

Mint Moth   (Pyrausta aurata)

This Picture Has been Viewed 2601 times since 06 June 2006

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Description: Wingspan 16-18mm. Although superficially similar to the closely-related Pyrausta purpuralis, this species has generally fewer gold markings on the wings, with a single distinct gold spot on the forewing. Appears in broad daylight, but often flies about unnoticed due to its small size. This moth was a rarity up to about a hundred years ago. Nowadays becoming quite common, at least locally, because of mint, its larvae's food source of choice, being planted more often in suburban gardens; hence its common name of Mint Moth.

Distribution: Locally common in England, Wales and southern Scotland.

Behaviour: The adults fly from mid May till the end of June and from mid July till mid September. They fly both in sunshine and after dark and readily come to light.

Caterpillar: The larvae feed on various wild herbs, including mint (Mentha) and marjoram (Origanum vulgare). When young, they live on the under surface of a leaf , but later they change to the flowers where they spin a web.

Hibernation: The larvae of the autumn generation hibernate in their cocoons.

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