Outer Hebrides Biological Recording  Outer Hebrides Biological Recording
Cinnabar Survey

OHBR Cinnabar and Six-spot Burnet Survey 2024

cinnabar survey

OHBR Cinnabar and Six-spot Burnet Survey 2024

The six-spot burnet seems to be well distributed in the southern Outer Hebrides, from Mingulay in the south to Berneray and Pabbay, but further north beyond the Sound of Harris, there are just three locations it has been recorded. The cinnabar is a more recent arrival and appears to have just about established itself at the lower end of South Uist. Each year, there are odd records from elsewhere, but they seem to be just transient sightings as they are not followed up in later years with subsequent records. Both moths feed on plants that are very common here especially in machair areas; cinnabar on ragwort and six-spot burnet on bird’s-foot trefoil and other members of the pea family.

In 2024 we would like to carry out an extensive survey of the two species, we are hoping to confirm or otherwise that the absence of records from Harris and Lewis is “real” and not just a consequence of there being rather fewer active recorders there

Our survey guide has some identification hints as the two species have a bold black and red colouration that, whilst making them easy to separate from most other moths, can be quite confusing if all you get is a brief glimpse of one. Both are day active and you won’t need a moth trap to catch them and in addition the caterpillars of the cinnabar and the pupal cocoon of the six-spot burnet are easy to identify and conspicuous. All you have to do is post your observations on the Facebook group, together with the date and locations (OS map reference, what3words, latitude/longitude or location name and post code). If you get very enthusiastic and collect lots of records, you can use the OHBR recording form (full details in the recording section of this website).

Project & Species Information