Seq # 410110260

Zygaena trifolii (Esper, 1783) Species

Last modified: May 16, 2024, 11:41 a.m.

A fairly common species throughout Belgium.

This species is considered Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List category for Flanders 2023.


Family: Zygaenidae > Subfamily: Zygaeninae > Genus: Zygaena > Subgenus: Zygaena > Species: Zygaena trifolii
Vernacular names
Vijfvlek-sint-jansvlinder (NL), Five-spot Burnet (EN), Zygène du trèfle (FR), Sumpfhornklee-Widderchen (DE)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1837. Catalogue des Lépidoptères ou Papillons de la Belgique, précédé du tableau des Libellulines de ce pays. — — : 1–29. On page 23 (as Zygoena [sic] Trifolii). view page




Wingspan 28–33 mm. Forewing with five red spots, of which spot 3 and 4 are often connected.

Museum specimens

Specimens in nature


Larvae are fully-grown in June.

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The larve lives free on the leaves on the food plant and hibernates as larva once or twice and pupates in a cocoon low in the vegetation. The adults are active during the day.

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Flight periods

The adults fly from late May towards August, occasionally there is a partial second generation till early October when weather conditions are good.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Lotus corniculatus and Lotus pedunculatus
Host plant (genera):

The larva lives on different species of Lotus, mainly on L. pedunculatus and L. corniculatus.
In Europe, the species is largely focused on Lotus pedunculatus.

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It inhabits wet meadows, fens, ditch verges, damp areas and dry grasslands.

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