Pyrausta aurata

Alternative names
Small Purple & Gold

Wingspan 15-18 mm. The only consistent postmedian mark is a round golden blotch near the costa but there is usually a small golden mark between it and the costa. In fresh specimens there is sometimes a thin indistinct wavy golden postmedian line between the round blotch and the dorsum.

Identification difficulty

Both larvae and adults occur in gardens as well as wild habitats with the foodplants.

When to see it

It has two generations: in May and June and again through July and August. It flies both during the day and at night.

Life History

The larvae feed on mints, including Spearmint, Apple Mint, Marjoram, Lemon Balm etc.

UK Status

It is fairly frequent in England, Wales and southern Scotland. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = A (common and resident)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map