Mint Moth

Pyrausta aurata

Mint Moth, Small Purple and Gold

A small red moth - pyrausta aurata by Michael Palmer (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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A close up image of a small mint moth Pyrausta aurata
A small red moth - pyrausta aurata by Michael Palmer (CC BY-SA 4.0)
1 of 5
Pyrausta aurata, or the Mint Moth, is a small, delicate insect. From spring, Mint Moths look for Mint plants to lay their eggs. They can also be attracted to Cat-mint, Calamint, Wild Marjoram, Clary or Culinary Thyme. The adult moths can be seen in the daytime or at night. Not only are moths important as garden pollinators, but they also have an important role in the food chain, as adults and caterpillars. Mint Moths inhabit chalk and limestone grassland, woodland, marshland and gardens.
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Traits

May be minor pests of Mint.
Moths are important pollinators!

Appearance

Adults: The wingspan measures roughly 2 cm. Its front wings are reddish-purple brown, with distinctive yellow spots (variable). Its back wings are black-brown with yellow markings. Larvae: Caterpillars are tiny light yellow and slightly translucent caterpillars with black dots and a thick stripe running down the back. Sometimes, caterpillars can be light or dark green and brown. They measure approximately 1 cm. Pupae: Elongate, slender and brown-black, attached beneath the leaves of the host plant.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Crambidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Well-distributed across the UK and Europe. Records also exist in parts of Asia and the Middle East.

Biological treatment

Pyrausta aurata isn't a severe pest, so you don't need to remove them. If you feel your plant has too many caterpillars to support, you can pick them off by hand and relocate.

Attracts

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