Mint moths foraging and mating in my wildlife garden

August 21, 2017

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Gardening For Wildlife

Probably mint moths!

This year I have more water mint growing as it has now become more established in my small wildlife pond. I was intrigued when I saw this little moth flying in the daytime, which is rather unusual for many moths. After reading about mint moths and their association with mint, I went outside and found several similar moths resting on my water mint with a pair mating, with a moth and a male bumblebee sharing a flower together! As shown in the video!

Mint moth? Another first for my new wildlife garden!

I have little idea which species of moth it actually is. A Google search shows:

Pyrausta aurata and commonly known as the mint moth. It uses mint to lay its eggs on the food plant for its caterpillars.

Pyrausta purpuralis, which to me appears from the photograph in the link, to have more spots on its upper wings.

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my teaching, presentations, sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes, and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues. http://nurturing-nature.co.uk  Thank you” George Pilkington

Perhaps you have seen it in your wildlife garden, especially if you have mint growing?

A detailed comparison between the two species can be downloaded here and aptly named: Difficult moths!

This site advocates planting mints to “Get rid of moths with mint plants!” Well, don’t tell the mint moth!

For more information about moths visit UKmoths

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Teresa Fowler August 22, 2017 at 8:02 am

Hi George, I’m pretty sure your moth is Pyrausta aurata. I see it every year, in my garden, mainly on the water mint and oregano. It’s the postmedian forewing markings which separate this from P purpuralis, as explained at http://www.ukmoths.org.uk/species/pyrausta-aurata/
Regards, Teresa

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