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Cinnabar Moth

Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

A frequently disturbed red and black moth that feeds on ragwort


  • Cinnabar Moth: Jacobs poison

    Post date: Friday, 19 February, 2016 - 00:00

    The cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) is a member of the tiger-moth family that flies late at night but you do frequently see them during the day, they are easily disturbed. They fly from late May until July and the caterpillars will appear on common ragwort (Scenecio jacobaea) in August so little wonder that the cinnabar moth is named Tyria jacobaeae; the Tyria of the common ragwort.

    The adult moth is a fantastic metallic black and red colour and the caterpillars are the familar yellow and brown hooped caterpillars that feed on, and entirely strip, ragwort plants in late summer. Ragwort is a plant poisonous to cattle and the insect takes up that poison which makes them decidedly unpalatable to birds and other predators giving some immunity to attack. However, our modern day obsession with ragwort pulling means they are not as common as they once were.

Common Name Cinnabar Moth
Scientific Name Tyria jacobaeae
Species Group Moths 416 478 Tigers Ermines and Footmen
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Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

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Moths 416 478 Tigers Ermines and Footmen