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Cinnabar moth

Insect

Tyria jacobaeae

This common moth flies during the day and is easily spotted because of its bright red and black colouration. Its caterpillar is also brightly coloured, with black and gold stripes.

These bold colours and patterns warn birds and other predators that this species is extremely unpleasant to eat.

Cinnabar moths can be found throughout Britain, except northern Scotland, wherever its larval foodplant, ragwort and groundsel, are present.

What does it eat?

Adults drink nectar. Caterpillars eat ragwort and groundsel.

When will I see it?

Adults from May to July. Caterpillars in July and August.

Where will I see it?

Throughout the garden. Also in parks and meadows.

Vital statistics

Length: About 45 mm across forewings

Calendar

Not seen in JanuaryNot seen in FebruaryNot seen in MarchNot seen in AprilSeen in MaySeen in JuneSeen in JulySeen in AugustNot seen in SeptemberNot seen in OctoberNot seen in NovemberNot seen in December

Key to calendar