Cinnabar moth

  • Scientific name: Tyria jacobaeae
  • Type: Insects

Key information

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 they eat:

Adults drink nectar. Caterpillars eat ragwort and groundsel.


Approx. 45mm across forewings

Identifying features:

Natural habitats: Flower border Hanging basket Hedge Herb garden Meadow area Patio Window box

Where and when to see them

Throughout the garden. Also in parks and meadows.

You can see adult cinnabar moths from May to July. Caterpillars are generally seen in July and August.

  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec