Garden tiger moth

  • Scientific name: Arctia caja
  • Type: Insects

Key information

The garden tiger is a stout, hairy moth. Its forewings are chocolatey-brown with cream patterns, whereas its hindwings are orangey-red with black spots. Its bright colours warn predators that it tastes unpleasant.

The garden tiger is a widespread species and can be found throughout the UK, however numbers have decreased in recent years.

Its brown and black, exceedingly hairy caterpillar is often called a 'woolly bear'. The hairs are irritant and protect it from predators, such as birds – be warned in case you pick one up! Garden tigers overwinter as caterpillars.

What they eat:

Adults drink nectar from flowers. Caterpillars eat low-growing, herbaceous plants.


About 50mm

Identifying features:

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

Where and when to see them

They can be seen throughout the garden. Also in parks, grassland, meadows and scrubby areas.

The garden tiger moth can be see from June to August.

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