Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)

he Common Ragwort has the scientific name of Scenecio jacobaea so little wonder that the Cinnabar Moth, whose larvae depend solely on Common Ragwort should be named Tyria jacobaeae! The Cinnabar Moth is undoubtedly the Tyria of the Common Ragwort.

Twenty years or so ago these caterpillars would be seen everywhere this time of year stripping Ragwort of just about everything but the tough stem. Nowadays, you have to look very hard to find these distinctive looking caterpillars dressed in their yellow and black whooped jerseys!

I can't help thinking that the modern day obsession with ragwort pulling has had a dramatic effect on these striking larvae, and so too, on the numbers of this attractive moth in its adult stage.

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