Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Tyria jacobaeae

Cinnabar Moth




I had heard rumour of this European moth on Vancouver Island for years, but I never found it until 2004 when Dr Jochen Moehr telephoned me and told me that it was common in the Metchosin area. The warningly-coloured, gregarious caterpillars feed on poisonous ragworts (Senecio sp). Winter is spend as a pupa in the ground, with apparently no attempt to make a cocoon. Ragworts have spread from Europe to other continents, such as North America and Australia, and are poisonous to cattle. The Cinnabar Moth has been introduced in places in attempts, not entirely successful, to control the ragwort. I don’t know how the moth got to Vancouver Island. The adult moth is every bit as striking in appearance as the caterpillars.

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