Smile! The world is a beautiful place (^_^)

caterpillars

Look what I found! Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) caterpillars, aren’t they beautiful? They’re also very useful and have been successfully introduced to several continents to control ragwort. Their bright colors are like a warning sign to birds and other potential caterpillar-eaters. If a bird would eat one anyway, it’ll learn its lesson and never do it again because they taste awful from eating the poisonous ragwort.

These guys are almost ready to go into cocoon, and when they come out they’ll look like this: /tyria-jacobaeae/

I hope I get a chance to photograph them as moths as well, and I’ll bring my camera with me next time.. These shots were taken with my phone:

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly moth :)
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15 responses

  1. They are beautiful! I used to see quite a lot of these on Ragwort in the local fields, but I have not seen any for the past few years. The moth is amazing, too!

    July 5, 2017 at 8:23 PM

    • Yes they are! I’ve never seen the moths but I hope I’ll do it soon, there were lots of caterpillars around and some of them should hopefully make it!

      July 5, 2017 at 8:41 PM

  2. Well it’s odd, I saw a really, really similar caterpillar two days ago. OMG! It’s exactly the same species – mine looks just like yours, and I see online that we have them here in Washington. They were introduced here in 1960 to control what’s called tansy ragwort here – as you mentioned.

    http://www.almostdailynews.com/2012/06/03/the-heroic-cinnabar-moth-evil-tansy-ragworts-natural-enemy/

    I’m assuming you just took these photographs; if so that’s a cool coincidence because I took aphotograph of two together on a bare stem on Monday. I didn’t investigate further – just took a photo and kept walking, since we were seeing a lot of interesting things.

    I’m not familiar with this moth or caterpillar, but as you may know, I grew up in eastern US. There are many new-to-me flora & fauna out here so I don’t always question it when I see something unfamiliar.

    When I checked the moth online I realized that I saw one last month, on 6/28, in the same area where I saw the caterpillars this week. I did ID the moth at the time, but my brain is a sieve and I’d forgotten that name. It sure is a striking moth; I remember I was really surprised when I saw it. I read that the moth emerges in Spring, and larvae hatch in two weeks so the timing makes sense.

    July 5, 2017 at 9:38 PM

    • What a nice article, thanks for sharing! I like that they call it “The Hero” 🙂 Funny we should see one at the same time, I took these pictures last Sunday. Now looking forward to see the adult moth as well! so to be continued… (I hope!)

      July 6, 2017 at 6:51 PM

  3. Sweet looking cats! Maybe you’ll get a shot at the moths! 🙂

    July 5, 2017 at 11:53 PM

    • I hope so, Tom! 🙂 If I succeed, you’ll see it here 🙂

      July 6, 2017 at 6:52 PM

  4. Not exactly camouflaged! Great colour.

    July 6, 2017 at 3:24 AM

    • Hi Lyle, Long time no see! You didn’t get the urge to go back to wildlife photography? Pity, but I just signed up to follow your new blog 🙂

      July 6, 2017 at 6:54 PM

      • Indeed it has been a long time. I had to check out who was still blogging and was happy to see you’re still going strong and making wonderful images. My wildlife photography is still on the shelf for now. I sold all camera gear but who knows what happens next. Having fun with my cartoons for now. Thx for the follow.

        July 6, 2017 at 8:06 PM

  5. They certainly stand out Camilla. It’s that don’t mess with me” anit-camouflage. Beautiful. I hope you do get to see the moths. 🙂

    July 7, 2017 at 7:18 AM

  6. Great shots, Camilla!
    The best camera is always the one you have with you – and this time it was your phone! 🙂
    Nicely done.

    July 7, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    • Thanks John! That’s true 🙂 And I’ve seen people take amazing shots with their mobile devices, so no excuses.

      July 7, 2017 at 3:20 PM

  7. Wonderful images, Calee!
    I especially like the first one.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    July 7, 2017 at 4:35 PM

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