Yellow & Black & Hairy All Over

The Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae larva

The Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae larva

The Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae larva

No wonder the birds don’t fancy eating them and the Ragwort in the fields is teeming with these brightly coloured caterpillars of the The Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae), a moth which can be seen flying amongst the grasses during the daytime, especially when disturbed. Please see the adult below.

The Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae

Feel free to click the images to enlarge and click again to get even closer …


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. Β© Pete Hillman.

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31 thoughts on “Yellow & Black & Hairy All Over

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  1. I can’t remember ever seeing a caterpillar with so few hairs. Ours seem either to be smooth, or densely hairy. Of course, my experience is limited.

    That adult is so handsome — it reminds me of the Yeoman Warders. Is there a historical link in there, somehow? Jacobean fabrics traditionally are red and black, and I see the moth’s specific epithet makes a Jacobian reference.

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  2. Beautiful pictures! I like the extravagant look of the caterpillars and the moth is very nice too. As it seems he’s had enough of yellow and black then. Always something new in the world of fashion πŸ˜‰

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  3. You’ve just answered a query that cropped up on the way to the allotment last night. Spotting ragwort (lacking in stripey caterpillars) I remembered being appalled by them (the caterpillars that is) as a child, when coming upon ragwort that was crawling in them, which then made me wonder what they turned into. So thanks for the ID. The moths are very lovely. I allso noted the Common marbled carpet moth that’s in ‘related’ below. Thanks for the ID on that too. We presently have one in the bedroom.

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    1. As a child I too was quite put off by these caterpillars which I saw on the Ragwort wherever it grew, but was quite fascinated, too.

      I do like the Common Marbled Carpet. They can be quite variable, but I have yet to see one this year, which is quite unusual, so enjoy the one in your bathroom Tish πŸ™‚

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  4. I have lots of them on two dusty miller plants in the back garden. I was entranced by the moths but the caterpillars are almost alarming. They’re devouring the plants and I am wondering whether I ought to be rehoming them in the wild.

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  5. They are so very stripy, like ragwort-munching tigers. Ragwort itself is an interesting plant that supports 77 insect species, according to the NT, and apparently there’s 14 species of fungi associated with it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are very fascinating facts about Ragwort which I didn’t know, Adele! Thank you for sharing. I guess I got another 76 insect species to look for next time I am out in the fields πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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