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Caterpillars of cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae on ragwort growing points - …
Caterpillars of cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae on ragwort growing points - …
Caterpillars of cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae on ragwort growing points - Stock Image  …

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Description

The caterpillars of the cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae are striped black and orange-yellow, a warning colour that is explained as follows: the caterpillars absorb bitter tasting alkaloids from food plants such as ragwort Senecio jacobaea. The caterpillars become distasteful to birds as a result. The bright, contrasting colours are a striking reminder to birds not to eat them.

The name of this moth comes from the colour of cinnabar or cinnabarite, a bright red common ore of mercury (mercury sulphide). The adult cinnabar moth is black and red.

This is a close-up of cinnabar moth caterpillars feeding on the growing tips of common ragwort.

Photos and videos of cinnabar moth caterpillars:

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More insects / invertebrates
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