Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars

Monday, July 12, 2010 Adam Tilt 6 Comments


It has been a quiet couple of weeks on here recently for a number of reasons. The main culprit has been a sudden urge to push on with the house renovations which as you can probably imagine leaves little time or energy for much else. I also took a calculated step away from the computer for the sake of my own sanity. After sitting at a desk staring at a screen all day I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to come home and do pretty much the same thing all evening as well. Yesterday however I was stirred back into action whilst making the first preparations on what will ultimately become my wildlife garden. I was digging up some concrete when my eye was caught by a rather colourful visitor feeding on the plants that currently intersperse my lawn.

22087 - Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Obviously it's a caterpillar but of what moth or butterfly I hadn't a clue. A quick google search later and I had it pinned down to the Cinnabar Moth. I have never heard of these before but certainly recognise them from various sightings around the country. There are currently three munching their way across the lawn and I am sure that there must be more out there that I haven't yet spotted. I would love to get into mothing and have a moth trap out regularly but as of yet I haven't worked out how to go about obtaining or building a decent trap. Any advice? I'll leave you with a couple more pictures and a promise of some breeding Choughs for tomorrow.

22085 - Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar 22084 - Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

6 comments:

  1. A great-looking caterpillar! I know what you mean, I have just finished the second bathroom, a long project that dragged on. Now for the reno of the lounge.......the list goes on. When I'm not working away, I'm at home renovating or in front of the computer!

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  2. Thanks Richard. It certainly brightened up the lawn! The days just aren't long enough I'm afraid to get everything done.

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  3. Amazing photos! I thought of your Ringed Plover pix when we saw one on Skye [still to post it on my Wild and Wonderful blog...]

    Incidentally, I follow 2 bloggers who are interested in mothing...
    Mistlethrush [UK] ... and Seabrooke [a real expert, Ontario based].

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  4. Glad you like them Caroline. I've never been to Skye but have it on my list of places to visit. I trust that you had a good time there?

    Also thanks for the moth links. I'll check them out as I really want to give it a go before the season is too late.

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  5. Cinnabars are common on the ragwort locally. Regarding moth trapping, there are a number of options usually boiling down to a Skinner trap or Robinson trap. Both may be bough commercially from somewhere like Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies(http://www.angleps.com/). A cheaper alternative is to build your own based on equipment supplied by Paul Batty (http://www.pwbelg.clara.net/mercury/index.html). A light suspended over a hanging white sheet works too.

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  6. The local ragwort has of cinnabar caterpillars, but neither the ragwort or cinnabars are as abundant as I've seen in earlier years.
    Regarding moth traps, ALS (http://www.angleps.com/) are a good place tostart for commercially produced models, but Paul Batty (http://www.pwbelg.clara.net/mercury/index.html) offers affordable pre-buult and self-build solutions.

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