Emerging Cinnabar Moths

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 Adam Tilt 6 Comments


Long term readers may remember a couple of my posts from last year showing the Cinnabar Moth caterpillars that I found feeding throughout our garden. Despite the relatively large numbers however I never actually saw one of the moths themselves. On Sunday that all changed as we were fortunate to witness the aftermath of a small scale emergence of these distinctive creatures from their pupal stage. Cinnabar Moths pupate for around nine months which will have taken them from August last year right through the winter until now. A couple still had very crumpled wings that they were slowly drying in the sun, while others were further along in the process and on the verge of taking to the air.

24338 - Cinnabar Moth, Pontarddulais

24336 - Cinnabar Moth, Pontarddulais

24333 - Cinnabar Moth, Pontarddulais

After taking these photos I had a good hunt around the garden to see if I could find any evidence as to where these moths may have spent their winter months, but there was no sign. I guess they must have been tucked away somewhere well out of the way to survive the extreme cold we experienced in December. I look forward to seeing more of their caterpillars this year.

6 comments:

  1. that first shot is impressive!

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  2. Amazing how they do survive a winter isn't it.

    Excellent captures Adam of a moment most of us never get to see.

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  3. Those moths are so beautiful! Most of the moths I've seen are not this brightly colored.

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  4. texwsgirl - Thanks.

    Keith - They must be a lot hardier than they look.

    Amila - They are even better when they fly as their wings look almost completely red in flight.

    Jeremy - Thanks. Glad you like them.

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  5. beautiful pics! we found some caterpillars today while on a walk and after a little research we discovered they are cinnabar moths! hopefully we will see some of these beautiful moths emerge next spring. We are in Oregon, USA.

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