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


Richard King · July 13, 2010 at 12:29 am

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!

Adam Tilt · July 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

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

Caroline Gill · July 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

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].

Adam Tilt · July 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

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.

rhonddawildlifediary · July 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

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( A cheaper alternative is to build your own based on equipment supplied by Paul Batty ( A light suspended over a hanging white sheet works too.

rhonddawildlifediary · July 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

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 ( are a good place tostart for commercially produced models, but Paul Batty ( offers affordable pre-buult and self-build solutions.

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