Found a few of these little beauties devouring the Ragwort near the car park during lunchtime. They’re caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae) and even though they are bright yellow and black are surprising hard to spot while the wind is blowing the vegetation all over the place.
The moth itself is a beautiful deep green / black and ‘cinnabar’ red and lays about 30-60 eggs on the underside of the Ragwort leaves. These then hatch all at once and the caterpillars are so voracious that it’s not unusual for them to either die due to lack of food (they eat so much of it) or turn cannibalistic. I’d not heard of caterpillers eating their egg mates but I suppose in a strange way it ensures the survival of the species.
The yellow and black colouring is, as normal, a warning that they are toxic and “do not eat me” which they gain from the Ragworth leaves.