The Annual Yellow and Black Cinnabar Moth Invasion

cinnabar moth caterpillars
After spotting a Cinnabar Moth a couple of weeks ago I started looking for the tell tale signs of the yearly invasion and today I found the first signs of the annual ragwort decimation by these tiny Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae) caterpillars. They were only about 1cm long but they were everywhere I looked, marching over their chosen battleground, leaving no Ragwort plant standing.

Were they in Queens Park where I’d seen the adult and been looking all week? Were they hell… this morning I parked the car and not  3 feet from the door was a mass of tiny yellow and black warriors.Looking back at last year I think they’re a bit behind but who can blame them – it was a bit of a chilly start to the year…

Luckily I had the ‘baby’ camera with me, the Canon Powershot A640 so I was able to get a relatively good close-up although the breeze made it a bit tricky. The more I use the A640 the more I like it even though I’ve had it for ages. Sometimes I get fixated in thinking that the EOS 450D with all it’s lenses and gizmos is always better and most of the time it is but I can put the Powershot in my pocket, it takes good pictures and it’s macro facility is astounding so from now on when I go out deliberately to take a few photographs I’m going to take them both.

Spotted a Comma butterfly newly hatched and hanging of it’s old crysalis yesterday but didn’t have a camera with me but I’ve got my eye on another pupae which hopefully should ‘hatch’ soon – it would be good to grab a shot of the butterfly emerging but the weather is a bit touch and go in the North West at the moment and catching it at that stage will need a fair bit of luck.


  1. Are those real these moths are such a delicious bait for fishing please let us know if you used them or not share some videos thanks

    July 2, 2010
    • Stu said:

      Not actually tried using them as bait as it’s not the kind of fishing I do although I expect trout and most freshwater fish would take them

      July 5, 2010
  2. Albert Hall said:

    They’re not very tasty to birds apparently. They absorb a lot of unpleasant chemicals from their food source.

    August 2, 2010
  3. John Walker said:

    The caterpillars are as poisonous to birds as the ragwort they feed on is to us and our cattle. . Maybe fish wouldn’t take them. If you want a good bait of that sort, try the larvae of a wasps nest. If you can kill he wasps first of course.

    July 29, 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.