Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

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Mark Billiau.


Premium (World), region Antwerp, Belgium

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

In this shot you can see a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar with its striking black and orange hoops (some say a black and orange striped pyjama) feeding on its host plant, which is Ragwort.

Ragwort however contains poison, but this caterpillar absorbs easily the very bitter tasting toxic substances and stores them in its skin. Becoming inedible in this way, together with the bright colours which act as a warning sign, this caterpillar is seldom eaten by predators.

During its evolution, a peeling proces takes place approximately 5 or 6 times. This is important, because after the peeling, he’s rid of all absorbed poison !

Dutch name : Rups van Sint-Jacobsvlinder (op Jacobskruiskruid)
German name : Raupe von Jakobskrautbär (auf Jakobs-Greiskraut)
Latin name : Tyria jacobaeae

More information on Ragwort, can be found in the picture below.

Common Ragwort
Common Ragwort
Mark Billiau.

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