4th September 2015

Six Spot Burnet Moths and Cinnabar Moths are two more day-flying moths, but these can easily be confused with each other so here are photo’s of both. They are both burnished black-green and carmine coloured, which warns potential predators of their unpleasant taste. The caterpillars of the Burnet Moth extract small quantities of hydrogen cyanide from the vetches and trefoils they feed from, and pass that toxin on to the adults. The caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth extract toxins from Ragwort, the plant that is so poisonous to cattle and horses. These caterpillars are yellow and black, a common warning colour combination of insects. Conditions: Light cloud and gentle breezes. Temperature: Max 14- Min 10c.

Black and gold Cinnabar Moth caterpillars, together with many soldier beetles, feeding on the toxic Ragwort

Black and gold Cinnabar Moth caterpillars, together with many soldier beetles, feeding on the toxic Ragwort

The Cinnabar Moth

The Cinnabar Moth

Six Spot Burnet Moth, feeding on the mauve flowers it favours

Six Spot Burnet Moth, feeding on the mauve flowers it favours

The Six Spot Burnet Moth, showing the burnished, iridescent warning colours on its body and wings

The Six Spot Burnet Moth, showing the burnished, iridescent warning colours on its body and wings. Unusually for a moth it has club-shaped antennae

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