orchid_b's picture

Cinnabar caterpillars dying from ?parasite

Observed: 27th July 2013 By: orchid_borchid_b’s reputation in Invertebratesorchid_b’s reputation in Invertebratesorchid_b’s reputation in Invertebratesorchid_b’s reputation in Invertebrates

My thriving colonies of Cinnabar caterpillars all suddenly died. This is the remains of one with what could be a parasitoid pupa attached.
Last year I had huge numbers of Cinnabars which stripped the Ragwort. This year there are now none at all. Anyone else notice mass Cinnabar death?


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Ardea's picture

The fine filaments in your

The fine filaments in your photo look they might be like fungal threads. However, if you think they are parasitised collect a few and keep them and see what emerges.

jurassicphil's picture

cinnabar parasites

not seen cinnabars parasitised before, all in our area look healthy. agree looks like some form of fungus.

Martin Harvey's picture

fungus infection?

I agree that this looks more like a fungus.

I can't find any information about fungus attacks on Cinnabar larvae though (although there is mention of fungi causing mortality in the pupal stage).

See also another recent caterpillar observation at:

Entomologist and biological recorder