Vikki's picture

Vja34's 4th spot submitted on 8th August 2009

Observed: 11th July 2009 By: Vikki
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - current student
Vikki’s reputation in InvertebratesVikki’s reputation in Invertebrates
Cinnabar-moth-caterpillar
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Cinnarbar moth caterpillar (Tyria jacobaeae) interacts

Comments

Jonathan's picture

An unmistakable caterpillar.

An unmistakable caterpillar. Nice to find. There is a typo in the spelling of the common name. This should be Cinnabar.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

the naturalist man's picture

Cinnabar

A distinctive caterpillar, feeds mainly on ragwort. Ragwort is a major problem, it contains a group of chemicals known as alkaloids which cause liver damage in horses and other mammals. Cinnabar caterpillars are important in that they are one of the few creatures which can eat ragwort without any ill effects. Instead they have evolved a way of storing the alkaloids in their bodies so they become bitter tasting and poisonous to predators. In New Zealand they are being used successfuly as a biological control for ragwort, which was accedentally introduced into the country.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

charlieb's picture

Presumably the Cinnabar isn't

Presumably the Cinnabar isn't native either?

the naturalist man's picture

Cinnabar

You are right, the cinnabar were introduced to control the introduced ragwort; one of the few times such biological control has worked.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411