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The Cinnabar

By ugly  
Insight into The Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae):
The bright colours of both The Cinnabar caterpillar and the red and black adult moth are thought to be a warning to predators that they are distasteful. The caterpillars are most often found on Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) which is poisonous to some animals such as horses and in some countries the caterpillars have been introduced to control the plant. The caterpillars obtain a bitter alkaloid taste from their food plant making them too distasteful for predators such as birds to eat.

Tags: Photo journalism General Wildlife and nature Cinnabar caterpillar

Voters: CarolG, ade123, Alan_Baseley and 35 more

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KarenFB Plus
10 4.7k 167 England
31 Jul 2014 7:33AM
Devon County Council have the policy of "All Ragwort Must Be Destroyed" (though I've noticed they are a bit more relaxed when it comes to their verges!). Which is such a shame when these gorgeous caterpillars and moths use it as food plants.

You've caught yours brilliantly! Smile

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Richsr Plus
9 91 223 England
31 Jul 2014 8:57AM
Well captured Dave, it certainly looks like it got lots of food to go at
fotobee Plus
3 4 3 South Africa
31 Jul 2014 9:15AM
Great photo. Unfortunately humanity lives in conflict with nature, and not in harmony...... We wonder why the bees are dying. Regards Martin
Mollycat Plus
3 11 2 United Kingdom
31 Jul 2014 9:47AM
Wonderful insight into this interesting caterpillar Dave. My daughter encourages them around her stables.
Irishkate Plus
6 38 100 United Kingdom
31 Jul 2014 11:12AM
I like ragwort - used to jump over it!
So I love this colourful image caterpillar and all.
Kate GrinGrinGrin
mikbee 9 3 8 Scotland
31 Jul 2014 1:22PM
Well coloured this one Dave.
Good shot.
31 Jul 2014 5:17PM
Super capture & great narrative Dave

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