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Scarlet Tiger Moth Andy

Scarlet Tiger Moth feeding on flowers

Scarlet Tiger Moth Larvae, feeding on a Comfrey plant.

Scarlet Tiger Moth (Callimorpha Dominula)

A very pretty day flying moth which is common in some areas mainly in the south of England. Being a wetland species I always find these brightly coloured moths flying along the banks of the river Itchen near where I live and in an open area in a nearby forest from May to June in Hampshire UK. This must be a favourite site as I have found this colony in the same place for over 30 years now so you could start your own colony in a suitable location from specimens brought from butterfly farms or insect groups. Moths can be seen flying in the sunshine late afternoon, especially males looking for females. Unlike other tiger moths which do not feed the Scarlet Tiger moth has a coiled tongue to feed on nectar so I often film them feeding on flowers along local river banks.

This moth has very striking colours which flash red and black from it's under wings when in flight. I have often watched them flying in summer when I should be taking pictures. The black on the forewings shows a metallic green sheen, especially with freshly emerged specimens. The eggs are scattered amongst the larvae food plant and the caterpillars I find feeding on Comfrey along the river banks are probably laid by many moths. The larvae strip the plants bare and will even eat the flowers. The caterpillars which are black with yellow stripes and covered in spiky hairs can feed on a wide variety of other plants like Nettle, Sallow and Willow, hibernating as young larvae through the winter. This is a lovely moth which is always worth buying then releasing in the wild if you cannot find them.