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Dieren en planten

Cinnabar moth   Plants   Daisy family   Dune flora   Moths   

Water en land

  • Dut: Jakobsvlinder (Sint Jacobsvlinder)
  • Lat: Tyria jacobaeae
  • Ger: Jakobskrautbär (Blutbär)
  • Eng: Cinnabar moth
Cinnabar moth, Ecomare

Cinnabar moth

Cinnabar moths are striking images, with red-black wings. They are commonly found in open dunes. Although categorized as a moth, this insect is active during the day. You can find them fluttering about between April and mid August, with the greatest chance in May. The notable black-yellow striped caterpillars live off of ragwort. Sometimes, they will leave this toxic plant totally bare. They store the poison in their skin, which makes them toxic as well. Some people call them zebra caterpillars, due to their pattern. The combination of yellow and black is a well known warning for danger in nature. Just think of wasps! The moths are also toxic.

  • James the Great

    The caterpillars of the cinnabar moth live off of ragwort, whose Latin name is Senecio jacobaeae. The name probably refers to the apostle James the Great. The feast day of St James is on July 25, which is also when ragwort generally blossoms. In other languages, the moth is also named after this saint/apostle, such as in Dutch: Jacobsvlinder (Jacob=James butterfly).

  • Enemies

    Due to the toxicity that the caterpillars accumulate by eating ragwort, they are not eaten by birds. However, ants like to eat them, particularly when the caterpillars are young and not yet very poisonous.