This year’s Scarlet Tigers

I’ve been keeping an eye on the local scarlet tiger moth colony for a few years now, and last year I collated the dates that the larvae and adults emerged. Except for the very cold spring of 2013 they are quite consistent – caterpillars mid to late March, moths early to mid June.

This year there’s not as much comfrey (food for larvae, nectar for adults) as usual – I think the nearby allotment-holders have been digging it up and planting bulbs instead – but it’s resilient (should that be “invasive”?) stuff, and the few shoots I found are already full of holes, with several scarlet tiger moth caterpillars busily munching at them. With luck, there will be many more caterpillars in a week or two, and a good crop of moths in June. It’s a pity the caterpillars don’t eat daffodils!

Scarlet Tiger Moth (Callimorpha dominula) larva


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