Scarlet tiger moth

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Scarlet Tiger Moth
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Callimorpha dominula
Panaxia dominula
The caterpillar is also protected by warning colouration.
At rest in bright light it is rather visible, but in a wood with low light it is well camouflaged.

The Scarlet Tiger Moth (Callimorpha dominula, formerly Panaxia dominula) is a colourful dayflying moth of Europe and the near East. It belongs to the tiger moth family, Arctiidae.

The caterpillars feed mostly on comfrey (Symphytum officinale). The moth imago flies by day, and has both cryptic colouring on the front wings, and warning colour on the hind wings. If disturbed it jinks the front wings forward to show the red warning flash on the hind wings.

It can occur in rare colour morphs, one with yellow hindwings and body and one with extended black on hindwings. Yellow, black and red are common warning colours in insects and other animals.

The three morphs occurring in the population at the Cothill reserve in Oxfordshire have been studied for many years, including research by E.B. Ford and R.A. Fisher.[1][2]

McNamara (1998) describes how amateurs can rear this species.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Fisher, R.A. and Ford E.B. 1947. The spread of a gene in natural conditions in a colony of the moth Panaxia dominula L. Heredity 1:143–174 PDF 1.8 MB
  2. Ford E.B. and Sheppard P.M. 1969. The medionigra polymorphism of Panaxia dominula. Heredity 24:112–134.
  3. McNamara, Don (1998). "Notes on rearing Scarlet tiger moth Callimorpha dominula (L.)". Amateur Entomologists' Society. Retrieved 2006-08-15.