Scarlet Tiger Moth caterpillars have a black body with a yellow and white dorsal strips. The sides also have yellow and white spots and there are short black hairs on each body segment.
Scarlet Tiger Moths are day-flying moths. Their fore-wings are an iridescent blue-black-green colour with patches of yellow and white. The under-wings are bright scarlet with black spots and bars. Some species of Tiger moth do not feed as adults, but Scarlet Tiger Moths have mouth-parts which allow them to feed on nectar. They are generally seen in June & July.
Caterpillar Food Plants:
Common Comfrey, Hemp Agrimony and Hound’s Tongue. When larger the caterpillars are often found feeding on Common Nettle, Bramble, sallows, Honeysuckle and Meadowsweet.
Countries – England & Wales
This species is predominantly confined to south and west England and Wales with two isolated populations in Kent. Several individuals have been found on Jersey in the last 20 years but it’s not know whether it is resident or not.
Frequents a variety of wetland and coastal habitats, including fens, riverine habitats, floodplains and the upper parts of beaches. The species can also occur in gardens, woodland and along ditches.
Image 1: The caterpillar was curled up sleeping on some berberis and was later feeding on some buttercup in my back garden in Wiltshire.
Image 2: The caterpillar was spotted later the same day on some pale hyacinths.
Image 3: The adult moth.