Cinnabar Caterpillar

Like several other Arctiidae moth larvae, the cinnabar caterpillars can turn cannibalistic. This can be due to lack of food, but they can eat other cinnabar larvae for no apparent reason. Initially, the larvae are pale yellow, but later larval stages develop the jet black and orange/yellow striped colouring. They can grow up to 30mm, and are voracious eaters; large populations can strip entire patches of ragwort clean, a result of their low predation.

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Cinnabar caterpillar

 

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