4th – 11th August 2013
How did you get on with this week’s Mystery Creature? A beautiful moth … but did you know which one? It is the Garden Tiger Moth (Arctia caja).
This beautiful moth is common enough in Ireland and indeed throughout Europe. It is often seen in gardens from June to August, although more commonly seen flying at night.
Underneath these beautiful front wings are equally impressive back wings of striking orange colour with black spots. If disturbed the moth will flash these back wings before flying off which both confuses predators and warns them that it is toxic.
|The colourful back wings often hidden when at rest;
photo credit: Deanster1983 via photopin cc
Fond of damp habitats these moths tend to favour, damp grasslands, gardens, hedgerows and woodlands. The caterpillar (larval stage) feeds on common weeds such as nettles and dock.
|Tiger Moth Caterpillar – photo credit: Deanster1983 via photopin cc|