• Cinnabar

Scientific name: Tyria jacobaeae

May - August. Britain and Ireland. Medium-sized black moth, red markings on the forewing, hindwings mostly red. Often found near common ragwort, although sometimes on other ragworts and groundsels.

This species is so named due to the colour of the hindwings and the markings on the forewings which make it unmistakeable.  There is little variation although on rare occasions the pinkish markings are replaced with yellow, or the forewing is red with a black border or the wings are completely black.Easily disturbed by day and flies in sunshine. Also flies after dark.

Size and Family

  • Family – Tigers, Ermines, Footmen and allies (Arctiids)
  • Medium Sized 

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Priority Species (research only)
  • Common

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Feeds on the leaves and flowers of Common Ragwort. Occasionally found on other ragworts and groundsels


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Common and well distributed throughout most of England, Wales and Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.  More confined to predominantly coastal habitats in northern England and Scotland.


Frequent in open grassy habitats including waste ground, railway banks, gardens and woodland rides but perhaps most frequent on well drained rabbit-grazed grassland, mature sand-dunes and heathland.

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