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 
  • Wingspan Range 34-46mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Priority species (Research only)
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Feeds on the leaves and flowers of Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea). Occasionally found on other ragworts and groundsels.


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.


  • 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.
Cinnabar - Ben Sale


Cinnabar - Bob Eade


Cinnabar - Vlad Proklov


Cinnabar - Adam Gor


Cinnabar - James O'Neill




Cinnabar (caterpillars) - Ann Collier

Cinnabar (caterpillars)

Cinnabar (caterpillar) - Ann Collier

Cinnabar (caterpillar)