Cinnabar moth caterpillars
In July 2006 we released 1,600 cinnabar moth caterpillars into the field with the aim of establishing a permanent colony to help to control ragwort. We did this, according to instructions, by releasing them in a triangle at one end of the field which has been shown to increase their chances of survival. But, before releasing them, we were pleased to find there were some cinnabar moth caterpillars already in the field. We do not know if these were survivors from our previous release of 500 caterpillars a few years earlier, or if they had come in from the wild. We think the latter is unlikely, as weedkillers and pesticides are commonly used in the surrounding fields and verges. We use neither in our field.
For information and more pictures of the cinnabar moth go to the links below:
Cinnabar moth colours: www.haworth-village.org.uk
Moving pictures of cinnabar moth caterpillars: www.arkive.org
Planting a woodland
Yvonne Jerrold's home page