Subject: Unknown Moth
Location: Le Chautay, France
September 8, 2013 4:33 am
I was just wondering what this beautiful moth was
This lovely Tiger Moth, Arctia cuja, is found in Eurasia as well as North America. In Europe it is commonly called the Garden Tiger Moth, and you may read about it on the UK Safari site which states: “Garden Tiger moths are quite variable in colour” and “Garden Tiger moths fly late in the day and at night. They’re often attracted to lights at night. In order to deter predators Garden Tigers can make a rasping noise by rubbing their wings together. If that doesn’t work they can exude a drop of bright yellow blood from the thorax.” In North America it is commonly called the Great Tiger Moth and according to BugGuide: “This species, formerly common throughout the UK, has steadily declined over the past 20 years, with numbers falling by around 30%. There has been a general movement away from the south and toward the north, with climate change believed to be a contributing factor. Warm, wet winters and warm springs are followed by a decrease in the number of tiger moths the following summer (Conrad et al, 2002).” All the photos from our archive are from North America, so your individual is actually the first posting we can title “Garden Tiger Moth” so we are thrilled to post your photos. The Garden Tiger Moth is an important species historically as it was one of the first metamorphosis documentations done by Maria Sibylla Merian and it is one of the first moths named by the “father of modern taxonomy” Carl Linneaus in 1758 when he developed the binomial system of naming all species that is still used today.