Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Hi Bugman,
We saw these caterpillars on Prince Edward Island (Canada) recently & assumed they’ be in our Audubon guides but are not. Have just found your web-site and love it ! Can you tell us what these are? Thanks.
Christine & Norman

Hi Christine and Norman,
Though your photo is blurry, this looks to us like a Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar, Tyria jacobaeae. According to BugGuide: “Introduced from Europe as a control for introduced weedy Ragwort, the host plant for its caterpillars, which is toxic to livestock.” The interesting thing is that BugGuide only reports this species from California, Oregon and Western Canada, as does the Butterfies and Moths of North America site. You might want to check with your local department of agriculture to see if the species has been introduced to your area.

2 thoughts on “Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar”

  1. Hey! I was busily pulling my Tansy weeds when I saw these guys. I wanted to check if they were good or bad bugs on my bad plants. Sounds like they are good. Do you think I should leave the plants for them (just take off the flower heads)? Thanks for any advice. Carol


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