Cinnabar - Tyria jacobaeae


Wingspan 32-42 mm. Resembling no other British species, except perhaps the Burnets (Zygaenidae). The forewings are black with a red bar and the hind wings are all red. The caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth feed on the leaves and flowers of Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea). Occasionally they are found on other ragworts and groundsels.

Identification difficulty

Wherever Ragwort grows. Usually in long grassy places.

When to see it

The flight period is May through July. It is generally nocturnal but is quite often disturbed during the day from long grass, low herbage etc. At night, it comes to light.

Life History

The distinctive larvae, with their yellow and black hoops, generally feed gregariously on Common Ragwort and other related plants.

UK Status

This is a fairly common moth in much of Britain.  In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = A (common and resident)

72.031 BF2069

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
The Cinnabar, Cinnabar
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
12/07/1951 (Wesley, Isaac)
Last record:
11/09/2023 (axon, kaye)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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