Cinnabar moth

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  • #15043


    Cinnabar moth next addition.

    I put the two moths in a cage with some faded ragwort and some cineria leaves, the first moth died the other was not interested in feeding from ragwort flowers but just sat

    on the cineria leaf,after 3 days I found it had laid two groups of very small yellow eggs about 200 or more, after four days another look and the eggs had gone black and moved. more fresh ragwort and they seemed to be everywhere,if the leaves were bumped they dropped down on threads, very small caterpillars and if dropped difficult to retreave they curled into a ball.

    The cut ragwort does not last fresh for long

    The caterpillars now range from 1 quater inch to half an inch and are black and yellow,they are shareing there habitat with a couple of black wooly bear caterpillars and some Admirals,sorry not very professional but still growing tramp

Viewing 14 replies - 76 through 89 (of 89 total)
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  • #28792


    Some interesting information on the Cinnabar moth here:

    Thanks Kate.



    I left the crumpled newspapers at botton of caterpillar castle, for cinnabar moth caterpillars to pupae.

    Question: Do the cinnabar moth caterpillars make cocoons ???



    Thanks for that Norm. I have 103 healthy little cinnabar moth caterpillars at present. Some are a bit older than others, as when i got them, some were already tiny caterpillars, and the others were still eggs that I found on the foodplant leaves that the caterpillars were on (Lucky me!)

    Since finding out that they like ground litter I think I will try different methods, but will put most in an empty fishtank with soil, and leaf litter in the bottom, and keep it just slightly moistened, when I see they are thinking about pupating. I’ll keep a mesh cover on the tank for protection.

    9+ mths is a long time to wait, but if they are in a clear glass tank, and in a sheltered place away from any harm, i should be able to notice when they start emerging.
    I’ll release a few adults around home, but the rest I will take somewhere where theres lots of ragwort.

    They do like the groundsel as well though which is great. I have been giving them a mix of both.



    It may pay to trial a few of the largest larvae first in the crumpled paper rather than put all your eggs in one basket so to speak.
    While the Magpie moth larvae will take any nook or cranny to pupate in, the Cinnabar moth traditionally pupates in ground litter/soil, so it might be a good experiment to find out.
    The White Spotted Ichneumon wasp and Tachinid flies parasitise them at the pupal stage also, unless they are contained.



    Mary gave me some Cinnabar moth larvae today too. The idea is to reduce risk by spreading the risk.

    Mary and I are both raising them in plastic containers rather than caterpillar castles. I will be feeding them on ragwort flower heads, as I read somewhere that the late instar larvae prefer flower heads to leafage.

    Anna, I like the idea of providing crumpled paper for pupation.

    Clinton, do you realise that the pupal stage could take 9 months? They overwinter as pupae, and then emerge as adults next summer. As pupae, they are apparently very susceptible to being too wet, so don’t let them get waterlogged in the soil in a potplant.



    Answers to your questions Clinton.

    #1. I am pretty sure they would.

    #2. They have a probiscus (tongue) just like the butterflies have and unfurl it to feed on nectar bearing flowers.

    #3. Protect them from the wasps as they would love them, along with all the other nasties eg: the vegetable bug.



    I got caterpillars of cinnabar moth last night, thanks to Mary Parkinson, who raising these caterpillars.
    These caterpillars were black and yellow coloured and enjoyed eating on groundsel.

    I were hope to release the moths to wasteland and farm, but before I release moths, …Questions

    Do cinnabar moths mate inside caterpillar castle ???

    Do they (moths) have feeding parts ???

    Do chinese paper wasps kills cinnabar moth caterpillars ???



    I have been fortunate enough to now have some Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars to raise, and so far have found a few interesting things.
    Along with eating Ragwort, they are quite happy to eat groundsel…Senecio vulgaris.
    I raise most of mine in icecream containers lined with damp kitchen towel, and freshly washed plants/leaves cut into smallish segments. For covering the containers, I have found muslin, and hat elastic works well. I transfer them into fresh containers approx every 24hrs to ensure they keep clean and healthy.
    A couple of long handled tweezers helps with the transfer, along with a small paintbrush with a fine tip, for the really tiny caterpillars.

    One thing I have noticed with these Cinnabar caterpillars and with Magpie Moths is the wide variation in sizes as they are growing, even though they all emerged from the same batch of eggs!

    I do have plants in pots in a caterpillar castle with a few caterpillars on for comparison, but have found I can raise a lot more with my container way….as long as they receive regular food/container changes. (I have raised several hundred Admirals this season this way)

    So far none of the Cinnabars have pupated yet,(Dec 22nd 2012) but I did find last season that Magpie Moths happily pupated in a bit of scrunched up tissue that I put in their container when they started to look mature, so I’ll try that with these when they get to that stage.

    How many others are raising Cinnabars/Magpie moths at the moment? I’d love to hear how you get on.



    That made me laugh Pepetuna. Your farming brother should be thrilled with your efforts to breed up the numbers of the biological controls for ragwort!! Tell him you’re doing him a BIG favour : ) ROFL



    That made me laugh Anna … so do I! And I’ve found that they bush out a bit more and don’t bolt to seed like the wild ones do.
    Mark eyes them askance, as he does my dozens and dozens of nettles, but I think as long as he doesn’t see seedheads blowing seeds into his pasture I’ll be OK.



    Pepetuna…I even have a couple of ragwort plants in pots!…one mans weed is a cinnabar moths delight!!



    Save 20 caterpillars for me, if you have too many.



    That’s great news Tramp. If you have too many caterpillars don’t be shy…people on the forum will be keen to either help you with hostplant, or take some of your caterpillars to raise if you have too many. I have access to heaps of ragwort (don’t let my farmer brother hear me say that!!)



    Good to hear you have some Cinnabars to raise Tramp. I find that the plant stays fresher if misted with water fairly frequently…or you can put it in a vase of warm…not cold water, as it helps the plant suck it up just after its been cut. (a florist told me to do that)

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