Bird's Eye View of Bute

Cinnabar Moth

Cinnabar Moth
Cinnabar Moth
Cinnabar Larvae
Cinnabar Larvae
(2) Cinnabar Larvae
(2) Cinnabar Larvae
(3) Larvae
(3) Larvae
(4) Larvae
(4) Larvae
(5) Larvae
(5) Larvae
(6) Larvae
(6) Larvae
(7) Larvae
(7) Larvae
(8) Larvae
(8) Larvae


The Cinnabar Moth.

“NEIGH” SALAD FOR ME PLEASE


One day, a couple of years ago, I was on my way to Kilchattan Bay via Montford and Kerrycroy, and as I approached Montford Terrace I noticed this strange Moth on the grass at the opening in the retaining wall leading to the shelter further down the grassy slope . Well I picked it up and placed it on the wall and proceeded to take a picture of it, and as I was doing that a well known local man watched me . It was a first for me and also for him, and at that time we did not know that it was also a first for Bute, which when I found that out I told him.

I have kept it in my records hoping to find the Caterpillar/ Larvae of this species on Bute, but have had no luck, so here is a pair from Ailsa Craig which I took on my visit to see the Puffins on this island, plus many other birds.

The moth and the larvae are very striking to look at, and this means that they are easy to find. Their food plant is another thing,' ragwort' a poisonous biennial of grassland and verges, and is widespread and common. It can grow to a metre in height with flat-topped clusters of yellow flower heads, which appear from June to November.

Well if you wander round Bute between these dates you will find them in their thousands, and not only in the country but in the town, with most gardens having more that their share of this weed, including mine, but I catch them early on and treat them and the dockins with a lawn weed-killer, if and when they appear, but a lot of gardens are left alone as some people do not realise that they can be a problem, and they like the flower.

Horse lovers will make sure that their paddock and the fields that they keep their horses in will be kept clear of this weed as I am told that it could be fatal for them if they eat it.
Then again, plenty of insects adore them and sook up the nectar, so there are points against and points for, and as there are plenty on Bute, get rid of the ones that are in your ground, and leave the rest to nature, but remember, the ones that are left will let their seeds blow in the wind, so it will be an annual job to clear you patch.

To me they are a nice flower and I like the Cinnabar Moth and its Caterpillars, and as I do not have a horse, I will leave them well alone. (except the ones in my plot!)

Norrie Mulholland

First Published in the Buteman, 14-04-2011.

Since it was published, I have been told that it also affects cattle and other animals, but not as quickly as it affects horses.

At last I have now found the Larvae (caterpillars) on Bute this year July 20011, so as you will see I have plenty of images now.

 

 


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