Cinnabar moth before and after

Cinnabar moth caterpillar 1.jpg


The first thing you see are naked plant stems. From a distance it looks like a dead zone with the sticks and hardly any leaves on them.

You get close and and you are surrounded by hundreds of hungry, orange monsters. They don't care it's hot. They need to eat.
Everything.
Top to bottom.


Cinnabar moth caterpillar 2.jpg


I couldn't identify the plants they feed on myself. They were completely butchered and I didn't even know what to look for. But Google is smart and Google says they feed on ragwort so bee it :).

Their pretty yellow-orange stripes are a warning sign (as many bright colours in nature) for birdies not to eat them. As they eat the plant they also consume a toxic substance that later will also stay in the body of the moth. You can read more about them Wikipedia.


Cinnabar moth caterpillar 3.jpg


And as they devour leaf after leaf and the plant is slowly killed, they grow...


Cinnabar moth caterpillar 4.jpg


... to turn to this pretty thing.
The Cinnabar Moth.


Cinnabar moth 2.jpg


And this is also something I had to learn only after I came back home and started to check what in a world I photographed. I had no idea that the caterpillars and the moth that I found some meters away on a different plant and hiding from the sun are basically the same.

The black part stayed, but the yellow turned to amazing, intensive red.

And I generally do no like moths or butterflies (except two: Skippers and Hummingbird hawk-moth), but they do look great on photos and I do admire them this way.

There is so many different types around and often moths have much prettier patterns on their wings than butterflies that one can get easily confused. Something simple I learned a while ago when I tried to ID another moth I got is to watch how they fold their wings: moths fold them flat. Butterflies fold them vertically.
Tadaa!
You're welcome :)

Of course there is many more differences, but this seems the easiest.



Cinnabar moth 1.jpg


Look at that underside.
Like a cloak of an evil magician.
Really nice!


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»«
Shot with Nikon D5500 + Sigma 105mm lens
All photos and text are my own.



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Nature is fascinating. The metamorphosis of this animal is proof of that. It is a very beautiful animal, although dangerous in its primary state, if we have the courage to touch it.

The photographs are great. Best regards.

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Two different forms all in the same area and you managed to photograph it all. Bravo.

The orange and black caterpillar is really striking. I wonder if they like Halloween? They'd fit right in.

The whole transformation process has always fascinated me and I can't help but think of Silence of the Lambs. That movie has changed my outlook on those that raise them as a hobby. I'm sure there are plenty of nice people that raise butterflies/moths.

Magician's cloak you don't say. Is it the black and red that makes it evil? I think it might be 😀

I still need to look up the exact differences between the butterfly and moth. Thanks for spurring my interest. Time to do some research.

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They probably just forgot to take off their costumes ;p

Is it the black and red that makes it evil?

Of course! Everyone knows red and black is evil :D

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Just checking to be sure.

I heard #FungiFriday is approaching really soon, I'll need to figure something out 😀

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I think I saw these caterpillers on some weeds at our place on the weekend. Thanks for putting this together, this is helpful and I totally agree, summer sucks.

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Perfect shots of multiple insect objects. You did an amazing photography job. Impressive. Cheers 🥂

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Thanks a lot! Glad you enjoyed it :)

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhh you did again! Really stunning photo shoot but I felt goosebumps to see them hahaha. 😄

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Hahaha You gonna stop looking at my posts if I continue :P

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