By: Sue Bradley
Scarlet tigers are at large on Bisley’s allotment plots, but gardeners are urged not to be concerned.
The warmer weather has brought out a large number of distinctive black and yellow caterpillars.
These larvae, which mostly feed on comfrey, along with nettles, brambles, honeysuckle, meadowsweet, hemp agrimony and hound’s tongue, will turn into scarlet tiger moths, or Callimorpha dominula as they are known in scientific speak, which fly during June and July, and sometimes in May.
This large moth has shiny black forewings with white and yellow blotches and mostly red hind wings.
It frequently flies during sunny spells, particularly in late afternoon and, in the case of the males, early evenings. Often they can be seen resting on leaves and will only fly away if they’re touched.
Scarlet tiger moths favour wetlands and coastal habitats but are also known in gardens.
Read more about Scarlet Tiger Moths