Project Noah Fun Fact: Cinnabar moth

In honor of this year’s focus on tiger moths, our partner, citizen science website Project Noah will be featuring a fun fact about the tiger moths (Erebidae: Arctiinae) during National Moth Week.

From Project Noah:

Yesterday we discussed the ability of some tiger moth species to jam bat sonar. Some tiger moths are also very chemically defended. Some moths may sequester toxic plant chemicals, while others break down toxic chemicals found in their host plants and create new toxins for defense. Many organisms that are chemically defended also have aposematic, or warning coloration to indicate to predators that they are chemically defended.

The Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobeae) is a moth which is chemically defended and aposematically colored, meaning it has warning coloration. It is native to Europe but was introduced in Oregon where is has been a successful biocontrol agent in the management of the invasive tansy ragwort.

Cinnibar moth (Tyria jacobeae), spotted by user Brian38 on Project Noah.
Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobeae), spotted by user Brian38 on Project Noah.

National Moth Week is from July 22-30. Are you participating? Please register a public or private event here:, especially if your country or region isn’t on the map yet!

Don’t forget to submit photos of moths you spot here!

Read more about efforts to use the Cinnabar moth to control the invasive tansy ragwort here.

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