tiger moth

tiger moth

Any of more than 3,500 species (family Arctiidae) of moths, many with furry or hairy larvae called woolly bears. Most adults have a thick body and white, orange, or green wings. At rest, the wings are folded rooflike over the body. The fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) is a serious pest. The caterpillars construct webs over leaves, sometimes covering large areas with silken sheets. They pupate aboveground in a cocoon made of larval hairs and silk. The Isabella tiger moth (Isia isabella) attains a wingspan of 1.5–2 in. (37–50 mm). Black spots mark its abdomen and yellow wings.

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The Scarlet Tiger Moth (Callimorpha dominula, formerly Panaxia dominula) is a colorful moth of Europe and western and central Asia (Dubatalov n.d.). It belongs to the tiger moth family, Arctiidae.

The caterpillars feed mostly on comfrey (Symphytum officinale). The imagines fly by day.

It can occur in rare colour forms, one with yellow hindwings and body and one with extended black on hindwings.

The three morph occurring in the population at the Cothill reserve in Oxfordshire, Britain, have been the subject of considerable genetic study (McNamara 1998).

McNamara (1998) describes how amateurs can rear this species.



  • Dubatalov, V. V Arctiidae catalog of the former USSR. Retrieved on 2006-08-15..
  • Fisher, R.A. and E.B. Ford (1947). The spread of a gene in natural conditions in a colony of the moth Panaxia dominula L. Heredity 1:143–174 PDF 1.8MB
  • Fisher, R.A. and E.B. Ford (1950). The "Sewall Wright" effect Heredity 4:117–119 PDF 183KB
  • Ford, E.B. and P.M. Sheppard (1969). The medionigra polymorphism of Panaxia dominula. Heredity 24:112–134.
  • McNamara, Don Notes on Rearing Scarlet tiger moth Callimorpha dominula (L.). Amateur Entomologists' Society. Retrieved on 2006-08-15..
  • Sheppard, P.M. (1951). A quantitive study of two populations of the moth Panaxia dominula (L.) Heredity 5:349–378
  • Sheppard, P.M. (1952). A note on non-random mating in the moth Panaxia dominula L. Heredity 5 349–378
  • Sheppard, P.M. and L.M. Cook (1962). The manifold effects of the medionigra gene of the moth Panaxia dominula and the maintenance of polymorphism. Heredity 17:415–426.
  • Wright, S. (1948). On the roles of directed and random changes in the frequency of genetics of populations Evolution 2:279–294.

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