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Garden tiger moth

Garden tiger moth
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Arctia caja

The garden tiger is a stout, hairy moth. Its forewings are chocolatey-brown with cream patterns, whereas its hindwings are orangey-red with black spots. Its bright colours warn predators that it tastes unpleasant.

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The garden tiger is a widespread species and can be found throughout the UK, however numbers have decreased in recent years.

Its brown and black, exceedingly hairy caterpillar is often called a 'woolly bear'. The hairs are irritant and protect it from predators, such as birds – be warned in case you pick one up! Garden tigers overwinter as caterpillars.

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What does it eat?

Adults drink nectar from flowers. Caterpillars eat low-growing, herbaceous plants.

When will I see it?

From June to August.

Where will I see it?

Throughout the garden. Also in parks, grassland, meadows and scrubby areas.

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