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Scarlet Tiger Moth (Callimorpha dominula)

The scarlet tiger moth of the Erebidae family is significant because of its immensely striking coloration. Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in 1758 in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae.

Scarlet Tiger Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Erebidae
  • Genus: Callimorpha
  • Scientific Name: Callimorpha dominula

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

The larvae are black with yellow stripes and white dots. Once fully grown, they are 45 mm long and begin to pupate.

Scarlet Tiger Moth Caterpillar

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Scarlet Tiger Moth Larvae

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Pupa

They darken and shrivel before forming a cocoon made of webbing. It lasts for 10-15 days.

Scarlet Tiger Moth Chrysalis

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Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

They have a black thorax with a green gloss and two short yellow stripes running longitudinally. Their abdomens are black.

Forewing: When opened, the wings are black or dark, with the coloration brightening and attaining a metallic sheen when exposed to sunlight. The round or oval markings on the wings vary from yellow to white and sometimes even orange. When closed, the pattern remains similar, dark to black base, with yellow, or white spots.

Hindwing: When opened, they appear vibrant red with black spots arranged irregularly. When closed, the red of the underwings is faintly visible, while the black base and the yellow and white spots remain prominent.

Average wingspan:  45 – 55 mm

Flight pattern: Consistent

Season:  Summer

Callimorpha dominula

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Egg

They are yellowish-green, hatching within seven days from being laid.

Scarlet Tiger Moth Eggs

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Quick Facts

DistributionEurope, Near East (Turkey, northern Iran, and Transcaucasus)
HabitatWetlands, coastal habitats, gardens, and woodlands
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsComfrey, nettles, strawberries, ash, geraniums, and buttercups
Adult DietNectar (because of its developed mouthparts)

Did You Know

  • There have been sightings of this moth with variable color morphs, including one with yellow hindwings and another with black hindwings.
  • The scarlet moth has several subspecies some of which include Callimorpha dominula dominula, Callimorpha dominula lusitanica, Callimorpha dominula profuga and Callimorpha dominula philippsi
Scarlet Tiger Moth Picture

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Scarlet Tiger Moth Image

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