Roehampton Garden Society

Watch out for: Garden Tiger Moths

August 2021

There are lots of Tiger Moths on the wing at the moment – creamy white and black fore wing patterns, the under wing is a pinkish red. Easily identified from a butterfly, when at rest the wings are at 180 degrees, butterflies wings are at 90 degrees. They are beautiful creatures – enjoy.

Adult Tiger Moth
Tiger Moth caterpillar

Contributor: Bill Young

Key information

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.

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.

What they eat:

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

Possibly in your flower border!

Information source: RSPB