Arctia villica, the creamspot tiger moth, is a very colourful specie of tiger moth. It it distributed through Europe and parts of Africa. Their colours are an aposematic warning towards predators, for the moths are quite distateful due to host-plant derived toxins and predators prefer to leave them alone.
Arctia villica are quite polyphagous, which means the caterpillars are more than willing to feed on multiple kinds of host plant. Among known hosts plants are Taraxacum (dandelion), Plantago (plantains), Lamium (deadnettle), Urtica (nettle), Hieracium (hawkweed), Rumex (dock) and many more low-growing herbaceous plants.
Arctia villica is single brooded, with moths flying from may until about august. After reproducing, the next generation of caterpillars will overwinter, waiting for the next spring before emerging as moths. The larvae may develop slowly in captivity and patience is required to rear them. The caterpillars are brown and hairy, with a wine red head capsule.
The females are quite apathic and would rather wait for a male, they don’t move that much. Males are a bit more nervous. These moths cannot feed and will only live for a short while.
Video impression of the moth:
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