Guardian Nature School Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Nature School For Teachers - Fall 2020 Launch! visit nature school

Cinnabar moth; Polilla cinabrio

Tyria jacobaeae


This moth is named after the red mineral cinnabar (mercury sulphide, HgS) because of the red patches on its predominantly black wings. Cinnabar moth is about 20mm long and has a wingspan of 32–42 mm. It is a day-flying moth. Like many other brightly coloured moths, it is toxic; the larvae use Senecio plants as foodplants and extract the powerful toxic cyanide and assimilate it, becoming toxic themselves. The bright colours of both the larvae and the moths act as warning signs, so they are seldom eaten by predators. The cinnabar caterpillars, due to lack of food, can turn cannibalistic.


Spotted at an open oak forest. Reserva de la Biosfera del Real Sitio de San Ildefonso-El Espinar.


Camera Model: NIKON D500. Exposure Time: 1/500 sec.; f/11; ISO Speed Rating: 9051. Exposure Bias: 0 EV. Focal Length: 300.0 mm. No flash fired. DSC_4472

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Castilla y León, Spain

Spotted on Jun 23, 2019
Submitted on Oct 21, 2019

Related Spottings

sint-jacobsvlinder (Tyria jacobaeae) Cinabrio, polilla cinabrio Tyria jacobaeae Cinnabar Caterpillars

Nearby Spottings

Wall Brown; Saltacercas Great Spotted Woodpecker; Pico Picapinos Cardinal; Pandora Niobe Fritillary; Niobe


Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors