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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 in mountain heathland, with dispersed pine trees. Parque Nacional de Sierra de Guadarrama
Camera Model: NIKON D300. Exposure Time: 1/250 sec.; f/8; ISO Speed Rating: 800. Exposure Bias: 0 EV. Focal Length: 300.0 mm. No Flash fired
Spotted on Jun 5, 2015
Submitted on Jul 15, 2015
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