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These caterpillars are orange and black stripped with long hairs. They become a beautiful red and black colored moth. They are beneficial because they feed on ragwort. This herb is poisonous for grazing animals (horses, cattle, etc.) because it contains alkaloids: http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/657... So the moth caterpillars can be used as biocontrol agent to reduce ragwort in grazing fields. Both the caterpillar as the moth become unpalatable by eating this plant.
Grasslands where ragwort is aboundant. In Flanders and Netherland, that means all over the place..
Spotted on Jul 7, 2011
Submitted on Jul 7, 2011
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