Garden Tiger

Garden tiger

Name: Garden Tiger

Scientific name: Arctia caja

Category: Minibeasts

Nature Stars: 60

What are nature stars?

About: A large, brightly-coloured moth, with blackish-brown and white blotchy-patterned fore wings and bright red hind wings with four or five large black spots, the body is broad and hairy, chocolate brown thorax and red on the body: wingspan of about 6cm. Adults fly towards the end of the summer, during July and August. The caterpillars are large, black and covered in long, dense black and gingery hairs: they are commonly called 'Woolly Bears'. The caterpillars feed on stinging nettles, dock leaves and many garden plants. A moth of scrub-covered sand dunes, woodland edge, wet meadows, parks and gardens.

How to identify: There are five similar Tiger moths in Britain, all of which are smaller. The Wood Tiger and Cream-spot Tiger have yellowy-orange hind wings instead of red. The Jersey Tiger has white stripes on the black forewings while the Scarlet Tiger has white spots, instead of the blotches of Garden Tiger.

Where: Widespread

Natural Superpowers

  • Predator: 10
  • Agility: 70
  • Rarity: 50
  • Cute factor: 70
  • Traveller: 50

Fantastic fact: Once a very common moth, the Garden Tiger has suffered serious declines in recent years, perhaps as a result of changes in the climate and is now only really common around the coast.

Photograph credit: Denis Jackson

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