There were around thirty cinnabar caterpillars feasting on a ragwort plant along the coastline near Silver Strand yesterday afternoon. The cinnabar moth has rather striking livery of red and black, so its fitting that the caterpillar stage is equally striking. The caterpillar is unpalatable to most creatures, and feeds mainly on ragwort (itself toxic to animals).
My colleagues and I in the Galway branch of the Irish Wildlife Trust will be leading a biodiversity walk along Silver Strand on Saturday at 12.30 (details here), as part of Heritage Week. I doubt if there will be much of this ragwort plant left by then, but we’re sure to see plenty of other flora and fauna. It’s free and all are welcome.