A garden tiger moth

This is a moth with two faces. At rest, his cream and dark brown forewings are zebra-patterned, very modern, very distinctive. Underneath are hidden his bright orange hindwings. I spotted him first resting on a wall, later collapsed upside-down on the terrace. Beautiful, if dead.

The garden tiger moth is heavy-bodied and hairy, quite easy-to-spot although they do come in a large variety of colour combinations. The colour is designed to ward-off predators, as the moth’s body fluids are poisonous due to its diet of plants such as potato and laburnum which give off toxic substances. If a threat is perceived, the moth opens its wings to show off its coat of many colours.

5 to remember
una polilla – a moth
las alas anteriores – the forewings
las alas posteriores – the hindwings
estampado de cebra – zebra-patterned
al revés – upside-down


Collins Butterfly Guide [UK: Collins]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A garden tiger moth in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley #moths http://wp.me/p3dYp6-26K

8 thoughts on “A garden tiger moth

  1. Barry O'Leary

    Never seen one of those before. Guessing they don’t make cities like Seville. Closest we get to moths are mothquitoes (bad joke, it’s Monday). Looking forward to more photos.


  2. Pingback: A pair of Moths – Wilding Malaga

  3. Grasshopper (@WildingMalaga)

    I think your identification of Garden Tiger Moth may be incorrect; the moth you found is mainly pale with thin stripes of black on the forewings and only tiny dots on the pale orange hind wings.The garden moth has a heavy black pattern on the fore wings, big black or dark blue dots on the hind wings and red fur visible at its head. In fact I saw the same moth as you just yesterday – I live in the hills in Malaga – but I haven’t been able to find a species match for it. Here’s my blog on the matter: http://www.wildingmalaga.com/?p=3930#more-3930



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