Maltese ruby tiger moth

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Maltese Ruby Tiger Moth
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Arctiidae
Genus: Phragmatobia
Species: P. fuliginosa
Subspecies: melitensis
Trinomial name
Phragmatobia fuliginosa melitensis
O. Bang-Haas, 1927

The Maltese Ruby Tiger Moth (Phragmatobia fuliginosa ssp. melitensis) is a moth endemic to the Maltese Islands which falls under the family Arctiidae.

General features[edit]

This moth, known as the Rubin in Maltese, can grow up to 20mm.[1] Its two forewings are dark brown in color whilst the back wings are reddish-pink in color. One can also see certain markings on the wings with the forewings having one spot each and the back wings having around four markings each.

The caterpillar looks rather furry, a feature common in Arctiidae caterpillars. In fact, the caterpillars are known as 'woolly bears'.

Food[edit]

The caterpillar feeds on borage Borago officinalis (known as Fidloqqom in Maltese), and on bugloss (plants from the genus Echium e.g. Pale Bugloss Echium italicum which is known as Lsien il-Fart Abjad in Maltese).[1]

Population[edit]

The Maltese Ruby Tiger Moth, although endemic, is common throughout the Maltese Islands.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wildlife of the Maltese Islands, BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust, 1995