Scarlet tiger moth

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Scarlet tiger moth
Callimorpha dominula BUND.jpg
Arctiidae - Callimorpha dominula-1.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Erebidae
Genus: Callimorpha
C. dominula
Binomial name
Callimorpha dominula

Panaxia dominula

The scarlet tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula, formerly Panaxia dominula) is a colorful moth belonging to the tiger moth subfamily, Arctiinae. [1]


Subspecies within this species include: [2]

  • Callimorpha dominula dominula (Linnaeus, 1758) (Baltic, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Western Russia and Central Europe)
  • Callimorpha dominula lusitanica Staudinger, 1894 (Portugal)
  • Callimorpha dominula pompalis Nitsche, [1926] (South Alps valleys)
  • Callimorpha dominula persona (Hübner, 1790) (Italy south of the Alps, excluding Piedmont and southern Alpine valleys )
  • Callimorpha dominula trinacriae Nardelli & Giandolfo, 1996 (Sicily)
  • Callimorpha dominula profuga (Goeze, 1781) (Balkans: Macedonia (Scopje); Albania; Greece; West Turkey)
  • Callimorpha dominula rossica Kolenati, 1846 (Caucasus, Transcaucasia, except Talysh Mountains; North-Western Iran)
  • Callimorpha dominula philippsi Bartel, 1906 (Talysh Mountains, North Iran, Southern Turkmenistan)
  • Callimorpha dominula kurdistanica Thomas, 1983 (South-East Turkey, possibly Iraq)

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is present in most of Europe and in the Near East (Turkey, Transcaucasus and northern Iran). [2][3] These moths prefer damp areas (wet meadows, river banks, fens and marshes), but they also can be found on rocky cliffs close to the sea. [4][5]


Callimorpha dominula has a wingspan of 45–55 millimetres (1.8–2.2 in). Adults of this species are quite variable in color. The forewings usually have a metallic green sheen on the blackish areas, with white and yellow or orange markings. Hindwings are red with three large and irregular black markings. These moths may also occur in rare colour forms, one with yellow hindwings and body and one with extended black on hindwings. The thorax is black glossed with green and shows two longitudinal short yellow stripes. [6] The abdomen is black. Scarlet tiger moth has developed mouthparts, that allow it to feed on nectar.[4] The caterpillars can reach a length of about 40 millimetres (1.6 in). They are dark gray with yellow stripes and small white dots.


The imagines are active during the day in May and June. This species has a single generation. The caterpillars are polyphagous. They mainly feed on comfrey (Symphytum officinale), but also on a number of other plants (Urtica, Cynoglossum, Fragaria, Fraxinus, Geranium, Lamium, Lonicera, Myosotis, Populus, Prunus, Ranunculus, Rubus, Salix and Ulmus species). [2][5][4][7]

The three morphs occurring in the population at the Cothill reserve in Oxfordshire, Britain, have been the subject of considerable genetic study (McNamara 1998), including research by E.B. Ford, R.A. Fisher and Denis Owen. McNamara (1998) describes how amateurs can rear this species. [8]



  • Dubatolov, V.V., 2010: Tiger-moths of Eurasia (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae) (Nyctemerini by Rob de Vos & Vladimir V. Dubatolov). Neue Entomologische Nachrichten 65: 1-106.
  • Fisher, R.A. and E.B. Ford (1947). The spread of a gene in natural conditions in a colony of the moth Panaxia dominula L. Heredity 1:143–174 PDF 1.8 MB
  • Fisher, R.A. and E.B. Ford (1950). The "Sewall Wright" effect Heredity 4:117–119
  • Ford, E.B. and P.M. Sheppard (1969). The medionigra polymorphism of Panaxia dominula. Heredity 24:112–134.
  • Kettlewell, H.B.D., 1943: A survey of the insect Panaxia (Callimorpha) dominula, L. Proceedings of the South London Entomological and Natural History Society 1942-43 (pt. 1): 1-49, pl. I-IV, IVa.
  • Kettlewell, H.B.D., 1943: Original descriptions of new forms of Panaxia (Callimorpha) dominula, L., and Panaxia rossica, Kolenati. Ent. Rec. & J. Var. 55: 45-48.
  • Nardelli, U. & Giandolfo, B., 1996: Anmerkungen uber die siziliansche Population von Callimorpha dominula L. mit Bschreibung einer neuen Untrart (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) [Observations on the population of Callimorpha dominula L. from Sicily, with description of a new subspecies (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)]. Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins, Apollo, N.F. 17 (3): 283-299.
  • Sheppard, P.M. (1951). A quantitive study of two populations of the moth Panaxia dominula (L.) Heredity 5:349–378
  • Sheppard, P.M. (1952). A note on non-random mating in the moth Panaxia dominula L. Heredity 5 349–378
  • Sheppard, P.M. and L.M. Cook (1962). The manifold effects of the medionigra gene of the moth Panaxia dominula and the maintenance of polymorphism. Heredity 17:415–426.
  • Wright, S. (1948). On the roles of directed and random changes in the frequency of genetics of populations Evolution 2:279–294.
  • Thomas, W., 1983: Eine neue Callimorpha dominula – Unterart aus der Osttürkei (Lep.: Arctiidae). Entomologische Zeitschrift 93 (8): 107-110.


  1. ^ Biolib
  2. ^ a b c Funet
  3. ^ Fauna Europaea
  4. ^ a b c UK Moths
  5. ^ a b Commanster
  6. ^ Sir William Jardine The Naturalist's Library
  7. ^ Paolo Mazzei, Daniel Morel, Raniero Panfili Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa
  8. ^ McNamara, Don (1998). Notes on rearing the Scarlet Tiger moth Callimorpha dominula (L.) Amateur Entomologists' Society]

External links[edit]