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[1][2] in Maltese, has a wingspan of 30-35 mm.[2] Head and body hairy; head and thorax reddish brown; abdomen red with black spots; wings translucent; forewing reddish brown with black reniform spot; hindwing bright pink with black discal spot and uneven black spotting along outer margin.[2]

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
  2. ^ a b c Fauna and Funghi of Malta