Scarlet tiger moth

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Callimorpha dominula
Scarlet tiger moth
Scarlet tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula) underside.jpg
Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Arctiidae
Genus: Callimorpha
Species: C. dominula
Binomial name
Callimorpha dominula
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Panaxia dominula

The scarlet tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula, formerly Panaxia dominula) is a colorful moth of Europe, Turkey, Transcaucasus, northern Iran. It belongs to the tiger moth family, Arctiidae.

The caterpillars feed mostly on comfrey (Symphytum officinale). The imagines fly by day.

It can occur in rare colour forms, one with yellow hindwings and body and one with extended black on hindwings.

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.


  • 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)



  • Dubatolov, V. V. "Arctiidae catalog of the former USSR". Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  • 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 PDF 183KB
  • 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.
  • McNamara, Don (1998). "Notes on Rearing Scarlet tiger moth Callimorpha dominula (L.)". Amateur Entomologists' Society. Retrieved 2006-08-15. 
  • 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.