The Thames at Reading is lined with Ragwort in places, and (weather aside) I haven't worked out why I haven't seen any Cinnabar Moth caterpillars munching on these plants yet.
I left work this morning and decided to give the Ragwort upstream from the office another chance, and as luck would have it, managed to see a good half dozen caterpillars a few hundred yards from work.
Cinnabar Moth caterpillars are unmistakeable - they exhibit classic warning colouration, yellow and black stripes, rather like tiny Wasps Rugby scarves.
They also are an(other) exception to quite a good rule of thumb I've mentioned before with moths. Very often a showy adult moth will have a dull larval stage, and vice versa, but the bright Cinnabar Moth caterpillar becomes one of the most extravagantly coloured (crimson and jet black) moths of Britain also. (see earlier post on Cinnabar Moth for a photo of the adult moth).