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Species Arctia caja - Great Tiger Moth - Hodges#8166

Great Tiger Moth - Arctia caja Great Tiger Moth - Arctia caja 860 Arctia caja - Garden Tiger Moth 8166 - Arctia caja i was surprised - Arctia caja i was surprised - Arctia caja Moth and caterpillar - Arctia caja Unidentified Moth - Arctia caja Tiger Moth - Arctia caja
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Arctiina
Genus Arctia
Species caja (Great Tiger Moth - Hodges#8166)
Hodges Number
8166
Other Common Names
Garden Tiger (adult in Europe)
Woolly Bear (larva in Europe)
Black Woolly Bear (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Arctia caja – (Linnaeus, 1758)

6 synonyms listed:
Arctia auripennis; erinacea; orientalis; phaeosoma; sajana; wiskotti
originally placed in genus Phalaena by Linnaeus in 1758
Size
wingspan 45-70 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing chocolate brown with irregular mosaic pattern of white lines and spots; hindwing yellow to orangish with large dark blue spots outlined in black

Larva: black on top, brownish-orange below, with 4 white lateral spots on each segment; body completely covered by hair, with mix of very long black hairs and some white hairs dorsally
Range
holartic: in North America, occurs from Labrador and Nova Scotia to New York, west to Minnesota, and across southern Canada to British Columbia, plus south in the west to Colorado, Utah, Nevada, northern California
occurs throughout Eurasia
Habitat
woods, shrubby areas, open spaces, gardens
Season
adults fly from June to September; July and August in the north
larvae present from spring to June, and again in fall
Food
larvae feed on a wide variety of woody and herbaceous plants - see list of species at FUNET
Life Cycle
one generation per year; overwinters as a larva
Remarks
This species, formerly common throughout the UK, has steadily declined over the past 20 years, with numbers falling by around 30%. There has been a general movement away from the south and toward the north, with climate change believed to be a contributing factor. Warm, wet winters and warm springs are followed by a decrease in the number of tiger moths the following summer (Conrad et al, 2002).

Arctia caja was a favourite with early European collectors, who selectively bred it to create unusual colours and forms.
See Also
St. Lawrence Tiger Moth (Platarctia parthenos) forewing lacks complete white lines, and hindwing lacks dark spots (compare images of both species at CBIF)
Print References
Conrad K.F., I.P. Woiwod, and J.N. Perry. 2002. Long-term decline in abundance and distribution of the garden tiger moth (Arctia caja) in Great Britain. Biological Conservation, 106(3) 329-337.
Lafontaine JD, Schmidt BC (2010) Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. (1)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.
live adult and larva images by various photographers, plus note on declining numbers, and other info (Ian Kimber, UK Moths)
live adult, larva, and pupa images plus foodplant list (Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa)
common names in 8 countries plus images of all life stages, list of foodplants, world range map, list of subspecies with distribution and synonyms, and links to other sites (Markku Savela, FUNET)
US distribution map (butterfliesandmoths.org)
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .