Research goes slowly yet the hand-in deadline for my thesis advances fast. Time for another post where I try to distract myself, this time with pictures of pretty things.
I found this lovely moth, a black-and-neon-pink cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae), outside the lab at the ponds today. In identifying it, I realized that I’d seen its caterpillars last year. The moth is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced to North America to control ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris, hence the moth’s species name). They acquire toxins from the plants they eat, which in turn make them toxic to predators—hence the wild colours. Here are two views of the adult moth, and a picture of the caterpillars:
There are also a ton of wildflowers in bloom right now. I’ll show more pictures once I’ve identified more of them (read: gotten the botanists in my life to tell me what they are), but here’s a preview.