Elisabeth C. Miller Library logo Miller Library Home UW Botanic Gardens Home UW Botanic Gardens Home book graphic

3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98195 | (206) 543 0415 | Open: | Library Schedule

Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: caterpillars, Senecio jacobaea, Biological control, Noxious weeds--Washington, Weed control--Pacific Northwest

I was just walking through a wild area in Seattle with lots of weeds, and came across some strange caterpillars. They are mostly hairless (to the naked eye, anyway), and are striped black over orange with black legs. Can you tell me what they are?

Answer:

I believe you may have seen the Cinnabar moth caterpillar, Tyria jacobaeae, which was introduced to the United States to control a noxious weed, tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea). Here are pictures to compare, and more information:
Wikipedia
Flickr image

Both Washington State's noxious weed control board and King County Noxious Weeds have information on weed control with Cinnabar caterpillars. (See page 5 of the document). Tansy ragwort is a Class B noxious weed, and control is required in King County.

Date 2017-04-14
Link to this record only (permalink)


Didn't find an answer to your question? Ask us directly!

Browse keywords

Search Again:

August 01 2017 12:36:01