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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A colorful warning

A cluster of cinnabar moth caterpillars are displayed in a glass jar after being discover feeding on a tansy wagwart  plant in a field on a ranch near Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, July 12, 2012. Cinnabar moths were introduced into North America to control the poisonous ragwort plant on which its larvae feed. The feeding larvae absorb toxins from the ragwort and become unpalatable to predators.  Their bright colors serve as a warning sign. 
One of the "cute" little guys feeds on a ragwart flower.

After their photo session the caterpillars were relocated back onto a tasty ragwart plant.

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