This species is so named due to the colour of the hindwings and the markings on the forewings, making it unmistakable. There is little variation, although on rare occasions, the pinkish markings are replaced with yellow, or the forewing is red with a black border, or the wings are completely black. Easily disturbed by day and flies in the sunshine. Also flies after dark.
Cinnabar moth larvae eat the common ragwort plant, but they are known to eat other caterpillars when their food source is low.
Cinnabar moths start life as yellow and black caterpillars and are particularly fond of munching on ragwort plants. Their bright colours warn predators that they’re poisonous, but they only build up their poison after feeding on the ragwort.