Looking or behaving like a tiger – meet the ‘tiger insects’ from our Collection

Entomology Manchester

In the traditional Chinese calendar, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger. In Chinese culture, tiger is the king of all beasts, symbolizing power, majesty and beauty. Let us to celebrate the beginning of the Chinese New Year 2022 with a selection of ‘tiger insects’ from the Manchester Museum’s Entomology Collection. In this blogpost, a few examples of tiger-like colour patterns in moths and butterflies and tiger-like predatory behaviour in some amazing beetles are presented.

Warning colouration

A tiger’s bold pattern of bright orange body coloration with dark stripes makes them less visible to their prey (it is the so-called disruptive colouration). On the other hand, the conspicuous dark and orange colouration of some moths and butterflies is a clear warning signal to predators. This is the case of the adults of the Garden tiger moth or Great tiger mothArctia caja. When threatened, this moth can release…

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