What’s in a name

The name “Cinnabar Reflections” is simply wordplay based on my home location, the Cinnabar Valley in south Nanaimo, and the idea that what I write about is topics that I have thought about, or reflected on, as important to me. The name also has an entomological connection. The valley was once infested by Tansy Ragwort, Jacobaea vulgaris, a noxious weed introduced into North America from Eurasia. One of the

GardenMay 2 2016-3143

Adult Cinnabar moth, Tyria jacobaeae

principal biocontrol agents is the Cinnabar moth, Tyria jacobaeae. After its introduction on Vancouver Island, it became so numerous in this area, that the valley was given the name Cinnabar Valley. Tansy ragwort and the Cinnabar moth are both quite common

Cinnabar moth caterpillar

Cinnabar moth caterpillar feeding on Tansy ragwort. The contrasting aposematic colours warn predators of the toxic alkaloids that the caterpillars have ingested from the plant and then store in their skin.

still, but presumably the biocontrol agents manage to keep the populations in check.