The French Forester Moth (Zygaena transalpina) is a small insect in the Zygaenidae family of Burnet and Forester moths.
The French Forester Moth has bluish-green or blue-black forewings (front wings) with three pairs of red spots on each wing. The hind wings (back wings) are red with a blue-black border.
It grows to about 3 centimetres (one inch) across.
It is found across European countries, usually in warm, dry climates in meadows and grasslands at higher altitudes. It is seen from May to August in most locations.
For protection, it plays dead when touched. When it is safe, it flies away quickly. The red colour is also a warning signal to its predators, and it emits a liquid containing cyanide poison.
The adult sips on flower nectar, and the caterpillar (larvae) feeds on leaves.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM