I have the privelege of publishing these excellent images of the Maltese Ruby Tiger Moths, thanks to the kind permission of the photographer – Gordon Zammit.
Gordon reports on this Moth –
This is an endemic coloration to the Maltese islands, albeit slightly different from that found on the continent. The small caterpillar, on a black background, is one of many that hatched from the photographed moth. The mystery is that it laid the eggs soon after it hatched, while in my small 7 ft square backyard on a concrete wall. I do not know if somehow it mated there in a few hours but I highly doubt it. I did not find it after it laid the eggs, and don’t know if it flew away or died. Maybe someone will have an explanation how the eggs were fertilized. The moth matched from the other photographed caterpillar, which I found just outside my home. At present I have about 100 or more caterpillars eating away that are now around 6mm long.
Here are Gordons images of the Moth and its caterpillars.
The lenses Gordon used were the MP-E65mm, the Vivitar (Cosina) 100mm and Canon’s excellent 180mm macro, which in Gordon’s experience is the sharpest but also the heaviest of all three.