Flashes of brilliance – The Jersey Tiger Moth

jersey tiger_nikon

A few weeks ago my son spotted and snapped a photo of a Jersey Tiger moth on the side of our house. It was the first time we’d ever heard or seen one.

Butterfly Conservation list the Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria) as nationally rare, but established along in the southern counties of England. It is not that common north of London, but it is increasing its foothold. Well, it has definitely reached Cambridgeshire! We’ve been seeing it (them?) intermittently over the last four weeks.

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Jersey Tiger moth on a Myrtle bush

It’s a beautiful day (and night) flying moth from the Arctiid family, with a large wing span (52-65mm). Crucially for me, when it spreads its wings, it flashes such a bright orange. I keep thinking that it is a Painted Lady butterfly when I spot it, but it is even brighter. It is mesmerising and hard to miss …

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until you turn your back on it to get a camera or phone. Then it’s gone in seconds.

So it has taken me a while to actually get a photo, particularly one showing those flashes of amber. Today I looked out of the kitchen window and saw it flitting about …

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And then I watched it settle on our potted Abelia,

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Jersey Tiger moth on Abelia grandiflora

where it lingered for some time, enjoying a drink …

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and skipping from flower to flower.

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Never quite opening those wings, but showing tantalising hints

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Then it flew up and away and I managed this frustrating shot:

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If only I’d been faster!

Now I’ve been reading up about its hairy offspring. It sounds like a good thing our garden has ‘wild’ patches, full of ground ivy, white dead-nettle, brambles and nettles as these are named food plants for the caterpillars.

So we are ready with food and drink. Jersey Tiger moths can establish a colony in our patch any time they want!

 

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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16 Responses to Flashes of brilliance – The Jersey Tiger Moth

  1. That is stunning and very exciting to see. I cannot believe any of these tigers live in the UK

  2. I have never seen one of these magnificent moths. Fabulous photos!

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Marvelous sighting and even better that you have its favorite plants. May there be many more generations!

  4. shoreacres says:

    What a wonderful experience.The moth is beautiful, of course, and it’s so exciting that you have been able to see it. But that first photo? It reminded me of a 1950s/1960s cologne that was favored by my mother and her friends. Of course it was Faberge’s Tigress. As soon as I saw the moth, I remembered the packaging!

  5. Cathy says:

    It‘s a beauty. I had one in my old garden once, but isn‘t it frustrating trying to get photos! You have managed to get some nice shots and capture its fiery colour in flight though. 😃

  6. Sue says:

    A beautiful moth and well done on getting some great shots. And how exciting to see one so rare!

  7. Chloris says:

    I’ve never seen this moth, well done on getting the lovely shots.

  8. inese says:

    A beauty. Wonderful images.

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