JERSEY TIGER MOTHS IN FRANCE & ENGLAND


Jersey Tiger Moths  Euplagia quadripunctaria, are widely distributed throughout Europe. Once rare in Britain, they are now increasingly found in the South of England. Recently we spotted one in the eastern Pyrenees one evening. It wasn’t very close and I had only a small camera with me so the results aren’t startling. However, the photos give a fair idea of this very pretty moth. 

Jersey Tiger Moth, Ceret, FranceJersey Tiger Moth, Ceret, France

I knew at once what sort of moth this was, because we had found one – the only one I’ve ever seen before – in our garden in Dorset last year, and I to go through the usual online process to ID it.

jersey-tiger-moth-dorset-3-copy

A more professional photo… (Wiki)ecaille_chinee_-_euplagia_quadripunctaria_havre_begique_3

The Wrong Sort of Tiger Moth… “CHOCKS AWAY”tiger-moth-1-copy

JERSEY TIGER MOTH: DORSET


It’s been a remarkably mothy summer. Our interest in moths mainly centres on ‘clothes’ moths, detection, prevention and termination thereof. Suddenly, there are moths I’ve neither seen nor heard of before. MAGPIE MOTH. DRINKER MOTH. And now, on the hyssop last Sunday, a Delta-winged Stealth Moth. It wasn’t in our (basic) book, but a quick online search revealed it to be a Jersey Tiger Moth Euplagia quadripunctaria. UK MOTHS has this to say:

“One of the most attractive of the Tiger moths, this species was until recently restricted in distribution to the Channel Islands and parts of the south coast . On the mainland it is commonest in south Devon, but colonies have recently appeared in Dorset and the Isle of Wight, and it has also been found in other southern counties. It now seems to be expanding its range quite quickly. There is also a thriving population in parts of London, but whether this is due to range expansion or the result of accidental introduction is still unclear. It flies both in the daytime, when it can be found feeding on various flowers, as well as at night, when it is attracted to light. The main flight period is July to September. The hairy larvae feed on a range of herbaceous plants including nettle (Urtica).”

With only a basic camera to hand, I took the first photo, expecting it to fly away at onceJersey Tiger Moth Dorset 1

However it kindly stayed around for a few more shotsJersey Tiger Moth Dorset 2

It carried on feeding happily
Jersey Tiger Moth Dorset 3

It had particularly smart stripy legs…Jersey Tiger Moth Dorset 4

…but I didn’t realise what this hint of orange under the wings indicated
Jersey Tiger Moth Dorset 5

I never got a shot of the full glory of this moth – indeed I had no idea what to expect.  Courtesy of wiki, I now realise that beneath the black and white the moth was bright orange.File:Jersey Tiger Moth.JPG

MAGPIE MOTH Abraxas grossulariata


This is an insect I had never knowingly heard of or seen until last weekend when it turned up in the kitchen. The species was once prized by collectors for its marking and colouring, apparently. They like currant and gooseberry bushes. And unwisely flying into kitchens. It’s also the first time I’ve seen or heard the word ‘Abraxas’ other than in the context of Santana’s 2nd album (1970), with its (at the time) controversial cover (Mati Klarwein’s ‘Annunciation’).

Magpie Moth 1 Magpie Moth 2 Magpie Moth 3santana-757-l