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 once
However it kindly stayed around for a few more shots
It carried on feeding happily
It had particularly smart stripy legs…
…but I didn’t realise what this hint of orange under the wings indicated
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.