Saturday, 30 August 2008

Jersey Tiger

I added a moth to my life list on our visit to Otter Nurseries the other day. But, without Helen to aid in the identification it would have gone down as a UFO. (I have two standard abbreviations for items that I see / photograph but cannot identify - UFO [Unidentified Flying Object ] for birds and insects and UGO [Unidentified Growing Object] for plants.) It was a Jersey Tiger. In flight the red / orange underwings are very obvious and it has the fast, fluttery flight of a butterfly.

This species is only found in the Channel Islands and parts of the south coast . On the mainland it is most common in South Devon, but colonies have recently appeared in Dorset and the Isle of Wight, and it has also been found in Somerset. One of its foodplants is Stinging Nettle. Helen has seen plenty of Jersey Tigers in flight by day and these photos are courtesy of her. My next challenge will be to get my own photos of them.

My life list of macro-moth species seen now stands at 259. This is the first species I have added for over a year though I have yet to identify a moth I saw and photographed at GB's in the Spring.

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