Ralph smashes Jersey Tiger record

Twenty nine Jersey Tigers in garden near The Warren, Bexleyheath (and a Painted Lady ….)

Ralph Todd writes:

Last evening (Saturday August 15th) I decided to put my moth trap out for the first time this year given overcast conditions and relatively calm conditions and warm temperature.

You can imagine my surprise when I approached it this morning about 8.30 – 2.5 hours after sunrise to find a dozen or so Jersey Tiger moths clinging to the light box – closer inspection delivered 29 Jersey Tiger moths sitting in the surrounding grass, rocks, garden furniture – they were already beginning to fly so there could well have been far more earlier in the morning if I’d be up in time to investigate.

Ralph Todd was amazed to find numerous Jersey Tiger moths around his garden moth trap (Photo: Ralph Todd)

Ralph Todd was amazed to find numerous Jersey Tiger moths in and around his garden moth trap (Photo: Ralph Todd)

One Jersey Tiger moth flew to the nearby buddleia to join what I thought was another- closer inspection showed it to be a Painted Lady.

Painted Lady buterfly (top) and Jersey Tiger moth (bottom) on Buddleia. (Photo: Ralph Todd)

Painted Lady buterfly (top) and Jersey Tiger moth (bottom) on Buddleia (Photo: Ralph Todd)

By the way, still very few moths actually in the trap, 3 shuttle shaped darts – marbled beauty and tree lichen beauty (quite unusual I understand). I am having these ID’s checked out.

Meanwhile reports of Jersey Tiger continue to come in from elsewhere. John Arnold has had one in his kitchen towards the north end of Pickford Lane, Bexleyheath. Cliff Hawkins saw one in his garden on Pinnacle Hill, also Bexleyheath. There have been more reports from Grasmere Road allotment site in Barnehurst and I have had one, possibly two in my nearby garden, one of which flew onto my shirt. Steve Carter reports one from Crossness on August 7th. But these and previous sightings have been of one or two insects at a time, not anything like the number Ralph reports.

Ralph Todd, working on one of his Bexley Bird Reports, has been taking a closer interest in Lepidoptera recently.

Ralph Todd, working on one of his Bexley Bird Reports, has been taking a closer interest in Lepidoptera recently.

As Ralph says, a glimpsed Jersey Tiger in flight gives the impression it could be a Painted Lady, with the darker forewing and orangey underwing, but the projected influx of this latter species just hasn’t happened hereabouts so far.

Chris Rose.

 

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7 Responses to Ralph smashes Jersey Tiger record

  1. Claire Black says:

    Two jersey tiger moths in my garden last week and two large whites (Bexleyheath South)

  2. Derek says:

    I have seen a Jersey tiger in Welling, and one in my garden in Bexley. Derek

  3. jonathanrooks@virginmedia.com says:

    I had one in Birkbeck Road, Sidcup on 26th July. I’ve had odd Jersey Tigers moths over the last three/four years, usually in the Wisteria.

  4. Mrs Lauranne Le Beau says:

    I have seen one on my Buddleigh bush and one on my front door when I got home from work. Amazing

  5. Michael Stokes says:

    I spotted one of these Jersey Tiger moths in my back garden in Sydenham on the 6th August. I got a lovely photo of it sitting on my flowers. I’ll try to upload it.
    Mike

  6. martin watts says:

    any suggestion why the explosion of Tiger moths this year?
    [seen photographic evidence & personal experience last year]
    any corresponding increase in other [butterfly] species, for example small blue?

  7. Chris Rose says:

    I suspect JT numbers have been building gradually and last year/early this has somehow proven very favourable for their survival. I don;t know what the trends on other species are. Probably a case of watching the Butterfly Conservation website next year, and awaiting the London Natural History Society transects report for 2015, which won’t be out til the beginning of 2017 …. There are no Small Blue sites in Bexley. Given there used to be a lot of heathland, I wonder if there were ever any Silver-studded Blue?

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