Jersey Tigers on the prowl!

This morning I was in the garden doing a spot of deadheading, when all of a sudden, just as I was about to snip off some buddleia flowers that had finished, there was a Jersey Tiger Moth.

Jersey tiger moth

Jersey Tiger Moth

You can see that there weren’t many white flowers left, no wonder I nearly chopped it off.

Jersey tiger moth

All the time I was hoping that it would open its wings and show me the bright orange/red underwings………

Jersey tiger moth

Excuse me while I try and have a look still can’t see them.

Jersey tiger moth

We had them in the garden last year, I wonder if they laid their eggs here then or are these visitors from the Channel Islands that come across each year?

Jersey tiger moth

I’m still trying to see their red wings,

Jersey tiger moth

but no luck this time. The red markings are very noticeable when it flies, but as soon as it stops to feed and folds its wings, it is well camouflaged.

Jersey Tiger Moth

Nothing for it but to use the one I managed to photograph last year!

They obviously favour white buddleia, it does have a very strong perfume. Unlike the butterflies that are very skittish and fly away when I come near to them, this moth was oblivious to my presence and stayed on the same panicle of flowers for literally hours.  They are common in southern and central Europe, the Channel Islands and only in the SW corner of Britain, aren’t we lucky!

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22 Responses to Jersey Tigers on the prowl!

  1. What a beautiful moth! I have not seen this one before. With the little dots on the end of its wings, it takes a second look to tell which end is what!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Marian, the pointed end is the end with the mouth and antennae, it is confusing isn’t it. It is a lovely moth, thank goodness it flies during the day so that we can admire it!

  2. rusty duck says:

    Wow, I’ll be looking out for one of those now!

    • Pauline says:

      Hello Jessica, yes, you should certainly have them in Devon where you are. Last year was the first time we saw them here and it was August that time too. We’ll have to make a note to look for them each August in future although my book says they fly from June to September.

  3. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Oooh, how very lucky of you! Still never seen any particularly interesting moths here, by that I mean Hawk Moths of any kind. I did once see a one of the Hawk moth caterpillars… Last year or the year before I had one of the Ghostly white moths disturbed during the day. Oh, I suppose I ought to mention my plethora of Cinnabar and occasional Burnet moths.

    • Pauline says:

      Liz, we used to have lots of Cinnabar moths when we lived in the north west, but haven’t seen any down here. Sometimes we get the Hummingbird hawk moth, but haven’t seen it yet this year and a few times have seen a White Plumed Moth on the other side of the windows. Butterflies get all the attention being so brightly coloured and flying during the day, maybe we ought to put up a moth trap one evening!

  4. Cathy says:

    Lovely pictures, and the second time today that I saw a white buddleia… ever! They are all blue or purple here. I managed to get a couple of shots of a Tiger last year, but haven’t seen one this year yet.

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, I have 2 white buddleias, one on each side of a grassy path, but about 20ft away, further down the border, I found a buddleia seedling, and that has turned out to be white too! We also have quite a few purple or blue ones and also 2 pink ones, so plenty for butterflies and moths to enjoy.

  5. Cathy says:

    When I saw the title I guessed it would be a moth – great to see these pictures as it is not something I have come across before. After seeing nothing but cabbage whites all season (always in pairs!) I was really chuffed to have a peacock land right in front of me today on an inula flower – unfortunately I had a trowel in my hand and not a camera..!

    • Pauline says:

      So many cabbage whites Cathy, I don’t think we have had so many before. Isn’t it always the way, when you see something interesting, you never have the camera with you, by the time you have got it, it’s gone! We had never seen one before moving down here, last year was the first time we had seen one, in 23yrs, so I hope they will continue to visit each year from now on.

  6. pbmgarden says:

    It’s a pretty moth Pauline. Glad you showed the red from last year’s picture to give us the complete story. Susie

    • Pauline says:

      Some moths are very pretty aren’t they Susie, but they don’t have the same wow factor as butterflies. I felt I had to show you the red wings and not leave you wondering!

  7. Christina says:

    Thank you Pauline, you have identified a moth I see here, but have never managed to identify; I don’t have a moth ID book. they are amazing, I’ve never managed to photograph the orange under wings, well done you! Not important if it is last years photo.

    • Pauline says:

      Glad to have been of help Christina, my little butterfly book has moths as well, really I should call it my moth book as there are twice as many moths in it as there are butterflies!

  8. Anna says:

    How exciting Pauline and how fortunate that you were not too carried away with deadheading to notice such a beauty 🙂 Seems to have been a brilliant year for butterflies and I wonder if that’s the case for moths too. Interesting to read the comments about white buddleias. I’ve made a couple of train journeys in the last week and could not help but notice all the buddleias in bloom at the side of the tracks – very, very few white ones amongst the purples and lilacs.

    • Pauline says:

      I just managed to stop myself in time Anna, the moth wasn’t obvious at all. I couldn’t see the moth today, I hope it hasn’t gone for good! I think it has been a good year for moths as well as butterflies, we seem to have a lot flying in the garden. I think most of the wild buddleia are purple or blue, but I have a white seedling in a different part of the garden, so maybe the white one seeds true.

  9. Wendy says:

    What a beautiful moth! I’ve just had a quick read about them and it’s unlikely, but not impossible, that I’ll see them here (as they seem to be expanding their range) – so I will look out for them.

  10. annie_h says:

    Wow yes you are very lucky, what a stunning red wing, great photos.

    • Pauline says:

      It’s been quite windy since then Annie, each time I have looked for the Jersey Tiger, I’ve not seen it since then, hope it comes back!

  11. Paul says:

    Hi, we have just had one fly into the house – I’m no expert on Moths so I’ve just been looking up what it was online when I came across your blog. I have never seen this moth around our way (South London) before, are you near the south coast then?
    Lovely Photo’s as well thank you!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Paul, good to hear from you and find that the Jersey Tiger Moths are spreading along the south coast. We live in Devon so are directly north of the Channel Islands. It’s good that they fly during the day, otherwise we would miss them!

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