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Jersey tiger moth


by Richard Jones

Just a couple of days after last week's posting, my own specimen of the Jersey tiger moth was flying about in the front garden.


Jersey tiger moth, photo by Tony Canning, The Devonshire Road Nature ReserveJust a couple of days after last week's posting, my own specimen of the Jersey tiger moth was flying about in the front garden. I was putting up a 'rustic' wooden arch over the front gate so that the Chinese Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus henryana, can spread to the rest of the fence, when one of the girls, who was helping by playing on the step ladder, pointed out what she thought was a butterfly flying by. It landed on the decorative painted brickwork over the front door, completely uncamouflaged against the white. It does not need to be hidden, its bright colours are a warning that it is revoltingly poisonous should anything be foolhardy enough to try and eat it.

My garden pond has got a puncture. We were really proud of the original design, using railway sleepers, three high (about 50 cm), to make a raised water body. Triangular in shape, 2 metres long, with a deep corner dug down a further 50 cm and a shallow corner for marginal plants. Three species of damselfly, two species of dragonfly, water skaters, boatmen, frogs, toads and common newts all moved in. But now, four years later, the water level has dropped, leaving 20 cm of ugly butyl liner exposed and the shallow end high and dry. I don't know if one of the children 'fishing' with a stick has done the damage or if the ivy from the fence has punched its vigorous way through. The only thing to do is clear it all out and start again with a new liner. I'll have to make sure I have plenty of buckets ready for all the dragonfly larvae in there.

Jersey tiger moth, photo by Tony Canning, The Devonshire Road Nature ReserveThe garden spiders, Aranaeus diadematus, are starting to get very large and obvious, especially those round the compost bins. We compost everything we can, including kitchen waste, so clouds of fruit flies emerge every time I lift off the lid. Even though they are tiny compared to the spiders, each burst leaves 20 or 30 struggling in the webs and they are quickly wrapped up by the spiders to eat later. It does mean that we get quite a few of the flies coming indoors to pester the fruit bowl. I'll soon have to get new fly papers too.



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Gardeners' World Web User 28/07/2008 at 09:14

Yes, I've seen 2 in SE London. 1 near St John's station near Lewisham Way and the other in the Honor Oak area

Gardeners' World Web User 29/07/2008 at 21:33

I've had two sightings in my garden, yesterday and today (so maybe the same individual), also nearby in SE London, between Blythe Hill Fields and Ladywell Fields.

Gardeners' World Web User 31/07/2008 at 22:03

We had one yesterday in our garden in East Dulwich, SE London.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/08/2008 at 15:39

I saw one today in my garden in Forest Hill SE23

Gardeners' World Web User 10/08/2008 at 19:12

Just seen one in my garden in Holmdene Avenue Herne Hill. Spectacular!

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