Thursday, 6 August 2009

Night and Day Moth

It appears that this moth has several names. In the UK it is called a Jersey Tiger Moth. In Latin it is Euplagia quadripunctaria. In France it is also called L'écaille chinée or Callimorphe and it belongs to the family Arctilidae. In England it is restricted to the Channel Islands and parts of the South Coast - Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Isle of Wight and even London. It is common in France, Greece and Italy as well as other European countries. It flies in the daytime feeding on flowers such as Buddleia. But being nocturnal it flies at night, when it is attracted to the light. It has a wingspan of 42 to 52mm and it's main flight period is between July and September. The hairy caterpillars feed on herbaceous plants including nettle (Urtica). The black and white on the external wings help it to camouflage but the reddish orange underwings protect it from predators.We found our beauty on our porch attemptng to access the light in the kitchen. The lace net is captured. I realise I had seen the caterpillars only a few weeks ago. Then I smiled when I thought of the poem "Arabella Millar found a wooly caterpillar". We also discovered them in Angles sur l'Anglin.

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