Sunday, 8 August 2010

Tiger In The Garden

Suddenly there seems to be a lot of postings about moths on various blogs and it is good to see an upsurge of interest in this exciting group of insects. This blog is no exception and once again over Friday night I was running my mv light trap although I was slightly concerned about the slim prospect of rain but in some way wishing it would as the garden is parched. On checking the trap in the morning in between the heavy rain showers, I was pleasantly surprised to find a Jersey Tiger on one of the egg boxes. This moth species, I suspect, is an immigrant and recently has been cropping up in gardens within London.
Jersey Tiger

In the 20 odd years I have been mothing, albeit at a very erratic pace, I have only ever caught two tigers. This one and a garden tiger that i found sat on my old 8W Actinic trap that I used to run when I lived at Hoo St. Werburgh. Other species that I photographed were:
The Nutmeg
Pebble Prominent

Lime-speck Pug
During the day in the garden I noticed this day flying pyrallid moth feeding on some marjoram, Pyrausta aurata 10_08_07_longfield_076_Pyrausta_aurata

The best of the bunch I placed into pots as I was leading a butterfly walk for Dartford Borough Council later in the morning at Darenth Country Park and given the wet overcast conditions I wanted to ensure that anyone who turned up would at least see some good moths.
The walk actually went well with the sun peaking out from behind the clouds at just the right moments and a good few butterflies were on the wing.
Today (Sunday), i’ve now gone down with a cold but not really being able to stay in, Lisa and I went to Trosley C.P for a walk in the sunshine. There are some great looking violet helleborines in flower with around 12 plants all looking fresh and one or two being tall with many florets. Walking the chalk down land section we were rewarded with 10 species of butterfly, including some fresh chalk hill blues and a couple of small coppers. Notable by their absence though were any peacocks! What has happened to them all? I think I have only seen one all year. One insect that has clearly had a welcome revival though is the 7-spot ladybird, with loads of them there and oddly enough I haven’t seen many harlequins.
Back home and enjoying a cuppa, I suddenly ended up with two new dragonfly species for the garden, common darter and brown hawker, couldn’t believe it! The darter decided to use one of my raspberry canes as a perch and stayed for 15 minutes, superb.


Adam said...

Hi John

Well done on the Tiger - saw Fred (Greenie in the wild) had one in his garden this week.

Peacocks - got quite a few of them in Barming Woods and seen lots of Caterpillars on the nettles on East Malling Research site so a few to come. Good year for SW Frits though - they seem to be turning up everywhere!


Tony Morris said...

Hi John, not had a Jersey Tiger down here this year. There's a thriving population now in London. Des McKenzie's been doing a survey. Your in the LNHS area, they might like to know about yours.