The Jersey Tiger, Euplagia quadripunctaria, is a day-flying moth of the family Arctiidae. The adult wingspan is 52–65 millimetres (2.0–2.6 in), and they fly from July to September, depending on the location. They tend to fly close to Eupatorium cannabinum, where they are hard to notice because of their camouflage.
The larvae (caterpillars) are polyphagous, feeding from September to May on nettles (Urtica) and raspberries(Rubus), dandelion (Taraxacum), white deadnettle (Lamium), ground ivy (Glechoma), groundsel (Senecio), plantain (Plantago), borage (Borago), lettuce (Lactuca), and hemp-agrimony (Eupratoria). The insect overwinters as a small larva.
Large groups of adults of subspecies E. q. rhodosensis can be found on occasion aestivating (sheltering from the summer heat) in Petaloudes, on Rhodes, in a place that has become known as the 'Valley of the Butterflies'.
Distribution[edit source | edit]
Euplagia quadripunctaria is widely distributed in Europe from Estonia and Latvia in the north to the Mediterranean coast and islands in the south. It is also found in West Russia, South Urals, Asia Minor, Rhodes and nearby islands, the Near East, Caucasus, South Turkmenistan, and Iran (Dubatolov, 2010). Individuals are known to migrate northwards from their regular breeding grounds during the summer.
British Isles[edit source | edit]
Aside from being frequent in the Channel Islands (whence its common name), this species was rarely seen in the British Isles in Victorian times. It was described by Kirby as, "a great rarity in the South of England, except one locality in Devonshire." Since then however it has spread more widely in Devon and Cornwall, and has recently been seen more frequently in southern England, especially in the Isle of Wight, northern Kent, and south London. They have been seen regularly and in numbers every year in London since 2004, so it is probable that they have established a breeding colony.
Subspecies[edit source | edit]
- Euplagia quadripunctaria quadripunctaria (Europe, Caucasus, Transcaucasus, northern Anatolia, northern Iran, southern Turkmenistan)
- Euplagia quadripunctaria fulgida (South Turkey, Syria, Lebanon)
- Euplagia quadripunctaria rhodosensis (Western Turkey and neighboring islands of Greece)
References[edit source | edit]
- Skinner B. (1984) Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles (Macrolepidoptera), Viking (Penguin Books), London: ISBN 0-670-80354-5
- Kirby W.F. (1903) The Butterflies and Moths of Europe, Cassell & Co. Ltd., London: 432 pp.
- South R. (1920) The Moths of the British Isles, (Series 1, Second edition), Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., London: 359 pp.
- Heath J. & Maitland Emmet A. (1985) The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.2, Harley Books Ltd., Colchester: ISBN 0-946589-02-X
- Ferguson I.D. (2009) Kent Moth Report 2005, Butterfly Conservation, Kent Branch: 56 pp. Link to PDF
- Sightings of Jersey tiger in Orpington, August 2012, at RSPB.org
- Jersey tigers on UK Safari page
Further reading[edit source | edit]
- Dubatolov, V.V., 2010: Tiger-moths of Eurasia (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae) (Nyctemerini by Rob de Vos & Vladimir V. Dubatolov). Neue Entomologische Nachrichten 65: 1-106.
- Roesler, U., 1968: Panaxia quadripunctaria ssp. ingridae ssp.nov. (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). Entomologische Zeitschrift 78 (24): 280-284, Stuttgart.