Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

The Jersey Tiger is a large moth that flies during the daytime. It is often mistaken for similar sized and colored butterflies such as commas, but can be swiftly identified if one waits and follows them in flight until they land as of course their wings lay differently to butterflies. They are perhaps less exotically marked as the garden tiger moth, which has rounded brown markings rather than the more classically “tiger” like markings of the Jersey.

Jersey Tiger moth, sheltering from the  mid day heat

Jersey Tiger moth, sheltering from the mid day heat

Until recent decades it was considered very uncommon throughout the UK, with the majority of sightings being in the southern isles such as Jersey, hence the common name. This photograph was taken in East London, which demonstrates the broadening of the species home range. The Jersey is yet another species that is testimony to observations of northern shifts in range extremes. These shifts could well be related to climate change, though such sweeping statements should always be made with caution.

“On what wings dare he aspire?”. William Blake 489.

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Hugh Michael Smith


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