Finally yesterday I found what I’ve walked many miles, worn out a pair of shoes, sweated buckets to find …my first Jersey tiger moth of the year. And it was worth every ache in my poor old feet!
Though the text books and web sites haven’t yet acknowledged it, we locals are positive we have a colony now established along our piece of the south Wales coast, and the records logged in Aderyn, the Wales biodiversity database, confirm it. These tigers have been recorded every year for over ten years at local sites, including Lavernock Nature Reserve and in gardens in the neighbouring towns of Sully and, latterly, Barry.
Jersey tigers are beautiful moths: triangular shaped, stunningly patterned with black-and-beige stripes, with vibrant orange underwings only usually seen when they’re flying, and a pale apricot body.
They’re currently only seen, as their name suggests, on the Channel Islands, in certain spots along England’s south coast and in London, and in our little area in Wales.
p.s. A Butterfly Conservation staffer from south Wales has since told me that this moth’s establishment in our area is not disputed and that it probably became established around 2012-13 but that it just takes time for websites to update their records.