The moth trap actinic lamp was on when I got home last night, so headed out into the garden to see if I could see any activity within. Lots of flies, a few moths already in the trap, mostly small grey ones, a couple of Buff Ermines. But sitting on a Virginia Creeper leaf a more vivid moth than I’d seen in the garden before – Jersey Royal (Euplagia quadripunctaria). It scuttled around for a while, landed on the trap, but didn’t fall in through funnel into the box. It was still sitting on one of the flight baffles when I got up first thing this morning to see what had settled on the egg cartons within.
This striped species is actually a day-flying moth the original range of which was the Channel Islands, hence the name. It has apparently spread to the UK south coast and to Devon and there are some reported in London. To see one in a garden just north of Cambridge is unusual. It’s either an off-course migrant or an individual attempting to expand the species’ range northwards. The hot and dry weather we have had since the end of May here might explain unusual animal behaviour. Incidentally, a rain shower on the afternoon of the 26th July, first one since May.
The awful shots below were done in the dark of the garden with my phone to try and catch it with its wings open. It was fluttering by very quickly in around the actinic tube of the trap, up and down the baffles and then back into the creepers that coat our rear fence close to where I’d set the trap.