Pink Flowers and a Tiger Moth

Eupatorium cannabinum


These pretty, rather tall pink flowers, on thick tough stems, can be found mostly near the water’s edge, but also on the edge of woodland near us.  When they open the tiny flowers are quite fluffy, attracting lots of pollinators.

And they are, along with nettles, the favourite food of the caterpillars of the Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria), which I spotted in my garden a couple of days ago.

At a first glance, a rather attractive, but not brightly coloured moth…

But as it stretches a little, the lower wings become visible…

In flight, a brilliant flash of orange, so fast – almost impossible to capture!

(That’s a bee in the background!)

The gorgeous fiery orange underneath is a stark contrast to the black and creamy white striped upper wings, and it becomes clear how this moth got its name…

The Jersey Tiger Moth is occasionally seen in southern England, but more frequently in the Channel Isles (as the name suggests, on Jersey) and in warmer climes like Greece or the Mediterranean. It flies both during the daytime and at night.

A few links for more information:

BBC website

Wikipedia – Jersey Tiger Moth

Wikipedia – Hemp-agrimony