The Jersey Tiger is a particularly striking moth that can be seen both during the day and at night. Once restricted to the south coast of Devon, it has expanded its range into Cornwall, South Wales, and eastwards to Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and Kent. In 2004, it was discovered in south-east London and is now spreading across the city and into neighbouring counties.
In 2021 the Jersey Tiger was added to the list of target species for the Big Butterfly Count in England and Wales. Anecdotally we were hearing of many sightings of Jersey Tiger in London, and supporters were sending us photographs of the moth in their gardens and other green spaces across the Greater London area.
Which is why we were interested to see the results of the Big Butterfly Count 2022 and find out whether this pretty moth was being spotted more.
More than 1,000 Jersey Tigers were recorded in Greater London during the Big Butterfly Count 2022. This put the Jersey Tiger as the 8th most common species seen in the area, and an increase of 11.2% on 2021 figures.
Jersey Tigers like gardens, rough and disturbed ground and hedgerows, as well as coastal cliffs and the higher part of beaches.
Caterpillars can be seen from September until May and they feed on a wide variety of herbaceous plants including Common Nettle, Hemp-agrimony, White Dead-nettle, Borage, Ground-ivy and Bramble.