Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Scarlet Tigers

I have found four dead 'scarlet tiger' moths at the same corner as you turn onto the Walton road from the Kings farm, in the gutter by the roadside. Presumably this daylight flying moth gets hits by cars like every other flying thing I chance upon as I cycle to work in the mornings. My son found another specimen in the garden in a flower pot yesterday, downed by the rain?, and this has galvanised me into looking at them all and I can confirm that they seem to be the same species. There are other tiger moths, the wood tiger and garden tiger and smaller red and black moths like the burnet and cinnebar, all of which I have seen now that I have studied the pictures in my books. Clearly it is currently the time for the scarlet tiger and presumably the ones found on the roadside have hatched from the same batch in a nearby bramble hedge. I also note from the books that the tiger moths are the species that hatch from the poisonous little animated hairy caterpillars that you see occasionally and are known as 'woolly bears'. As a child who picked such things up I also discovered that they can give you a significant rash and I recall that I was rewarded with a day off school.

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