Euplagia quadripunctaria, the Jersey Tiger

Patrick Roper proper at
Wed Sep 1 08:54:16 EDT 1999

This summer we have had several sightings of Euplagia quadripunctaria,
the Jersey Tiger, along the coast of East Sussex in England.  This is
a moth that seems to be expanding its range and I would be interested
to know where else in UK or mainland Europe it has got to.

As the name implies, it was originally associated with Jersey, one of
the Channel Islands near the coast of France.  It then colonised parts
of south Devon.

For those not familiar with it, it is one of the most distinctive and
colourful day-flying moths.  It often visits Buddleja flowers and is
therefore relatively easily recorded

Interestingly the French call it the l’écaille chinée (the Chinese
shell, or tortoiseshell) and the Germans Spanische Fahn (Spanish
flag), Russischer Bär (Russian bear)or Römerzahl (Roman numeral).  It
always seems to be identified with some other place.  Are there any
other interesting vernacular names and could any German-speaker
confirm my suspicion that the name “Russian bear” refers to the
caterpillar (we always called thickly haired caterpillars “woolly
bears” as children)

Patrick Roper

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