Archive for “scarlet tiger”

Scarlet Tigers – annual update

Posted in "Butts Piece", insects, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , on 24 June 2017 by bramblejungle

The best show of scarlet tigers in the 8 years I’ve been watching the comfrey patch

Scarlet everywhere...Scarlet everywhere...Scarlet everywhere...Scarlet everywhere...Scarlet everywhere...


Scarlet Tigers – annual update

Posted in "Butts Piece", insects, oxfordshire with tags , , , , on 27 June 2015 by bramblejungle

Scarlet Tiger (Callimorpha dominula)

The addition of a few trees at the site doesn’t seem to have reduced the extent of the comfrey or the numbers of scarlet tigers, which are beginning to appear in significant numbers; the first I saw this year was on 22 June. Larvae and adults are following the usual pattern: larvae from late March, adults as soon as the weather is warm after mid June. Without more accurate observations and other data – soil temperature, for example – I can’t deduce much except for the obvious effect of 2013’s cold spring, but I’ll keep an eye on them.
Scarlet tigers - data

Scarlet Tigers

Posted in "Butts Piece", insects, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , on 18 June 2014 by bramblejungle

The Butts Piece Scarlet Tiger Moth colony produced a good crop of caterpillars in April, and as expected the adults are starting to appear:
Scarlet tiger

Here’s a graph showing the emergence of larvae and adults over the last few years: it’s not altogether scientific as my observations are weekly at best, but it certainly shows the impact of last year’s cold spring. This year’s rain does not seem to have affected the timing.

Scarlet tigers at Butts Piece


More Spring

Posted in "Butts Piece", birds, garden, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , on 11 April 2014 by bramblejungle

Warm weather – and Spring – are holding out, at least for the moment. The Scarlet Tiger caterpillars are growing,

Scarlet tigers everywhere

garden birds are preening their breeding plumage


and at last I got a (nearly) clear shot of a chiffchaff among the branches

Signs of Spring

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , on 20 April 2013 by bramblejungle

Spring at last!
After the second coldest March on record, spring has finally arrived, and now is the time to find out how much damage the unusual weather has done.
Today I heard a chiffchaff and saw several brimstone and small tortoiseshell butterflies, along with this peacock.

I went to the usual spot in search of scarlet tiger moth caterpillars, and found one:
Scarlet Tiger Moth (Callimorpha dominula) caterpillar
It’s a couple of weeks late, but seems to be in good shape – I just hope there are plenty more.

There are plenty of bee-flies around
Bombylius major
and the lawn is full of the nests of tawny mining bees
Tawny mining bee (Andrena fulva)
Tawny mining bee (Andrena fulva)
So far it seems that Spring is happening as usual, just a bit late.


Posted in "Butts Piece", insects, oxfordshire, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 23 June 2012 by bramblejungle

Scarlet Tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula)
The Scarlet Tiger moths have emerged at Butts Piece, despite the frost and heavy rain since I saw the caterpillars in April.Scarlet Tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula)
There were only 4 there this morning, but I’ll keep watching to see if numbers reach their usual levels.
This year’s emergence seemed a bit late – but that could just be because they were early last year: here are the dates I’ve seen caterpillars and adults in previous years

Year Caterpillars Adults
2010 11 April 17-26 June
2011 26 March 11-18 June
2012 1-8 April 23 June

(not very scientific – I usually check at weekends, so a few days either way… )

Postscript – 24 June

The sun shone (briefly), and a dozen or so were on the wing.

 Scarlet Tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula)

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