Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tiger Moths and Ermines of Alderney


Alderney Post pleased to present a beautifully stamps, illustrated by renowned international artist Petula Stone,  features six of the distinctive Tiger Moths which can be found in Alderney on July 25, 2012. The issues  are a wonderful edition to the Alderney Invertebrates series which depicts  Garden Tiger Moth (Arctia caja), Cream Spot Tiger Moth (Arctia villica), Buff Ermine (Spilosoma lutea), Ruby Tiger Moth (Phragmatobia fuliginosa), Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria) , and Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) .

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The 39p stamp  featured Garden Tiger Moth (Arctia caja) .The garden tiger moth (Arctia caja) is a moth of the Arctiidae family.The garden tiger moth is found throughout Europe as far north as Lapland, in Asia, and in North America.

The garden tiger moth loves damp places, which is why it is particularly common in river valleys as well as gardens and parks. The moth is nocturnal and can usually only be seen flying around a source of light.

It has a wingspan of 45 to 65 millimetres . The design of the wings varies: the front wings are brown with a white pattern (which can however be missing), the back wings are orange with a pattern of black dots. The conspicuous patterns serve as a warning to predators, because the moth's body fluids are poisonous.

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The 52p stamp featured Cream Spot Tiger Moth (Arctia villica) .The Cream-spot Tiger (Epicallia villica) is a moth of the family Arctiidae.The moths are nocturnal and attracted by light, but the females fly also during the day. By day these moths can be found resting on leaves.
This species inhabits woodland, areas with bushes and hedges and sunny open grassy areas.The caterpillars are black with light brown tufts of hairs, while the head and the legs are reddish. They can reach a length of about 12-12 mm.
The wingspan of these moths reaches 45–60 mm. They have black forewings with white, broad patches and spots. The orange hind wings have black spots. The thorax is black and the abdommen is reddish-orange.  

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The 53p stamp featured Buff Ermine (Spilosoma lutea) .Almost as common as the Buff, the White Ermine is particularly suited to the name, as it is white with black spots, as is the female of the Muslin Moth, which is also very common in Alderney. The male, though, is grey with black spots. The normal form of Buff Ermine is quite ermine-like, and very fluffy, although it is pale yellow .The species flies from May to July .

The buff ermine (Spilarctia luteum) is a moth of the family Arctiidae. The wings of this species are buffish yellow (the males tend to be more yellow in colour than the females) and are typically marked with a diagonal row of dark spots on the forewing and a few other scattered spots on both forewings and hindwings. The extent of black markings varies considerably, however, from almost spotless examples to largely black melanic forms. The wingspan is 34-42 mm.

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The 59p stamp featured Ruby Tiger Moth (Phragmatobia fuliginosa). The Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) is a moth of the family Arctiidae. It is found in Europe. The wingspan is 35–45 mm. The moth flies from May to August depending on the location. The caterpillars feed on various herbaceous plants.

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The 69p stamp featured Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria). The Jersey Tiger or  .Euplagia quadripunctaria is widely distributed in Europe from Estonia and Latvia

The Jersey Tiger caterpillars are rarely seen, despite being very brightly coloured. Although this nocturnal larva feeds quite openly on its food plants, in torchlight it is surprisingly well camouflaged.

The Jersey Tiger, Euplagia quadripunctaria, is a day-flying moth of the family Arctiidae. The adult wingspan is 52–65 millimetres , and they fly from July to September, depending on the location.

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The 74p stamp featured Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) .Cinnabar moths are day-flying insects.  Cinnabar’s caterpillars feed quite openly by day and they do not have much parasitism.

The cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) is a brightly coloured arctiid moth, found in Europe and western and central Asia.  The moth is named after the red mineral cinnabar because of the red patches on its predominantly black wings. Cinnabar moths are about 20mm long and have a wingspan of 32–42 mm .

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