​It Must Be Moth Month

Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road  or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc.  l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years, you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer:  The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.

The other day I was at a friend’s house ( keeping 6 feet apart of course)there on her step laid this beauty. 

This little insect is called a Garden Tiger Moth. It can have a chocolate brown or black base with white stripes.  It likes to live in Sand Dunes, Woodland Edges, Meadows, and your Gardens. In the British Isles there are three other types of Tiger Moths, they have a similar size to the Garden Tiger Moth. They are The Cream- Spot Tiger Moth, The Scarlet Tiger Moth, and The Jersey Tiger Moth. They have different patterns on their front and back wings.

 This moth is usually a night flyer. A world traveller it can be found in most of the British Isles, Northern Europe, North America, and in Northern and Central Asia. 

The wingspan is about 65mm.

If threatened this little moth will open up its hindwings and show a red color with dark blue spots, letting the predators know that they don’t want to eat it. If a predator attacks it anyways this moth will leave a yellow fluid from the gland behind its head, which the predators find very distasteful.

As a Caterpillar it is known as the “Woolly Bear”. Full size grown this caterpillar is around 60mm long, it has a black head, and long white hairs which lay on a dense layer of black and ginger hairs are shorter than the rest. These hairs help to protect the caterpillar working as a deterrent to the birds. These hairs also will give the caterpillar some protection from parasitic flies, and wasps. When about 15mm long the caterpillars will be able to winter. In the Spring they will resume their growth and you will be able to see them during the day. Be careful picking them up in your bare hands, as like most hairy caterpillars they can cause an irritation to you.

The caterpillar spins a cocoon, pupates, then turns into this beautiful moth. Once as adult Moth it now needs to find a mate quickly as its lifespan is very short. After mating the female will lay about 50 eggs on herbaceous plants. In about ten days the eggs will be hatched. Within one – two weeks the adult moth will die.