A few weeks ago in this column I was lamenting the decline of our moth population.

What may not always be realised  is that moths are important pollinators, second only to bees and act as a night shift after bees have done their work by day, so their loss is very worrying.

In Britain, there are more species of day-flying moths than butterflies and are faring a little better, especially the burnet moths, those slow-flying black spotted lovers of flowery grassland and are very common this summer.

Then there is another day-flyer namely the Jersey tiger that until recently has been confined to the Channel Islands and Devon where I have seen them many times.

However, within the past couple of years this large and colourful species (pictured) has spread northwards and can be found in Surrey and especially S.W London, Merton being a notable site.

Several have been reported this summer and I have spotted it n a number of occasions.

Eggs are laid on a variety of plants including honeysuckle, bramble, dandelion and dead-nettle.

Soon after the caterpillars hatch they hibernate when very small and resume feeding next spring