Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Morpho Rhetinor 尖翅蓝闪蝶 (Family Morphidae, Morphos

With the speed of a galloping horse, the great blue Morpho butterfly rushes through the tropical jungle. Faster, far faster, than even the giant swallowtail of North America, the Morpho flies along a dim forest trail. The collector who tries to sweep it into his net is astonished to see the huge blue creature leap up, as he strikes for it, in one great bound that flings it to the very tops of the jungle. The sunlight strikes the myriad tiny prisms of the wings and suddenly the blue is no longer just a blue, but a dazzling glory, a blazing mirror of light so bright it hurts the eyes. A large bird dives for this shining blue prize and equally suddenly the brilliant Morpho disappears, yes disappears completely into thin air.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Tawny Emperor 黄褐色帝王蝶 (Family Nymphalidae, Brush-footed Butterflies)

Sometimes butterflies light on people and calmly sun themselves! The Tawny Emperor is a butterfly that commonly does this, and this is one of the most likely ways you may see it, as otherwise, it is a most wonderful camouflager. It may be common around the edges of woods, especially where they are hackberry trees, but it is not commonly seen because the light brown and dark brown markings and colors so perfectly merge with the brown lights and shadows of such places that few people see the butterfly.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Fiery Skipper 船长蝴蝶 (Family Hesperidae, Skippers)

This delightful little butterfly of the warm states, from Nebraska, Connecticut, and California south through all the tropics of America, sometimes flames like yellow-orange fire in the sunlight as it skips from flower to flower. The bright wings are brightened still more by sharp yellow rays that extend along the veins of the hind wings, making each butterfly look like a rayed sun of light. Another distinguishing feature is the very short antennae, each with a little slightly curved club.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Luna Moth 月形天蚕蛾 (Family Saturnidae, Silk Moths)

Where the moonlight sends its liquid rays through the leaves of night and the scents of honeysuckle and thyme, sweet gum and mint and evening primrose fill the air with perfumed magic, there comes on the warm waves of the summer air a winged creature more fairy-like than any other that dwell in the woods. In fact, you can well imagine stories of fairies arising because of people seeing Luna Moths in their nightly wanderings. When the moonlight strikes a Luna it seems to glow as with fire, the white body a gem of light, the green wings shining like emeralds and the red feathery antennae and red eyes like gleaming bits of fire opal or ruby. The Luna is a creature of utter grace, wafting sometimes slowly through the air with the mysterious silence of a green ghost, other times suddenly flashing its wings like bright swords as it flies at great speed out of the depths of a dark canyon. It is found over most of the cast and as far west as Texas and the Great Plains.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Tomato Sphinx 番茄天蛾 (Family Sphingidae, Sphinx Moths)

This giant hawk moth, with a wing-spread of almost five inches, is such a powerful flier that sometimes ships a thousand miles at sea have found one clinging exhausted to the mast. Almost all over North, South, and Central America, except in the regions of great cold, this great journey is found. If, on a summer evening, you look into the darkening sky and see one of the wings and the speed and sureness of its flight.

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