Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Pearly Wood Nymph 珍珠木仙女 (Family Noctuidae, Nocturnal Moths)

In the dark shadows of the night loveliness may surround us and we would not know it. This beautiful night moth, like a pearl hidden in the folds of an oyster, must be searched out and found in the darkness to be appreciated. Such a moth sometimes comes to a light, but more often it is captured by putting out a sweet bait on tree trunks to which the moths come. Such a bait is one made of a mixture of decaying bananas, fermented beer and molasses, which some moths seem to love. The collector then goes out very quietly in the night darkness, carrying a flashlight, turning the light carefully on the trees where the bait has been put. What a mysterious adventure this becomes when you see such beauties of the night as the Pearly Wood-nymph of the under-wing moths sipping greedily at the sweet lure.

From the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Coast, from the Gulf of Mexico to Southern Canada, the Pearly Wood Nymph is ghostly denizen of almost every woodland in summer, flitting silently through the moonlit shadows in search of night flowers. If you are lucky, you will see the gleam of its eyes like red rubies in the moonbeams.

The caterpillar is naked greenish-brown creature, rather ugly, but soon it turns into a brown pupa, usually buried in the earth, from which the beautiful little moth will emerge.

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