Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Great Tiger Moth 灯蛾/ Arctia Caia (Family Arctiidae, Tiger Moths)

This huge tiger moth, with a wingspread of sometimes two and a half inches or more is a lover of the cold north, for it is found everywhere in northern Europe, Northern Asia, and northern America. It is subject to considerable size and color variation due to different climates in the northern lands. Some places it has a wings spread of only about two inches and the hind wings are pink with black spots instead of yellow, while the forewings have much darker brown markings than those shown in the picture. This second form would be more likely to live in the dark woods where such darker colors would give it better camouflage whereas the first and larger form would live in more open places where lighter form would live in more open places where lighter colors are helpful.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

The Polyphemus Moth / Telea Polyphemus 巨型孔雀飞蛾(Family Saturniidae, the American Silk Moths)

Out of warm and velvet darkness this great brown gem of the woods may flutter to your window. It comes from a mysterious world to startle civilized man with a realization of hidden beauty in the night. The tawny wings, so like the soft fur of a great cat, the bluish-gray streaks on the wings, and the large round blue-rimmed eyes of the hind wings mark this species from other Saturniids. The subspecies oculea Neum, is a large form with a diffuse black ring around the ocelli (eye-spots) in the fore-wings. The form olivaceae Ckl. has an olive-brown ground color.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Pure Under-Wing / Catocala Pura 猫尾蛾 (Family Noctuidae, Nocturnal Moths)

Among the most mysterious and beautiful of all moths are the Catocalas or Under-wings. These moths rarely come to light, but can be trapped by putting out a sweet bait of mashed bananas, stale beer and molasses on logs and trunks of trees in a forest or woods. This bait should be put out just before dusk. Then, when you come with a flashlight to the bait, you will often be rewarded by seeing underwings sipping daintily around the border of the bait. Some even become half-drunk with the delicious mixture and stagger about when they try to fly!

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

The Sonora Blue 索诺拉蓝/ Philotes Sonorensis 红斑青小灰蝶 (Family Lycaenidae, Blues, Coppers and Hairstreaks)

This is the only little blue butterfly we have with such bright red spots on the blue wings. This gives this butterfly one of the best disguises against enemies. Watch one of these little blues as it wings its way through a meadow. You see the bright reddish-pink spots on its wings flashing in the sunlight like dots of fire. Then the butterfly lights on a leaf or stem and folds its wings over its back. Even if you actually see this happen it is hard to believe in such a sudden change. Where there was a dashing, brilliantly colored butterfly a moment before, now is only a drab little creature, almost invisible among the plants where it has lit. What an excellent bit of camouflage!

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

The “89” 89蝶 / 88蝶和數字蝶- Diaethria Clymena 红涡蛱蝶 (Family Nymphalidae, Brush-footed Butterflies)

The shining metallic bands of silvery green or blue on the upper side of the wings of the “89” shimmer in the sunlight like mirrors, catching and dazzling the eye so that when the butterfly closes its wings and drops into the shadows it seems to suddenly disappear. It is not a strong flier and is fairly easily caught, particularly when it joins its companions at some wet place on the road or some piece of dung or manure dropped by an animal. Surely nothing so lights up a forest trail through the jungle as to see these scintillating little beauties flashing here an there under your feet. They almost invariably fly close to the ground and seek safety in the undergrowth instead of in swift or high flight.

Continue reading “The “89” 89蝶 / 88蝶和數字蝶- Diaethria Clymena 红涡蛱蝶 (Family Nymphalidae, Brush-footed Butterflies)”