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

Green Page Moth 绿页蛾 (Family Uranidae, the Green Migrators)

In Central America some day you might look up into the blue and see what looks like a great black snake stretching from one end of the sky to the other. You might even see the “snake” slithering from side to side like a real snake dose on the ground, but if you looked at it through your field glasses or a telescope you would see that it was made up of thousands upon thousands of green, tailed moths all determinedly flying from northwest to southeast. Sometimes the great snake appears to drop parts of itself down from the sky and then, if you are in the right place, you see what looks like a river of dark green moths flowing over the surface of the land. Swiftly they rush by you  – day flying moths driven on and on by a frenzy of migration.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Cecropia 大蚕蛾 (Family Saturniidae, Silk Moths)

With almost a six inch wingspread, this great moth glides through the dusk or flaps gently, like a large bird, down the gloomy aisles of the forest. The male, with its extremely sensitive and widespread antennae, senses the female from miles away and flies excitedly to find her. When the two find each other, the wings, the antennae, everything about them, seem to pulsate and glow with overwhelming joy, and we become suddenly aware that many lesser animals too become touched with the frenzy of love.

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