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Title: British Butterfiles - Figures and Descriptions of Every Native Species
Author: Coleman, W. S. (William Stephen), 1829-1904
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       *       *       *       *       *

  By the Rev. J. G. WOOD.

  By the Rev. J. G. WOOD.


  the Rev. J. C. ATKINSON.

  J. G. WOOD.

  J. G. WOOD.

       *       *       *       *       *



A desire to extend the knowledge of, and by so doing to extend the love
for, those sunny creatures called Butterflies, has prompted the author to
undertake this little work, which, though making no pretence to a
technically scientific character, will, it is hoped, be found sufficiently
complete and accurate to supply all information needful to the young
entomologist as to the names, appearance, habits, localities, &c. of _all
our British Butterflies_, together with a general history of butterfly
life--the mode of capture, preservation, and arrangement in cabinets--the
apparatus required, &c. At the same time it is so inexpensive as to be
accessible to every schoolboy.

The subject is one which has formed the delight and study of the author
from early boyhood, and butterfly-hunting still preserves its fascinations,
redoubling the pleasure of the country ramble in summer. {vi}

Should this volume be the means of inciting some to seek this source of
healthful enjoyment, and to join in the peaceful study which may be so
easily pursued by all dwellers in the country, it will have succeeded in
its purpose.

The whole of the illustrative portraits of the _butterflies_ have been
drawn from nature by the author, and with one exception from specimens in
his own collection. At least one figure of each species (of the natural
size) is given; but in very many instances, where the sexes differ
considerably from each other, both are figured, and the under sides are
also frequently added.

The greater number of the _caterpillars_ and _chrysalides_, however, being
rarely met with, the figures on the first plate are nearly all borrowed
from the splendid and accurate works of Continental authors--chiefly from
Hübner and Duponchel.

With great pleasure, the author here acknowledges his obligations, for many
biographical facts relating to butterflies, to those highly useful
periodicals, the _Zoologist_ and the _Entomologist's Weekly Intelligencer_,
the former devoted to general natural history, the latter especially to
entomology, and whose pages register a {vii} mass of interesting and
original communications from correspondents who, living in wide-spread
localities, and possessing varied opportunities of observation, have
gradually brought together, under able editorship, a store of facts that
could never have come within the _personal_ experience of any one man,
however industrious and observant.

The capture during the past year of a new and interesting butterfly for the
first time in this country, is recorded in this volume, in which the insect
is also figured and described.

BAYSWATER, _April 1860_.

       *       *       *       *       *






Occasionally a missive arrives from some benevolent friend, announcing the
capture of a "splendid butterfly," which, imprisoned under a tumbler,
awaits one's acceptance as an addition to the cabinet. However, on going to
claim the proffered prize, the expected "_butterfly_" turns out to be some
bright-coloured _moth_ (a Tiger moth being the favourite victim of the
misnomer), and one's entomological propriety suffers a shock; not so much
feeling the loss of the specimen, as concern for the benighted state of an
otherwise intelligent friend's mind with regard to insect nomenclature. {2}

It is clearly therefore _not_ so superfluous as it might at first otherwise
seem, to commence the subject by defining even such a familiar object as a
_butterfly_, and more especially distinguishing it with certainty from a
_moth_, the only other creature with which it can well be confounded.

The usual notion of a butterfly is of a gay fluttering thing, whose broad
painted wings are covered with a mealy stuff that comes off with handling.
This is all very well for a general idea, but the characters that form it
are common to some other insects besides butterflies. Moths and hawk-moths
have mealy wings, and are often gaily coloured too; whilst, on the other
hand, some butterflies are as dusky and plain as possible. Thus the
crimson-winged Tiger, and Cinnabar _moths_ get the name of _butterflies_,
and the Meadow brown _butterfly_ is as sure to be called a _moth_. So, as
neither colouring nor mealy wings furnish us with the required definition,
we must find some concise combination of characters that _will_ answer the
purpose. _Butterflies, then, are insects with mealy wings, and whose horns
(called "antennæ") have a clubbed or thickened tip, giving them more or
less resemblance to a drum-stick._ So the difference in the shape of the
_antennæ_ is the _chief_ outward mark of distinction between butterflies
and moths, the latter having _antennæ_ of various shapes, threadlike or
featherlike, but _never clubbed at the tip_.

Having thus settled how a butterfly is to be recognized at sight, let us
see what butterfly _life_ is: how the creature lives, and has lived, in the
stages preceding its present airy form.

[Illustration: I.]


In like manner with other insects, all butterflies commence their existence
enclosed in minute _eggs_; and these eggs, as if shadowing forth the beauty
yet undeveloped whose germ they contain, are themselves such curiously
beautiful objects, that they must not be passed over without admiring
notice. It seems, indeed, as if nature determined that the ornamental
character of the butterfly should commence with its earliest stage; form,
and not colour, being employed in its decoration, sculpture being here made
the forerunner of painting.

Some of these forms are roughly shown on Plate II. (figs. 1-7), but highly
magnified; for as these eggs are really very tiny structures, such as would
fall easily through a pin-hole, the aid of a microscope is of course
necessary to render visible the delicate sculpture that adorns their
surface. The egg (fig. 1, Plate II.) of the common Garden white butterfly
(_Pieris Brassicæ_) is among the most graceful and interesting of these
forms, and also the most easily obtained. It reminds us of some antique
vessel, ribbed and fluted with consummate elegance and regularity.

Others--such as those of the Large Heath butterfly (fig. 3), and the Queen
of Spain Fritillary (fig. 2), simulate curious wicker-work baskets. The
Peacock butterfly has an egg like a polygonal jar (fig. 4), while that of
its near ally, the large Tortoise-shell (fig. 5), is simply pear-shaped,
with the surface unsculptured and smooth {4} (fig. 5). The eggs of the
Meadow Brown (fig. 6), and the Wood Argus (fig. 7), are globular--the
former with lines on its surface like the meridian lines on a geographical
globe, and a pretty scalloping at the top that gives a flower-like
appearance to that portion; the latter has the whole surface honey-combed
with a network of hexagonal cells. Such are a few of the devices that
ornament the earliest cradle of the butterfly; but probably those of every
species would well repay their examination to any one who possesses a

Prompted by a most remarkable instinct, and one that could not have
originated in any experience of personal advantage, the female butterfly,
when seeking a depository for her eggs, selects with unerring certainty the
very plant which, of all others, is best fitted for the support of her
offspring, who, when hatched, find themselves surrounded with an abundant
store of their proper food.

Many a young botanist would be puzzled at first sight to tell a sloe-bush
from a buckthorn-bush. Not so, however, with our Brimstone butterfly:
passing by all the juicy hedge-plants, which look quite as suitable, one
would think, she, with botanical acumen, fixes upon the buckthorn; either
the common one, or, if that is not at hand, upon another species of
rhamnus--the berry-bearing alder--which, though a very different looking
plant, is of the same genus, and shares the same properties. She evidently
works out the natural system of botany, and might have been a pupil of
Jussieu, had she not been tutored by a far higher AUTHORITY.

[Illustration: II.]


This display of instinct would seem far less wonderful did the mother
butterfly herself feed on the plant she commits her eggs to. In that case,
her choice might have appeared as the result of personal experience of some
peculiar benefit or pleasure derived from the plant, and then this
sentiment might have become hereditary; just as, for example, the acquired
taste for game is hereditary with sporting dogs. Whereas the fact is, that
a butterfly only occasionally, and as a matter of accident rather than
rule, derives her own nectareous food from the flowers of the plant, whose
leaves nourish her caterpillar progeny. So that this, as well as numberless
other phenomena of instinct, remains a mystery to be admired, but not
explained by any ordinary rule of cause and effect.

Having thus efficiently provided, as far as board and lodging are
concerned, for the welfare of the future brood, the mother seems to
consider them settled for life, takes no further care of them, nor even
awaits the opening of the sculptured caskets that contain their tiny
life-germs; but, trusting them to the sun's warmth for their hatching, and
then to their own hungry little instincts to teach them good use of the
food placed within their reach, she sees them no more.

But though abandoning her offspring to fate in this manner, it must not be
imagined that the butterfly mother takes her pattern of maternity from
certain {6} human mothers, and in a round of "butterfly's balls," and such
like dissipations, forgets the sacred claims of the nursery. No, she has
far other and better excuses for absenting herself from her family; one of
which is, that she usually dies before the latter are hatched; and if that
is not enough, that the young can get on quite as well without her; for
probably she could not teach them much about caterpillar economics, unless,
indeed, she remembered her own infantile habits of lang syne, so totally
different from those of her perfected butterfly life.

The space of time passed in the egg state varies much according to the
temperature--from a few days when laid in genial summer weather, to several
months in the case of those laid in the autumn, and which remain quiescent
during the winter, to hatch out in the spring.

The eggs of butterflies, in common with those of insects in general, are
capable of resisting not only vicissitudes, but extremes of temperature
that would be surely destructive of life in most other forms. The severest
cold of an English winter will not kill the tender butterfly eggs, whose
small internal spark of vitality is enough to keep them from freezing under
a much greater degree of cold than they are ever subjected to in a state of
nature. For example, they have been placed in an artificial freezing
mixture, which brought down the thermometer to 22° below zero--a deadly
chill--and yet they survived with apparent {7} impunity, and afterwards
lived to hatch duly. Then as to their heat-resisting powers, some tropical
insects habitually lay their eggs in sandy, sun-scorched places, where the
hand cannot endure to remain a few moments; the heat rising daily to
somewhere about 190° of the thermometer--and we know what a roasting one
gets at 90° or so. Yet they thrive through all this.

For a short time previous to hatching, the form and colour of the
caterpillar is faintly discoverable through the semi-transparent egg-shell.
The juvenile CATERPILLAR, or LARVA, gnaws his way through the shell into
the world, and makes his appearance in the shape of a slender worm,
exceedingly minute of course, and bearing few of the distinctive marks of
his species, either as to shape or colouring. On finding himself at
liberty, in the midst of plentiful good cheer, he at once falls vigorously
to work at the great business of his life--_eating_; often making his first
meal--oddly enough--off the egg-shell, lately his cradle. This singular
relish, or digestive pill, swallowed, he addresses himself to the food that
is to form the staple fare during the whole of his caterpillar
existence--viz. the leaves of his food-plant, which at the same time is his
home-plant too.

At this stage his growth is marvellously rapid, and few creatures can equal
him in the capacity for doubling his weight--not even the starved
lodging-house "slavey," when she gets to her new place, with _carte
blanche_ allowance and the key of the pantry; for, in the course {8} of
twenty-four hours, he will have consumed more than twice his own weight of
food: and with such persevering avidity does he ply his pleasant task,
that, as it is stated, a caterpillar in the course of one month has
increased nearly ten thousand times his original weight on leaving the egg;
and, to furnish this increase of substance, has consumed the prodigious
quantity of forty thousand times his weight of food--truly, a ruinous rate
of living, only that green leaves are so cheap.

But the life of a caterpillar, after all, is not merely the smooth
continual feast he would doubtless prefer it to be; it is interrupted,
several times in its course, by the necessity nature has imposed upon him
of now and then changing his coat--to him a very troublesome, if not a
painful affair.

For some time previous to this phenomenon, even eating is nearly or quite
suspended,--the caterpillar becomes sluggish and shy, creeping away into
some more secluded spot, and there remaining till his time of trouble is
over. Various twitchings and contortions of the body now testify to the
_mal-aise_ of the creature in his old coat, which, though formed of a
material capable of a moderate amount of stretching, soon becomes outgrown,
and most uncomfortably tight-fitting, with such a quick-growing person
inside it: so off it must come, but it being unprovided with buttons,
there's the rub. However, with a great deal of fidgeting and
shoulder-shrugging, he manages to tear his coat down the back, and lastly,
by patient efforts, shuffles off the old rag; {9} when, lo! underneath is a
lustrous new garment, somewhat similar, but not exactly a copy of the last,
for our beau has his peculiar dress for each epoch of his life,--the most
splendid being often reserved for the last.

This change of dress ("_moulting_," it is sometimes called) is repeated
thrice at least in the creature's life, but more generally five or six
times. Not only does the outer husk come off at these times, but, wonderful
to relate! the lining membrane of all the digestive passages, and of the
larger breathing tubes, is cast off and renewed also.

After each moult, the caterpillar makes up for his loss of time by eating
more voraciously even than before, in many instances breaking his fast by
making a meal of his "old clo'"--an odd taste, first evinced, as we have
seen, in earliest infancy, when he swallowed his cradle.

On Plate I. are shown the chief varieties of form taken by the caterpillars
of our British butterflies, and a glance at these will give, better than
verbal descriptions, a general idea of their characteristics.

Their most usual shape is elongated and almost cylindrical, or slightly
tapering at one or both ends. Of these, some are smooth, or only studded
with short down or hairs; such are the caterpillars of the Swallow-tail
butterfly (fig. 1), of the Brimstone (fig. 2), Clouded Yellows, and Garden,
and other white butterflies. Others, of the same _general_ form, are beset
with long branched spines, making perfect _chevaux-de-frise_; such {10} are
those of the Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, and the Silvery

The caterpillars of another large section have the body considerably
thicker in the middle (rolling-pin shaped), and the tail part two-forked,
or _bifurcate_. This form belongs to the numerous family that includes the
Meadow-brown (fig. 3), the Ringlets, and many others.

The _bizarre_ personage, at fig. 4, turns to the graceful White Admiral

The Purple Emperor begins his royal career in the curious form shown at
fig. 5--a shape unique among British butterflies, as beseems that of their
sovereign; and he carries a coronet on his brow already.

All those beautiful little butterflies called the Hair-streaks (fig. 9),
the Blues (fig. 10), and the Coppers, have very short and fat caterpillars,
that remind one forcibly of wood-lice--a shape shared also by that small
butterfly with a big name, the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary (fig. 8), an
insect very distinct from the Fritillaries above mentioned with thorny

The _legs of a caterpillar are usually sixteen in number_, and composed of
two distinct kinds, viz. of _six true legs_, answering to those of the
perfect insect, and placed on the foremost segments of the body; and of
_ten_ others, called "_prolegs_;" temporary legs, used principally for
strengthening the creature's hold upon leaf or branch.

Like the rest of its body, the caterpillar's head widely {11} differs in
structure from that of the perfect insect, being furnished with a pair of
jaws, horny and strong, befitting the heavy work they have to get through,
and shaped like pincers, opening and shutting from side to side, instead of
working up and down after the manner of the jaws in vertebrate animals.
This arrangement offers great convenience to the creature, feeding, as it
is wont to do, on the thin edge of a leaf. It is a curious sight to watch a
caterpillar thus engaged. Adhering by his close-clinging prolegs, and
guiding the edge of the leaf between his forelegs, he stretches out his
head as far as he can reach, and commences a series of rapid bites, at each
nibble bringing the head nearer the legs, till they almost meet; then
stretching out again the same regular set of mouthfuls is abstracted, and
so on, repeating the process till a large semi-circular indentation is
formed, reaching perhaps to the midrib of the leaf; then shifting his
position to a new vantage ground, the marauder recommences operations,
another sweep is taken out, then another, and soon the leaf is left a mere

But a change, far more important than mere skin-shifting, follows close
upon the animal's caterpillar-maturity, complete as soon as it ceases to

The form and habits of a worm are to be exchanged for the glories and
pleasures of winged life; but this can only be done at the price of passing
through an intermediate state; one neither of eating, nor of flying, but
motionless, helpless and death-like. {12}

This is called the CHRYSALIS _or_ PUPA _state_.

_Pupa_ is a Latin word, signifying a creature swathed, or tied up; and is
applied to this stage of all insects, because all, or some, of their parts
are then bound up, as if swathed.

The term _Chrysalis_ is applicable to butterflies only, and, strictly, only
to a few of these--_Chrysalis_[1] being derived from the Greek [Greek:
chrusos] (_chrysos_), _gold_--in allusion to the splendid gilding of the
surface in certain species, such as the _Vanessas_, Fritillaries, and some

In the older works on entomology we frequently meet with the term _Aurelia_
applied to this state, and having the same meaning as chrysalis, but
derived from the Latin word _Aurum_, gold.

Here the reader is again referred to Plate I. for a series of the principal
forms assumed by the chrysalides of our native butterflies, and as these
for the most part represent the next stage of the caterpillars previously
figured, an opportunity is afforded of tracing the insect's form through
its three great changes; the whole of the butterflies in their perfect
state being given in their proper places in the body of the work.

[Illustration: III.]

{13} The complicated and curious processes by which various caterpillars
assume the chrysalis form, and suspend themselves securely in their proper
attitudes, have been most accurately and laboriously chronicled by the
French naturalist, Réaumur; but his memoirs on the subject, which have been
frequently quoted into the larger entomological works, are too long for
insertion here in full, and any considerable abbreviation would fail to
convey a clear idea of the process, on account of the intricacy of the
operations described. So I can only here allude to the difficult problems
that the creature has to solve, referring the reader to the above-mentioned
works for a detailed description of the manner of doing so; or, better
still, I would recommend the country resident to witness all this with his
own eyes. By keeping a number of the caterpillars of our common
butterflies, feeding them up, and attentively watching them when
full-grown, he will now and then detect one in the transformation act, and
have an opportunity of wondering at the curious manoeuvres of the animal,
as it triumphs over seeming impossibilities.

By reference to the figures of chrysalides on Plate I. it will be seen that
there are two distinct modes of suspension employed among them; one, by the
tail only, the head hanging down freely in the air:--in the other, the tail
is attached to the supporting object; but the head, instead of swinging
loosely, is kept in an upright position by being looped round the waist
with a silken girdle.

To appreciate the difficulty of gaining either of the above positions, we
must bear in mind that, before doing so, the caterpillar has to throw off
its own skin, carrying with it the whole of its legs, and the jaws {14}
too--leaving itself a mere limbless, and apparently helpless mass--its only
prehensile organs being a few minute, almost imperceptible hooks on the end
of the tail; and the required position of attachment and security is
accomplished by a series of movements so dexterous and sleight-of-hand
like, as to cause infinite astonishment to the looker-on, and, as Réaumur
justly observes, "It is impossible not to wonder, that an insect, which
executes them but once in its life, should execute them so well. We must
necessarily conclude that it has been instructed by a GREAT MASTER; for He
who has rendered it necessary for the insect to undergo this change, has
likewise given it all the requisite means for accomplishing it in safety."

If we examine a chrysalis we are able to make out, through the thin
envelope, all the external organs of the body stowed away in the most
orderly and compact manner. The antennæ are very conspicuous, folded down
alongside of the legs; and precisely in the centre will be seen the tongue,
unrolled and forming a straight line between the legs. The unexpanded wings
are visible on each side--very small, but with all their veinings
distinctly seen; and the breathing holes, called spiracles, are placed in a
row on each side of the body.

The duration of the chrysalis stage, like that of the egg, is extremely
variable, and dependent on difference of temperature. As an instance of
this, one of our common butterflies has been known to pass only seven {15}
or eight days in the chrysalis state; this would be in the heat of summer.
Then, in the spring, the change occupies a fortnight; but when the
caterpillar enters the chrysalis state in the autumn, the butterfly does
not make its appearance till the following spring. Furthermore, it has been
proved by experiment, that if the condition of perpetual winter be kept up
by keeping the chrysalis in an icehouse, its development may be retarded
for two or three years beyond its proper time; while, on the other hand, if
in the middle of winter the chrysalis be removed to a hothouse, the
enclosed butterfly, mistaking the vivifying warmth for returning summer,
makes its _début_ in ten days or a fortnight.

       *       *       *       *       *




We now arrive at the last stage, the consummation of all this strange
series of transformations; for veritable transformations they are to all
intents and purposes; though some learned naturalists have discovered--or
imagined so--that the butterfly, in all its parts, really lies hid under
the caterpillar's skin, and can be distinguished under microscopical
dissection; and that, therefore, the so-called transformations are merely
the throwing off of the various envelopes or husks, as they become in turn
superfluous, as a mountebank strips off garment after garment, till lastly
the sparkling harlequin is discovered to view; or, in more exact language,
they consider these changes in the light rather of successive developments
and emancipations of the various organs than as their actual
transformations. Still, it seems to me, the difference is chiefly one of
terms. The real wondrous fact remains undiminished and {17} unexplained;
that a creeping wormlike creature, in process of time, is changed into a
glorious winged being, differing from the former in form, habits, food, and
every essential particular, as widely as any two creatures can well differ,
as widely as a serpent from a bird, for instance.

As the imprisoned butterfly approaches maturity, a change is observable in
the exterior of the chrysalis, the skin becomes dry and brittle, usually
darkens in colour, and if the enclosed butterfly be a strongly marked one,
the pattern of its wings shows through, often quite distinctly.

When the fulness of time arrives, the creature breaks through its thin
casings, which divide in several places, and the freed insect crawls up
into some convenient spot to dry itself, and allow the wings to expand.

All the organs are at first moist and tender, but on exposure to the air
soon acquire strength and firmness.

At the moment of emergence, the wings are very miniature affairs, sometimes
hardly one-twentieth of their full size when expanded; but so rapid is
their increase in volume, that they may actually be seen to grow, as the
fluids from the body are pumped into the nervures that support the
wing-membrane, and keep it extended.

In the more strongly marked, or richly coloured species, it is a
wonderfully beautiful sight to watch this expansion of the wings, and to
see the various features {18} of their painted devices growing under the
eye and developing gradually into their true proportions.

Generally within an hour the development is complete, and the wings, having
gained their full expanse and consistency by drying in the sun, are ready
for flight, and the glad creature wings his way to the fields of air, and
enters on that life of sunshine and hilarity which is associated with the
very name of "_Butterfly_."

But not every chrysalis arrives at this happy consummation of its
existence. Supposing that you have reared and watched a caterpillar to
apparently healthy maturity, that it has duly become a chrysalis, and you
are awaiting its appearance in butterfly splendour--peeping into your box
some morning to see if the bright expected one is "out," be not surprised
if in its stead you find the box tenanted by a swarm of little black
flies--an impish-looking crew. Whence came all these? Why they and the
empty chrysalis shell are all that remains of your cherished prize; so look
no more for the fair sunny butterfly, devoured ere born by that
ill-favoured troop of darklings who have just now issued from the lifeless

The truth is, that long since, perhaps in early larva-hood, the creature's
fate was sealed; a deadly enemy to his race is ever on the alert, winging
about in the shape of a small black fly, in search of an exposed and
defenceless caterpillar. Having selected her victim, she pierces his body
with a sharp cutting instrument she is armed with, and in the wound
deposits an egg; the {19} caterpillar winces a little at this treatment,
but seems to attach little importance to it. Meanwhile his enemy repeats
her thrusts till some thirty or forty eggs, germs of the destroyers, are
safely lodged in his body, and his doom is certain beyond hope. The eggs
quickly hatch into grubs, who begin to gnaw away at the unhappy creature's
flesh, thus reducing him gradually, but by a profound instinct keeping
clear of all the vital organs, as if knowing full well that the creature
must keep on feeding and digesting too, or their own supply would speedily
fail; as usurers, while draining a client, keep up his credit with the
world as long as they can.

Weaker grows the caterpillar as the gnawing worms within grow stronger and
nearer maturity. Sometimes he dies a caterpillar, sometimes he has strength
left to take the chrysalis shape, but out of this he _never_ comes a
butterfly--the consuming grubs now finish vitals and all, turn to pupæ in
his empty skin, and come out soon, black flies like their parent.

But, supposing that it has escaped this great danger, we now see the
creature in its completest form, as the


The first term, _Imago_, is a Latin one, merely signifying an image, or
distinct unveiled form; as distinguished from the previous _larva_, or
masked state, and the _pupa_, or swathed and enveloped state. The word
_imago_ then, in works on entomology, always means the {20} perfect and
last stage of insect life, and is applied to all insects with wings--for it
must be borne in mind that no insect is ever winged till it reaches the
last stage of its existence.

If the progressive development of these lovely beings is so marvellous, no
less so is their structure when perfected, and of this some general
description must now be attempted.

In contemplating a butterfly, one feels that the mind is first engaged by
that ample spread, and exquisite painting of the wings that form the
creature's glory; let therefore these remarkable organs have our first

Wherein do these wings chiefly differ from all other insect wings?
Certainly in being covered thickly with a variously coloured powdery
material, easily removed by handling. This apparent dust is composed, in
reality, of a vast number of regularly and beautifully formed
_scales_--feathers they are sometimes called, but they are more comparable
to fish scales than to any other kind of natural covering. The general term
_Lepidoptera_, applied to _all_ butterflies and moths, is derived from
these _scaly-wings_; _Lepis_[2] being the Greek for a _scale_, and _ptera_
meaning _wings_ in the same language.

The use of a tolerably powerful pocket lens will afford _some_ insight into
the exquisite mode of painting

{21} employed in these matchless pieces of decoration; but the possessor of
a regular microscope may, by applying it to some of our commonest
butterflies, open for himself a world of beauty, and feast his eyes on a
combination of refined sculpture with splendour of colouring; now melting
in softest harmony, then relieved by boldest contrast--a spectacle, the
first sight of which seldom fails to call forth expressions of wonderment
and warm delight; and, truly, little to be envied is the mind untouched by
such utter beauty as here displayed.

As an example of the method by which this admirable effect is produced, let
us take a small portion of the wing of the Peacock, a very beautiful,
though an abundant species, and one admirably adapted for microscopic
examination, and to illustrate the subject, from the great variety of rich
tints brought together in a small space, the part selected being the
eye-like spot at the outer corner of each upper wing. Even to the naked eye
this appears as a very splendidly coloured object, yet but little of its
exquisite mechanism can be discovered by the unassisted organ. Something
more is brought out by a moderately strong lens: we then see the colours
disposed in rows, reminding us of the surface of Brussels carpet, or of
certain kinds of tapestry work.

Now let us place the wing on the stage of a good microscope, with the root
of the wing pointing towards the light (that is the best position for it);
we shall then first perceive that the whole surface is covered, or, so to
{22} speak, tiled over with distinct, sharply cut _scales_, arranged as in
fig. 16, Plate II., with the outer or free edges of one row overlapping the
roots of the next. These roots being all planted towards the base of the
wing, if we place that end next the light (as above directed), the free
edges of the scales throw a strong shadow on the next row, which brings out
the imbricated effect most strikingly.

Beginning our observations at the outer edge of the wing, we first notice a
delicate fringe of scales or plumes, more elongated and pointed than the
surface scales, and of a quiet brown colour. This tint is continued inwards
for a short space, gradually lightening, when (as we shift the field of
view towards the centre of the wing) the colour of the scales suddenly
changes to an intense black; then a little further, and the black ground is
all spangled with glittering sapphires, then strewed deep with amethyst
round a heap of whitest pearls. Golden topaz--(jewels only will furnish apt
terms of comparison for these insect gems)--golden topaz ends the bright
many-coloured crescent, and in the centre is enclosed a spot of profoundest
black, gradating into a rich unnameable red, whose velvet depth and
softness contrast deliciously with the adjacent flashing lustre; then comes
another field of velvet black, then more gold, and so on till the gorgeous
picture is complete.

Subject a piece of finest human painting to the scrutiny of a strong
magnifying glass, and where is the beauty thereof? Far from being
magnified, it will have wholly vanished: its cleverest touches turned to
coarse, repulsive daubs and stains.

[Illustration: IV.]


Now, bring the microscope's most searching powers to bear upon the painting
of an insect's wing, and we find only pictures within pictures as the
powers increase; the very pigments used turn out to be jewels, not rough
uncut stones, but cut and graven gems, bedded in softest velvet.

If by gentle rubbing with the finger-tip the scales be removed from both
sides of the wing (for each side is scale-covered, though generally with a
very different pattern), there remains a transparent membrane like that of
a bee's or fly's wing, tight stretched between stiff branching veins, but
bearing no vestige of its late gay painting, thus showing that the whole of
the colouring resides in the scales, the places occupied by the roots of
the latter being marked by rows of dots.

Hitherto we have been looking at these scales as the component parts of a
picture, like the _tesseræ_ of mosaic work; but they are no less
interesting as individual objects, when viewed microscopically. To do this,
delicately rub off a little of the dust or scales with the finger; then
take a slip of glass, and pressing the finger with the adhering dust upon
it, the latter will come off and remain on the glass, which is then to be
placed under the microscope. These scales may be treated either as opaque
or transparent objects, and in both conditions display exceeding beauty,
some of these single atoms showing, by aid of the microscope, as {24} much
complexity of structure as the whole wing does to the unassisted vision.

A few of the highly varied forms they present are shown on Plate II. Figs.
23 to 38 are selected from among the commoner forms, as seen by a
comparatively low power. The small stalk-like appendage is the part by
which the scale is affixed to the wing: it may be called the root. Figs.
17, 18, 19, 20, 21, show some very remarkable forms, which are, so far as
has been ascertained, peculiar to butterflies of the _male_ sex, though the
use or reason of this masculine badge, only visible to highly magnifying
optics, is neither known nor probably to be known at present; but
singularly beautiful and curious they are to look at. The little balls at
the end of threads are the root portion, and fit into cup-like sockets,
placed here and there among the ordinary scales. The surface of these
scales is beautifully ribbed and cross-ribbed, and at the upper end is a
plume-like tuft of delicate filaments. The curious scale aptly called, from
its shape, the Battledore scale, and shown at fig. 22, also belongs to the
male of various butterflies, especially those pretty little ones known as
the "Blues." Its surface is most curiously ornamented with rows of
bead-like prominences.

Probably one would imagine that in such wee specks as are these scales, one
single layer of substance would suffice for their whole thickness (if we
can talk of _thick_ness, with objects almost immeasurable in their
_thin_ness). But such is not the case, for when scales have {25} been
injured by rubbing we now and then find a part with the sculptured surfaces
torn off on each side, showing a plain central layer, so that at least
three layers--two ornamented and one plain--go to form a filmy body, only a
small fraction of the thickness of paper.

But there are other portions of a butterfly to claim our interest besides
its wondrous wings.

On the creature's head are grouped together some most beautiful and
important organs. The most peculiar of these is the long spiral "sucker,"
which extracts the honied food from the blossoms to which its wings so
gracefully waft it. This organ is shown, slightly magnified, at fig. 8,
Plate II., and a most delicate piece of animal mechanism it is. Any human
workman would, to a certainty, be not only puzzled, but thoroughly beaten,
in an attempt to construct a tube little thicker than a horse-hair, yet
composed throughout its length of two distinct pieces, capable of being
separated at pleasure, and then joined again so as to form an air-tight
tube. This redoubtable problem, however, is solved in the construction of
this curious little instrument that every butterfly carries.

The junction of the two grooved surfaces that form the tube is effected by
the same contrivance that reunites the web of a feather when it has been
pulled apart. We all know how completely it is made whole again, and on
examining by what means this result is brought about, we find that it is by
the interlacing of a {26} number of small fibres or hairs, just as, on a
larger scale, a pair of brushes adhere when pressed face to face; and so in
the butterfly's sucker, the two edges that join to form the tube are
closely set with minute bristles that, when brought together, interlock so
closely as to make an air-tight surface.

Fig. 9, Plate II., is a transverse section taken near the base of the
sucker, the small opening at the top being the food passage, those at the
side the air-tubes that supply air for respiration and perhaps assist in

The tube is probably made with separable parts in order that if its
interior should become at any time clogged by grosser particles drawn up
with the flower nectar, it may be opened and cleansed by the insect;
otherwise, the tube once rendered impassable, the insect would speedily
starve, as this narrow channel is the only inlet for the creature's
nourishment--its only mouth, in fact, for no butterfly possesses jaws to
bite with, or can take any but the liquid food pumped up by suction through
this pipe.

At the end of the proboscis--or, as it is called scientifically, the
Haustellum[3]--there are visible in some butterflies a number of small
projections, of the form shown at fig. 10, Plate II., which is a highly
magnified figure of the end of the Red Admiral's proboscis. These
appendages are generally supposed to be organs of taste, {27} and to aid in
the discrimination of food when the pipe is unrolled and thrust down deep
into the nectary of a flower.

The _compound eye_ of a butterfly, wonderful as its structure is, does not
greatly differ from that of many other insects, being like them composed of
an immense number of little lenses set together to form a hemisphere large
in comparison with the insect's head. A portion of one of these eyes forms
a pretty and interesting object for the microscope, presenting a honey-comb
appearance, the hexagonal lines that mark the division of the lenses being
most beautifully geometrical and regular in their arrangement. More than
seventeen hundred of these lenses have been counted in a single eye, and
each of these is considered to possess the qualities of a complete and
independent eye. If this be true, the butterfly may be said to be endowed
with at least thirty-four thousand eyes!

There exist also, as in other insects, _two simple_ eyes, placed on the top
of the head, but so buried in down and scales as to be neither visible, nor
useful for vision as far as we can perceive; probably the creature finds
that his allowance of thirty-four thousand windows to his soul lets in as
much light as he requires.

Every one looking at a butterfly must have remarked its long horns, called
_antennæ_,[4] which project from above the eyes, like jointed threads,
thickening--in some {28} species gradually, in others suddenly--into a club
or knob at the extremity; a peculiarity which, it will be remembered, was
pointed out at the commencement, as a prominent mark of distinction between
butterflies and moths.

Very graceful appendages are these waving _antennæ_, and evidently of high
importance to their owner; but still, their exact office or function is
unknown, notwithstanding that many guesses and experiments have been made
with a view of settling that question.

Investigators have perhaps erred, by assuming at the outset that these
antennæ _must_ be organs of some sense that we ourselves possess; whereas,
I think that there is much evidence to show that insects are gifted with a
certain subtle sense, for which we have no name, and of which we can have
as little real idea, as we could have had of the faculty of sight, had all
the world been born blind.

For example; if you breed from the chrysalis a female Kentish Glory Moth,
and then immediately take her--in a closed box, mind--out into her native
woods, within a short space of time an actual crowd of male "Glories" come
and fasten upon, or hover over, the prison-house of the coveted maiden.
Without this magic attraction, you might walk in these same woods for a
whole day and not see a single specimen, the Kentish Glory being generally
reputed a very rare moth; while as many as some 120 males have been thus
decoyed to their capture in a few hours, by the charms of a couple of lady
"Glories," shut up in a box.

[Illustration: V.]


Now, which of our five senses, I would ask--even if developed into
extraordinary acuteness in the insect--would account for such an exhibition
of clairvoyance as this?

May not, then, this undiscovered sense, whatever may be its nature, reside
in the antennæ? for it is a remarkable fact, that the very moths, such as
the Eggers, the Emperor, the Kentish Glory, &c., which display the
above-mentioned phenomenon most signally, have the _antennæ in the males_
amplified with numerous spreading branches, so as to present an unusually
large sensitive surface. This seems to point to some connexion between
those organs and the faculty of discovering the presence, and even the
condition, of one of their own race, with more, perhaps, than a mile of
distance, and the sides of a wooden box, intervening between themselves and
their object.

Whilst writing this, the current number of the "Entomologist's Weekly
Intelligencer" has arrived, and I there read that Dr. Clemmens, an American
naturalist, has been lately experimenting on the antennæ of some large
American moths, for the purpose of gaining some information as to their
function. The article, though very interesting, is too long for quotation
here; but it appears that with the moths in question, a deprivation of the
whole, or even part of the antennæ, interferes with, or entirely
annihilates the power {30} of flight, so that the creature when thus shorn,
but not otherwise injured, if thrown into the air seems to have no idea of
using his wings properly, but with a purposeless flutter tumbles headlong
to the earth. Still this merely goes to prove that the antennæ are the
instruments of some important sense, one of whose uses is to guide the
creature's flight; but as many wingless insects have large antennæ, this
evidently is not their only function.

The antennæ are also often styled the "feelers;" but with our present
incomplete knowledge of their nature, the former term is preferable, as it
does not attempt to define their use as the word "feelers" does.

Considerable variety of form exists in the clubbed tip of the antennæ in
various butterflies, as will be seen by reference to Plate II., where three
of the most distinct forms are shown considerably magnified. Fig. 12 is the
upper part of the antenna of the High-brown Fritillary (_Argynnis Adippe_),
the end suddenly swelling into a distinct knob. Fig. 13 is that of the
Swallow-tail Butterfly (_Papilio Machaon_), the enlargement here being more
gradual; and fig. 14 is that of the Large Skipper Butterfly (_Pamphila
Sylvanus_), distinguished by the curved point that surmounts the club.
These differences in the forms of the antennæ are found to be excellent
aids in the classification of butterflies, and I shall therefore have
occasion to refer to them more minutely in describing the insects in

The stems of these organs are found to be tubular, {31} and at the point of
junction with the head the base is spread out (as shown at fig. 15),
forming what engineers call a "flange," to afford sufficient support for
the long column above.

The _legs_ are the last portions of the butterfly framework that require
especial notice, on account of a peculiar variation they are subject to in
different family groups.

It may be laid down as an axiom, that _all true insects have six legs_, in
one shape or another; and butterflies, being insects, are obedient to the
same universal rule, and duly grow their half-dozen legs; but in certain
tribes the front pair, for no apparent reason, are so short and imperfect
as to be totally useless for walking purposes, though they may possibly be
used as hands for polishing up the proboscis, &c. So the butterfly in this
case _appears_, to a hasty observer, to have only _four_ legs.

This peculiarity is a constant feature in several natural groups of
butterflies, and therefore, in conjunction with other marks, such as the
veining of the wings and the shape of the antennæ, its presence or absence
is a most useful mark of distinction, in classifying or searching out the
name and systematic place of a butterfly.

       *       *       *       *       *




Among the _negative_ attributes of butterflies, I may state positively,
that _no butterfly whatever can either sting or bite in the least degree_;
and from their total harmlessness towards the person of man, conjoined with
their outward attractiveness, they merit and enjoy an exemption from those
feelings of dread and disgust that attach to many, or, I may say, to almost
all other tribes of insects; even to their equally harmless near relatives
the larger moths. At least, it has never been my misfortune to meet with a
person weak-minded enough to be afraid of a butterfly, though I have seen
some exhibit symptoms of the greatest terror at the proximity of a large
Hawk-moth, and some of the thick-bodied common moths--"Match-owlets," the
country folk call them.

Once, also, I listened to the grave recital--by a classical scholar too--of
a murderous onslaught made by a Privet Hawk-moth on the neck of a lady, and
how it "_bit a piece clean out_." Of course I attempted to prove, by what
seemed to me very fair logic, that the {33} moth, having neither teeth nor
even any mouth capable of opening, but only a weak hollow tongue to suck
honey through, was utterly incapable of biting or inflicting any wound
whatever. But, as is usual in such cases, my entomological theory went for
nothing in face of the gentleman's knock-down battery of _facts_--_ocular_
facts; he had _seen_ the _moth_, and he had _seen_ the _wound_: surely,
there was proof enough for me, or any one else. So, I suppose, he
steadfastly believes to this day, that the moth was a truculent,
bloodthirsty monster; whilst I still presume to believe, that if any wound
was caused at the moment in question, it was by the nails of the lady
attacked, or her friends, in clutching frantically at the terrific
intruder; who, poor fellow, might have been pardoned for mistaking the fair
neck for one of his favourite flowers (a _lily_, perhaps), while the utmost
harm he contemplated was to pilfer a sip of nectar from the lips he
doubtless took for rosebuds.

Utilitarians may, perhaps, inquire the _uses_ of butterflies--what they do,
make, or can be sold for; and I must confess that my little favourites
neither make anything to wear, like the silkworm, nor anything to eat, like
the honey-bee, nor are their bodies saleable by the ton, like the cochineal
insects, and that, commercially speaking, they are just worth nothing at
all, excepting the few paltry pence or shillings that the dealer gets for
their little dried bodies occasionally; so they are of no more use than
poetry, painting, and music--than flowers, rainbows, and all such {34}
unbusinesslike things. In fact, I have nothing to say in the butterfly's
favour, except that it is a joy to the deep-minded and to the
simple-hearted, to the sage, and, still better, to the child--that it gives
an earnest of a better world, not vaguely and generally, as does every
"thing of beauty," but with clearest aim and purpose, through one of the
most strikingly perfect and beautiful analogies that we can find throughout
that vast Creation, where--

 "All animals are living hieroglyphs."[5]

The butterfly, then, in its own progressive stages of caterpillar,
chrysalis, and perfect insect, is an emblem of the human soul's progress
through earthly life and death, to heavenly life.

Even the ancient Greeks, with their imperfect lights, recognised this
truth, when they gave the same name, Psyche ([Greek: Psuchê]), to the soul,
or spirit of life, and to the butterfly, and sculptured over the effigy of
one dead the figure of a butterfly, floating away, as it were, in his
breath; while poets of all nations have since followed up the simile.

And this analogy is not only a mere general resemblance, but holds good
through its minute details to a marvellous extent; to trace which fully
would require volumes, while in this place the slightest sketch only can be

First, there is the grovelling caterpillar-state, {35} emblematical of our
present imperfection, but yet the state of preparation and increase towards
perfection, and that, too, which largely influences the future existence.

Many troubles and changes are the lot of the caterpillar. Repeated
skin-shiftings and ceaseless industry in his vocation are necessary, that
within his set time he may attain full growth and vigour.

Then comes a mighty change: the caterpillar is to exchange his worm-like
form and nature for an existence unspeakably higher and better. But, as we
have seen, to arrive at this glory there is only one condition, which is,
that the creature must pass through another, and, as it might seem, a
gloomy state--one anything but cheerful to contemplate; for it must cease
to eat, to move, and--_to the eye_--_to live_. Yet, is it really dead now,
or do we, who have watched the creature thus far, despair and call it lost?
Do we not rather rejoice that it rests from its labours, and that the
period of its glorification is at hand?

In the silent chrysalis state then our _Psyche_ sleeps away awhile,
unaffected by the vicissitudes around it; and, at last, when its appointed
day arrives, bursts from its cerements, and rises in the air a winged and
joyous being, to meet the sun which warmed it into new life. Now it is a
_butterfly_,--bright emblem of pleasure unalloyed.

This happy consummation, however, is only for the chrysalis which has not
within it the devouring worm, the fruit of the ichneumon's egg, harboured
during the {36} caterpillar state--and emblem, in the human soul, of some
deadly sin yielded to during life, and which afterwards becomes the gnawing
"worm that dieth not." For in this case, instead of the bright butterfly,
there issues forth from the chrysalis-shell only a swarm of black,
ill-favoured flies, like a troop of evil spirits coming from their feast on
a fallen soul.

If a caterpillar were gifted with a foreknowledge of his butterfly future,
so far transcending his inglorious present, we could imagine that he would
be only impatient to get through his caterpillar duties, and rejoice to
enter the chrysalis state as soon as he was fitted for it. How
short-sighted then would a caterpillar appear who should endeavour, while
in that shape, to emulate the splendour of the butterfly by some wretched
temporary substitute, adding a few more, or brighter stripes than nature
had given it; or, again, if one whose great change was drawing near, should
attempt to conceal its visible approach by painting over the fading hues of
health, and plastering up the wrinkles of its outward covering, so soon to
be thrown off altogether; instead of striving for inward strength and
beauty, which would never decline, but be infinitely expanded in the
butterfly--and regarding the earthly beauty's wane as the dawn of the

[Illustration: VI.]

{37} With these and similar reflections before us (which might be
multiplied _ad infinitum_), we shall no longer look upon the caterpillar as
a mere unsightly and troublesome reptile, the chrysalis as an
unintelligible curiosity, and the butterfly as a pretty painted thing and
nothing more; but regard them as _together_ forming one of those beautiful
and striking illustrations with which the book of Nature has been so
profusely enriched by its GREAT AUTHOR; not to be taken as _substitutes_
for His revealed Word, but as harmonious adjuncts, bringing its great
truths more home to our understandings, just as the engravings in a book
are not designed as substitutes for the text, but to elucidate and
strengthen the ideas in the reader's mind.

While the poet draws from the butterfly many a pleasant similitude, and the
moralist many a solemn teaching, the artist (who should be poet and
moralist too) dwells upon these beings with fondest delight, finding in
them images of joy and life when seen at large in the landscape, and rich
stores of colour-lessons when studied at home in the cabinet.

The owners of many a name great in the arts have been enthusiastic
collectors of butterflies. Our distinguished countryman, Thomas Stothard,
was one of their devotees, and the following anecdote, extracted from his
published life, shows how he was led to make them his special study:--

"He was beginning to paint the figure of a reclining sylph, when a
difficulty arose in his own mind how best to represent such a being of
fancy. A friend who was present said, 'Give the sylph a butterfly's wing,
and then you have it.' 'That I will,' exclaimed Stothard; 'and to be
correct I will paint the wing {38} from the butterfly itself.' He sallied
forth, extended his walk to the fields, some miles distant, and caught one
of those beautiful insects; it was of the species called the Peacock. Our
artist brought it carefully home, and commenced sketching it, but not in
the painting room; and leaving it on the table, a servant swept the pretty
little creature away, before its portrait was finished. On learning his
loss, away went Stothard once more to the fields to seek another butterfly.
But at this time one of the tortoise-shell tribe crossed his path, and was
secured. He was astonished at the combination of colour that presented
itself to him in this small but exquisite work of the Creator, and from
that moment determined to enter on a new and difficult field--the study of
the insect department of Natural History. He became a hunter of
butterflies. The more he caught, the greater beauty did he trace in their
infinite variety, and he would often say that no one knew what he owed to
these insects--they had taught him the finest combinations in that
difficult branch of art--colouring."

The above doubtless has its parallel in the experience of many artistic
minds, whose very nature it is to appreciate to the full the perfections
set forth in a butterfly, admiring--

 "The velvet nap which on his wings doth lie,
  The silken down with which his back is dight,
  His broad outstretched horns, his airy thigh,
  His glorious colours and his glistening eye."

       *       *       *       *       *




The mention of butterflies "in the cabinet" leads at once to the question,
how to get them there; or, in other words, HOW TO CATCH A BUTTERFLY.

This is a question often less difficult to answer in words than in action,
for many of our butterflies are gifted not only with strong prejudices
against the inside of a net, but with very strong powers of escaping from
that unpleasant situation. Still, by aid of proper apparatus, a sure eye
and hand, and often, of a good pair of legs, there is no butterfly, however
fleet and wary, that we may not feel ourselves a tolerable match for.

Firstly, then, as to the out-door apparatus required.

This is simple enough, a _net_ and _pocket-boxes_, with a few _pins_, being
the only essentials.[6]


Variously constructed nets are used, according to fancy, but the choice may
lie between two chief forms: the _Clap-net_ and the _Ring-net_.


The former certainly gives more power in a fair chase, but the latter has
the advantage of being the {41} lighter, more portable, and less
conspicuous of the two. Both of these instruments are shown in the
accompanying figures.

The clap-net (fig. 1) usually has the sticks that compose the framework
made each in three separate pieces, joined by ferrules--a couple of light
fishing-rods will do excellently, a piece of bent cane being substituted
for the top joint. The manner in which the gauze is extended between, and
fitted on, these rods will be sufficiently obvious on looking at the cut,
which represents the net half open. In taking an insect, one handle is held
in each hand, the net opened wide, and thrown over, or made to intercept
the insect, when, by suddenly closing the handles together, a closed bag is
made, and the little prisoner is secured.


The ring-net (fig. 2), which is the implement most generally in vogue, may
be constructed in several ways. The cheapest, and at the same time a highly
serviceable one, is made by getting from a tinman a tin "socket" of this
form, the larger end fitting on to the end of a straight stick, and the two
smaller tubes receiving the ends of a hoop of cane, which carries the net,
it being passed through a loose hem round the top of the latter. The cane,
taken out of the socket, can be rolled up closely with the net and carried
in the pocket to the scene of action, while the handle may be a strong
common walking-stick, a {42} most useful auxiliary in getting across
country, and thus this net becomes really no incumbrance to the tourist,
who may have other matters in hand besides butterfly hunting--perhaps
sketching and botanizing--when the larger clap-net becomes quite

Another form of this net has the ring made of _metal_, and _jointed_ in
several places, so as to fold within a small pocketable compass, and
arranged to screw into a brass socket on the top of the stick. This is a
very commendable net--not so easily home-made as the last, certainly, but
it can be readily procured complete from the London dealers (or
"naturalists," as they style themselves).

A net that has been a good deal used of late opens and shuts on the
umbrella principle, and with the same celerity, forming a ring-net when
open--when shut going into a case like that of an umbrella.

Some entomologists, nervously sensitive to public opinion, are, however,
somewhat shy of sporting these umbrella nets, for should rain perchance
come down while he is on the road, the villagers may be astonished at the
insane spectacle of a man scuttling along through the torrent and getting
drenched through, while he carries a good-looking umbrella carefully under
his arm for fear it should get wet; and if, on the other hand, the weather
be fine, the carrying such a protective would seem an equally eccentric
whim. But only the _very_ thin-skinned would be driven from the use of a
good weapon by such a harmless contingency as I have here supposed. {43}

Other necessary equipments for the fly-catcher are two or three _light
wooden boxes_, as large as can conveniently be carried in the pockets, and
having either the bottom, or, if deep enough, both bottom and top lined
with a layer of _cork_, about one-eighth of an inch in thickness.

A pin-cushion, well furnished with _entomological pins_, should also be
carried, and will be found to be most accessible when suspended by a loop
and button (or otherwise) inside the breast of the coat.

The pins here mentioned, which are an important item among
butterfly-collecting requisites, are of a peculiar manufacture--very
small-headed, long and thin, but strong. Any good London dealer will supply
them on application, or send them by post into the country.

Armed with the above simple _paraphernalia_, viz. net to catch, boxes and
pins to contain and detain, the insect hunter may sally forth on any fine
summer's day, with a pretty sure prospect of sport, and the chance, at
least, of a prize. Much depends, however, on the choice of a day, and the
nature of the locality that is to form the hunting ground.

As to weather, it must be remembered that winged insects have a great
objection to face a north, or north-east wind, during the prevalence of
which you will probably find hardly one stirring, however prolific the
locality may at other times be.

Butterflies, as a rule, do not appear to be at all {44} influenced by an
eye for the picturesque and romantic in the choice of their favourite
haunts. Often have I been disappointed in this way, finding a delicious
spot, basking in sunshine, and bedight with all manner of flowers such as a
butterfly loves, yet with scarcely a stray butterfly to enliven it; while,
on the other hand, a piece of the most unpromising flat waste land will be
all alive with insect beauty. Those, for example, who would see those
splendid creatures, the Swallow-tail butterfly and the large Copper (if
this exists with us at all now), must go to the dreary fen districts that
form their almost exclusive haunts.

It is, in fact, very hard to say what influences bring a swarm of
butterflies together, to populate one particular spot, to the utter neglect
of others close at hand, and, to all appearance, just as eligible.

Some species are most remarkable for their excessive _localness_ (as it is
called), or, limiting their range to an exceedingly small circumscribed
space; so much so, that some rare species have been known to haunt just one
corner of one particular field, year after year, while not a single
specimen could be found in all the neighbouring fields, though precisely
similar, to all appearance. This phenomenon is quite inexplicable with
regard to insects endowed so pre-eminently with locomotive powers as
butterflies are.

The local nature of his game should, however, induce the collector to leave
no nook or corner unexplored when he is "working" a district; as the
passing over (or rather, neglecting to _pass over_) a single field may lose
him the very species it would joy him most to find.

[Illustration: VII.]


I would also advise the beginner--and, indeed, all but the very experienced
hands--to catch, not necessarily for slaughter, but for inspection, every
attainable individual whose species he cannot positively declare to when on
the wing, lest he pass by some rarities unawares. Thus the valued Queen of
Spain, and the much-disputed _Dia_ Fritillaries, the _Melitæas_, the Brown
Hair-streak, and (on the mountains) the rare _Erebias_, perhaps some new to
this country,--any of these might be mistaken by a novice for some of the
commoner brown species. Among the "Whites," too, the Black-veined White,
that great prize, the Bath White, and the white varieties of the Clouded
Yellow and Clouded Sulphur, might share the same fate, or fortune rather,
of being reckoned as "Cabbage Whites."

Then, with the "Blues." Who is there that could at once distinguish with
certainty the very rare Mazarine Blue (_P. Acis_) from the common Blues
when on the wing? Perhaps it would turn out to be less rare than supposed,
if all the Blues in a fresh locality were netted as they came near, and set
at liberty after passing muster.

Why, only last season a very curious Blue,[7] never before observed in this
country, was captured near {46} Brighton by a collector, who, at the
moment, thought it was only a Common Blue, so precisely similar did it look
when flying.

As to the manipulation of the net, it will be better to leave the young
collector to find that out for himself, which, if he has the use of his
hands, he will quickly do when he gets into the field. He will soon
perceive that with most of the swifter butterflies, it is of no use to make
a rush at them. A surprise answers better than a charge; for they easily
take alarm at open violence, and then go off straight ahead at a pace that
renders pursuit, over bad ground especially, most trying, if not hopeless
work. So the "_suaviter in modo_" principle is best here as
elsewhere:--gently follow up and watch your butterfly till he pauses over
or settles upon a flower, or whatever it may be; then, with caution, you
can generally come within striking distance without giving alarm, and one
vigorous, well-aimed stroke usually settles the matter; if, after that, he
is outside of your net instead of in, you will find it a difficult matter
to get another chance, at least, with most of the larger and strong-flying
kinds. But there is much diversity of disposition among these creatures,
and some are unscared by repeated attacks. These points of character the
collector will soon learn when he has been among these lively little people
for a season.

The different species have also their own favourite positions, on which
they delight to perch.

Thus the Clouded Yellow loves the low flowers of {47} the railway-bank and
the down; often seen toying with a breeze-rocked flower as yellow-coated as
himself, as though he had mistaken it, in its fluttering, for one of his

Then the Peacock and Red Admiral are attached to several plants of the
composite order, such as the thistles, teazle, and above all (as far as I
have observed), to that fine, stalwart plant that frequently abounds in
thickets, &c., and known as Hemp Agrimony (_Eupatorium cannabinum_). I
seldom, at the proper season, visit a clump of this growing in a sunny
opening, without finding, besides a store of other insects, one or both of
these grand butterflies enthroned on the ample purplish flower-heads, and
_fanning_ their gorgeous wings, after the custom of their genus, then
launching into the air, and, after a few circling evolutions in that
element, returning to the self-same flower-heads, their chosen seats.

Both of these flies are easily captured when in this position, as they
allow a near approach, and can be without hindrance swept off by a rapid
side-stroke of the net.

The glorious Purple Emperor is celebrated for his predilection for a throne
on the oak, though some other lofty trees, such as the ash, are
occasionally honoured by the imperial presence; but his habits and _locale_
will be referred to more particularly hereafter.

That lovely butterfly, the Silver-washed Fritillary, has a _penchant_ for
settling on the bramble, which {48} justifies the preference by proving
itself the insect's best friend; but withal a most provoking opponent to
his would-be captor, who may get him safely within the net's mouth at the
first stroke, when, ten to one, the trusty bramble-hooks clutch into the
gauze, and effectually prevent the quick turn of the net that should close
it, while the prisoner, seeing his chance, darts out with a sharp rustle
that one's irritated feelings easily interpret into a derisive laugh.

But experience will in time teach the fly-catcher the required adroitness
to avoid this humiliating defeat.

       *       *       *       *       *




Having complied with the old adage, "First catch your hare," the next point
naturally is--how to cook it. So, having caught our butterfly, what are we
to do with him?--a question that generally resolves itself firstly into


This truculent sentence may, I fear, look like a blot on the page to some
tender-hearted reader, and, in truth, this killing business is the one
shadow on the otherwise sunshiny picture, which we would all gladly leave
out, were it possible to preserve a butterfly's beauty alive; but this
cannot be done, and yet we have made up our minds to possess that
beauty--to collect butterflies, in short; there is but one way for it, and
so a butterfly's pleasure must be shortened for a few {50} days, to add to
our pleasure and instruction, perhaps for years after.

In the time of the great Ray, in such mean repute was the science of
entomology held, mainly, I believe, on account of the _small size_ of its
objects, that an action at law was brought to set aside the will of an
estimable woman, Lady Glanville, on the ground of _insanity_, the only
symptom of which that they could bring forward in evidence was her
_fondness for collecting insects_!

But this was some two centuries ago, and matters have greatly mended for
the entomologist since then. Now he may collect butterflies, or other
flies, as he pleases, without bringing down a commission "_de lunatico_" on
his _head_, but still the goodness of his _heart_ is sometimes called in
question, and he has to encounter the equally obnoxious charge of _cruelty_
to the objects of his admiration--that, too, from intelligent and worthy
friends, whose good opinion he would most unwillingly forfeit.

He, therefore, is naturally most anxious that those friends should be led
to share his own conviction, that the pursuit of entomology--the needful
butterfly killing and all included--may be not only not cruel, but actually
beneficent in theory and practice.

So I will briefly try to act as apologist for the "brotherhood of the net,"
myself included.

In the first place, I will state roundly my sincere belief that _insects
cannot feel pain_. This is no special pleading, or "making the wish the
father to the thought," {51} but a conviction founded on an ample mass of
evidence, on my own observations and experiments, and strengthened by
analogical reasoning. I wish I had space to lay this evidence in full
before the reader; but this being here impracticable, I will not damage the
argument by taking a few links out of a chain of facts which depend on
their close connexion with each other for their strength and value.

There is, however, one fact which may be taken by itself, and goes a long
way in our favour, that I must mention here.

Insects, when mutilated in a way that would cause excessive pain and speedy
death to vertebrate animals, afterwards perform all the functions of
life--eating, drinking, &c. with the same evident _gusto_ and power of
enjoyment as before. Plenty of striking instances of this are on record,
and, as an example, I have seen a wasp that had been snipped in two,
afterwards regale himself with avidity upon some red syrup, which, as he
imbibed, gathered into a large ruby bead just behind the wings (where the
stomach should have been); but really the creature's pleasure seemed to be
only augmented by the change in his anatomy, because he could drink ten
times his ordinary fill of sweets, without, of course, getting any the
fuller. I could almost fancy a scientific epicure envying the insect his
ever fresh appetite and gastronomic capabilities.

After all that can be said on this subject, there will still probably be
misgivings in the mind of many, both {52} as to the question of insect
feelings and also as to our right to shorten their existence, even by a
painless death.

As to the first point, we have now the means of giving any insect an
utterly painless quietus, be it capable of feeling pain or no.

In regard to the second, I think few will deny that man enjoys a vested
right to make use of any of the inferior animals, even to the taking of
their life, if the so doing ministers to his own well-being or pleasure,
and practically every one assumes this right in one way or another. Game
animals are shot down (and they assuredly _do_ feel pain), not as
necessaries of life, but confessedly as luxuries. Fish are hooked, crabs,
lobsters, shrimps perish by thousands, victims to our fancies.
Unscrupulously we destroy every insect whose presence displeases us,
harmless as they may be to our own persons. The _aphides_ on our flowers,
the moths in our furs, the "beetles" in our kitchens--all die by thousands
at our pleasure. Then, if all this be right, are we not also justified in
appropriating a little butterfly life to ourselves, and does not the mental
feast that their after-death beauty affords us at least furnish an equal
excuse for their sacrifice with any that can be urged in favour of any
animal slaughter, just to tickle the palate or minister to our grosser
appetites? To this query there can be, I think, but one fair answer, so we
may return with a better face to the question, "How to kill a butterfly."

[Illustration: VIII.]


I have alluded above to a painless mode of doing so, doubtless applicable
to all insects. I know it answers admirably with the large moths, so
tenacious of life under other circumstances. This potent agent is
_chloroform_, whose pain-quelling properties are so well known as regards
the human constitution.

There is a little apparatus[8] constructed for carrying this fluid safely
to the field, and letting out a drop at a time into the box with the
captured insect, taking care that the drop does not go on to the insect. Or
a wide-mouthed bottle may be used, having at the bottom a pad of
blotting-paper, or some absorbent substance, on which a few drops of
chloroform may now and then be dropped. The insect being slipped into this,
and the stopper or hand being placed over the bottle's mouth, insensibility
(in the insect) follows immediately, and in a few minutes, at most, it is
completely lifeless.

But the usual and quickest mode of despatch is by _a quick nip between the
finger and thumb applied just under the wings_, causing, for the most part,
_instantaneous death_: and this can be done through the net, when the {54}
inclosed butterfly shuts his wings, as he usually does when the net wraps
round him.

Now take one of your thin pins, and pass it through the thorax of the
butterfly, while open or shut, and put it into the corked lining of your
pocket-box. So secured, the butterfly will travel uninjured till you reach
home; but a heap of dead butterflies in a box together will, in the course
of a long walk, so jostle together, as to entirely destroy each other's
beauty, rubbing off all their painted scales, when, of course, they are as
butterflies no longer.

When you get home, take out all the pins, excepting such as may be stuck
_perpendicularly_ through the _middle of the thorax_, and as soon as
possible proceed to "set" your captures.


Preparatory to this, some articles called _setting-boards_ must be
provided. A section of one of these is shown in the accompanying cut; but
in reality they are made much longer, so as to accommodate a column of
half-a-dozen butterflies or more: the breadth may vary, {55} according to
the width of the butterflies that are to be set thereon.

The bottom is usually a thin slip of deal, on which are glued two strips of
cork, bevelled off towards the edges, with a slightly curved face.
Sometimes, however, the whole board is made of soft pine, with a groove
planed down the middle, and with care will answer pretty well; but the
corked board is far preferable.

The mode of "setting" the insect with card "braces" transfixed with pins,
which retain the wings in their proper position, will be also readily seen
by reference to the figure.

A great point in "setting" is to take care that all the wings are
symmetrically arranged, or diverging from the body at equal angles on each
side. Let the _antennæ_ also be carefully preserved, as on their integrity
much of the specimen's value depends.

It will be needless to say that any handling of the _wings_ is to be
avoided, as a touch will sometimes destroy their bloom.

The setting-board, when filled, should be put away into a secure,
dust-proof, and dry place; and in a few days, more or less, according to
the dryness or otherwise of the atmosphere, the butterflies will have dried
and set in their positions, and are then ready for transference to the
store-box or cabinet.

The choice of this receptacle is a serious question for the beginner, who
is often in want of a guide to the judicious expenditure of his money, if
money he means {56} to spend in this pursuit. To preserve insects, it is
_not_ absolutely necessary to have either a cabinet or the regularly-made
store-boxes; for, with a little contrivance, any close-shutting, shallow
box may be extemporized into a store-box. The bottom may either be lined
with sheet-cork (such as is used by shoemakers)--which, however, is a
rather dear commodity--or common wine-corks may be sliced up, and cut into
little square patches that may be attached in straight rows to the bottom
of the box with strong gum or other cement. The first specimens, the
nucleus of the future great collection, can be kept here well enough, till
a real cabinet can be compassed.

A cabinet, however, need not be bought all at once; it may be arranged to
grow with the collection--and, it may be, with the collector too--by having
one or two drawers made at a time; till, in course of time, a sufficient
number is obtained, when the whole may be fitted into a case at a small
additional expense, and then there is a first-rate cabinet complete; for,
to make this plan really advantageous, the drawers should be well made and
of good material. Of course, all the drawers must be made to the same
"gauge," to insure perfect fitting when the cabinet is made up.

These drawers may be made by any clever joiner, but as their construction
is peculiar, and not easily described, it is necessary, either that the
maker should be accustomed to this speciality, or that he be furnished with
a pattern, either by buying a single drawer at a dealer's, {57} where that
can be done, by borrowing one out of a friend's cabinet, or by making
therefrom a good working drawing (in section, &c.).

The glasses which cover in the drawers should always have separate frames
for the more perfect exclusion of dust and mites.

Well seasoned mahogany or deal may be the material for the drawers, but on
no account let them be of cedar, a material often used by ignorant or
unprincipled makers, to the great detriment of the collection, and
mortification of the collector, as resinous matter after a short time
exudes from the pores of this wood, dropping down on to the glasses below
in a gummy shower, and the effluvium seems to condense upon the contained
insects, whose wings are gradually discoloured and disfigured by greasy
looking blotches. The drawers are lined at bottom with cork, covered with
_pure white_ paper, which should be attached with _thin_ paste.

The butterflies are then to be arranged in the drawers in perpendicular
columns, and in accordance with some system of classification. If there be
room it is well to have a considerable number of specimens of each species,
especially when it is one liable to much variation. At least one of each
sex should always be given, and also one of each sex showing the _under_
surface. When the chrysalis can be procured, that also should be pinned
down with its fellow-butterfly, and a good coloured drawing of each
caterpillar would be a valuable addition to the series. Between the
columns, lines should be {58} ruled varying in distance according to the
breadth of the butterflies, and small labels should be pinned down at the
foot of each species giving its _specific_ name; the name of the genus
being placed at the head of the _first_ species of the genus. The names of
the families and sub-families under which the _genera_ are classed are also
generally given in their respective places.

I have in this little work followed the system of classification used in
the _public_ collection of British butterflies at the British Museum, which
seemed to me more intelligible and natural when applied to our very limited
number of butterflies, than did the system of Doubleday adopted in the
great world-wide collection which exists in the private entomological room
of the British Museum.

The following table gives the first-mentioned arrangement of all the
British species under their respective genera, sub-families, and families.
The most authentic of the _reputed_ species are also here inserted in their
proper places.

    Sub-fam. PAPILIONIDI.
      PAPILIO Machaon.
        --    Podalirius.
    Sub-fam. PIERIDI.
      GONEPTERYX Rhamni.
      COLIAS Edusa.
        --   Hyale.
      APORIA Cratægi.
      PIERIS Brassicæ.
        --   Rapæ.
        --   Napi.
        --   Daplidice.
      EUCHLOE Cardamines.
      LEUCOPHASIA Sinapis.

    Sub-fam. SATYRIDI.
      ARGE Galathea.
      LASIOMMATA Egeria.
          --     Megæra.
      HIPPARCHIA Semele.
          --     Janira.
          --     Tithonus.
          --     Hyperanthus.
      EREBIA Blandina.
          --     Ligea.
          --     Cassiope.
      CÆNONYMPHA Davus.
          --     Pamphilus.
    Sub-fam. NYMPHALIDI.
      LIMENITIS Sybilla.
      APATURA Iris.

    Sub-fam. VANESSIDI.
      CYNTHIA Cardui.
      VANESSA Atalanta.
          --   Io.
          --   Antiopa.
          --   Polychloros.
          --   Urticæ.
      GRAPTA C. Album.

    Sub-fam. ARGYNNIDI.
      ARGYNNIS Paphia.
          --    Aglaia.
          --    Adippe.
          --    Lathonia.
          --    Euphrosyne.
          --    Selene.
          --    Dia.
      MELITÆA Cinxia.
          --   Athalia.
          --   Artemis.

    NEMEOBIUS Lucina.

    THECLA Betulæ.
      --   Pruni.
      --   W. Album.
      --   Quercus.
      --   Rubi.
        --      Chryseis.
        --      Dispar.
    POLYOMMATUS Boeticus.
        --      Argiolus.
        --      Alsus.
        --      Acis.
        --      Arion.
        --      Corydon.
        --      Adonis.
        --      Alexis.
        --      Ægon.
        --      Agestis.
        --      Artaxerxes.

    PYRGUS Alveolus.
    STEROPES Paniscus.
    PAMPHILA Actæon.
      --     Linea.
      --     Sylvanus.
      --     Comma.

It will be seen by the above list that seventy species are given as
British. Of these, five species, viz. _Papilio Podalirius_, _Erebia Ligea_,
_Argynnis Dia_, _Chrysophanus Chryseis_, and _Polyommatus Boeticus_, have
been so rarely taken as to be refused a place among the _regular_ denizens
of our island. So that we can only reckon up the small number of
_sixty-five species of true British butterflies_.

These it now remains to describe individually, but, prior to entering on
that task, I would say a few words {60} on the acquirement of scientific
nomenclature and systematic arrangement, a knowledge of which will
facilitate even our recreations in natural history, while it is absolutely
essential to carrying out the really scientific study of any department.

It is true, that the painting of a butterfly and the fragrance of a flower
can give deep pleasure to a mind quite unconscious of their Latin names,
their genus, order, or anything of the kind; but the interest of natural
objects is, I am sure, greatly augmented when we acquire some insight,
however dimly, into the wonderful mechanism of creation's plan, its
infinite gradation of forms, and their curious, subtle relationships, to
which a _good_ system of classification serves, in some degree, as an
index. I say, "_in some degree_," as a system framed in perfect accordance
with that of nature is a discovery rather to be desired than hoped for,
with the limited knowledge at present permitted to us.

Though these Latin names are generally considered as unwelcome excrescences
on the pages of _popular_ natural history works, I would yet advise the
young entomologist to master them for once, and accustom himself well to
their use. He will not find the task a very difficult one, if I may judge
from the repeated instances in which I have heard the almost infantile
progeny of my naturalist friends glibly mouthing these redoubtable words,
and applying them with the most precise accuracy.

Among collectors it is customary in familiar {61} conversation to use only
the second, or _specific_ name of the insect's Latin title; thus, in
speaking of the common Swallow-tailed Butterfly, they call it "_Machaon_"
only, which at once distinguishes the one they mean from the other, or
scarce Swallow-tailed Butterfly, which they would speak of as
"_Podalirius_." The Pearl-bordered Likeness Fritillary may be called
"_Athalia_," and so on. I think it will be allowed that these Latin names
are not harder to learn, remember, or pronounce, than the long-winded
English titles; and, when acquired, bring their possessor the advantage of
being able to converse with precision on their subject with all
naturalists, whether British or Continental; for these names of science are
current in all European languages.

Another piece of advice is: don't _waste time_ in trying to puzzle out the
_meaning_, the why or the wherefore of butterflies' scientific names. Now
and then, certainly, they have some allusion to the insect's appearance, or
to the plant on which it feeds; thus, for instance, _Gonepteryx Rhamni_,
the entomological name of the Brimstone Butterfly, means the
"_Angle-winged_ (butterfly) _of the Buckthorn_," and this is very
appropriate and descriptive; but in general there is no more connexion
between the name and the character of a butterfly, than there is between a
ship's name--the "_Furious_," the "_Coquette_," or the "_Pretty Jane_," as
it may be--and the moral disposition or personal appearance of the vessel
that bears it.

Also, don't _waste money_ and encourage dishonesty, by {62} giving the
absurdly large prices put upon _British_, or _pretended_ British specimens
of butterflies, or other insects that are rare in this country though
common on the Continent; when, for all purposes of science, or the pleasure
derived from their beauty, _avowed_ Continental specimens, at one-twentieth
of the price, will do just as well. In putting these into your cabinet,
however, always attach to the pin underneath the insect a label, bearing
some mark to denote the specimen's foreign origin.

       *       *       *       *       *





(Plate III. fig. 1.)

There is no possibility of mistaking this noble insect for any other of our
native species, after a glance at its portrait. Its superior size,
conjoined with the possession of a pair of _long_ tails on the hind wings,
would at once mark it distinctly, independently of the peculiar markings
and colour.

In the colouring of the wings, a broad simplicity prevails, the general
ground-tint being a clear creamy yellow, with the bars and marginal bands
of the deepest velvety black. The broad bands of black on the front wings
are powdered towards the centre with _yellow_ scales, and those on the hind
wings with _blue_ scales. The only other colour on this side is a spot of
rust-red at the inner angle of the hind wings.

The under side is very similar in colouring to the upper, but the black
markings are less decided and sharp, and there are several additional
rust-red spots on the hind wings. {64}

The _caterpillar_, which is a very handsome creature, is found feeding on
various umbelliferous plants; among which, its chief favourites in this
country appear to be the Wild Carrot (_Daucus Carota_), the Marsh
Milk-parsley (_Selinum palustre_), and Fennel (_Anethum Foeniculum_). In
colour it is bright green, with velvet-black rings, which are spotted with
red. A distinguishing mark of this caterpillar is a reddish-coloured forked
appendage just behind its head, which, when the animal is alarmed, gives
out a strong-scented fluid, supposed to be for the purpose of alarming some
of its enemies.

The _chrysalis_, again, is a very pretty object, especially when of its
ordinary colour, which is a lively green, shaded in some parts into bright
yellow; but there is a frequent variety marked only with various shades of
brown and buff. Living specimens of both of these are before me at this
moment, and when they assume the perfect state, I shall be curious to mark
whether these differences are continued in the respective butterflies.

These chrysalides are most interesting objects to keep during the winter
months. As the spring advances, the colours of the butterfly begin to
appear faintly through their thin green envelope, and the pattern of the
upper wings, which only are visible, becomes at last distinctly
perceptible, of course in miniature. When this is the case, we should begin
to watch for the release of the beautiful prisoner.

If you visit his cage the first thing every morning (for his exit most
frequently takes place in the early part of {65} the day), you may be
fortunate enough on one of these occasions, to find the creature either
actually emerging, or just out of his case; cutting an odd figure, and
evidently neither very proud of himself nor much at his ease, his wings
being tiny things, hardly bigger than those of a humble-bee, and hanging
limply from his comparatively ponderous and gigantic body; which they are
nevertheless destined, ere many hours are over, to carry with most enviable
celerity through the air.

The rapid increase in size of these organs is a matter of marvel; you can
literally see them grow, and within about an _hour_ they will have reached
their full expanse. The creature attaches itself, back downwards, to the
lid of its cage, or to the under side of any convenient _horizontal_
surface, that the wings, by their own weight, may aid in their dilatation,
and that they may dry without creasing, as they will sometimes do, when the
insect, being under a slippery bell-glass, for instance, is unable to reach
the desirable point of suspension, which it always evinces extreme anxiety
to do. By the time the sun is well out, our pet will have his wings
thoroughly plumed for flight; and here a difficulty sometimes presents
itself to the entomologist. What is to be done with our new-born Machaon?
It is probably a splendid specimen for the cabinet, and the collector may
long to grace his "series" with its virgin splendours. But then there will
creep over him the unwelcome sensation, that it is a somewhat cowardly
proceeding to foster a bright being into a life that might be all
joyousness, {66} and then, taking advantage of his domesticated position,
to cut short that life, almost ere commenced, and to forbid those wondrous
wings to carry their possessor to even one short day's enjoyment of
sunshine and nectar, and the doubtlessly exalted pleasure of mere airy
motion itself. Fairly chasing down a butterfly is all well enough; but this
is quite another thing.

Every one must, however, choose for himself, as to taking the sentimental
or the entomological view of the matter.

Each probably finds its followers, and to the occasional prevalence of the
more tender sentiment, are probably owing many of those stray Swallow-Tails
that turn up here and there in unlikely places.

The chrysalides, for rearing, may be obtained in the autumn or winter,
either from entomologists resident in the localities of the butterfly, or
more generally and certainly from the London or Cambridge dealers, who will
send them into the country by post for a few pence each.

The flight of this species is rapid and powerful, and it has a habit of
soaring loftily.

In this country its head quarters are in the fens of Cambridgeshire,
Norfolk, and Huntingdonshire. It has been found in some abundance near
Cambridge, Norwich, Yaxley, Whittlesea Mere, Burwell, and Hornsey Fens;
also singly in Lancashire, at Battersea, Pulborough in Sussex, near Ashford
in Kent, at Balcombe, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, near Chatham, at Southend,
Essex, and on the Cliffs of the South Coast. {67}

From its local character, this is of course one of the species that the
collector can hardly expect to meet with, except he live in one of the
districts given above as its head quarters. In these, however, it is
abundant enough, and the first sight of a number of these grand insects on
the wing must be enough to gladden the eye of any naturalist.

This butterfly comes out first in May, and is met with from that time till

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BRIMSTONE BUTTERFLY. (_Gonepteryx Rhamni._)

(Plate III. fig. 2.)

Though one of the commonest of our native butterflies, this, like
numberless other very common things, is also one of the loveliest, both in
the graceful outline of its wings, and in the lively hue that overspreads
their surface; charms the more to be appreciated, as this insect is one of
the few that do not wait for the full bloom of summer ere they condescend
to make their appearance, but in the earliest, chill months of spring, and
even in the dead winter season, the country rambler is sometimes gladdened
by its gay flight; and in fact there is not one winter month that is not
occasionally enlivened by this flying flower, when a day of unwonted
mildness and sunshine tempts it from its winter retreat. {68}

Until very recently it had always been stated by entomologists, that the
Brimstone Butterfly was "double-brooded" (a term meaning that it went
through _two whole cycles of existence_, from the _egg_ to the _perfect
insect_, in _one year_), one brood appearing in May, and the other in the

But it is now established, on very satisfactory evidence, that _one brood
only is produced, and that, the autumnal one_. A considerable number of
these survive the winter in some place of concealment, and coming out again
in the spring form the so-called spring brood. Many of these hybernators
are found to be in very fair condition in the spring, but in general they
lack the perfect freshness and bloom of those taken in autumn; the wings of
those I have taken at this period are often semi-transparent, from having
lost feather, and frequently are spotted and discoloured, as if by mildew;
a sign probably of their owners having wintered in damp lodgings.

Mr. Douglas states that they get very fat and full of honey before
consigning themselves to their long winter's sleep; evidently an
instinctive provision against the waste of substance that must of necessity
accompany all, even the most sluggish vitality: in this respect following
the same instinct that leads bears, and other hybernating animals, to
fatten up to their utmost stretch before retiring for the season.

[Illustration: IX.]

{69} The _eggs_ should be sought for in the month of May, or a little
earlier or later, on the buds and young shoots of the two species of
Buckthorn (_Rhamnus Frangula_ and _R. Catharticus_). When examined with the
microscope, these are found to be very pretty objects of conical form, with
sculptured ribs on the sides.

The _caterpillar_ that results from these, when it grows up, is of a fine
green colour, shagreened over with black points, and shading off into a
paler line along the side. Its shape is represented at Plate I. fig. 2. It
is found on the _young_ buckthorn foliage that forms its food.

The _chrysalis_ is of the remarkable shape shown on Plate I. fig.
13,--green, marked with yellow. It remains in this state for about twenty
days, when the perfect butterfly appears.

The general colour of the male Brimstone Butterfly is a clear, brilliant
yellow, much like that of the Daffodil, its contemporary; and in the centre
of each wing is a small spot of rich orange-colour. A very beautiful
feature to be remarked in this butterfly is the silken mane, so to speak,
composed of long hairs of silvery gloss and whiteness, which are arranged
as if combed up from the sides of the thorax, so as to meet in a crested
form over the top.

The female chiefly differs from the male in the ground colour of the wings,
which are of a pale and very peculiar greenish white tint, rather more
deeply tinged with yellow at the extremities of the wings.

As the male, from his colour, bears the name of "Brimstone," or "Sulphur,"
the complexion of his mate may be accurately compared to the tint of
another {70} sulphureous preparation, called by druggists "milk of

The only noticeable variation this butterfly is subject to in this country
is in the size of the orange wing-spots, which are sometimes greatly

In a well-marked variety, common in the south of Europe, Madeira, &c., this
enlargement reaches a great development, nearly the whole of the _upper_
wings being suffused with a deep orange, though in all other respects the
insect does not differ from our common form. This beautiful variety has
been described as a different species under the name of _Gonepteryx
Cleopatra_; but M. Boisduval has proved that they are identical, by rearing
both the ordinary _Rhamni_ and the _Cleopatra_ from the same batch of eggs.

The female _Cleopatra_ does not differ materially from _Rhamni_. I look on
this variety as very interesting, as a probable instance of the direct
effect of increased warmth of climate in intensifying colour.[9]

Plentiful as this butterfly is in all the southern counties, and extending
in more or less abundance as {71} far northwards as the lake district, it
there becomes scarce; and I can find no instance of its having occurred in

Of course, its prevalence in any district is naturally regulated by the
abundance of its food-plants, the buckthorns.

Gardens, fields, and lanes are equally the resort of this favourite insect;
and there the newly-hatched specimens are to be found on the wing from
August to October.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate III. fig. 3, Male; 3A, Female.)

This richly-coloured and nimble-winged fly is ever the darling of the
collector. None make a finer show in the cabinet, and few tempt pursuit
more strongly than does this golden beauty when on the wing.

For many years past, and up to quite a recent period, the appearance of
this butterfly in any abundance was a phenomenon only occurring at
uncertain periods, separated by intervals of several years. In one season,
perhaps, hardly a solitary specimen would be seen, and in the very next, a
swarm of them would spread over the southern counties, delighting the
fly-catcher and puzzling the naturalist to find a sufficient reason for
{72} this sudden burst of insect-life. Whether the eggs lay dormant for
years, till hatched under peculiarly favourable conditions; or whether
every now and then a few individuals were tempted to cross the Channel from
the Continent by some attraction unknown to us, or were, _nolens_,
_volens_, blown hither by the wind, and then deposited eggs which produced
the next year's troop of butterflies; or, lastly, whether an agency was at
work here, of whose nature we are entirely ignorant,--all these are
questions that still remain to be answered. There is, I believe, no
foundation for the opinion sometimes held by entomologists, that this
species prevails at _regular_ periods, such as once in four, or once in
seven years. In fact, for the last two or three years its permanent
residence and appearance among us seems to be established, while, at the
same time, its northward range has been greatly extended, a considerable
number having been taken even _in Scotland_--its existence in that country
having been previously quite unheard of.

The environs of London, especially on the south side, have been abundantly
visited by this charming insect; but its tastes have a decidedly maritime
tendency, and we find it has a marked preference for the _South Coast_;
abounding, again, more especially towards the eastern end. Its favourite
resorts are clover and lucerne fields, though dry flowery meadows, open
downs, and the sides of railway-banks are also the scenes of its lively
flight--for _Edusa_ has indeed a lively flight, and his pursuer has need of
the "seven-league boots," with the hand of {73} Mercury, to insure success
in the fair open race, if that can be called a fair race at all, between a
heavy biped, struggling and perspiring about a slippery hill-side, such as
_Edusa_ loves,--and a winged spirit of air, to whom up-hill and down-hill
seem all one.

In truth, the best way to get _Edusa_ is to watch and mark him down on a
flower, then creep cautiously up till within range, raise the net quietly,
and _strike rapidly downwards_ over the insect, who usually darts _upward_
when struck at; and, in nine cases out of ten, _Edusa_ will be fluttering
under the net. It is not the most heroic style of sport, this, but it fills
the boxes admirably.

The _caterpillar_ is of a deep green colour, having on each side a white
line, marked with yellow and orange. It may be sought for in June and July,
on various plants of the leguminous order, which form its food, such as
None-such Trefoil (_Medicago lupulina_), Lucerne (_M. Sativa_), and Clover.

The _chrysalis_ is in shape between that of the Brimstone, and Cabbage
butterfly, green with a yellow stripe, and rust-coloured dots.

The _butterfly_ seldom is seen on the wing till July, but August is its
great season; and it lingers with us till late in autumn.

I remember the pleasure with which, on a chill, stormy day in October, I
watched the sports of a pair who were my sole companions while sketching,
in a remote, rocky nook of the South Welsh coast. Very {74} battered and
weather-worn were the pretty creatures, but still retaining much of the
golden bloom of their summer dress.

The Clouded Yellow has been found hybernating in the chink of an old wall
at the end of February, but I am not aware of its coming out again in the
spring, like the Brimstone.

The ground tint of the wings is an exceedingly rich orange-yellow, or
saffron colour, surrounded by a border of very dark brown, sometimes nearly
black. This border is marked, in the male, with thin yellow _lines_, and in
the female with _paler yellow spots_. There is a beautiful rose tint in the
fringe of the wings and on their front edge. Underneath the wings are paler
yellow, taking a citron hue in some parts, and marked with black and brown;
in the centre of the under wings is a brown-circled silvery spot.

There is a peculiar and constant _variety of the female_, in which all the
yellow portion of the upper surface is replaced by a _greenish white_ tint;
but in every other respect the insect agrees with the common form of
_Edusa_. This interesting variety was formerly ranked as another species,
under the name of _C. Helice_; but it is a curious fact that no
corresponding variety of the male has ever been observed; and last year I
captured a pair together--a white female and common orange male--who were
on those terms of tender intimacy which are generally supposed to betoken
identity of species. {75}

Varieties of the female are also met with, of various intermediate shades
of colour between the white and the ordinary orange.

Yet is it not possible that all these varieties may be mules between _C.
Edusa_ and _C. Hyale_ (the next species), the males of which are often seen
pursuing the lady _Edusas_? but if so, as indeed it would be on any other
hypothesis, it is hard to account for the unvarying character of the male.

This butterfly is also called the Clouded Saffron.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate III. fig. 4.)

We may, in general, readily distinguish this elegant insect from the last
species--the females of which it rather resembles in its markings--by the
difference in the ground tint of the wings, which in this vary from
primrose or sulphur yellow to a greenish white.

There is, however, some risk of confounding this with the white variety of
_Edusa_ (_Helice_), a mistake often committed by young entomologists; so it
will be well to point out the most prominent distinction between the two;
and this is easily done, by observing that in _Edusa_ the dark border of
the upper wings is of nearly {76} equal breadth along the whole of the
outer margin, and _at the lower corner is continued inwards for a short
distance_; whilst in _Hyale_ this border _narrows rapidly, and disappears
before reaching the lower corner of_ the wing. Also the dark border of the
hind wings is much broader in _Edusa_ than in _Hyale_. Here we have
distinctive marks, quite independent of the ground colour of the wings.

The sexes of this butterfly are nearly alike in their markings, the chief
difference being in the yellower ground tint of the males.

The same localities--viz. the south and south-east coast, and the adjacent
district--that are most prolific in its near relative, _Edusa_, likewise
furnish this species in the greatest plenty; but this is by far the rarer
species of the two, and, either by coincidence, or in obedience to some
direct law, several successive periods of its abundance have been
septennial, or have occurred once in seven years. Thus the years 1821, '28,
'35, '42, '49, and '56 are noted in entomological records as having
produced it in great numbers.

On the coast of France, opposite to our own, it is one of the common
butterflies, and it is not improbable that it frequently makes the passage
of the Channel. The maritime habits of both this and _Edusa_ are well
known, and I have frequently seen the latter flying out to seawards, and
coquetting with the waves, till the eye could follow the golden speck no
longer. Taking advantage then of a favouring wind, its naturally strong
{77} and rapid flight would quickly take it across the few miles of sea
that separate us from the Gallic shore.

_Hyale_, whose flight is at least as strong as _Edusa's_, and whose
salt-water tastes are similar, doubtless acts in the same manner.

The northward range of this species is more limited than that of _Edusa_,
but it has been taken singly near York, Manchester, and a few other
northern localities. In the lucerne fields near Brighton, a dozen or more
have been sometimes captured in one day.

The _caterpillar_ is of a sea-green colour, with four yellow lines, two
along the back and one on each side; and is to be found, in June and July,
feeding on lucerne and other plants of the same natural order.

The _chrysalis_ is very similar to that of _Edusa_, green, with a yellow

In this country, the _butterfly_ first appears in August; but on the
Continent it seems to be double-brooded, being found in May as well as in

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate IV. fig. 1.)

When on the wing, this species might easily be mistaken by the
inexperienced for the common Cabbage {78} White; and, by virtue of this
_incognito_, does in all probability often escape from the terrors of the
net, which would speedily entrap him, were his real character known to the
young hunter; for this butterfly is one of those called, in entomological
slang, "_a good thing_"--a term expressive neither of superior excellence
nor beauty, but meaning that the insect can't be met with everywhere, or
every day, and when seen is always to be caught.

A closer view, however, shows it to be very distinct from all the other
"Whites;" its _decided black veinings on a milk-white ground_, in
conjunction with its large size, being sufficient for its immediate

The outline of the wings, as well as the play of the veining lines on their
surface, is extremely elegant. It will be observed, that instead of the
feathered fringe that surrounds the wings of most butterflies, they are
bordered in this species by a stout nervure, forming a sharp black outline,
and giving a peculiarly chaste finish.

The under side differs in no mentionable respect from the upper--a very
rare circumstance in this tribe. From being very sparingly coated with
scales, the wings are semi-transparent, differing much in this respect from
those of the Garden White butterflies.

The female generally has the veins of the fore wings of a browner tint than
in the males.

This butterfly is one of the very local species, though its food plants are
everywhere to be found, in more or less abundance. {79}

The following localities, among others, have been recorded as producing
it:--Herne Bay, and other parts of the Isle of Thanet, plentifully; near
Faversham, Kent; Horsham, Sussex; New Forest; Brington, in Huntingdonshire;
near Cardiff, South Wales, plentiful.

The caterpillars are gregarious, feeding under cover of a silken web. The
hawthorn and the sloe are its chief food plants in this country, but it is
here too rare an insect to do much damage. Not so, however, on the
Continent, where it is extremely common, and is classed among noxious
insects, committing great devastation among various fruit trees, especially
the apple, pear, and cherry.

But even in this country the insect is occasionally met with in great
profusion, but only in isolated spots. Mr. Drane, writing from Cardiff to
the _Zoologist_, says, "In the middle of April (1858) I found the _larvæ_
feeding by thousands upon insulated shrubs of _Prunus Spinosa_ (Common
Sloe), eating out the centres of the unexpanded buds, or basking in the sun
upon their winter webs."

The body of the adult _caterpillar_ is thickly clothed with whitish hairs,
is leaden grey on the side and underneath, black on the back, and marked
with two longitudinal reddish stripes. Found from the middle of April to
the end of May.

The _chrysalis_, shown at fig. 14, Plate I., is greenish white, striped
with yellow and spotted with black.

The _butterfly_ appears in June.

       *       *       *       *       *



(Plate IV. fig. 2.)

Why this butterfly should so far outnumber every other native species
(excepting, perhaps, the more rural Meadow Brown), is a question beyond our
power to answer satisfactorily. Certainly, the food plants of the
caterpillar--cabbages, cresses, and their tribe--are universally met with;
but then we find there are other insects whose food plant is equally
plentiful and widespread, and yet they are nevertheless very rare or local.

This is pre-eminently the domestic butterfly, abounding in suburban
gardens, and at times penetrating into the smoky heart of London, and then
even the young "St. Giles's bird," whose eyes were never gladdened by green
fields, gets up a butterfly hunt, and, cap (or rag) in hand, feels for the
nonce all the enthusiasm of the chase in pursuit of the white-winged
wanderer, who looks sadly lost and out of place in the flowerless,
brick-and-mortar wilderness.

This and the next species are the only British butterflies who can be
charged with committing any appreciable amount of damage to human food and
property. In the winged state, indeed, it is utterly harmless (like all
other butterflies); but not so the hungry caterpillar progeny, as the
gardener knows too well when he looks {81} at his choice cabbage rows all
gnawed away into skeletons.

In some seasons and places they multiply so inordinately and prodigiously
as to deserve the title of a plague of caterpillars, and several remarkable
instances of this phenomenon are on record.

A note in the _Zoologist_, p. 4547, by the Rev. Arthur Hussey, gives us the
following:--"For the last two summers many of the gardens of this village
have been infested by caterpillars to such an extent that the cabbages have
been utterly destroyed." When the time for changing to the chrysalis state
arrived, the surrounding buildings presented a curious appearance, being
marked with long lines of the creatures travelling up the walls in search
of a suitable place of shelter for undergoing their transformation. A great
number of the caterpillars took refuge in a malt-house, from which they
could not escape as butterflies, the result being that for several weeks
the maltster swept up daily many hundreds of the dead insects.

In 1842, a vast flight of white butterflies came over from the Continent to
the coast about Dover, and spreading inland from thence, did an immense
amount of damage to the cabbage gardens; but so effectually did the
ichneumon flies do their work, that an exceedingly small proportion of the
caterpillars, resulting from this flock of immigrants, went into the
chrysalis state, nearly all perishing just before the period of change.

Those small, silky, oval objects, of yellowish colour, {82} frequently
found in groups on walls and palings, are the _cocoons_ of these useful
little flies, spun round about and over the remains of the dead caterpillar
their victim. "These," as Mr. Westwood observes, "ignorant persons mistake
for the eggs of the caterpillar, and destroy; thus foolishly killing their

Happily these devastating caterpillars have plenty of enemies to prevent
their continued multiplication, and to reduce their number speedily when it
exceeds certain limits. Besides the ichneumons, mentioned above, the
feathered tribes do much towards keeping them down. Mr. Haworth, in his
"_Lepidoptera Britannica_," says, with reference to this: "Small birds
destroy incredible numbers of them as food, and should be encouraged. I
once observed a titmouse (_Parus major_) take five or six large ones to its
nest in a very few minutes. In enclosed gardens sea-gulls, with their wings
cut, are of infinite service. I had one eight years, which was at last
killed by accident, that lived entirely all the while upon the insects,
slugs, and worms which he found in the garden."

The pretty _egg_ of this butterfly is figured on Plate II. fig. 1: it may
be found commonly enough, with a little searching, on cabbage-leaves,
either at the end of May or beginning of August.

The _caterpillar_, which, besides cabbages, consumes various other
cruciferous plants,--also Tropæolums, or, as they are erroneously called,
"Nasturtiums,"--is green, {83} shaded with yellow on each side, and covered
with black points, on each of which is situated a hair.

By way of compensation for the damage it inflicts, it has been suggested
that a durable green dye might be extracted from the caterpillars of
cabbage butterflies, since it is extremely difficult to eradicate the stain
made by a crushed caterpillar on linen. If this strange and novel dye
should ever take its place among the vagaries of fashion, the shopkeepers
could find a familiar French name, as the word _chenille_, applied to
another commodity, means simply "caterpillar," so "_chenille green_" would
be the phrase for the colour afforded by smashed caterpillars.

The _chrysalis_ (Plate I. fig. 15) may be found almost anywhere, laid up
under ledges of garden walls, doorway, or any convenient projection, not
too far from the creature's food. Wanting an individual just now, to sit
for his portrait, I had only to step out of my door, and within a hundred
yards espied a candidate for the distinction, ready to hand, under the
coping-stone of a gate-post.

A _female_ specimen of the butterfly is figured on Plate IV. fig. 2. The
_male_ may be readily distinguished by the _absence of the black spots and
dashes on the upper side of the front wings_.

The winged insect may be seen throughout the warm season from April to

       *       *       *       *       *



(Plate IV. fig. 3.)

Outwardly resembling the last in almost every respect but that of its
inferior size, this species shares the gardener's malediction with its
larger, but perhaps less destructive, relative; for the caterpillar of
_Rapæ_, though smaller, bores into the very heart of the cabbage, instead
of being content with the less valuable outer leaves, as _Brassicæ_ is.
From this pernicious habit the French call this grub the _ver du coeur_.

The colour of this _caterpillar_ is pale green, with a yellow line along
the back, and a dotted one of the same colour on each side.

The _chrysalis_ is nearly like that of the last in shape, but of course
smaller, and is of a more uniform brownish or yellowish tint.

[Illustration: X.]

{85} This butterfly occasionally multiplies immensely, and is given to
migrating in vast armies to distant settlements, sometimes crossing the sea
to effect this purpose. Here is an extract from a Kentish newspaper,
describing an occurrence of this phenomenon:--

"One of the largest flights of butterflies ever seen in this country,
crossed the Channel from France to England on Sunday last. Such was the
density and extent of the cloud formed by the living mass, that it
completely obscured the sun from the people on board our Continental
steamers, on their passage, for many hundreds of yards, while the insects
strewed the decks in all directions. The flight reached England about
twelve o'clock at noon, and dispersed themselves inland and along shore,
darkening the air as they went. During the sea-passage of the butterflies,
the weather was calm and sunny, with scarce a puff of wind stirring; but an
hour or so after they reached _terra firma_, it came on to blow great guns
from the S. W., the direction whence the insects came."

A contemporary account states that these were the small white butterflies
(_Pieris Rapæ_).

The smaller butterfly with more dusky markings, formerly known as _P.
Metra_, has been recently proved to be merely a variety of _Rapæ_, a Mr. J.
F. Dawson having reared a brood of caterpillars all _exactly similar_ in
appearance, which eventually produced every variety of _P. Rapæ_ and _P.

Mr. Curtis, in his "Farm Insects," mentions the capture, near Oldham in
Lancashire, of a male specimen, which had all the wings of a _bright
yellow_ colour.

Most juvenile butterfly hunters, unblest by scientific knowledge of insect
life, imagine that this and the last owe their difference in size simply to
their being old and young individuals of the same name; forgetting--or,
rather, never having heard--that butterflies never grow in the slightest
degree after once getting their winged form; only as caterpillars do they
grow. {86}

The male is distinguished from the female by having only _one round black
spot_, or sometimes none, on each _upper_ wing, whilst the female is
spotted as in the engraving. The under side of the hind wings is dull
yellow, lightly powdered with black scales.

The _butterfly_ is seen during nearly the whole of the summer, and is found
almost everywhere.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate IV. fig. 4.)

Is so called from the greenish tint that _often_ borders the veins or
nervures on the _under_ side of the _hind_ wing; but the name is _not
always_ an appropriate one, for a large proportion of the specimens met
with have the veinings grey, and not at all green; but the fact is, that
the ground colour varies greatly, from creamy white to full buff, or bright
clear yellow; in the latter case it is, that the minute black scales which
border the course of the nervures, covering over the yellow, produce a
grey-green effect on the eye.

The size also is very variable. I have a specimen that expands two inches
and two lines across, from tip to tip, and have seen another not larger
than a small Copper butterfly--little more than one inch from tip {87} to
tip. The intensity of the dark markings, on both the upper and under sides,
is also subject to much variation.

But, under all these circumstances, the presence of dark cloudy veins on
the under side--appearing, but less distinctly, on the upper side--will at
once distinguish it from the last species, the only one with which it can
possibly be confounded.

The _male_ has only _one round spot_ on the _front_ wings; the _female_
being marked as in the plate.

Both in woods and cultivated grounds we meet with this butterfly commonly
enough, most abundantly in May and July, though it may be found from April
to August.

The _caterpillar_ feeds on the same tribe of plants as the two last, but is
supposed to be especially attached to the Rape (_Brassica Napus_), whence
its specific name. Its colour is green, with yellow spots round each
spiracle, which is itself tinged with red.

Two varieties of this were formerly ranked as distinct species, under the
name of _P. Sabellicæ_ and _P. Napæ_.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE BATH WHITE. (_Pieris Daplidice._)

(Plate IV. fig. 5, Female.)

Of all the members of this white-winged genus that inhabit Britain, this is
at the same time the most beautiful and the rarest. The capture of a Bath
White is an entomological "event," and the day thereof is a red-letter day
in the fortunate captor's life.

On the opposite coast of France, however, and generally on the Continent,
far from being a rarity, this is one of the commonest butterflies--a fact
difficult for an English collector, removed by only a few miles of sea, to
realise, or reconcile with the _extravagant_ value and importance attached
to a true "British specimen."

The remark made under the head of the Black-veined White, as to that
eluding the net of the novice, by its resemblance to a common kind, will
apply with still greater force to this one; for I suppose there are few
even of the tolerably experienced "hands" who could tell this from the two
last described insects, at a short distance. One curious circumstance
bearing on this is, that a large per centage of the Bath White captures in
this country have been made by juvenile beginners, who hunt and catch
_everything_ they see, Common Whites and all. {89}

This fact should encourage the collector, especially when at work on the
south-east coast, to net all the middle-sized Whites that come within
reasonable distance--of course letting them off again, if they are not of
the right sort.

The wing markings on both the upper and under sides are, though simple,
extremely elegant and chaste. The _female_, which is the sex figured, has
the upper wings beautifully spotted with black. The hind wings are bordered
with a _row of black spots_, and clouded towards the centre with a faint
tint of the same.

The male is distinguished by the absence of the black spot nearest to the
lower margin of the front wing, and of the black marginal spots and grey
clouding of the hind wings. The markings of the under surface, however,
show through their substance rather plainly.

In both sexes, the ground colour of the wings is milk-white. But the chief
decoration is reserved for the under surface, which is chequered, in a
manner not easily described, with a soft but rich green tint upon white,
relieved here and there by a few black touches.

We are informed by Lewin, that it was named the Bath White from a piece of
needlework executed at Bath, by a young lady, from a specimen of this
insect, said to have been taken near that city. But the south-eastern
corner of England, and more especially on the coast, seems to be the
head-quarters of this valued fly,--lending probability to the supposition
entertained {90} by many, that a large proportion of those taken here have
migrated or been blown across the Channel; though I believe it sometimes
breeds here, and that the caterpillars have, on one or two occasions, been
found in this country.

The butterfly has been taken several times at Dover, Margate, and other
places on the Kentish coast; at Lewes; Whittlesea Mere, Cambridge;
Worcester, and near Bristol.

The _caterpillar_, which is to be found in June and September, is bluish
with black spots, a pale yellow line on each side, and two of the same
colour on the back. M. Le Plastrier reared a number of them, feeding them
on the leaves of the Wild Mignonette (_Reseda lutea_). It also feeds on
Weld (_Reseda Luteola_).

The _chrysalis_ very much resembles that of the Small Garden White, and is
totally unlike that of the next, the Orange-Tip, with which it has been by
some entomologist united into another genus (_Manicipium_).

_Daplidice_ is a slow insect--slower than the Common Whites--and it is an
easy matter to catch it, when recognized, which the peculiarly heavy flight
might aid one in doing.

May and August are the months in which to look after this gem of the
_Pontia_ genus.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE ORANGE-TIP BUTTERFLY. (_Euchloë Cardamines._)

(Plate V. fig. 1, Male; 1_a_, Female.)

Few vernal ramblers in the country, whether entomological or no, can fail
to have noticed, and been charmed by, this merry blossom-like insect, as it
gaily flits along by hedge-row and wood-side, pausing anon to taste its own
sweet flowers of May, and looking, even when on the wing, so unlike any
other of our native butterflies. Truly it is an exquisite and loveable
little creature, this Orange-Tip--sometimes styled the Wood Lady; but this
latter title is somewhat awkward in its application, inasmuch as the
"_lady_" insect is entirely without the characteristic _orange_ adornment,
and would hardly be suspected as being the same species with her handsome

The _male Orange-Tip_ needs no description, for the purpose of recognition,
beyond that conveyed by his name; but as the _female_ is less known, and
has been on several occasions mistaken for the rare Bath White
(_Daplidice_), it will be well to point out her chief distinguishing
characters. The difference between the two insects certainly is obvious
enough, when the two are _seen_ together, but their written descriptions
read rather alike. {92}

The female _Cardamines_ has the wings white _above_, with a greyish black
tip, and a _small oval_, or _crescent-shaped black spot_ (much smaller than
that of Daplidice) near the _centre_ of the front wings; _beneath_, a white
ground, with green marblings, that are much more sharply defined than those
in _Daplidice_. Near the centre of the front wing is a _clear black spot_,
corresponding in position with that on the upper surface, _and not shaded
off with green, as in Daplidice_.

We speak of the _green_ marblings of this species--and, to the naked eye,
they do appear to be of quite a bright green--but under a microscope or
powerful lens that colour disappears, being resolved into a combination of
bright yellow and pure black scales, which, with the dazzling snow-white
ground scales that surround them, form a microscopic tableau of
extraordinary beauty. This can, however, only be seen by daylight, for
under artificial light the yellow, on which the whole effect depends, is
entirely lost.

The _caterpillar_ is slightly hairy, and green, with a white stripe on each
side. It has been generally stated that the _Cardamine impatiens_ is the
common food plant of this species, _apropos_ of which I will quote the
following communication from Mr. Doubleday to the editor of the

"In reply to your query about the food of the larva of _Cardamines_, I may
say that I have found it upon several plants. I believe that _Cardamine
pratensis_ (common cuckoo-flower) is the one on which the eggs {93} are
most frequently deposited, but the greater part of the _larvæ_ must perish
in this neighbourhood, because the fields are mowed before the larvæ are
full-grown. I have very often seen the larvæ on the seed-pods of _Erysimum
Alliaria_, and have several times found the _pupæ_ on the dead stems of
this plant in winter; I think that it is the principal food of Cardamines
at Epping; it also probably feeds on _E. barbarea_, and other similar
plants. Some years ago we used to have a quantity of a large single rocket
in the garden, and there was always a number of the larvæ of _Cardamines_
feeding on the seed-pods. _Cardamine impatiens_ is so local a plant _that
it cannot be the common food of the larvæ of Cardamines_."

The _chrysalis_ is of the very singular shape shown at fig. 17, Plate I., a
shape quite unique among British butterflies, though that of the next
slightly approaches it. It is to be looked for in autumn and winter on the
dry, dead stems of the plants named in the foregoing paragraph.

The perfect butterfly, which is very common throughout the country, is met
with from the end of April to the end of May or beginning of June.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE WOOD-WHITE BUTTERFLY. (_Leucophasia Sinapis._)

(Plate V. fig. 2.)

A glance at the figure of this graceful little butterfly (on Plate V.) will
suffice to distinguish it at once, and clearly, from all our other Whites.
The most ordinary form of the insect is there represented, but there are
specimens occasionally met with that have the blackish spot at the tip of
the wings very much fainter; and sometimes, as in one that I possess, this
spot is totally wanting. The shape of the wings in these is also different,
being much rounder, and proportionately shorter, than in the ordinary
shape. This difference in outline is, I believe, a sexual distinction, the
more rounded form belonging to the female insect.

The slender, fragile wings and the attenuated body of the Wood-white give
it a look of almost ghostly lightness, and its manners befit its spectral
aspect, for it seems to _haunt_ the still and lonely wood glades, flitting
about slowly and restlessly, and being seldom seen to settle.

From its weak flight, it is a very easy insect to capture. It appears to be
addicted to early rising, _twenty-six_ specimens having been taken _one
morning before breakfast_ by a gentleman at Grange, in North Lancashire.

The _caterpillar_ is green, striped on each side with yellow; it feeds on
the Bird's-foot Trefoil, and other leguminous plants.

The _chrysalis_ is shown on Plate I. fig. 18, and in shape somewhat
approaches that of the Orange-tip.

The _butterfly_ appears in May and August, and though by no means a common
or generally distributed insect, is found--and sometimes abundantly--in
many localities throughout the country, as far north as Carlisle; some of
these are here given. Woods in neighbourhood of Brighton, Horsham (Sussex),
Dorchester, New Forest, Exeter, Epping, West Wickham Wood, Monkswood,
Huntingdonshire, Plymouth, Wavendon, Worcester, Kent and Surrey,
Teignmouth, Gloucestershire, Carlisle, Lake District, Leicester,
Manchester, North Lancashire. _Unknown in Scotland._

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate V. fig. 3.)

This highly interesting and elegant insect would, by the uninitiated,
probably be classed among the last group of Butterflies--the Whites--from
the similarity in its colours; but from all those it may be readily
distinguished by having _only four walking legs_ (instead of the _six_
which all our other white butterflies possess), {96} and also by the
_eye-like_ spots most visible on the under side.

The colouring may be described as consisting of nearly equal quantities of
_black_ and _creamy-white_, or _pale yellow_, so arranged as to form a
_marbled_ pattern of great richness. This description applies to the upper
surface; on the under, the pale tint very much preponderates, many of the
black masses of the upper side being here reduced to mere lines.

Many an entomologist, whose hunting ground has been limited to a small
district, has collected for years without once seeing this pretty creature
on the wing; and then visiting another neighbourhood, perhaps not far
distant, he will suddenly find it in profusion. I well remember the
feelings of surprised delight with which, under these circumstances, I
first made its acquaintance. The scene of the event was a grassy opening in
a wooded hill-side in Kent, and here were literally hundreds visible at
once, making the air all alive as they fluttered about in sportive groups:
it was a sight not to be forgotten; while a hundred yards from this spot
not a solitary one was to be seen, so closely limited is the local range of
this species.

The _caterpillar_, which feeds on grasses, like the rest of its tribe, is
green, with yellowish stripes on each side, and has a reddish head and
tail. The form is shown at fig. 3, Plate I.--a form common to all the tribe
to which this species belongs.

July and August are the months when we should {97} look for this charming
butterfly, in wood clearings and meadows near woods.

Some of the localities in which it has been observed are: Isle of Wight,
Surrey Hills, Eastwell Park (Kent), Dover, Lewes, Brighton, Epping,
Gloucestershire, Kingsbury, Darenth Wood, New Forest, Rockingham Park,
Teignmouth, York, Barnwell Wold, South Wales. _Not known in Scotland._

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate V. fig. 4.)

Every one who has wandered through green woodland ridings, or coppiced
paths, must be familiar with a lively, spotted brown insect that trips
along just ahead of one, in a sociable way, for some distance, finding time
to turn aside into the leafy recesses on either side without losing ground;
then, having had enough of our company, mounting overhead, and retracing
its course in the same playful way, and soon lost in the winding of the

This is the Speckled Wood, or Wood Argus Butterfly, a very pretty insect on
both sides, and receiving the latter name--Argus, "the many-eyed"--from the
rows of rich black _eyes_ that grace its pinions. {98}

Over nearly the whole of England it is to be met with commonly wherever
there is wooded ground; but in several parts of Scotland it is quite

The prevailing colour of the wings is deep brown, spotted with various
shades of buff or lighter brown. The "eyes" are velvety black, with a pure
white centre-spot.

The _caterpillar_--a grass feeder--is dull green, with broad white side

The _chrysalis_, which is of a beautiful grass-green colour, may be found
in winter, under trees, attached to blades of grass.

The _butterfly_ is out from April to August.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WALL BUTTERFLY. (_Lasiommata Megæra._)

(Plate V. fig. 5.)

The habits and movements of this pretty species much resemble those of the
last; but the Wall Butterfly is a more sun-loving insect, and rather
frequents road-sides and dry sunny banks. Still, there are many spots where
one sees both the _Lasiommatas_ together.

The colours on the upper side are a _rich tawny or fulvous ground_, with
_dark-brown markings_, and pure {99} black eye-spots. The under side of the
hind wings is pencilled with sober colours, but in a design of great beauty
and delicacy; and especially to be admired are the double-ringed "eyes," a
band of which runs parallel with the outer margin of the hind wings.

The _caterpillar_ feeds on grasses; is green, with three pale lines down
the back, and one more clearly marked on each side.

The _butterfly_ appears in May, and again in August and September; and is
everywhere common throughout the country.

It is called the Wall Butterfly from its frequent habit of choosing a
road-side _wall_ for a perch, whence, on the approach of man, it darts off;
returning again, however, on the departure of the obnoxious person.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GRAYLING BUTTERFLY. (_Hipparchia Semele._)

(Plate V. fig. 6, Female.)

This fine insect is the largest _British_ species of the genus, and also of
the family, some of the females measuring two inches and three-quarters
from tip to tip across the expanded wings; and it also exhibits more
vivacity of colouring than most of its brethren.

Above, the wings are deep brown, marked with {100} broad patches of paler
colour, sometimes making a bright contrast in the female, but much duller
and more uniform in the male.

The female also exceeds her lord considerably in stature, and, in fact, by
her side he looks rather a mean and shabby fellow.

The device on the under side of the hind wings, though composed of the
plainest colours, is very ornamental; grey and brown are the prevailing
hues, disposed in mottled bars and stripes, reminding one of agates, or
some other ornamental stones.

This butterfly is not everywhere to be found, but haunts rocky places and
hill-sides, on a chalky or limestone soil. At St. Boniface's Down, in the
Isle of Wight, I noticed it in such exceeding profusion last August, that I
could quickly have caught thousands, had I been so disposed.

Though a powerful-looking insect, its flight is by no means swift, and it
suffers itself to be captured without difficulty.

The _caterpillar_ is dull pinkish about the back, with three obscure
grey-green stripes, a dark line on the sides, and greenish beneath. It
feeds on grasses, and has been said to undergo its transformation to the
chrysalis in the earth; but this point requires confirmation.

The _butterfly_ is seen from the middle of July till the beginning of

The following are localities for it:--Bembridge and Ventnor (Isle of
Wight), Brighton, Lewes, New Forest, Exeter, Plymouth, Falmouth, Truro,
Bristol, Dorsetshire, Salisbury Plain, Winchester, Worcester, Newmarket,
Gamlingay, Isle of Arran, Arthur's Seat (Edinburgh), Durham, Darlington,
Glasgow, Lake District.

[Illustration: XI.]


THE MEADOW BROWN BUTTERFLY. (_Hipparchia Janira._)

(Plate VI. fig. 1, Male; 1_a_, Female.)

Perhaps of all our butterflies this is the least attractive, being too
common to excite interest from its rarity or difficulty of attainment, as
other dingy butterflies do, and too plain and homely to win regard, in
spite of its commonness, as the beautiful "Small Tortoise-shell" and the
Common Blues do.

This is the sober brown insect that keeps up a constant fluttering, in
sunshine and gloom, over the dry pasture land and barren hill-side; and
perhaps it ought to find favour in our eyes, from this very fact of keeping
up a cheerful spirit under circumstances the most unfavourable to butterfly
enjoyment in general.

The colouring of the _male_, on the upper side, may be described as a
_sooty brown_, rather lighter about the eye-spot on the front wing. {102}

The _female_ is a little smarter in her attire, having an orange-tawny
patch on the front wing.

Beneath, both sexes are nearly alike; the general colour of the front wing
being fulvous, or orange-brown, with a cool-brown margin. The hind wings
are marked with tints of a duller brown, varying much in distinctness in
different specimens.

The _caterpillar_ is green, with a white stripe on each side. Feeds on

The _butterfly_ abounds almost everywhere, from June till the end of

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LARGE HEATH BUTTERFLY. (_Hipparchia Tithonus._)

(Plate VI. fig. 2, Male.)

Though much less abundant than the last, this is another very common
species, and met with throughout England and the _south_ of Scotland.

The ground tint above is a _rich rust-colour_, or _orange-brown, bordered
with dark-brown_; the base of the wings also slightly clouded with the
same; and on each front wing, near the tip, there is a _black eye-spot_,
with _two white_ dots. So far, both sexes are similar; but the _male_ has,
in addition, a _bar of dark-brown across the centre of the rust-coloured
space_, on the upper wing. This sex is that figured on the plate. {103}

Underneath, there is a pretty arrangement of subdued colouring; that of the
front wings nearly resembling the upper side; the lower wings clouded and
spotted with russet-brown on a paler brown ground, the _dark rounded brown
spots_ having _white_ centres; but there are _no black_ eye-spots on the
hind wings.

The _caterpillar_ is greenish-grey, with reddish head and two pale lines on
each side and a dark one down the back.

The _butterfly_, a feeble flier and easily captured, appears in July and
August; its favourite resorts being heaths, dry fields, and lanes.

It is sometimes called the _Small_ Meadow Brown, and the Gate-keeper.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RINGLET BUTTERFLY. (_Hipparchia Hyperanthus._)

(Plate VI. fig. 3, Female.)

This is one of those butterflies in which Nature, departing from her
accustomed plan, has reserved the chief adornment of the wings for the
_under_ surface, leaving the upper comparatively plain and unattractive.

In both sexes the wings, above, are of a deep sepia brown, surrounded by a
greyish white fringe, and bearing several black spots in paler rings, which
rings are {104} much _less distinct_ in the _male_ than in the female, the
sex figured in the plate.

The under surface is of a soft russet ground, adorned with a wreath of the
_ringlet_-spots from which the insect takes its common name. These are
_black eye-spots_, white-centred and set in a clear ring of pale tawny
colour. The most usual form and proportions of these spots are shown in the
figure (with closed wings), but there are many varieties met with, the
following being the most remarkable that have come under my notice.

One, and not a very uncommon one, has _no light rings_ round the black
spots on the under side.

Another has the rings reduced to a range of mere light specks, the _black
eye-spots being entirely absent_.

Then again, another has the black _pupils_ exceedingly large and rich,
forming a most elegant variety.

The spots on the _upper_ side in the _male_ are sometimes quite

The ground colour of the _upper_ side is occasionally of a pale drab or
fawn colour.

The _caterpillar_ of this species is very like that of the last in
colouring, and feeds on the same grasses.

The _butterfly_, which is out in June and July, is a common and widely
distributed species, frequenting woods, shady corners of hedge-rows, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *



(Plate VI. fig. 4, Female.)

The genus _Erebia_, to which this species belongs, is composed of a group
of mountain butterflies, very numerous in the Alpine regions of the
Continent, seventeen species being described as inhabiting the Alps; and,
though only two have yet been discovered in this country (unless we admit
_Ligea_, formerly taken in the Isle of Arran[10]), it is not at all
improbable that others may be waiting for us in some of the mountain
districts, if we will but look them up. Both tourists and, more especially,
residents in those localities should be encouraged by the hope of adding a
new species to our list to explore thoroughly the hill-sides and summits at
various seasons of the year, as many of the species, besides being
extremely local in their range, are only on the wing during a very short
period of the year.

The Scotch Argus is a pretty, though not brightly-coloured butterfly.

The colour above is a deep rich brown, with a coppery or orange-red band on
each wing, and each band has several (three or four usually) black
eye-spots thereon.


On the under side, the front wings are nearly the same as on the upper
side, showing the red patch and eyes plainly; but the hind wings are
without the red patch, and are divided into broad bands of brownish tints,
very variable, having sometimes a tendency to chocolate colour, sometimes
to an olive or russet brown: but the stripe which is shown as lightest in
the engraving of the under side is almost always greyer than the rest,
having occasionally a purplish ash colour. On this band are some minute
specks, occupying the places of the upper surface eyes.

The number of eye-spots is very variable on both surfaces.

The female, which is the sex figured, is both larger than the male and has
the reddish band of a brighter colour.

The _caterpillar_, whose food plant is unknown, is stated by Duncan to be
"light green, with brown and white longitudinal stripes; head reddish."

The _butterfly_ appears in August and September. A few years ago it was
esteemed a rare insect, but it has since been found in plenty in some of
the following localities, the list of which would doubtless be largely
added to by further research in the northern hilly districts, its chosen

Near Edinburgh; near Minto, in Roxburghshire; Isle of Arran; Bræmar; near
Newcastle; Castle Eden Dene; Durham; Craven; Wharfedale. {107}

At Grange, in North Lancashire, this "rarity" is a common garden butterfly,
according to Mr. C. S. Gregson.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate VI. fig. 5.)

A few years ago this little butterfly was esteemed one of the greatest of
British rarities. The first well authenticated specimens were discovered
and captured in Westmoreland by that distinguished artist, T. Stothard,
R.A.; then for several years no more were taken, and the very existence of
the butterfly in Britain was questioned. Since that time, however, its
peculiar haunts among the mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland have
been rediscovered, and great numbers have been captured by various
collectors. It is only found in very elevated situations, flying about the
moist, springy spots that abound on these mountain sides, and in many spots
the insect is very plentiful, within a limited range.

Mr. Curtis says, "They only fly when the sun shines, and their flight is
neither swift nor continued, for they frequently alight among the grass,
and falling down to the roots, their sombre colour perfectly conceals

The following notice of their locality, &c. from {108} personal
observation, is quoted from a communication to the _Intelligencer_, by a
well-known entomologist, Mr. R. S. Edleston, of Manchester. He says:--

"I and my friend, Mr. Hugh Harrison, in the middle of June made the ascent
to Sty Head Tarn; for the first time in my experience, the weather was
everything we could desire--calm and sunshine; this, combined with the dry
season of last year and the long drought for months during this, enabled us
to collect on ground in other years a dangerous morass. The result was, we
captured _Cassiope_ in abundance, some of them in superb condition, just
emerged from the chrysalis. A very short time on the wing suffices to
injure them. They vary considerably in the development of the black spots
on the fulvous patch, almost obsolete in some through all gradations to the
fullest development; the patch varies in like manner, and also in form;
lastly, they vary in size."

The caterpillar is yet _unknown_.

The _butterfly_ has the wings above of a dark brown colour. Each wing bears
near its extremity a bar of deep but dull red, divided into sections where
the brown veins cross. In each section is usually a black spot, but
sometimes these are absent, and a few red spots take the place of the bar.
The hind wings are smoothly rounded in their outline, and not toothed or
scalloped as in the last species (_Blandina_). The _males_ generally appear
towards the end of June, but a few sometimes earlier. The females, however,
come later. {109} being found in July, and some even as late as August. The
following localities for it are recorded:--Rannoch, Perthshire; Lake
District; Sty Head Tarn; Langdale Pikes; Red Skrees Mountains, near
Ambleside; Gable Hill. But other stations for it will probably be added to
our list in time.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate VI. fig. 6.)

This species, which is another North-country butterfly, varies so much in
its colouring of sober drab or brown, with black eye-spots, that its
varieties have been described as distinct species under the names of _C.
Polydama_, _Typhon_, and _Iphis_, now, however, all placed together under
the name of _Davus_.

These variations appear to depend in great measure upon local differences
of elevation, latitude, &c.

From this excessive variability also it is very difficult to give a clear
_general_ description of the markings, though the insect may be
distinguished from other British species that approach it in appearance by
the obscure yellowish-drab tint of the upper surface, marked with
indistinct eye-spots, and more especially by having on the under surface of
the hind wings an _irregular_ {110} _whitish_ band across the centre, and
outside of this a row of about six clearly defined black eye-spots with
white centres, situated each in a pale ochreous ring.

The _butterfly_, which appears in June and July, is exclusively met with in
the North (including North Wales), and inhabits the moors and marshy
heaths, or "mosses," in a great many localities in Scotland and the
northern counties. The following are among those recorded:--

SCOTLAND.--Shetland Isles; Isle of Arran; Pentland Hills; Ben Nevis; Ben
Lomond, near Oban; Ben More.

ENGLAND.--Lake District of Cumberland; Yorkshire; Beverley; Cottingham;
Hatfield Chase; Thorne Moor; White Moss, Trafford Moss, Chat Moss, near
Manchester; Chartly Park, near Uttoxeter; Delmere Forest, Cheshire; between
Stockport and Ashton; near Cromer, in Norfolk; near Glandford Brigg,

IRELAND.--Donegal mountains.

NORTH WALES.--Between Bala and Ffestiniog.

Ashdown Forest, in Sussex, has been given as a locality, on doubtful
authority, certainly; but from what I have seen and know of that district
and its productions, I think it is not at all impossible that _Davus_ may
be really found there. We have there, at any rate, the heath-covered, yet
swampy, moorlands that the insect loves, and also in plenty the plants one
finds most abundant in the northern moorlands; such {111} as Vacciniums,
Cotton-grasses, the three common Heaths, &c. &c. with great variety in the
elevation, some of the ground lying very high.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SMALL HEATH BUTTERFLY. (_Coenonympha Pamphilus._)

(Plate VI. fig. 7.)

This is the pretty little tawny-coloured butterfly that mixes with the
sportive group of "Blues," Meadow Browns, &c. on heaths, downs, and grassy

The general colour of the upper surface is a tawny yellow or buff, shaded
with a darker tint of brown at the edges and at the bases of the hind
wings. On the under side it may be distinguished from _C. Davus_ by the
_absence of the clearly defined black eye-spots_ which the latter has. It
is usually much inferior in size to the last.

The _caterpillar_, which feeds on the common grasses, is of a bright
apple-green colour, with three darker green stripes bordered with a whitish
tint, the largest stripe being that on the back.

The _butterfly_ abounds all over the country, from June till September.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE WHITE ADMIRAL. (_Limenitis Sybilla._)

(Plate VII. fig. 1.)

This elegant butterfly is one of those in which the choicest ornamentation
is bestowed upon the _under_ surface, to the comparative neglect of the
upper. Above, a dark sepia-brown tint, banded and spotted with white, is
all that greets the eye; but beneath there is a piece of the most
exquisitely harmonious colouring, though the hues that compose it are still
of a subdued and secondary nature;--silvery blue, and golden brown blended
with a cooler brown and black, are placed in vivacious contrast with bands
and spots of pure silvery white.

The _caterpillar_ (Plate I. fig. 4), which feeds on the Honeysuckle, is a
pretty and singular looking creature; general colour bright green, with
reddish branched spines, and white and brown side-stripes.

The _chrysalis_ (Plate I. fig. 21) is also a very beautiful and curious
object, very knobby and angular, of dark green general colour, and
ornamented with _bright silver_ spots and stripes.

The _butterfly_ is found from the end of June till the end of July; its
favourite resorts being oak-woods in the southern counties. {113}

Localities:--Colchester; Epping; Hartley Wood, near St. Osyth, Essex; near
Rye, and in other parts of Sussex; at several places in Kent; near
Winchester; and in Black Park, where Dr. Allchin informs me he took a large
number in one day.

The superlatively graceful motions of this butterfly on the wing, as it
comes floating and sailing through the wood openings, have long been
celebrated; and the story has been often quoted from Haworth, of the old
fly-fancier, who, long after he had become too feeble and stiff-jointed to
pursue or net a butterfly, used to go and sit on a stile which commanded a
well-known resort of his favourite _Sybilla_, and there, for hours
together, would he feast his eyes on the sight of her inimitably elegant

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PURPLE EMPEROR. (_Apatura Iris._)

(Plate VII. fig. 2.)

By universal suffrage, the place of highest rank among the butterflies of
Britain has been accorded to this splendid insect, who merits his imperial
title by reason of his robe of royal purple, the lofty throne he assumes,
and the boldness and elevation of his flight.

A glimpse of this august personage on the wing is enough to fire the
collector with enthusiastic ambition {114} for his capture; sometimes a
matter of the easiest accomplishment, sometimes just as hopelessly
impossible, according to his majesty's humour of the moment.

Cowardice is not one of his attributes, and if he has formed a preference
for any especial spot, he will risk loss of liberty and life rather than
forsake it.

The old mode of capturing this prize was by a ring net fixed at the end of
a pole some twenty or thirty feet long, and so sweeping him off as he sat
on his leafy throne, or in one of his evolutions when he quitted his seat
for a turn in the air.

This method still is practised, and succeeds occasionally, but the weapon
is an unwieldy one, both in use, and for carriage to the place of action;
and science has now placed in our power another plan, by means of which I
believe that by far the greater number of recent captures have been made.

The plan alluded to, is to take advantage of the creature's royal taste for
game--for in that light I take his predilection for decomposing animal
matter, now a matter of notoriety; and so potent is the attraction of the
_haut-goût_ for the royal palate, that if any animal, or part of one, not
too recently slaughtered, be suspended near the known haunts of the insect,
ten to one but its savour will bring him down to earth to taste the
luxurious morsel, and so engrossed does he become when thus engaged, that
he may be swept off by the net without difficulty. In the space of two or
three days large numbers of Emperors have been caught by means {115} of
this novel and singular trap, and the seemingly coarse and unbutterfly-like
taste that leads them to it.

The wings of the male only have that splendid glow of changing purple that
gives him his name and honours, the empress having in its place a sober
garb of brown; she, however, considerably exceeds her lord in dimensions
and expanse of wing. From her stay-at-home habits, sitting all day in her
oak-leaf bower, she is comparatively seldom seen or captured. I believe
collectors generally take about ten males to one female.

On the under side the colouring of both sexes is similar, and affords a
striking contrast to the dark upper surface, having the white markings
arranged as on the upper side, but rather broader; and, instead of the dark
brown or purple, a lively pattern of orange-brown, greyish brown, and
black. On the front wing is a purple-centred eye-spot, and a smaller one is
seen near the lower angle of the hind wing.

The firm, muscular appearance of the wings, gives promise of great strength
in those organs, fully borne out in the powerful and bird-like flight of
the creature, who has also a habit of soaring, about midday, to vast
heights in the air, and there engaging in contests, sportive or pugnacious,
with his brother, or rival, Emperors.

In the _caterpillar_ state also the Purple Emperor is a remarkable
creature, of the form shown in Plate I. fig. 5, bright green, striped with
yellow on each side, and bearing on his head a pair of horns or tentacles.
{116} Though the perfect insect is chiefly found on the oak, the
caterpillar feeds generally on the broad-leaved Sallow, though it has been
occasionally found on the Poplar.

The _chrysalis_, which may be found on the same trees, suspended to the
under side of a leaf, is shown at Fig. 22, Plate I. and is of a light green

The _butterfly_ appears in July, and is found in oak woods in many
localities of the South. The following are a few of these:--Near
Colchester, extremely abundant, Epping, Great and Little Stour Woods;
Kettering, Barnwell Wold, Northamptonshire; Bourne, Lincoln; Leicester;
Reading, Newbury, Berks; Herefordshire; Forest of Dean, Monmouthshire;
Warwickshire; Suffolk; Monkswood, Hunts; Clapham Park Wood, Beds; Darenth
Wood, Chatham, Tenterden; Ticehurst, Balcombe, Tilgate Forest, Arundel,
near Brighton; Lyndhurst; Stowmarket; Isle of Wight.

[Illustration: XII.]

{117} THE PAINTED LADY. (_Cynthia Cardui._)

(Plate VII. fig. 3.)

We now come to a very natural group of butterflies, rich, and often
gorgeous, in their colouring, and having, both in their perfect and
preparatory states, many characteristics in common, in point of habits, as
well as of appearance and construction. The caterpillars are all thorny,
and the chrysalides are adorned with brilliant metallic (generally
_golden_) spots, from which appearance was derived the name
"_chrysalis_,"[11] since applied, but somewhat improperly, to the _pupæ_ of
_all_ butterflies. This golden effect is produced by a brilliant white
membrane underlying the transparent yellow outer skin of the chrysalis, and
it may be imitated, as discovered by Lister many years ago, "by putting a
small piece of black gall in a strong decoction of nettles; this produces a
scum which, when left on cap-paper, will exquisitely gild it, without the
application of the real metal."

The present species is a highly elegant insect, well named the Painted
Lady, and in France the "_Belle Dame_."

The colouring of the upper surface is composed of black and very dark
brown, with irregular markings of an orange red, tinged partially with a
rosy hue. Near the tip of the front wings are several pure white spots.

Beneath, the great beauty lies in the delicate pencilling of the hind wing
with pearly greys and browns, and contrasted with this, the warm roseate
blush and aurora tint on the upper wing.

The _caterpillar_ is thorny and brown, with yellow stripes down the back
and sides. It feeds on various {118} species of thistle, but sometimes also
on the nettle and other plants.

The _chrysalis_ is brown and grey, with silver spots.

The butterfly first appears about the end of July, and is seen till the end
of September, and occasionally in October. I took a beautiful fresh
specimen in _October_, while strolling through a nursery garden at

Those seen in early spring are _hybernated_ specimens.

The appearance of this butterfly in any given locality is a matter of great
uncertainty, though it capriciously visits, and even abounds occasionally
in almost every place.

It is a bold insect, and, though agile in its movements, not difficult to
catch, for, if disturbed or missed at the first stroke, it returns to the
charge quite fearlessly.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RED ADMIRAL. (_Vanessa Atalanta._)

(Plate VIII. fig. 1.)

In grand simplicity and vividness of colour, the Red Admiral perhaps
surpasses every other British butterfly, and reminds one forcibly of some
of the gorgeous denizens of the tropics. Intense black and brilliant
scarlet in bands and borders are the two chief elements {119} of this
splendour, relieved delightfully by the cool white spots at the outer and
upper corners, and by the choice little bits of blue at the inner and lower
angles and near the margins. The painting of the under surface entirely
beggars description. There is, in addition to the red band, a good deal of
blue on the upper wing, and the lower wing is covered by an intricate
embroidery of indescribable tints--all manner of browns, and greys, and
blacks, with golden and other hues of metals, are here pencilled and
blended with magic effect.

The _caterpillar_, which feeds on the common nettle, is thorny, yellowish
grey in colour, with light yellow lines on each side and black markings.

The _chrysalis_ is brownish, with gold spots.

The butterfly usually comes out in August, and may be met with till early
in October. The hybernated specimens of this are more rarely seen than
those of any of the other common _Vanessas_.

Like others of its genus, the Red Admiral is familiar, and even saucy, in
its manners, seeming to prefer the haunts of men to the solitudes that
other insects love, flaunting boldly before our face in gardens and
highways, where most we meet it.

It is found commonly all over the country.

       *       *       *       *       *



(Plate VIII. fig. 2.)

The form and markings of this species, so distinct from every other of our
butterflies, will be seen by reference to the plate; and as to its
colouring, I will not do it the injustice to attempt a description of its
rich perfection, more especially as almost every reader may hope to add the
insect to his collection during his first year's hunting, and then he can
study its beauties for himself.

The under side, however, presents a remarkable contrast to the splendour of
the reverse, being covered with shades and streaks of funereal blacks and
browns. This affords a strange effect when the insect, sitting on a flower
head, alternately opens and shuts the wings with a fanning motion,
according to its custom.

The _caterpillar_ (Plate I. fig. 6), which feeds gregariously upon the
nettle, is black, dotted with white, and thorny.

The _chrysalis_ is greenish, with gold spots.

The _butterfly_, which is common in nearly every part of England, comes out
in August and September, the individuals met with not unfrequently in the
spring having hybernated.

Mr. Doubleday writes thus to the _Zoologist_ regarding the winter retreats
of butterflies of this genus:--"Last {121} winter some large stacks of
beech faggots, which had been loosely stacked up in our forest (_Epping_)
the preceding spring, with the dead leaves adhering to them, were taken
down and carted away, and among these were many scores of _Io_, _Urticæ_,
and _Polychloros_."

In Scotland this is generally a very rare butterfly, but has latterly been
abundant in Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CAMBERWELL BEAUTY. (_Vanessa Antiopa._)

(Plate VIII. fig. 3.)

Many years ago, when Camberwell was a real village, luxuriating in its
willows, the entomologists of the day were delighted by the apparition, in
that suburb, of this well-named "Beauty," whose name since then has always
been associated with Camberwell--certainly not a promising place in the
present day for a butterfly hunt, for, though it has its "beauties" still,
they are not of the lepidopterous order, nor game for any net that the
entomologist usually carries. Since then it has been found at intervals,
and in very variable abundance, in a wide range of localities.

The arrangement of colours in this butterfly is most remarkable and
unusual, by reason of the sudden contrast between the pale whitish border
and the velvet depth of the colours it encloses. {122}

The inmost portion of all the wings is a deep rich chocolate brown, then
comes a band of black, including a row of large blue spots, and succeeded
by an outer border of pale yellow tint, partially dappled with black

The _caterpillar_ feeds on the _willow_ (which accounts for its former
appearance in Camberwell). It is thorny, black, with white dots, and a row
of large red spots down the back.

The _chrysalis_ is very angular, and blackish with tawny spots.

The butterfly comes out of the chrysalis late in the autumn, and is seen
from August till October; but a great proportion of those observed in this
country have survived the winter, and have been seen abroad again in the
spring. It has been frequently seen feasting on over-ripe or rotten fruit,
and at such times may be often surprised and captured with ease.

No spot can be pointed out where one can _expect_ to meet with this fine
insect; but it has appeared singly at intervals in the following localities
among others:--Scotland, Ayrshire; Durham; Scarborough; York; Darlington;
Sheffield; Manchester; Lake District; Appleby; Coventry; Peterborough;
Oxford; Burton-on-Trent; Norfolk; Lincolnshire; Suffolk; Bristol; Ely;
Shrewsbury; Plymouth; Teignmouth; Kent; Ashford; Bromley; Tenterden;
Ramsgate; various places in neighbourhood of London; Epping; Hampshire;
Isle of Wight; Lewes; Worthing. {123}

On the Continent this is a common butterfly, in many places being the most
abundant of all the _Vanessas_.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate IX. fig. 1.)

The beginner often has a slight difficulty in finding a good and permanent
distinction between this species and the next (_V. Urticæ_). At the first
blush, the superior size of this seems to be a sufficient mark, and then
the orange of the wings has usually a much browner, or more tawny hue, than
that of _Urticæ_; but as I have seen specimens of _Polychloros absolutely
smaller_ than some very large _Urticæ's_, and as the colour of both
occasionally varies, so that they approach each other in this respect also,
it is evident we must look for some better mark of distinction; and here
_is_ one. In _Polychloros_, _all_ the light markings between the black
spots on the upper edge of the front wing are _yellow_, whereas in _Urticæ_
the _outer one next the blue and black border is pure pearly_ WHITE. The
two other marks on the front edge are yellow. _Polychloros_ has also, near
the _lower corner of the front wing, an extra black spot_, not found in

The blue spots on the border are in this species almost confined to the
hind wings. {124}

The _caterpillar_ generally feeds on the elm, whence the butterfly is
occasionally called the "Elm Butterfly," but it has also been found on the
willow, and on the white beam-tree. Mr. Boscher of Twickenham informs me
that the specimens he has bred from caterpillars fed on the _willow_ have
been all far below the average size. The caterpillar is thorny, and of a
tawny colour, broadly striped with black along each side.

The _chrysalis_ is of a dull flesh colour, with golden spots.

The _butterfly_ makes its appearance in July and August, _hybernated_
specimens being also frequently seen in the spring, from March till May.

In some places and seasons it is not rare, but is very uncertain in its
appearance, abounding most in the southern districts, and being almost
unknown in Scotland. It is fond of gardens and other frequented places.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate IX. fig. 2.)

This pretty species is much commoner than the last, being, in fact, the
most plentiful of all the _genus_, and found everywhere, in gardens, by
weedy road-sides and waste grounds, &c.

Its markings are very similar to those of the last, but the colouring is
much more gay and brilliant. {125}

The distinguishing mark of this species--the possession of a pure _white_
spot near the upper corner of the front wing--has been already pointed out
under _V. Polychloros_.

The blue crescent-spots of the border are much more marked than in the
last, and extend along the edge of the front wing. The orange colour also
approaches a _scarlet_, and the yellow spots have a brighter hue than in

The _caterpillar_, which is found feeding in large companies on the nettle,
is of greyish colour, with a black line on the back, and brown and yellow
stripes on the sides. Thorny, like rest of the genus.

The _chrysalis_ is generally of a brown hue, spotted with gold, but I have
seen it gilded all over, making a very splendid appearance.

Hybernated individuals of this butterfly are seen during the spring months,
but the first emergence from the chrysalis takes place in June, and the
insect is seen on the wing constantly from that time till October.

The following interesting notice of the capture of a swarm of these
butterflies in _mid-winter_, is quoted, from the _Zoologist_, p. 5000. The
writer is a Mr. Banning, resident near Ballacraine, in the Isle of Man:--

"Whilst standing in my farm-yard on the day following Christmas-day (1855),
it being unusually fine and warm, I was suddenly astonished by the fall of
{126} more than a hundred of the accompanying butterflies (_V. Urticæ_). I
commenced at once collecting them, and succeeded in securing more than
sixty. These I have fed on sugar spread over cabbage-leaves and bran until
now, and, to all appearances, those which still survive (more than forty in
number) are thriving well, and in good condition."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COMMA BUTTERFLY. (_Grapta C. Album._)

(Plate IX. fig. 3.)

The singularly jagged outline of this butterfly at once distinguishes it
from every other native species, though, did we not know it as a distinct
species, it might have been taken for one of the two previous species very
much stunted, deformed, and torn, so similar is it in colour and the plan
of its markings.

The upper surface is deep fulvous, or rusty orange, and marked with black
and dark brown. In different individuals, the under side varies greatly in
its tints and markings, especially near the border of the wings, which are
sometimes of a deep rich olive brown, sometimes pale tawny. They all agree,
however, in bearing in the centre of the hind wings the character from
which the insect takes its specific name, viz. a white mark in form of the
letter C, which has also been likened with less justice to a , whence its
English name of "Comma." {127}

The female is of a paler tint than the male, and the edges of the wings are
less deeply scalloped and cut. The figure is that of a male.

The _caterpillar_ is tawny-coloured; but the back, for about the hinder
half its length, is whitish; head black. The body is armed with short
spines, and there are two ear-like tubercles projecting from the side of
the head. It has been found feeding on the elm, willow, sloe, currant,
nettle, and hop.

The _chrysalis_ is of the curious shape shown at fig. 24, Plate I.; of a
brownish tint, with gold spots.

The _butterfly_ appears in July and August, and hybernated individuals in
the spring, up till May. Its range seems to be nearly confined to the
Midland and Western districts. It was formerly found near London, and in
other places, whence it has now disappeared.

The following localities are given for it:--Carlisle and the Lake district,
York, Green Hammerton (Yorkshire), Doncaster, Broomsgrove (Worcestershire),
Warwickshire, Peterborough, Scarborough, Barnwell Wold (Northamptonshire),
Bristol, Gloucester, Dorchester. I found it very plentiful on the banks of
the Wye, in 1858; and in the following May I took one in South Wales, at
Pont-y-Pridd. In Scotland, Fifeshire has been mentioned as a locality.

This is a rapid flyer, and not very easily caught when fresh on the wing.

       *       *       *       *       *



(Plate IX. fig. 4, Male; 4 _a_, Female.)

The beautiful genus to which this butterfly belongs is distinguished by the
adornment of silvery spots and streaks with which the under side of the
hind wings is bedight; while the upper surface is chequered with black,
upon a rich golden-brown ground, the device reminding one of those
old-fashioned chequered flowers called "fritillaries," whence the common
name of these butterflies.

Of all the British Fritillaries, this is, perhaps, the loveliest, from the
exquisite softness and harmony of the silvery pencillings on the iridescent
green of the under side; though some of the others with bright silver
_spots_ are gayer and more sparkling.

The two sexes differ considerably on the upper surface; the _male_ being
marked with black (as in the engraving) upon a bright orange-brown ground,
while the _female_ is without the broad black borders to the veins of the
front wings, and the ground colour is suffused with an olive-brown tint,
inclining sometimes to green. The black spots are also larger. Beneath,
however, both sexes are marked nearly alike with _washy streaks of silver_,
and not with defined spots. {129}

The _caterpillar_ (fig. 7, Plate I.), as with all the Fritillaries, is
thorny, with two spines behind the head longer than the rest; black, with
yellow lines along the back and sides. It feeds on violet leaves, also on
the wild raspberry and nettle.

The _chrysalis_ (fig. 16, Plate I.) is greyish, with the tubercles silvered
or gilt.

The _butterfly_ is out in July and August, and is not rare in the woods of
the South and Midland districts, but it also extends its range into
Scotland. On the banks of Wye, about Tintern and Monmouth, I found it
extremely abundant. It has been seen swarming in a teasel-field, near
Selby, Yorkshire.

Its predilection for settling on bramble sprays has been alluded to on page

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate X. fig. 1, Male.)

This is a handsomely-marked insect--orange-brown, chequered with black,
above. Beneath, the _front wing_ is coloured nearly as above, _but bears
near the tip several silvery spots_. The hind wing is splendidly studded
with rounded spots of silver, on a ground partly tawny, partly olive-green
and brown. The _male_ is the sex {130} represented, the female being darker
above, both as to the ground colour and markings.

The _caterpillar_, which feeds on the dog-violet, is very similar to that
of the last; as also is the _chrysalis_.

The _butterfly_ is out in July and part of August, and may be seen in a
variety of situations, from the breezy tops of heathy downs, to close-grown
forest-lands in the valleys; and it seems to be distributed over the whole
of the country, occurring in widely distant localities, from the south
coast to Scotland.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate X. fig. 2.)

On the upper surface, this insect so closely resembles the last, that it is
difficult in a description to discriminate between them; but _beneath_, the
two are distinguished by the _absence in Adippe of the silvery spots near
the tip of the front wing_; and though there is some similarity in the
arrangement of the silver spots on the hind wing, and in its general
colouring, _Adippe_ is distinguished by a row of rust-red spots, with small
silvery centres, between the silver border spots and the next row inwards.
By comparing the figures of the under sides of _Adippe_ and _Aglaia_, these
will be readily made out. {131}

The _caterpillar_ is thorny, greyish, with black spots on the back,
intersected by a white line. Feeds on the violet.

The _chrysalis_ is reddish, spotted with silver.

The _butterfly_ appears in July, in many open places, in woods, and on
heaths, in various parts of England, but most plentifully in the south.
Like the last species, it is an active and wary insect on the wing, and
requires considerable agility and dexterity for its capture.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate X. fig. 3.)

This splendid little species is one of the prize-flies of the
collector--that is, if the specimen be an undoubted native; for while a
"Queen of Spain" taken within our shores will command a considerable sum of
money in the market, another, precisely similar, but brought over from the
opposite French coast, may be bought for a very few pence; but the mode of
carriage, you see, makes all the difference, and the value of the insect
depends entirely upon whether its own wings or a steam-boat have brought it
over the Channel. So much for "the fancy."

When figured side by side with the other Fritillaries, this species looks
distinct enough from any of them; {132} but it has been several times
confounded with small specimens of _Adippe_ and with _Euphrosyne_, and its
capture has thereupon been erroneously published; but this must have been
the effect of a description imperfectly written or read. It will be
observed that the form of the front wings differs in this from the rest of
the Fritillaries, the outer margin being _concave_ in its outline. The
inner corner of the hind wings also is more sharply angular.

Above, the colouring of the wings is similar to that of the others of the
genus, tawny-brown and black. Beneath, the front wing has a group of silver
spots near the tip, the ground colour of the hind wing is yellowish, and
the silver spots are proportionately larger than in the other species;
_near the margin of the hind wing_, and parallel with its edge, are _seven
dark-brown spots with silver centres_.

The _caterpillar_ is brown, striped with white, and yellowish tint; head,
legs, and thorns, tawny coloured. It feeds on the wild heartsease, also on
sainfoin and borage.

The _chrysalis_ is tinted with dull-green and brown, and spotted with gold.

The _butterfly_ is said to be double-brooded--one brood appearing in June,
the other in September. The most likely places in which to look for it are
clover fields in the south of England, and more especially on the
south-east coast. Though still classed among the rarest of British
butterflies, it has been found in a great many localities. It has been
taken at Brighton; Shoreham; Eastbourne; Dover; Margate; Ashford; Chatham;
Exeter; Bristol; Harleston, near Norwich; Colchester; Lavenham;

[Illustration: XIII.]



(Plate X. fig. 4.)

This very common insect is considerably smaller than any of the preceding
species, though small specimens of the last sometimes do not much exceed it
in size. The upper surface is lively orange-brown, with black markings.
Beneath, the _hind wing_ is mapped out with black lines into various
irregular spaces, _all_ of which are filled with tints of dull yellow,
ochreous, or reddish orange; excepting a row of silver spots on the border,
_one silver spot in the centre of the wing_, and _one_ triangular one close
to the root of the wing.

The _caterpillar_ is black, with white lines; and the pro-legs red. It
feeds on various species of _viola_.

The _butterfly_ appears first in May, and there is another brood in autumn,
about August. It frequents woods and hedgerows, being met with most
profusely in the south; but its range is extended into Scotland. In Ireland
I believe it is unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *



(Plate XI. fig. 1.)

This butterfly, which is very nearly related to the last, often so closely
resembles it in the marking of the upper surface, that even practised eyes
are sometimes at a loss to distinguish the two, without a reference to the
under side; for on this side do the real distinctive marks lie, and chiefly
on the hind wing. In addition to the silver border and central spots of
_Euphrosyne_, this species has several other silvery or pearly patches
distributed over the hind wing; and the reddish-orange colour adjoining the
silver border in _Euphrosyne_ is exchanged for dark chestnut-brown in
_Selene_. In average size the two insects differ very slightly, though the
name of this expresses an inferior size.

The _caterpillar_ much resembles that of the last, and feeds on

The _chrysalis_ is greyish.

The _butterfly_ is double-brooded, appearing first in May and again in
August. It is not so common an insect as _Euphrosyne_, but is met with in
similar situations, and has a range nearly co-extensive with that of the

       *       *       *       *       *



(Plate XI. fig. 2.)

Though usually rather abundant where it occurs at all, this insect is one
of the most local of all our butterflies, and I can only find recorded
about a dozen places for it in the country. Of these, the Isle of Wight is
the great metropolis of the insect, and there, in many places round the
coast, numerous colonies have been established.

This butterfly is distinguished from the next (_M. Athalia_), which it very
much resembles, principally by the characters on the under surface.

The hind wing (beneath) is covered with alternate bands of bright
straw-colour and orange-brown, divided by black lines; and possesses in
_the marginal straw-coloured band a row of clear_ BLACK SPOTS. Another row
of black spots crosses the centre of the wing. It will also be observed
that the _hind wings_ have on _their upper surface a row of black spots_
parallel with, and not far from, the margin. The colouring of the upper
side is orange-brown with black markings.

The _caterpillar_, which feeds on the narrow-leaved plantain, is thorny and
black, with reddish head and legs. The chrysalis is brownish, marked with
fulvous tint. A highly interesting account of the habits and {136} history
of this butterfly in all its stages has been sketched from the life by the
Rev. J. F. Dawson (who has made an intimate acquaintance with a colony of
the insect at Sandown, Isle of Wight), and will be found in the
_Zoologist_, p. 1271.

The _butterfly_ first appears about the first or second week in May, and
thence continues till about the middle of June, seldom enduring till July.
It is to be looked for in rough, broken ground, such as the Isle of Wight
landslips, where plenty of the narrow-leaved plantain grows.

Other localities for the Glanville Fritillary are, Folkestone below
West-Cliff (abundant); round Dover; Birchwood; Dartford, Kent; Stapleford,
near Cambridge; Yorkshire; Lincolnshire; Wiltshire; Peterboro', Stowmarket;
and in Scotland, at Falkland in Fifeshire.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate XI. fig. 3.)

This is another very local butterfly, though rather more widely and
generally distributed than the last, which, as before stated, it greatly
resembles in appearance, especially on the upper side. {137}

It may be characterised negatively as _not_ having the rows of black spots
found on both surfaces of _Cinxia_, though its colouring is very
similar--fulvous (or orange-brown) and black above; straw-coloured,
fulvous, and black beneath.

The _caterpillar_ is black, with rust-coloured spines; and feeds on various
species of plantain.

The _butterfly_ is out from May to July, and is met with (if at all) on
heaths, clearings in woods, &c. Localities, in some of which it is very
plentiful, are, Caen Wood; Coombe Wood; Epping; Halton, Bucks; Bedford;
Aspley Wood, Beds; Plymouth, Teignmouth, Stowmarket, Dartmoor, Devonshire;
Oxford; Wiltshire; Colchester; St. Osyth; Tenterden; Faversham; Deal;
Canterbury. Very rare in north of England.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate XI. fig. 4.)

The _black_ markings on the upper side of this butterfly closely approach
those of the last two species, but the interstices, instead of being filled
up with a _uniform fulvous tint_, as in those, are "coloured in" with
_several distinct shades_, some with _pale tawny yellow_, others with _deep
orange brown_. This latter tint forms a band parallel {138} to the outer
margin of each wing, the band on the front wings having a row of pale spots
in it; that on the hind wings a row of black spots. _Beneath_, the upper
wing has an appearance of the markings having been "smudged" together, and
a shining surface, as if it had been greased, whence the common name of the
insect; the hinder wings are like those of the two last, yellowish, banded
with brownish orange, the outer band of which bears a _series of black
spots each surrounded by a pale yellowish ring_.

The _front_ edge of the front wing is slightly _concave_ in its outline,
about the middle, whereas it is _convex_ in _Cinxia_ and _Athalia_.

The _caterpillar_ is black, with reddish brown legs. It is gregarious,
feeding under protection of a web upon the leaves of plantain, devils-bit
scabious, and some other plants.

The _chrysalis_ is drabbish, with darker spots, and is said to suspend
itself by the tail from the top of a tent-like structure made of blades of
grass spun together at the top.

The _butterfly_ appears in June (sometimes a little earlier or later), and
frequents marshy meadows, moist woods, &c., but is a very local insect,
abounding most in the south. The specimens, however, that I have seen from
the north, are much larger, brighter, and more distinctly marked than the
"southerners." The nearest localities to London are, Hornsey, and Copthall
Wood at the top of Muswell Hill; West Wickham Wood, and {139} High-Beech
(Epping). It is also found near Brighton (plentifully); Carlisle; Durham;
Burton-on-Trent; York; Haverfordwest, S. W.; Cardiff, S. W.;
Weston-super-Mare; Bristol; and a great number of other places distributed
throughout the country. In Ireland at Ardrahan, co. Galway. Rare in

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate XI. fig. 5.)

Though this little insect bears the name of _Fritillary_, at the end of its
lengthy and important title, it really belongs to a family widely differing
from that of any of the true Fritillaries previously described, and it only
shared their name on account of its similarity in colour and markings.

The _caterpillar_ (Plate I. fig. 8), instead of being long and thorny like
those of the true Fritillaries, is _short, thick, and wood-louse shaped_.
Its colour is reddish brown, with tufts of hair of the same colour. It
feeds on the primrose.

The _chrysalis_ differs from that of the true Fritillaries as much as the
caterpillar does, being of the form, and suspended in the manner, shown at
fig. 25, Plate I.

The _butterfly_ is chequered on the upper surface with {140} tawny, and
dark brown or black. It appears in May and June, and again in August, being
found in woods, principally in the south, and its range is often confined
to a small spot hardly fifty yards in diameter, within which it may be
quite plentiful. The following are among its recorded localities:--Carlisle;
Lake District; West Yorkshire; Roche Abbey, Yorkshire; Peterborough;
Stowmarket; Pembury; Barnwell Wold, Northants; Oxford; Blandford;
Worcester; Gloucestershire; Bedfordshire; Epping; Coombe Wood; Darenth
Wood; Boxhill; Dorking; Brighton; Lewes; Worthing; Lyndhurst;

The _males_ of all the members of the family to which this butterfly
belongs, and of which this is the sole European representative--_the_
ERYCINIDÆ--have only _four_ legs adapted for walking, whilst the _females_
have _six_.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BROWN HAIR-STREAK. (_Thecla Betulæ._)

(Plate XII. fig. 1, Male; 1 _a_, Female.)

The genus to which this butterfly belongs, contains five British species,
elegant and interesting insects, though not gaily tinted. They are most
obviously distinguished from other small butterflies by the _tail-like_
projection on the lower edge of their hind wings (though one of their {141}
number, _T. Rubi_, has this very slightly developed). From each other they
are best distinguished by the characters on their under surface, where they
all bear a more or less distinct _hair_-like _streak_, whence their common

The Brown Hair-streak is the largest of the genus, measuring sometimes an
inch and two-thirds in expanse. The two sexes differ considerably on the
upper surface, the male being of a deep brown colour, slightly paler near
the middle of the front wing, while the female possesses on the front wing
a _large patch of clear orange_. Both sexes have several orange marks upon
the lower angles of the hind wings. Beneath, the general colour is tawny
orange with duller bands, and marked with one white line on the front wing,
and _two parallel white lines on the hind wings_.

The _caterpillar_ is green, marked obliquely with white; it feeds on the
birch and also on the sloe.

The _butterfly_ appears in August, continuing into September. It is
generally distributed through the south, but is by no means an abundant
insect. Mr. Stainton observes that it has a habit of "flitting along in
hedges just in advance of the collector;" but it is also found in oak woods
in company with the Purple Hair-streak.

Forty were taken in a season in woods near Henfield, Sussex. Other
localities are, Underbarrow Moss, Westmoreland; North Lancashire, common in
some parts; Preston; Valley of the Dovey, Montgomeryshire; {142} Cardiff,
S. W.; Barnwell Wold; Peterborough; Colchester; Epping; Darenth Wood;
Coombe Wood; Brighton; Tenterden; Winchester; Woolmer Forest, Hants;
Plymouth; Dartmoor; Wallingford, Berks; Ipswich; Dorsetshire; Norfolk;
Wiltshire; Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BLACK HAIR-STREAK. (_Thecla Pruni._)

(Plate XII. fig. 2.)

The upper side is very dark brown, sometimes almost black, and bearing near
the _hinder_ edge of the _hind wings_ a _few orange spots_. This character
will at once distinguish this from the next species (_W. Album_). On the
under side of the hind wing is a _broad band of orange_, having a _row of
black spots on its inner edge_.

The _caterpillar_ is green, with four rows of yellow spots. It feeds on the

The _butterfly_ comes out about the end of June or in July. It is generally
a very rare insect, but is occasionally taken in great plenty in certain
spots. The Rev. W. Bree, writing to the _Zoologist_ from the neighbourhood
of Polebrook, North Hants, says, "_Thecla Pruni_ is very uncertain in its
appearance. In 1837 it literally swarmed in Barnwell and Ashton Wolds; I do
not scruple to say that it would have been possible {143} to capture some
hundreds of them, had one been so disposed; for the last few years it has
appeared very sparingly indeed." It has also been found in the following
localities:--Overton Wood; Brington, Huntingdonshire; and Monks Wood,

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate XII. fig. 3.)

This is very much like the last in appearance, and has often been mistaken
for it by inexperienced eyes. The _points_ of difference are--on the upper
side, the absence of the orange band at the hinder edge of the hind wings,
and the presence of a _bluish grey circumflex line at the inner angle_;
here also is sometimes a _small orange dot_;--beneath, the _orange band
forms a series of arches_, bounded on the edge nearest the root of the wing
_by a clear black line_ instead of the rounded black spots seen at this
part in _Pruni_.

The _caterpillar_, which feeds on the elm, is wood-louse shaped; pea-green,
barred with yellow; head black. May be beaten off elm trees in May.

The _butterfly_ appears in July, and is found in various situations,
sometimes flying high up round elm trees, sometimes descending to bramble
hedges, or fluttering {144} about in weedy fields a foot or two from the
ground. It was formerly a much rarer insect than at present, and now its
appearance in any given locality is a matter of much uncertainty. Mr. J. F.
Stephens writes as follows to the _Zoologist_:--

"For eighteen years I possessed four bleached specimens only of _Thecla W.
Album_, having vainly endeavoured to procure others, when, in 1827, as
elsewhere recorded, I saw the insect at Ripley, not by dozens only, but by
scores of thousands! and although I frequented the same locality for
thirteen years subsequently, sometimes in the season for a month together,
I have not since seen a single specimen there; but in 1833 I caught one
specimen at Madingley Wood, near Cambridge."

Other localities:--Near Sheffield; Roche Abbey; York; Peterborough; near
Doncaster; Polebrook, Northants; Allesley, Warwickshire; Brington,
Huntingdonshire; Yaxley and Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire; Needwood Forest,
Staffordshire; Wolverston, near Ipswich; Chatham; Southgate, Middlesex;
West Wickham Wood; Epping; Bristol.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE PURPLE HAIR-STREAK.(_Thecla Quercus._)

(Plate XII. fig. 4, Male; 4 _a_, Female.)

At once the commonest and the handsomest of the Hair-streaks, being found
in almost every part of England where there is an oak wood, and looking
like a small Purple Emperor, with its rich gloss of the imperial colour.

The _male_ has all the wings, in certain lights, of a dark brown colour,
but with a change of position they become illuminated with a deep rich
purple tint, extending over the whole surface excepting a narrow border,
which then appears black. The _female_ has the purple much more vivid, but
confined to a _small patch_ extending from the root to the centre of the
front wing. Beneath, the wings are shaded with greyish tints, crossed by a
white line on each wing, and having _two orange spots_ at the inner corner
of the hind wing.

The _caterpillar_ (Plate I. fig. 9), which feeds on the oak, is reddish
brown, marked with black.

The _chrysalis_, which is sometimes attached to the leaves of the oak, and
at others is found _under the surface of the earth_ at the foot of the
tree, is a brownish object, of the lumpy shape shown in Plate I. fig. 28 (a
form shared by the chrysalides of all the Hair-streaks). {146}

The _butterfly_ is seen in July and August, flitting about in sportive
groups round oak trees, and occasionally descending within reach of the
net. It also affects other trees besides oaks, some thirty or forty at a
time having been seen gambolling about one _lime_ tree. It being so
generally distributed, it will be needless to particularize its localities.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate XII. fig. 5.)

This pretty little species is at once known from all other English
butterflies by the rich _bright green_ colour that overspreads its under
surface. Above, the wings are deep, warm brown.

The _caterpillar_ is green, spotted and striped with white, and feeds on
the bramble; also on the broom, and other plants of the same order.

The _butterfly_ appears first in May and June, and again in August, it
being _double-brooded_. It is found flying about rough brambly hedges, and
often settles on the outer leaves of low trees about a dozen feet from the
ground. It seems to occur generally throughout the country, and extends
into the southern parts of Scotland. It has been found in many localities
close to London.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE SMALL COPPER BUTTERFLY. (_Chrysophanus Phlæas._)

(Plate XIII. fig. 1.)

We now arrive at a genus characterized by the splendid golden or burnished
coppery lustre and tint of their wings; of which, however, the present
little species is the only one that remains to us, should the "_Large
Copper_" be really (as it is feared) extinct.

This little, but lively representative of the genus, is one of our
commonest and most widely distributed butterflies, flashing about in the
sunshine, joining in a dance with the no less lively blues, or settling on
the lilac flowers of the scabious, &c., whose soft tones set off to the
best advantage the metallic effulgence of this little gem.

The _caterpillar_ feeds on sorrel leaves; is green, with three red stripes.

The _chrysalis_ and caterpillar both resemble in shape those of the

The _butterfly_ is supposed to be _triple_-brooded, coming out in April,
June, and August; and is so common, that no localities need be given.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE LARGE COPPER BUTTERFLY. (_Chrysophanus Dispar._)

(Plate XIII. fig. 2.)

A few years ago, this was the pride of British entomology, for we were
supposed to have the insect entirely to ourselves, it being unknown on the
Continent, whilst it literally swarmed in some of the fens of
Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. Then, from some cause, never
satisfactorily explained, it almost suddenly disappeared, and, there is
reason to fear, has become quite extinct in this country. Still, hopes are
entertained that it may be surviving in some unexplored districts, and that
it will again "turn up."

As comparatively very few persons have ever seen this splendid creature on
the wing, the following communication from one who _has_, quoted from the
_Intelligencer_, will be of interest to those who have not read it in that
periodical. It is from the pen of Mr. E. C. F. Jenkins, of Sleaford,
Lincolnshire. He writes: "I proceed to give you some account of my own
acquaintance with that most beautiful insect, which, some thirty years ago,
was so abundant in the unreclaimed fens about Whittlesea Mere, that I never
expected to hear of its utter extermination. Its brilliant appearance on
the wing in the sunshine I shall never forget, and to watch it sitting on
{149} the flower of the _Eupatorium cannabinum_ and show the under sides of
its wings, was something ever to be remembered. I once took sixteen in
about half an hour on one particular spot, where the above-mentioned plant
was very plentiful; but unless the sun was very bright they were very
difficult to find. In those days the larva was unknown, and I attribute the
disappearance of the butterfly to the discovery of the larva, to the
unceasing attacks of collectors, and to the burning of the surface-growth
of the fens, which is done in dry weather when they are to be reclaimed."

The two sexes of this butterfly differ very remarkably in the appearance of
the upper surface. This, in the _male_, is of an effulgent coppery colour,
narrowly bordered with black, and having a black mark in the centre of each
wing. The _female_ is larger, has a redder tinge, with a row of black spots
on the front wings, and the hind wings nearly covered with black, excepting
a band of coppery red near the margin, extending also more or less
distinctly along the courses of the veins. Underneath, both sexes are
nearly alike, the hind wing of a general _light blue tint_, with a red band
near the margin, and spotted with black.

The _caterpillar_ is green, darker on the back, and paler at the sides, it
feeds on the water dock.

The _butterfly_ used to be found in July and August, being formerly
especially abundant about Yaxley and Whittlesea Mere, and has been taken
also at Benacre, Suffolk; and Bardolph Fen, Norfolk. {150}

Various reports of its capture, during the last two or three years, have
been published; but they all seem to require confirmation.

This butterfly is now generally considered to be a _large_ local variety of
the continental one called _Hippothoë_, with which it closely agrees in its

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BLUES. (Genus _Polyommatus_.)

We now arrive at a numerous genus of elegant and lively little insects,
collectively known as the "Blues," though some of them are _not blue_ at
all. In their manners, and the localities they inhabit, there is so much in
common, that one description of these will answer for nearly every one of
them; so that my small available space will be in great part devoted to
pointing out the marks of distinction between the various species, ten in
number, several of them closely resembling others in general appearance,
and requiring some care in their discrimination.

Their _caterpillars_, which are wood-louse shaped, or _onisciform_,
generally feed on low plants, chiefly of the papilionaceous order; and the
_butterflies_ are found in dry meadows, on downs, and in open heathy
places. The first species, _P. Argiolus_, is, however, an exception to the
above, both in its food and haunts. {151}

Several species of this genus are often found together. For example, in the
Isle of Wight, last August, I took _P. Argiolus_, _Corydon_, _Adonis_,
_Alexis_, and _Agestis_, all within about one hour, and a space of a few
yards square in the corner of a field.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE AZURE BLUE BUTTERFLY. (_Polyommatus Argiolus._)

(Plate XIII. fig. 3, Male; 3 _a_, Female.)

_Colouring_:--Upper side, beautiful lilac blue--the male with a narrow
black border (fig. 3), the female with a broad one, sometimes extending
over the outer half of the wing (fig. 3 a). Under side, very delicate
_silvery blue, almost white_, with numerous small black spots. _No red

_Caterpillar_, green, with darker line on back. Feeds on the flowers of
holly, ivy, and buckthorn.

The _butterfly_ appears in May, or sometimes in April, and again in August,
frequenting _woods_ and hedges, especially where holly and ivy abound. I
noticed immense numbers about the ivied walls of Chepstow Castle.

As the name "Azure Blue" is in general use, I have retained it above, but
that of "Holly Blue," sometimes {152} applied to it, is preferable, as its
colour is much less an azure blue than that of _Adonis_.

Localities:--Common in the south, and found as far north as Durham and the
Lake District. Not known in Scotland.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BEDFORD BLUE, OR LITTLE BLUE. (_Polyommatus Alsus._)

(Plate XIII. fig. 4, Male; 4 _a_, Female.)

This is the _smallest of British butterflies_, specimens being sometimes
seen even smaller than those figured.

_Colouring_:--Upper side, dark brown, distinctly powdered with blue near
the root of the wing in the _male, without blue in the female_. Under side,
_pale grey-drab_, bluish near the base, marked with rows of _black spots_
in pale rings. _No red spots._

_Caterpillar_, green, orange stripe down back, and streaks of same colour
on each side.

The _butterfly_ is out in May and June, and is sometimes seen much later.
It is generally met with on limestone or chalky soils; and, from a long
list of localities I have looked over, it seems to be distributed over
England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE MAZARINE BLUE. (_Polyommatus Acis._)

(Plate XIII. fig. 5, Male; 5 _a_, Female.)

_Colouring_:--Upper side, male, _deep purple, or mazarine blue_, with a
_border of black_ (fig. 5); female, _dark brown_ (fig. 5 _a_). Under sides
of both sexes similar, _pale greyish drab_, tinged at the base with
greenish blue, numerous _black spots in white rings_. No red spots.

Though this elegant butterfly was frequently met with some years ago, it
has lately become one of our rarest species, and I can give no locality
where it can be now found. It has been _reported_ as taken lately at
Ventnor, Isle of Wight, and somewhere in South Wales, also in other places,
but only singly.

Collectors, on visiting any new district, should net all the Blues they are
not _quite_ sure are common ones, and this may perchance turn up among them

The _caterpillar_ is said to feed on the flower heads of common Thrift
(_Armeria vulgaris_).

The _butterfly_ may be _looked for_ in July.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE LARGE BLUE. (_Polyommatus Arion._)

(Plate XIV. fig. 1.)

This is the _largest_ of all our "Blues," and, next to the last, the
rarest, though still taken in some numbers every year.

_Colouring_:--Upper side, _dark blue_, granulated with black scales that
give it a dull aspect, having a black border, and a series of _large black
spots across the front wing_. Under side, greyish drab, suffused with
greenish blue near the body; towards centre, many black spots in indistinct
light-coloured rings, and a double border of the same. _No red spots._

The _caterpillar_ is _unknown_.

The _butterfly_ appears in July, frequenting rough, flowery
pasture-grounds, but is exceedingly local. A famous place for it is
Barnwell Wold, about a mile and a half from the village of Barnwell, near
Oundle, Northamptonshire, where the insect was discovered by the Rev. W.
Bree many years ago; but it is less abundant there than formerly, from the
repeated attacks of collectors, who catch all they can find. Other
localities, mentioned in various works, are--Brington, Huntingdonshire;
Shortwood, and some other spots, near Cheltenham; Charmouth, Dorsetshire;
Dover; Downs {155} near Glastonbury, Somerset; Downs near Marlborough,
Wiltshire; Broomham, Bedfordshire; near Bedford; near Winchester.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CHALK-HILL BLUE. (_Polyommatus Corydon._)

(Plate XIV. fig. 2, Male; 2 _a_, Female.)

_Colouring_:--Upper side, _male, pale silvery greenish blue_, with very
silky gloss, and shading off into a _broad black border_.

Female, dark smoky brown, with a leaden tinge, sprinkled near the body with
_greenish_ blue scales of the _same colour_ as the males; border of orange
spots, more or less visible. _Under side_ marked as in fig. 2 _a_, on a
brown ground, with a row of _red_ spots near border of hind wing.

The _caterpillar_ (Plate I. fig. 10) is green, striped with yellow on the
back and sides.

The _chrysalis_ is brownish, and of the shape shown at fig. 29, Plate I.

The _butterfly_ is out in July and August, frequenting chalky downs,
especially in the south, and where it does occur is often extremely
abundant. Occasionally it is found _off the chalk_, having been seen in
Epping Forest, decidedly _not_ a chalk district. Other localities {156}
are--Croydon; Brighton; Lewes; Dover; Winchester; Isle of Wight; Halton,
Bucks; Newmarket; Peterborough; Norfolk; Suffolk; Berkshire; Oxfordshire;
Wiltshire; Gloucestershire. At Grange, North Lancashire, it is the
commonest "Blue," _not on chalk_, but _limestone_.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ADONIS BLUE. (_Polyommatus Adonis._)

(Plate XIV. fig. 3, Male; 3 _a_, Female.)

_Colouring_:--Upper side, _male, brilliant sky-blue, without any lilac
tinge_, bordered by a distinct black line, the _fringe distinctly barred
with blackish_. Female, dark smoky brown, sprinkled near body with _pure
blue scales the colour of those of male_; border of orange spots, more or
less visible.

Under side, male, marked as in fig. 3; border of red spots.

Female, almost exactly like that of Corydon (fig. 2 _a_), but usually has
the black spots on the front wing smaller.

This is a most lovely little butterfly, the blue of its upper surface being
quite unapproachable among native insects. Mr. Stainton, speaking of the
different blues of Corydon and Adonis, happily observes that, "_Corydon_
{157} reminds one of the soft silvery appearance of _moonlight_, whilst
_Adonis_ recalls the intense blue of the sky on a hot summer's day."

_Caterpillar_ like that of Corydon.

The _butterfly_ is double-brooded, appearing first in May and again in
August. It is found on the same soils and in most of the localities with
the last, but is, I believe, more confined to the south.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COMMON BLUE. (_Polyommatus Alexis._)

(Plate XIV. fig. 4, Male; 4 _a_, Female.)

_Colouring_:--Upper side, male, lilac blue. Female, purplish blue about the
centre, brown towards the margins, but the proportions of blue and brown
are very variable--sometimes all the wings have a border of orange-red
spots, sometimes these are absent from one or both pairs of wings.

_Fringe_ in both sexes _white, uninterrupted by dark bars_.

_Under side_, male, marked as in fig. 4, and hardly to be distinguished
from under side of male Adonis, except by the ground colour, which is paler
and _greyer_ than in Adonis. Female, same pattern as male, but coloured
with warmer tints--more like male Adonis. {158}

This very pretty little insect is the blue butterfly one sees everywhere,
abounding in meadows, on heaths and downs, and not at all confined to
chalky soils, like some other "blues."

The _caterpillar_ is green, with darker stripe on the back, and white spots
on each side. It feeds on Bird's-foot Trefoil and other leguminous plants.

The _butterfly_ is to be found almost constantly from the end of May to the
end of September, being double-brooded.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SILVER-STUDDED BLUE. (_Polyommatus Ægon._)

(Plate XIV. fig. 5, male; 5 _a_, Female.)

_Colouring_:--Upper side, _male, purplish blue_ (rather deeper than that of
Alexis), with a rather broad black margin. Female, dark brown, sometimes
slightly tinged with blue, and bordered on the hind wings with dull orange
spots; but these are often absent.

Fringe white, _not_ barred with black. Under side, _near the margin of the
hind wings_, and between that and the orange border spots, are several
_metallic spots, of a bluish tint_, whence the insect has its name of
"Silver-studded." {159}

The _caterpillar_ is brown, with white lines. Feeds on broom and other
plants of the same order.

The _butterfly_ appears in July and August, and is very frequently met with
throughout the country on heaths, commons, and downs, both on sandy and
chalky soils. In many places it is the commonest of the "Blues." It has
been found at Epping; Coombe Wood; Darenth Wood; Box Hill; Ripley, Surrey;
Brighton; Lewes; Deal; Lyndhurst; Blandford; Brandon, Suffolk; Holt,
Norfolk; Birkenhead; Bristol; Sarum, Wiltshire; Lyme Regis; Parley Heath,
Dorsetshire; Manchester; York; several places in Scotland.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BROWN ARGUS. (_Polyommatus Agestis._)

(Plate XIV. fig. 6.)

Though this butterfly and the next are classed among the "Blues," from
their possessing the same structure and habits, there is _no trace of blue_
in the colouring of _either sex_, as in all the preceding species of

In this species the colour of both sexes on the upper side is a _warm, dark
brown_, having on all the wings a border of dark orange spots. The female
hardly differs from the male, except in having this border broader, and
more extended on the front wing; where, {160} in the male, it is sometimes
very indistinct. The under side much resembles that of the female of
_Alexis_, the border of orange spots being even more distinct on the front
wing than on the hind one. It will be observed on referring to Plate XIV.
that on the under sides of all the butterflies there figured, there is an
irregular black spot situated near the front edge of the upper wing and
midway in its length--this is called the "_discoidal spot_." It will also
be observed that the common Blue (fig. 4) has, on the area of the wing,
between the discoidal spot and the root of the wing, two spots, which are
_absent in this species_. This forms a very ready mark of distinction,
though it requires a good many words to explain it.

The _caterpillar_, which feeds on _Erodium Cicutarium_, and perhaps on
_Helianthemum_ (Rock Cistus), is green, with pale spots on the back, and a
brownish line down the middle.

The _butterfly_ appears in May and June, and again in August, and is common
in very many localities in the south, being particularly abundant on the
downs of the south coast and the Isle of Wight.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE ARTAXERXES BUTTERFLY. (_Polyommatus Artaxerxes._)

(Plate XIV. fig. 7.)

_Colouring_, same as in the last species (_Agestis_); but on the upper
surface, the orange border-spots are often hardly perceptible on the front
wing, and there is a distinct _white_ spot in the centre of the front
wings. The _under side_ also is precisely like that of Agestis, with the
black spots removed from the centre of the white rings, which are thus
changed into _large white spots_, as shown in the figure.

There has been a great deal of discussion among entomologists, as to
whether this be a distinct _species_, or only a variety of _Agestis_. I
believe it to be the latter, but do not attach much importance to the
question; and as this butterfly is found under the name of _Artaxerxes_, in
almost every cabinet, and is rather a famous little insect, I have thought
it best to give it a separate heading under its usual title, and collecting
readers may still label it in their cabinet either as above, or as "_P.
Agestis, var. Artaxerxes_," and probably will be equally right either way.

The popular nature and limited extent of this work will not, however, admit
of the subject being entered into scientifically, and I can only here state
that I have {162} seen specimens from various parts of the country, that
include every intermediate variety between the ordinary _Agestis_ of the
south, and the _Artaxerxes_ of Scotland. The Durham Argus, formerly called
_P. Salmacis_, forms one of these gradations.

Against the idea of _Agestis_ and _Artaxerxes_ being one species, it has
been objected, that the former is double, the latter single brooded. What
of that? Plenty of species that are double-brooded in the south of Europe
are well known to become single-brooded in a more northern situation.

The _caterpillar_ is said to be exactly like that of _Agestis_. It feeds on
_Helianthemum vulgare_ (Rock Cistus).

The _butterfly_ is found in July and August in several parts of Scotland,
and the north of England. Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, has been long noted for
producing it.

[Illustration: XIV.]


THE SKIPPERS. (Family--_Hesperidæ_.)

These curious little butterflies form a very natural group; in many
respects, both of structure and habits, approaching the moths, and
therefore placed at the end of the butterflies. They are of small size, but
robust appearance, and not brightly coloured. Their flight is rapid, but of
short continuance, and they seem to _skip_ from flower to flower: hence
their name. They are chiefly distinguished scientifically from other
butterflies by the form of the _antennæ_, which are more or less hooked at
the tip (see one magnified on Plate II. fig. 14), by the great width of the
head, and the distance between the roots of the _antennæ_, by their
moth-like habit of rolling up leaves for their habitation when
caterpillars, and by spinning a _cocoon_ for the chrysalis. The
caterpillars are shaped as in fig. 11, Plate I.; the chrysalides, as in
figs. 26 and 27. There are _seven British species_.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GRIZZLED SKIPPER. (_Thymele Alveolus._)

(Plate XV. fig. 1.)

The ground colour of this smart little butterfly is very dark _brown, or
black, with a greenish hue_ over it, and it is sharply marked with squarish
spots of _creamy white_. The _fringe_ is also _chequered with_ the same
colours. Sexes similar in appearance.

The _caterpillar_ feeds on the wild Raspberry, also, it is said, on
_Potentilla alba_, and _P. anserina_, and is greenish, with white lines.

The _butterfly_ appears in May, and again in August, being double-brooded.
It appears to be common in grassy wood-openings all over the country,
extending also into the south of Scotland.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE DINGY SKIPPER. (_Thanaos Tages._)

(Plate XV. fig. 2.)

Certainly a rather "dingy" butterfly, its colour being _dull grey brown_,
with confused bands of darker brown; near the border _a row of whitish
dots_. Sexes similar.

The _caterpillar_ (fig. 11, Plate I.) feeds on Bird's-foot Trefoil, and is
pale green, with four yellow lines and rows of black dots.

The _chrysalis_ is shown at fig. 27, Plate I.

The _butterfly_ comes out in May and August, being double-brooded, and is
found on hill-sides, dry banks, old chalk pits, &c. generally throughout
the country, though it is less common than the last. It is also met with
frequently in Scotland.

[Illustration: XV.]

{165} THE CHEQUERED SKIPPER. (_Steropes Paniscus._)

(Plate XV. fig. 3.)

_Sexes similar. Wings chequered with brownish black, and tawny orange
above_; beneath, in addition to the above colours, there are on the hind
wing several bright spots of pale buff _distinctly outlined_ with dark
brown--having a much more ornamental effect than we generally meet with on
the under surface in this family--the colouring on that side being usually
faint and _blurred_ so as to give a washed-out or wrong-sided appearance.

The _caterpillar_ is brown, striped and "collared" with yellow; head black.
It feeds on the Plantain, also on Dog's-tail Grass (_Cynosurus cristatus_).

The _butterfly_ appears in June, but is very local--being either found
plentifully in a place or not at all. It has occurred at Barnwell, and
Ashton Wold, Northants; Kettering; Sywell Wood, near Northampton; near
Peterborough; Clapham Park Wood, and Luton, Bedfordshire; Bourne,
Lincolnshire; Monks Wood, Hunts; White Wood; Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire;
Stowmarket; Milton; Rockingham Forest; Dartmoor; Netley Abbey; Charlbury,
near Enstone, Oxon.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LULWORTH SKIPPER. (_Pamphila Actæon._)

(Plate XV. fig. 4, Male; 4 _a_, Female.)

This plainly-coloured little butterfly, prized by collectors for its
rarity, has, in the male sex, great general resemblance to that of the next
species--the common _P. Linea_--but _Actæon_ may be distinguished by having
the wings clouded over nearly the whole surface with {166} dull brown,
having something of a greenish cast. The _female_ is, however, very
different from that of _Linea_, having all the wings of uniform dingy
brown, excepting a crescent-shaped row of tawny spots near the tip of the
front wing, and a more or less distinct streak of the same colour near the

The male _Actæon_ is further distinguished from the female by the
possession of a blackish streak near the centre of his front wing.

_Beneath_, the wings are clouded obscurely with tawny yellow and a dingy
brownish tint, the yellow tinge predominating in the male.

The _caterpillar_ is unknown.

The _butterfly_ appears in July and August, but is so extremely limited in
its local range that it is only to be met with, so far as is known, in
three spots--all on the same line of coast--viz. Lulworth Cove,
Dorsetshire; the "Burning Cliff," about five miles nearer Weymouth along
the coast; and at Sidmouth, Devonshire. At the present time I believe the
"Burning Cliff" is the locality where the insect is found in the greatest
plenty. It is to be looked for on the rough broken ground covered with
weeds that slopes down to the shore on this coast.

Mr. Humphreys states that in 1835 he saw it in great abundance at
Shenstone, near Lichfield.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE SMALL SKIPPER. (_Pamphila Linea._)

(Plate XV. fig. 5, Male; 5 _a_, Female.)

Upper side, _uniform orange tawny colour_, shaded into brown at the
borders. The _male_ (fig. 5) has an oblique blackish line near the centre
of the front wing; this is absent in the female (fig. 5 _a_). The males of
this butterfly very much resemble those of the last rare species
(_Actæon_), but they may be distinguished by the middle part of the upper
wing not being clouded with brown, as it is in _Actæon_. Under side, two
shades of tawny colour, but _not spotted_.

The _caterpillar_ is green, with four white lines, and feeds on grasses.

The _butterfly_ appears in July, and is very common and widely distributed.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LARGE SKIPPER. (_Pamphila Sylvanus._)

(Plate XV. fig. 6, Male; 6 _a_, Female.)

Upper side, dark rich brown, shaded and spotted with tawny or fulvous tint.
The _male_ is known by a {168} dark-brown, _burnt_-looking streak near the
centre of the front wings; the female being without this mark. Under side,
greenish, with _indistinct_ yellowish spots.

The _caterpillar_ is green (darker on the back), and dotted with black;
spotted with white underneath. It feeds on various grasses.

The _butterfly_ appears in May, and again in August or the end of July; and
is very common in almost every locality, frequenting grassy places in and
near woods, road-sides, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Plate XV. fig. 7, Male; 7 _a_, Female.)

This butterfly closely resembles the last, especially on the upper side;
which is, however, more brightly and clearly marked. But the chief
distinction is to be found on the _under side_, which is marked, on a
greenish ground, with _clear-cut, square white spots_. The male, as in the
last species, is distinguished by the thin blackish bar placed obliquely on
the front wing. The outline of this species also differs somewhat from that
of the last, especially in the males. This difference will be better
understood by comparing figs. 6 and 7 on the plate, than by description.

The _caterpillar_ is dull-green and reddish, with a white collar, and
spotted with white near the tail-end. It feeds on leguminous plants.

The _butterfly_ appears in July and August, but is only found in a limited
number of localities, and these chiefly in the southern counties; but where
found at all, it is generally abundant. Among its localities are the
following:--Croydon; Brighton; Lewes; Dover; Lyndhurst; Blandford;
Plymouth; Old Sarum, Wiltshire; Barnwell and Ashton Wolds,
Northamptonshire; Halton, Bucks; Newmarket; Gogmagog Park, Cambridge; Hull;

       *       *       *       *       *



On Plate XVI. are grouped together figures of six species of butterflies
which are not admitted into our regular British lists, on account of the
extreme rarity of their capture, or the fact of their not having been
observed at all for several years past. They are all _common_ species in
various parts of the Continent, and some of them will probably occur again
in this country.

       *       *       *       *       *

is no reasonable doubt that several individuals of this elegant butterfly
were formerly taken in various parts of the country, but no captures have
occurred for many years past. The caterpillar, also, was more than once
found in the New Forest District, Hampshire. Generally a common insect on
the Continent.

[Illustration: XVI.]


PARNASSIUS APOLLO.--The APOLLO Butterfly (fig. 2).--I have good reason for
believing that a specimen of this splendid Alpine butterfly was captured in
this country very lately, and it is not at all impossible that it may be
some day found on our north country mountains, or those of the Lake
District. It is a most beautiful insect, with its singular semi-transparent
and partially _glazed_ wings; the lower of which bear large eye-spots of

       *       *       *       *       *

EREBIA LIGEA.--The ARRAN BROWN Butterfly (fig. 3).--Of this species,
greatly resembling our _E. Blandina_, several specimens were formerly taken
by some entomologists in the Isle of Arran, where, as also in other
mountain districts, it may probably still exist; but its haunts have to be
re-discovered by some enterprising butterfly-hunter.

From _Blandina_, which it almost exactly resembles on the upper surface, it
may be distinguished by the marking of the under side of the hind wing, on
which is an irregular, broken band of _pure white_, and between this and
the margin a row of _three_ distinct black eye-spots.

       *       *       *       *       *

ARGYNNIS DIA.--WEAVER'S FRITILLARY.--This species is so nearly like
_Euphrosyne_ or _Selene_, on the upper surface, that it readily might be,
and perhaps {172} sometimes is, passed by as one of those common insects.
Underneath it is chiefly recognised by the beautiful blush of _silvery
purple_ that extends in a band across the middle of the hind wings, and
more faintly tinges the front wings near the tip.

There is little reason to doubt that this insect was really taken by Mr.
Richard Weaver at Sutton Park, near Tamworth; also by Mr. Stanley, near
Alderley, in Cheshire.

       *       *       *       *       *

has been admitted by that very careful and accurate entomologist, Mr.
Stainton, into his "Manual," I cannot refuse it a place here, though, from
all the information I can gain, its only claim to the name of "British"
rests on a tradition of its having been taken a long time ago in Ashdown
Forest, Sussex; and since then, by a _dealer_, in Epping Forest. It is a
beautiful insect, coppery red, bordered with changeable purple, and I
should be glad to see it fairly established in our lists.

       *       *       *       *       *

POLYOMMATUS BÆTICUS.--The LONG-TAILED BLUE.--This Butterfly has been long
known, as a _southern_ insect, with a very wide range of distribution,
abounding in the south of Europe and thence extending into India, Java, &c.
Then last year it was seen in {173} Guernsey, and in August of the same
year an individual was actually captured in this country, the scene of the
event being somewhere on the chalk downs in the neighbourhood of Brighton,
and the fortunate captor being Mr. McArthur, of that town. My friend and
neighbour, Dr. Allchin, of Bayswater, was on the spot at the time, and saw
the insect shortly after its capture.

The _butterfly_, which on the upper side has somewhat of the aspect of a
female "Common Blue," will be at once recognised by its _long tail-like
appendages to the hind wings_. Beneath, its plan of colouring is totally
distinct from that of any of our native "Blues" (_Polyommati_), being
destitute of the numerous little eye-like spots, which are replaced by
bands of fawn colour and white; but at the lower angle of the hind wings
are two spots of glittering metallic green, reminding one, on a small
scale, of the "eye" of a peacock's feather.

The habits of the insect are those of our Common Blues--skipping about over
grassy places, and for a Common Blue it would on the wing be readily

Collectors will in the coming season doubtless search the south coast
district thoroughly, and many a Common Blue will be apprehended on

Should our little friend _Bæticus_ continue his northward progress (as we
have some reason to hope he may), we may find him regularly enrolled on the
native lists, and gracing the ranks of that select little company entitled
"Our British Butterflies."

       *       *       *       *       *




          PLATE I.
      Caterpillars of--
  1. Swallow-tailed Butterfly.
  2. Brimstone B.
  3. Meadow-brown B.
  4. White Admiral.
  5. Purple Emperor.
  6. Peacock B.
  7. Silver-washed Fritillary.
  8. Duke of Burgundy Fritillary.
  9. Purple Hair-streak.
  10. Chalk-hill Blue B.
  11. Dingy Skipper.

      Chrysalides of--
  12. Swallow-tailed B.
  13. Brimstone B.
  14. Black-veined White B.
  15. Large Garden White B.
  16. Silver-washed Fritillary.
  17. Orange-tip B.
  18. Wood-white B.
  19. Marbled-white B.
  20. Meadow-brown B.
  21. White Admiral.
  22. Purple Emperor.
  23. Large Tortoiseshell B.
  24. Comma B.
  25. Duke of Burgundy Fritillary.
  26. Small Skipper B.
  27. Dingy Skipper B.
  28. Purple Hair-streak B.
  29. Chalk-hill Blue B.

          PLATE II.
  1. Egg of Garden White B.
  2. --     Queen of Spain Fritillary.
  3. --     Large Heath B.
  4. --     Peacock B.
  5. --     Large Tortoiseshell B.
  6. --     Meadow-brown B.
  7. --     Wood Argus.
  8. Head of Red Admiral B. magnified.
  9. Section of sucker of ditto, magnified.
  10. Papillæ on end of do. magnified.
  11. Portion of Eye of Butterfly, magnified.
  12. Antenna of Fritillary, magnified.
  13.   --       Swallow-tailed  B. magnified.
  14.   --       Skipper B. magnified.
  15. Base of Antenna, magnified.
  16. Arrangement of Scales on Wing, magnified.
  17. Plumed Scale, magnified.
  18. Long form of ditto, magnified.
  19. Another form of ditto, magnified.
  20.   --    from Small White B. magnified.
  21.   --    from Orange-tip B. magnified.
  22. Battledore Scale from Blue B. magnified.
  23. Ordinary Scale from Garden White B. magnified.
  24. Ordinary Scale from Wood White, magnified.
  25. Ditto.
  26. Ordinary Scale from Brimstone B. magnified.
  27. Ditto.
  28. Ditto.
  29. Ordinary Scale from Common Blue B. magnified.
  30. Ditto.
  31. Ditto.
  32. Ordinary Scale from Small Tortoiseshell B. magnified.
  33. Ditto.
  34. Ditto.
  35. Ditto.
  36. Ordinary Scale from Chalk hill Blue B. magnified.
  37. Ordinary Scale from Apollo B. magnified.
  38. Form common to Vanessa genus magnified.


          PLATE III.
  1. Swallow-tail.
  2. Brimstone.
  3. Clouded Yellow, 3 _a_, female.
  4. Pale Clouded Yellow.

          PLATE IV.
  1. Black-veined White.
  2. Large Garden White.
  3. Small Garden White.
  4. Green-veined White.
  5. Bath White.

          PLATE V.
  1. Orange Tip, 1 _a_, female.
  2. Wood White.
  3. Marbled White.
  4. Wood Argus.
  5. Wall.
  6. Grayling.

          PLATE VI.
  1. Meadow Brown, 1 _a_, female.
  2. Large Heath.
  3. Ringlet.
  4. Scotch Argus.
  5. Mountain Ringlet.
  6. Small Ringlet.
  7. Small Heath.

          PLATE VII.
  1. White Admiral.
  2. Purple Emperor.
  3. Painted Lady.

          PLATE VIII.
  1. Red Admiral.
  2. Peacock.
  3. Camberwell Beauty.

          PLATE IX.
  1. Large Tortoiseshell.
  2. Small Tortoiseshell.
  3. Comma.
  4. Silver-washed Fritillary, 4 _a_, fem.

          PLATE X.
  1. Dark Green Fritillary.
  2. High-brown Fritillary.
  3. Queen of Spain Fritillary.
  4. Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

          PLATE XI.
  1. Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
  2. Glanville Fritillary.
  3. Pearl-bordered Likeness Fritillary.
  4. Greasy Fritillary.
  5. Duke of Burgundy Fritillary.

          PLATE XII.
  1. Brown Hair streak, 1 _a_, female.
  2. Black Hair-streak.
  3. White Letter Hair-streak.
  4. Purple Hair-streak, 4 _a_, female.
  5. Green Hair streak.

          PLATE XIII.
  1. Small Copper.
  2. Large Copper, 2 _a_, female.
  3. Holly, or Azure Blue, 3 _a_, female.
  4. Bedford Blue, 4 _a_, female.
  5. Mazarine Blue, 5 _a_, female.

          PLATE XIV.
  1. Large Blue.
  2. Chalk-hill Blue, 2 _a_, female.
  3. Adonis Blue, 3 _a_, female.
  4. Common Blue, 4 _a_, female.
  5. Silver-studded Blue, 5 _a_, female.
  6. Brown Argus.
  7. Artaxerxes Butterfly.

          PLATE XV.
  1. Grizzled Skipper.
  2. Dingy Skipper.
  3. Chequered Skipper.
  4. Lulworth Skipper, 4 _a_, female.
  5. Small Skipper, 5 _a_, female.
  6. Large Skipper, 6 _a_, female.
  7. Silver-spotted Skipper, 7 _a_, fem.

          PLATE XVI.
  1. Scarce Swallow-tail.
  2. Apollo.
  3. Arran Brown.
  4. Weaver's Fritillary.
  5. Purple-edged Copper.
  6. Tailed-Blue (_P. Boeticus_).

       *       *       *       *       *



  Antennæ,                                 27
  Apollo Butterfly,                       171
  Apparatus,                               39
  Arran Brown B.,                         171
  Artaxerxes B.,                          161
  Artist and Butterfly,                    37

  Bath White B.,                           88
  Black-veined White B.,                   77
  Blues, The (Genus _Polyommatus_),       150
  Blue B., Adonis,                        156
           Azure,                         151
           Bedford,                       152
           Chalk-hill,                    155
           Common,                        157
           Holly,                         151
           Large,                         154
           Mazarine,                      153
           Silver-studded,                158
           Tailed (_Boeticus_),           172
  Boxes,                                   43
  Brimstone B.,                            67
  Brown Argus B.,                         159
  Butterfly Emblems,                       34
            hunting,                       39

  Cabinets,                                55
  Camberwell Beauty B.,                   121
  Caterpillar,                              7
  Chrysalis,                               12
  Classification,                          58
  Clouded Sulphur B.,                      75
          Yellow B.,                       71
  Comma B.,                               126
  Copper B., Large,                       148
             Purple-edged,                172
             Small,                       147

  Eggs of B.,                               3
  Eye of B.,                               27

  Fritillary B., Dark Green,              129
                 Duke of Burgundy,        139
                 Glanville,               135
                 Greasy,                  137
                 High-brown,              130
                 Pearl-bordered,          133
                 Pearl-border. Likeness,  136
                 Queen of Spain,          131
                 Silver-washed,           128
                 Small Pearl-bordered,    134
                 Weaver's (_Dia_),        171

  Garden White B., Large,                  80
                   Small,                  84
  Grayling,                                99
  Green-veined White,                      86

  Heath B., Large,                        102
            Small,                        111
  Hair-streak B., Black,                  142
                  Brown,                  140
                  Green,                  146
                  Purple,                 145
                  White-letter,           143

  Ichneumon,                               18
  Imago,                                   19

  Larva,                                    7
  Latin names,                             60
  Legs of B.,                              31

  Marbled White B.,                        95
  Meadow Brown B.,                        101

  Nets,                                    40

  Orange Tip B.,                           91

  Pain in Insects,                         50
  Painted Lady B.,                        117
  Pale Clouded Yellow B.,                  75
  Peacock B.,                             120
  Purple Emperor B.,                      113

  Red Admiral B.,                         118
  Reputed British Species,                170
  Ringlet B., Common,                     103
              Mountain,                   107
              Small,                      109

  Scotch Argus B.,                        105
  Skippers (Family _Hesperidæ_),          163
  Skipper B., Chequered,                  165
              Dingy,                      164
              Grizzled,                   163
              Large,                      167
              Lulworth,                   165
              Small,                      167
              Silver-spotted,             168
  Speckled Wood B.,                        97
  Swallow-tail B.,                         65
                  Scarce,                 170

  Tongue of B.,                            25
  Tortoiseshell B., Large,                123
                    Small,                124

  Wall B.,                                 98
  White Admiral B.,                       112
  Wings of B.,                             20
  Wood Argus B.,                           97
  Wood White B.,                           94

       *       *       *       *       *

70 TO 76, LONG ACRE, W.C.

       *       *       *       *       *


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       *       *       *       *       *


[1] Plural _Chrysalides_.

[2] Making _Lepidos_ in genitive.

[3] A word derived from the Latin, and meaning literally a "sucker."

[4] _Antenna_ in the singular number.

[5] Bailey's "Festus."

[6] As beginners in entomology are, I know, often glad to be informed of
some reliable dealer from whom to procure the apparatus required for the
pursuit, I have pleasure in here giving the name of Mr. T. Cooke, of 30,
Museum Street (six doors from the British Museum), where all the apparatus
mentioned in this work, and numerous other natural history articles, are to
be found, good and cheap, I believe. For the guidance of young amateurs, I
will mention the prices of a few of the more necessary articles I have
myself purchased or examined at the above establishment. Cane ring-nets,
with stick, and ready for use, 2s.; ring-net, with three-jointed metal ring
and screw-socket, 4s. 6d.; pocket collecting-boxes, corked, 3d. to 1s.
each; store-boxes, 10 in. by 8 in., corked top and bottom, 2s. 6d.; drying
houses, for securely keeping setting-boards when in use, and containing
eleven corked setting-boards and drawer for pins, &c., 10s. 6d.; sheet cork
for lining cabinets, 7 in. by 3½ in., 1s. 6d. doz. sheets; entomological
pins, three sizes, mixed, 1s. oz., &c., &c.

[7] Polyommatus Boeticus.

[8] A very ingenious and neat contrivance--the invention of my friend Dr.
Allchin, of Bayswater. It may be obtained of Messrs. Cooke & Son,
Naturalists, 30, Museum Street, London, W.C. It is of brass, with screw
caps, the inner one having a small hole through which the chloroform can be
used, drop by drop. The price is 4s. Also, the new Cyanide Killing-bottles,
1s. 6d.; 2s. ready for use.

[9] _Cleopatra_, as Duponchel observes, is found in France, only in the
hottest parts, and is first seen as we go southwards, about Avignon, but
abounds most on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Why the two varieties _Cleopatra_ and the common _Rhamni_ fly together we
cannot fully explain; but it is possible there may be a constitutional
difference between individual insects, just as we see that of two
Englishmen going to a hot climate, one will brown deeply, while the
complexion of the other will hardly alter, though exposed to the very same
external influence.

[10] See page 171.

[11] See the meaning of Chrysalis and Aurelia, on page 12.

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