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Title: Butterflies and Moths - (British)
Author: Furneaux, William S.
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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Transcriber's note:

      In this Plain Text version of the book only symbols from the
      ASCII and Latin-1 extension character sets have been used.

      Text in italic typeface is enclosed by underscores (_italics)_.

      Text in small capital typeface is displayed as ALL UPPER CASE.

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      Instances of distinctive font symbols (T, V, W, Y) which occur
      in the names and descriptions of several species etc. are shown
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      Note that numerous taxonomic names have changed since 1894.
      The formatting of Latin names also differs from current
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      corrected, these are listed at the end of the book.



       *       *       *       *       *


    THE OUT-DOOR WORLD; or, Young Collector's Handbook. By W. FURNEAUX,
    F.R.G.S. With 18 Plates, 16 of which are coloured, and 549
    Illustrations in the Text. Crown 8vo. 7_s._ 6_d._

    coloured Plates and 241 Illustrations in the Text. 10_s._ 6_d._ net.

_To be followed by_

    BRITISH BIRDS. By W. H. HUDSON, F.Z.S. With a Chapter on Structure
    and Classification by FRANK E. BEDDARD, F.R.S.



  London: LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO.
  New York: 15 East 16th Street.

[Illustration: Plate I

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

       *       *       *       *       *





Author of 'The Out-Door World, Or Young Collector's Handbook'


With Twelve Coloured Plates and Numerous Illustrations in the Text

Longmans, Green, and Co.
And New York. 15 East 16th Street

All rights reserved


The favourable reception with which the 'Out-door World' has been
greeted has encouraged the publishers to issue a series of volumes
dealing in fuller detail with the various branches of Natural History
treated of in that work. Necessarily each subject was only briefly
touched upon, but the study is of so enticing a character that 'appetite
grows by feeding,' and the students of the 'Out-door World,' having
tasted the sweetness of companionship with Nature, will not rest
satisfied with the help afforded by that handbook. Each one will want to
go deeper into that particular department which most appeals to his own

The present volume is written expressly for those who desire to extend
their knowledge of the British Lepidoptera, or, to use the more popular
names, 'Butterflies and Moths.'

The general characteristics of this interesting order of insects are
described somewhat fully, but, of course, it would be impossible to give
an individual account of all the British Lepidoptera in a work of this
size, so a selection has been made such as will satisfy the requirements
of the great majority of those who intend to take up this particular
branch of entomology. The number of British Butterflies, however, is
so limited that a place has been found for a figure and a description of
every species; and, of the larger moths, many of the common and typical
kinds have been included. An introduction to the study of the
Micro-lepidoptera has also been added.

No trouble has been spared to render this work thoroughly practical. In
addition to the verbal descriptions of so many species, twelve coloured
plates and a large number of woodcuts have been specially prepared to
help the student in his work. It is believed that the extreme care with
which these have been produced will render them of the greatest
assistance to the collector in the recognition of his specimens.

But he has not only to recognise his specimens--he must first catch
them; and here full directions have been given to insure success in this
part of his work, as well as in the management, preservation, and
arrangement of his captures.

The Author hopes that this volume may be the means of adding many happy
hours--hours of the purest enjoyment--to the lives of those whom he has
succeeded in luring into the fields and lanes and woods of the Out-door




  CHAP.                                                        PAGE

      I.  GENERAL CHARACTERS                                      1

     II.  THE EGG                                                16

    III.  THE LARVA                                              22

     IV.  THE PUPA OR CHRYSALIS                                  40

      V.  CLASSIFICATION OF THE LEPIDOPTERA                      55



     VI.  CATCHING BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS                         63

    VII.  COLLECTING OVA, LARVÆ, AND PUPÆ                        98

   VIII.  REARING LEPIDOPTERA                                   112

     IX.  SETTING AND PRESERVING                                122

      X.  PRESERVING OVA, LARVÆ AND PUPÆ                        130




    XII.  THE SWALLOW-TAIL AND THE 'WHITES'                     139


    XIV.  THE BROWNS AND HEATHS                                 173

     XV.  THE HAIRSTREAKS, COPPERS AND BLUES                    183




   XVII. SPHINGES                                               203

  XVIII.  BOMBYCES                                              217

    XIX.  THE NOCTUÆ                                            239

     XX.  GEOMETRÆ                                              268

    XXI.  THE MICRO-LEPIDOPTERA                                 290



     II. THE LEPIDOPTERIST'S CALENDAR                           326

  REFERENCES TO COLOURED PLATES                                 347

  INDEX                                                         351



  1-7. BRITISH BUTTERFLIES                           _Frontispiece_
    9. SPHINGES                              }
   10. BOMBYCES                              }             _At end_
   11. NOCTUÆ                                }
   12. NOCTUA AND GEOMETRÆ                   }

  _Full references accompany the Plates._


  FIG.                                                         PAGE

    1. SCALES FROM THE WINGS OF BUTTERFLIES                       1
         SCALES HAVE BEEN REMOVED                                 2
    3. BODY OF A BUTTERFLY--UNDER SIDE                            3
    4. SECTION OF THE EYE OF AN INSECT                            4
    5. ANTENNÆ OF BUTTERFLIES                                     5
    6. ANTENNÆ OF MOTHS                                           5
    7. SECTION OF THE PROBOSCIS OF A BUTTERFLY                    7
    8. DIAGRAM OF THE WINGS OF A BUTTERFLY                        9
    9. THE UNDEVELOPED FORE LEG OF A BUTTERFLY                   10
         (_Pieris Brassicæ_)                                     14
   11. EGG OF THE MEADOW BROWN BUTTERFLY                         20
   12. EGG OF THE SPECKLED WOOD BUTTERFLY                        20
   13. EGG OF THE VAPOURER MOTH                                  20
   17. AN ICHNEUMON FLY (_Cryptus Migrator_)                     25
   18. ANOTHER ICHNEUMON FLY (_Pimpla Instigator_)               25
   20. WALKING LEG OF A CATERPILLAR                              28
   21. LARVA OF THE YELLOW UNDERWING MOTH (_Pronuba_)            28
   22. LARVA OF THE CRIMSON SPECKLED MOTH (_Pulchella_)          28
   23. LARVA OF THE LOBSTER MOTH (_Fagi_)                        28
   25. LARVA OF THE BRIMSTONE MOTH (_Luteolata_)                 29
   26. THE CLASPERS OF A CATERPILLAR                             30
   28. THE COCOON OF THE EMPEROR MOTH                            40
   29. THE COCOON OF THE SIX-SPOTTED BURNET (_Filipendulæ_)      40
   30. THE PUPA OF THE PRIVET HAWK (_Ligustri_)                  44
   32. THE PUPA OF THE DARK GREEN FRITILLARY (_Aglaia_)          45
   34. THE PUPA OF THE CURRANT MOTH                              45
   35. PUPA OF THE PALE TUSSOCK MOTH (_Pudibunda_)               45
   36. A BUTTERFLY, JUST AFTER EMERGING                          50
   37. A BUTTERFLY AT REST (LARGE COPPER)                        57
   38. A MOTH AT REST (GOTHIC)                                   57
   39. A WIRE FRAME FOR A BUTTERFLY NET                          65
   40. STICK FOR THE NET                                         65
   41. THE METAL Y                                               66
   42. PATTERN FOR THE NET                                       67
   43. THE CYANIDE BOTTLE                                        68
   44. SECTION OF THE LAUREL BOX                                 70
   45. THE CHLOROFORM BOTTLE                                     72
   46. }
   47. } FITTINGS FOR THE COLLECTING BOX                         75
   48. }
   49. }
   51. A TRAP FOR CATCHING MOTHS                                 88
   52. METAL JOINT FOR LANTERN AND NET                           91
   54. FRAME FOR THE SUGARING NET                                94
   55. CAGE FOR DECOY FEMALES                                    96
   56. A SUGAR TRAP                                              96
   57. A LARVA GLASS                                            114
   58. A LARVA GLASS                                            114
   59. A LARVA CAGE                                             115
   60. SECTION OF A SETTING BOARD                               123
   61. SECTIONS OF SETTING BOARDS                               123
   62. A BUTTERFLY ON THE SETTING BOARD                         124
   64. A BLOWPIPE FOR LARVÆ                                     131
   65. THE BATH WHITE--UNDER SIDE                               147
   66. THE CLOUDED YELLOW--FEMALE                               151
   70. THE DARK-GREEN FRITILLARY--UNDER SIDE                    158
   71. THE HIGH-BROWN FRITILLARY                                159
   73. THE GREASY FRITILLARY--UNDER SIDE                        161
   74. The GLANVILLE FRITILLARY--UNDER SIDE                     162
   75. THE COMMA--UNDER SIDE                                    164
   76. THE PURPLE EMPEROR--UNDER SIDE                           172
   77. THE MARBLED WHITE--UNDER SIDE                            174
   78. THE WOOD ARGUS--UNDER SIDE                               176
   79. THE GRAYLING--UNDER SIDE                                 178
   80. THE LARGE HEATH--UNDER SIDE                              179
   81. THE RINGLET--UPPER SIDE                                  180
   82. THE MARSH RINGLET--UNDER SIDE                            181
   83. THE BROWN HAIRSTREAK--MALE                               184
   84. THE WHITE-LETTER HAIRSTREAK                              184
   85. THE PURPLE HAIRSTREAK--MALE                              186
   86. THE GREEN HAIRSTREAK                                     186
   87. THE TAILED BLUE--UNDER SIDE                              188
   88. THE SILVER-STUDDED BLUE--UNDER SIDE                      189
   89. THE COMMON BLUE--UNDER SIDE                              191
   90. THE CLIFDEN BLUE--UNDER SIDE                             191
   91. THE CHALK-HILL BLUE--UNDER SIDE                          192
   92. THE HOLLY BLUE--UNDER SIDE                               193
   93. THE MAZARINE BLUE--UNDER SIDE                            194
   94. THE SMALL BLUE--UNDER SIDE                               194
   95. THE LARGE BLUE--UNDER SIDE                               195
   96. THE SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPER--UNDER SIDE                   201
   97. THE DEATH'S-HEAD HAWK MOTH                               205
   98. THE LARVA OF ATROPOS                                     206
   99. THE CATERPILLAR OF EUPHORBIÆ                             207
  100. THE SMALL ELEPHANT HAWK MOTH                             208
  101. THE POPLAR HAWK                                          209
  102. THE BROAD-BORDERED BEE HAWK                              212
  103. THE HORNET CLEARWING OF THE POPLAR                       213
  104. THE CURRANT CLEARWING                                    213
  105. THE FORESTER                                             214
  106. THE SIX-SPOTTED BURNET                                   215
  107. THE LARVA OF FILIPENDULÆ                                 215
  108. THE GREEN SILVER-LINED                                   217
  109. THE SHORT-CLOAKED MOTH                                   218
  110. THE MUSLIN MOTH                                          218
  111. THE COMMON FOOTMAN                                       219
  112. THE LARVA OF JACOBÆÆ                                     219
  113. THE SCARLET TIGER                                        220
  114. THE BUFF ERMINE                                          222
  115. THE WHITE ERMINE                                         222
  116. THE GHOST SWIFT--FEMALE                                  223
  117. THE COMMON SWIFT                                         224
  118. THE GOAT MOTH                                            225
  120. THE LEOPARD MOTH                                         226
  121. THE LARVA OF PYRINA (ONLY PARTLY GROWN)                  226
  122. THE BROWN TAIL                                           227
  123. THE GIPSY--MALE                                          227
  124. THE BLACK ARCHES--MALE                                   228
  125. THE VAPOURER MOTH--MALE                                  228
  126. THE FEMALE VAPOURER                                      228
  127. LARVA OF THE VAPOURER MOTH                               229
  128. THE DRINKER--MALE                                        230
  129. THE OAK HOOK TIP                                         233
  130. THE CHINESE CHARACTER                                    233
  131. THE POPLAR KITTEN                                        234
  132. THE PUSS MOTH                                            235
  133. THE COXCOMB PROMINENT                                    235
  134. THE LARVA OF BUCEPHALA                                   236
  135. THE CHOCOLATE TIP                                        237
  136. THE PEACH BLOSSOM                                        237
  137. THE YELLOW HORNED                                        238
  138. THE MARBLED BEAUTY                                       240
  139. THE GREY DAGGER                                          240
  140. THE POPLAR GREY                                          241
  141. THE FIGURE OF EIGHT                                      241
  142. THE BROWN-LINE BRIGHT-EYE                                242
  143. THE SMOKY WAINSCOT                                       243
  144. THE COMMON WAINSCOT                                      243
  145. THE BULLRUSH                                             244
  146. THE FROSTED ORANGE                                       245
  147. THE FLAME                                                245
  148. THE LIGHT ARCHES                                         246
  149. THE FLOUNCED RUSTIC                                      246
  150. THE CABBAGE MOTH                                         247
  151. THE DOT                                                  247
  152. THE RUSTIC SHOULDER-KNOT                                 248
  153. THE MARBLED MINOR                                        248
  154. THE MOTTLED RUSTIC                                       249
  155. THE TURNIP MOTH                                          250
  156. THE HEART AND DART                                       251
  157. THE GARDEN DART                                          251
  158. THE FLAME SHOULDER                                       252
  159. THE LESSER BROAD BORDER                                  252
  160. THE LESSER YELLOW UNDERWING                              253
  161. THE GOTHIC                                               254
  162. THE OLD LADY                                             254
  163. THE COMMON QUAKER                                        255
  164. THE CHESTNUT                                             256
  165. THE PINK-BARRED SALLOW                                   256
  166. THE DUN-BAR                                              257
  167. THE BROAD-BARRED WHITE                                   257
  168. THE ANGLE SHADES                                         258
  169. THE GREY ARCHES                                          259
  170. THE SHEARS                                               260
  171. THE BRIGHT-LINE BROWN-EYE                                260
  172. THE EARLY GREY                                           261
  173. THE SHARK                                                262
  174. THE BURNISHED BRASS                                      263
  175. THE SILVER Y                                             264
  176. THE RED UNDERWING                                        266
  177. THE LIGHT EMERALD                                        270
  178. THE AUGUST THORN                                         271
  179. THE PEPPERED MOTH                                        272
  180. THE WILLOW BEAUTY                                        273
  181. THE LARGE EMERALD                                        274
  182. THE COMMON EMERALD                                       274
  183. THE LACE BORDER                                          275
  184. THE RIBAND WAVE                                          276
  185. THE BLOOD-VEIN                                           276
  186. THE COMMON WAVE                                          277
  187. THE CLOUDED SILVER                                       277
  188. THE V MOTH                                               278
  189. THE COMMON HEATH                                         279
  190. THE BORDERED WHITE--MALE                                 279
  191. THE CURRANT MOTH                                         280
  192. THE SPRING USHER                                         281
  193. THE MARCH MOTH                                           282
  194. THE NOVEMBER MOTH                                        282
  195. THE TWIN-SPOT CARPET                                     283
  196. THE GRASS RIVULET                                        283
  197. THE NETTED PUG                                           284
  198. THE NARROW-WINGED PUG                                    284
  199. THE BRINDLED PUG                                         284
  200. THE SMALL SERAPHIM                                       285
  201. THE BLUE-BORDERED CARPET                                 285
  202. THE BEAUTIFUL CARPET                                     286
  203. THE COMMON CARPET                                        286
  204. THE SILVER GROUND CARPET                                 287
  205. THE GARDEN CARPET                                        287
  206. THE YELLOW SHELL                                         288
  207. THE SMALL PH[OE]NIX                                      288
  208. THE SMALL MALLOW                                         289
  209. THE TABBY OR GREASE MOTH                                 291
  210. THE MEAL MOTH                                            292
  211. THE SMALL MAGPIE                                         292
  212. THE MOTHER-OF-PEARL                                      293
  213. THE GARDEN PEBBLE                                        293
  214. THE BEAUTIFUL CHINA MARK                                 294
  215. GONODACTYLA                                              295
  216. OSTEODACTYLUS                                            295
  217. PENTADACTYLA                                             295
  218. HEXADACTYLA--ENLARGED                                    296
  219. PHRAGMITELLUS--ENLARGED ONE-HALF                         297
  220. HAMELLUS--SLIGHTLY ENLARGED                              297
  221. TRISTELLUS                                               297
  222. HORTUELLUS                                               298
  223. MELLONELLA                                               298
  224. XYLOSTEANA WITH WINGS CLOSED                             299
  225. VIRIDANA                                                 300
  226. CRISTANA--ENLARGED                                       300
  227. LECHEANA                                                 300
  228. PRUNIANA                                                 300
  229. SALICELLA                                                301
  230. OCTOMACULANA--ENLARGED                                   301
  231. CIRSIANA--ENLARGED                                       302
  232. POMONELLA                                                302
  233. ZOEGANA--ENLARGED                                        302
  234. FAGELLA                                                  303
  235. CUPRELLA                                                 304
  236. PADELLUS                                                 304
  237. NERVOSA--TWICE NATURAL SIZE                              304
  238. GEOFFRELLA                                               305
  239. IBIPENNELLA--ENLARGED                                    305
  240. COMPLANELLA--ENLARGED                                    306
  241. AURELLA--ENLARGED                                        307





The word _Lepidoptera_, which you see at the head of this page, is the
name of the order of insects to which this volume is to be devoted. It
is formed from two Greek words, one (_lepis_) signifying a _scale_, and
the other (_pteron_) denoting a _wing_; and was applied by the great
naturalist Linnæus to the scaly-winged insects popularly known as
Butterflies and Moths.


Every one of my readers has undoubtedly handled some of the interesting
creatures of this group--having been led to do so either by the extreme
beauty of their clothing, or, perhaps, from a murderous intent in order
to protect his own garments from the ravages of a supposed marauder. A
light mealy powder will probably have been observed afterwards on the
fingers that have touched the victim's wings.

This powder, although it sometimes presents a beautiful glossy surface
when spread over the skin, does not exhibit any definite form or
structure without a more minute examination. Yet these are the scales
that led the immortal naturalist to invent the somewhat long but useful
term _Lepidoptera_.

The very next time the opportunity offers itself, dust off a little of
the mealy powder with a small and very soft brush on to a strip of white
paper or a slip of glass, and examine it with a powerful lens or the low
power of a compound microscope. What a sight you will then behold! Each
little particle of dust is a beautifully formed scale, stamped with a
number of minute rounded projections, and often displaying the most
gorgeous colours. A great variety of designs and tints are often
exhibited by the 'dust' from a single wing. Take, for instance, for your
inspection, scales from the wing of one of our commonest insects, the
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Plate III), and you will be surprised at
the pleasing contrasts. But when your curiosity leads you to deal with
others in the same manner, the varied display of forms and colours is
simply amazing.


In order that we may learn still more of the structure of the wings of
the _Lepidoptera_, we will examine a portion of one from which some of
the scales have been removed, again bringing the lens or the microscope
into our service. We now see that the scales are arranged in rows with
great regularity on a thin and transparent membrane, which is supported
by a system of branching rays. And the membrane itself, in parts which
have been laid bare, is marked with regular rows of dots--the points at
which the scales were originally attached by means of short hollow rods.

The framework that supports the thin membrane we have spoken of as
consisting of a system of _rays_, but to these the terms _veins_,
_nerves_, _nervures_, or _nervules_ are more commonly applied by various
naturalists. We cannot do better, however, than adhere to the name
originally used, for the structures in question do not perform the
functions of veins, though at first they contain blood, nor are they
themselves parts of the nervous systems of the insects to which they

The result of our examination of the wings of butterflies and moths has
been to justify the application of the term _Lepidoptera_; but we must
now study other equally important and interesting features of the
structure of these insects. First, let us note the general form of the


1-7, segments of the abdomen; 8, anal extremity; _a_, antennæ; _b_,
tarsus; _c_, tibia; _d_, femur; _e_, palpi; _f_, head; _g_, thorax.]

A cursory glance at this portion of the creature's anatomy will show
that it consists of three distinct and well-defined parts. In front
there is the head, the size of which is somewhat small in proportion.
Two very large eyes make up the greater portion of its bulk. It is
remarkable, too, that butterflies possess eyes proportionately much
larger than those of moths. Now, since butterflies always fly by day,
and moths are, generally speaking, nocturnal insects, we might be led to
suppose that the reverse of this arrangement would have suited the
creatures better; for a small eye, we should think, would be able to
collect sufficient light in the daytime to form a bright image, and a
larger light-receiving area would be necessary during the darker hours
for the same purpose. But it is evident that the sense of vision must
depend on other conditions besides the size of the eye; and as these
conditions are not understood in relation to the eyes of insects, any
attempt at an explanation would be quite useless.

The eye of a butterfly or moth is worthy of a closer examination, for it
is a most beautiful and marvellous structure. The outer globular
transparent membrane--the _cornea_--is divided into a large number of
minute polygonal _facets_, each one of which admits light into a small
conical compartment surrounded by a coloured membrane, and supplied with
a fibre of the nerve of vision (the _optic_ nerve). Hence the eye is
often spoken of as _compound_.

If you look closely into the eyes of various butterflies and moths you
will generally see a ground colour of grey, blue, brown, or black; but
when viewed at certain angles in a strong light the most gorgeous hues
of metallic brilliancy--gold, copper, and bronze--are to be observed.
All such colours are due to the reflection of light from the colouring
matter that lies between the numerous conical compartments.


A glance at the section of a compound eye will show you that all the
little cones radiate from a common centre. And, as each little
compartment is surrounded by opaque colouring matter, it is clear that
perpendicular rays only are capable of penetrating to its base and
exciting the nerve fibre that lies there. Thus each little division of a
compound eye forms its own image of the object that happens to be
exactly opposite its facet. But how many facets do we find in a single
eye? Sometimes only a few hundreds, but sometimes as many as seventeen
or eighteen thousand! We must not, however, conclude that the nature of
the vision of butterflies and moths is necessarily very different from
our own. We have two eyes, but the images formed by them are both
blended, so that we do not see double. We can understand, therefore,
that the thousands of images formed in a single eye may be blended
together so as to form one continuous picture. Still there remains this
difference: while in our own case the two images formed by the two eyes
are practically the same, in the case of insects every one of the little
conical tubes of a compound eye forms an image of an object that cannot
possibly be formed by any one of the others. Thus, if the lepidopterous
insect sees a continuous picture of its surroundings, such a picture is
produced by the overlapping and blending, at their edges, of hundreds or
thousands of distinct parts.

There is yet another interesting difference between the vision of these
insects and that of ourselves. As already stated, our two eyes are both
turned toward the same point at the same time. But look at the
butterfly's eyes. Here are no movable eyeballs, and the two eyes, placed
as they are at the _sides_ of the head, are always turned in _opposite_
directions. The corneæ, too, are very convex; and consequently the range
of vision is vastly wider than ours. A boy is often easily surprised by
a playmate who approaches him stealthily from behind, but did you ever
try the same game with a butterfly? I have, many a time. After getting
cautiously so near to a butterfly at rest as to be able to distinguish
between its head and its hinder extremity, I have quietly circled round
it so as to approach it from behind, being at the time under the
impression that it wouldn't see me under those circumstances. But not
the slightest advantage did I derive from this stratagem, for the
position and construction of its eyes enabled it to see almost all ways
at once.

In addition to the two compound eyes, the _Lepidoptera_, or at least
most of them, are provided with two small simple eyes; but these are
generally so hidden among the closely set hair that covers the head,
that it is doubtful whether they are of much service as organs of

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--ANTENNÆ OF BUTTERFLIES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--ANTENNÆ OF MOTHS.]

The antennæ proceed from two points close to the upper borders of the
eyes. They are jointed organs, and are of very different forms in the
various species of _Lepidoptera_. They are generally long, slender, and
clubbed at the extremity in butterflies, but exhibit several minor
points of difference which we shall have to note later on. In moths the
antennæ are sometimes long, slender, and pointed. Some are thick, and
more or less prismatic in form; while others are slightly or deeply
pectinated or comb-like. The antennæ of butterflies are always
straight, or only slightly curved; and, although the insects can sway
them bodily, they have no power to bend them, or to stow them away in
any place of shelter. Moths, on the other hand, when at rest, are almost
invariably found to have their antennæ snugly tucked under the wings,
and brought so closely against the side of the head for this purpose
that even the uncovered portion is often difficult to find.

There are two other prominent appendages belonging to the heads of the
_Lepidoptera_. These are the _labial palpi_ or feelers of the lips. They
are generally easily seen, projecting forward on the under side of the
head, sometimes so long and conspicuous as to give one the idea of a
snout or long nose. The palpi are jointed--usually in three parts--are
covered with scales, and often furnished with hairs or bristles.

If you watch a moth or butterfly when it is feeding on the sweet juices
of a flower, or on some kind of artificial sweet with which you have
provided it, you will observe its long trunk or _proboscis_, by which
food is sucked up. This instrument is so long and slender that it seems
almost impossible that it can be a tube through which a liquid freely
passes. But a careful examination will show that this is the case. It is
composed of two separate pieces--two half tubes, which, when closely
applied to each other, form a very thin and flexible pipe, perfectly
air-tight and adapted for suction. Sometimes you can see a butterfly or
moth manipulating with its proboscis as if it required readjustment in
some way or other. It has split the tube throughout its length, so that
it now looks like two exceedingly fine hairs. Then, after a short time,
the two halves are put together again, and immediately, as if by magic,
become a single tube in which no kind of seam is to be observed without
a powerful magnifier.

In order to observe the nature of such a wonderful arrangement we must
have recourse to the aid of a good microscope. Thus assisted, we can see
at once how the junction of the two sides of the proboscis is brought
about so quickly and so perfectly. The inner edges of each half are very
regularly fringed with lines of closely set hairs--so regular, in fact,
are they, that they give one the idea of long yet minute beautifully
formed combs. When the two parts are brought together, the hairs of two
opposite edges interlock, those on one side exactly filling the spaces
between those of the other.

The microscope also reveals another interesting fact, viz. that the
proboscis is not a single tube, but, although so remarkably thin, is
really a set of three distinct pipes, one lying on each side of the
central one. It is said that the central tube only is used for sucking
up the liquid food, and there seems to be some doubt as to the uses of
the other two. Some naturalists are of opinion that the latter are air
tubes, and are connected with the respiration of the insect; while
others say that through these the insects eject a thin watery fluid with
which to dissolve or dilute those sweetmeats that are not sufficiently
liquid to be readily sucked up. But possibly both these opinions are
correct, the proboscis serving all three of the purposes here named. The
only observation of my own bearing on the subject is this. While a moth
was feeding on a drop of syrup in a strong light, a powerful lens
revealed drops, of liquid, mingled with bubbles of air, passing
alternately _up and down_ the two lateral tubes of the proboscis. At the
same time the upward current of syrup in the central tube was by no
means steady and continuous.


When this organ is not in use, it is beautifully coiled into a close
spiral which lies between the labial palpi. The length varies
considerably in different insects, and consequently the number of turns
in the spiral must differ also. Sometimes there are less than two turns,
while some of the longer ones form spirals of from six to ten turns.

In concluding our brief account of the head of lepidopterous insects it
is, I suppose, hardly necessary to add that there is no kind of chewing
apparatus to be described; all the members of this order, at least in
the perfect state, deriving the whole of the little nourishment they
require entirely by suction through the proboscis or 'trunk.'

The second division of the body is the _thorax_. This is much larger
than the head, and consists of three ring-like segments, joined one
behind the other so intimately that the lines of junction are hardly
visible, even after the thick clothing of fine hair has been brushed
off. Behind the thorax is the abdomen, which is composed of several
segments, the junctions between the rings often being most distinct.

From the sides of the thorax proceed the two pairs of wings, the general
structure of which we have already to a certain extent examined. But
when we are a little farther advanced in our insect studies, we shall
have to become acquainted with detailed descriptions given as aids to
the identification of species. Now, such descriptions cannot be
satisfactory, either to the one who gives or to him who receives, unless
expressed in such definite terms as render a misunderstanding
impossible. A botanist cannot give an accurate and concise description
of a flower without the use of certain names and expressions which have
gradually become an almost necessary part of his vocabulary; neither can
an entomologist give a really useful, and, at the same time, a
_succinct_ description of an insect unless he is acquainted with the
names of its parts. Therefore, seeing that we distinguish the various
species of butterflies and moths _mainly_ by the arrangement and colour
of the markings of their wings, it is really necessary that we should
know the names of the different parts of these organs. For this reason I
have inserted drawings of a fore and of a hind wing of a butterfly,
together with the names of the various parts of the wings, and also the
names of the principal rays or _nervures_. Yet I would not advise any
young entomologist to attempt to commit to memory all the names given.
Rather use the diagram for reference when occasion requires, more
particularly when you have an insect in your possession that you desire
to study. In ordinary descriptions of butterflies and moths the names of
the _nervures_ are not so generally used as those of the _parts_ of the
wing. Consequently it is exceedingly useful to know what is meant by the
terms _base_, _costal margin_, _apex_, _hind margin_, _anal angle_,
_inner margin_, _discoidal cell_ &c. as applied to the wing.

The two pairs of wings are attached to the second and third segments of
the thorax; but of the _three_ pairs of legs, which we have next to
consider, one pair arises from each of the three segments. The
arrangement of these limbs is well shown in the sketch on page 3, as are
also the names of the different parts of the limb, the latter being
given for reference by the reader when the need arises.

All insects, in their perfect state, we are told, have three pairs of
legs; but if you examine the under surface of certain butterflies, such
as the Marbled White, or any of the Vanessas, Browns, or Heaths, it is
quite likely that you will raise objection to such a statement; for in
these you may possibly see only four legs. But this is the result of a
too cursory observation. Look a little more closely at your specimen,
and you will see a pair of smaller legs folded up under the fore part of
the thorax. By means of a blunt needle you can straighten out these
limbs, and then the difference in length to be observed between them and
the other four is very striking indeed. They are also thinner than the
middle and hind legs; and, unlike these, are not provided with claws.


I. _Fore wing._--1-5, subcostal nervules; 6, 7, discoidal nervules;
8-10, median nervules; 11, submedian nervure; 12, internal nervure;
13-15, disco-cellular nervules; 16, interno-median nervule; 17, median
nervure; 18, subcostal nervure; _a_, costal nervure; _b_, costa or
anterior margin; _c_, apex or anterior angle; _d_, posterior or hind
margin; _e_, posterior or anal angle; _f_, interior or inner margin;
_g_, base; _h_, discoidal cell.

II. _Hind wing._--1, 2, subcostal nervules; 3, discoidal nervule; 4-6,
median nervules; 7, submedian nervure; 8, precostal nervure; 9,
subcostal nervure; 10, median nervure; 11, 12, disco-cellular nervules;
_a_, costal nervure; _b_, costa or anterior margin; _c_, apex or
anterior angle; _d_, hind margin; _e_, tail or caudal appendage; _f_,
anal angle; _g_, abdominal or inner margin; _h_, base.]

These imperfectly developed legs are, of course, quite useless as far as
walking is concerned; indeed, it is extremely doubtful as to whether
they are of any service whatever to the owner. On one occasion,
however, while watching a Peacock Butterfly apparently engaged in
cleaning its divided proboscis, I observed that this organ was
frequently passed under the thorax, and that the front pair of legs were
pressed against it on each side, while it was being drawn outward
between them. It is probable, therefore, that these limbs constitute a
pair of brushes by means of which the fine grooves of the divided trunk
are cleared of any solid or sticky matter that may lodge therein. It is
certain that moths, and those butterflies that possess six _equal_ legs,
use the front pair for this same purpose. The former, also, employ them
for brushing their antennæ, which seem to be, by the way, particularly
sensitive to different kinds of irritation.


It is a well-known fact that tobacco smoke has a powerful influence on
certain small insects; and even though it can hardly be regarded as a
perfect all-round insecticide, it is certainly more or less
objectionable to the larger and hardier species. A short time since,
while watching a number of newly emerged moths of the _Sphinx_ group,
and at the same time enjoying the solace afforded by the luxurious weed,
a puff of the smoke was accidentally allowed to play into the box in
which my pets were for the time imprisoned. Immediately they rubbed
their front legs vigorously over the antennæ, as if to remove the
obnoxious irritant that had thus intruded on their presence. Similar
observations have led many naturalists to suppose that the antennæ are
the seat of various senses, such as those of touch, hearing, and smell.
Seeing that insects do not, as far as we know, possess special organs
for all the five senses which we enjoy (and it is interesting to note
here that some insects certainly experience other sensations which are
quite beyond our ken), we can quite understand the common tendency to
locate the seats of certain of the senses in such easily affected parts
as the antennæ. But little, I believe, has been definitely proved save
that the antennæ are sensitive to touch and to irritants generally.

While speaking of the senses of insects, I cannot refrain from
mentioning a most remarkable example of a peculiar sensitiveness that
has been observed in certain moths of the family _Bombyces_ (page
217)--notably the Oak Eggar, the Emperor, and the Kentish Glory. Take a
newly emerged female of either of these species, shut her up in a small
box, conceal the box in your pocket, and then walk about in some
country spot known to you as being one of the haunts of that species of
moth. Then, if any of the males of the same species happen to be in the
neighbourhood, they will settle or hover about close to the female
which, although still concealed and quite out of their reach, has
attracted them to the spot.

What a marvellously acute sense this must be, that thus enables the
insects to scent out, as it were, their mates at considerable distances,
even when doubly surrounded by a wooden box and the material of a coat
pocket! You would naturally expect that entomologists have turned this
wonderful power to account. Many a box has been filled with the
beautiful Kentish Glories of the male kind, who had been led into the
snare by the attractions of a virgin Glory that they were never to
behold. Many an Emperor has also been decoyed from his throne to the
place of his execution, beguiled by the imaginary charms of an Empress
on whom he was never to cast one passing glance. And these and other
similar captures have been made in places where, without the employment
of the innocent enchantress, perhaps not a single male could have been
found, even after the most diligent search.

Speaking of this surprising sense, I am again tempted to revert to the
antennæ; for it is a remarkable fact that the males of those species of
moths which exhibit the power of thus searching out their mates, are
just those that are also remarkable for their very broad and deeply
pectinated antennæ--a fact that has led to the supposition that the
power in question is located in the antennæ, and is also proportional to
the amount of surface displayed by these organs.

Up to the present time we have been considering the butterfly and moth
in their perfect forms, but everybody knows that the former is not
_always_ a butterfly, nor is the latter always a moth; but that they
both pass through certain preparatory stages before they attain their
final winged state.

We shall now notice briefly what these earlier stages are, leaving the
detailed descriptions of each for the following chapters.

The life of the perfect butterfly or moth is of very short duration,
often only a few days, nearly the whole of its existence having been
spent in preparing itself for the brief term to be enjoyed

                      ... in fields of light,
  And where the flowers of Paradise unfold.

It may be interesting to consider of what use the metamorphoses of
insects are, and to what extent these metamorphoses render them fit for
the work they have to do.

It is certain that the chief work of insects, taken as a whole, is to
remove from the earth the excess of animal and vegetable matter. If they
are to do this work effectually, it is clear that they must be very
voracious feeders, and also be capable of multiplying their species
prodigiously. Now each of these powers requires the special development
of a certain set of organs, and an abnormal development of one set must
necessarily be produced at the expense of the other. Hence we find
insects existing in two distinct stages, with or without an intermediate
quiescent state, during the first of which the digestive apparatus is
enormously developed, while the reproductive organs occupy but very
little space; then, during the other stage, the digestive apparatus is
of the simplest possible description, and the organs of reproduction are
in a perfect state of development.

Allowing, then, that the chief work of the insect is the removal of
surplus organic matter, we can see that a large share of its life should
be spent in the larval or grub stage, and that the perfect state _need_
not occupy any more time than is necessary for the fertilisation of the
eggs that almost completely fill the body of the female at the time of
her emergence from the chrysalis shell.

Many insects undergo their metamorphoses by slow degrees, but the
_Lepidoptera_, after existing for some considerable period without any
important visible change in structure, pass by a rapid transition into
the next state. Thus, a caterpillar, that has not altered in general
form for several weeks, changes into a chrysalis within the course of a
few days; and again, after a period of quiescence that may extend
throughout the whole of the colder months, becomes a perfect butterfly
or moth within twenty minutes of the moment of its emergence.

But this suddenness is more apparent than real, as may easily be proved
by internal examinations of the insect at various stages of growth;
showing that we are led astray by the rapidity of _external_
changes--the mere _moultings_ or castings of the skin--while the gradual
transformations proceeding within are not so readily observed.

We have already said that the life of the perfect butterfly or moth is
short. A few days after emergence from the chrysalis case, the female
deposits her eggs on the leaves or stems of the plant that is to sustain
the larvæ. Her work is now accomplished, and the few days more allowed
her are spent in frolicking among the flowers, and sucking the sweet
juices they provide. But males and females alike--bedecked with the most
gorgeous colours and overflowing with sportive mirth when first they
take to the wing--soon show the symptoms of a fast approaching end.
Their colours begin to fade, and the beauty-making scales of the wings
gradually disappear through friction against the petals of hundreds of
flowers visited and the merry dances with scores and scores of playful
companions. At last, one bright afternoon, while the sun is still high
in the heavens, a butterfly, more weary than usual, with heavy and
laborious flight, seeks a place of rest for the approaching night. Here,
on a waving stalk, it is soon lulled to sleep by a gentle breeze.

Next morning, a few hours before noon, the blazing sun calls it out for
its usual frolics. But its body now seems too heavy to be supported by
the feeble and ragged wings, and, after one or two weak attempts at
play, incited by the approach of a younger and merrier companion, it
settles down in its final resting place. On the following morning a dead
butterfly is seen, still clinging by its claws to a swinging stem, from
which it is eventually thrown during a storm.

The tale of the perfect moth is very similar to the above, except that
it is generally summoned to activity by the approach of darkness.

We see, then, that butterflies and moths exhibit none of that quality
which we term parental affection. Their duty ends with the deposition of
the eggs, and the parents are dead before the young larvæ have
penetrated the shell that surrounds them.

Yet it is wonderful to see how unmistakably the females generally lay
their eggs on the very plants that provide the necessary food for their
progeny, as if they were not only conscious of and careful concerning
the exact requirements of their offspring, but also possessed such a
knowledge of botanical science as enabled them to discriminate between
the plant required and all others.

Has the perfect insect any selfish motive in this apparently careful
selection of a plant on which to lay its eggs? Does the female herself
derive any benefit from the particular plant chosen for this purpose? In
most cases, certainly not. For it often happens that the blossom of this
plant is not by any means one of those that supply the sweets which
insects love, and still more frequently does it occur that the eggs are
deposited either before the flowers have appeared or after they have

Neither can we easily impute to the insect an acquired knowledge of the
nature and wants of her offspring, or an acquaintance with botany
sufficient to enable her to distinguish plant forms. Our only solution
of the problem (which is really no solution at all) is to attribute the
whole thing to that inexplicable quality which we are pleased to term
_natural instinct_. It is to be observed, however, that it is not _all_
butterflies and moths that display this unerring power. Some few seem to
deposit their eggs indiscriminately on all kinds of herbage. But, I
believe, the larvæ of these species are generally grass feeders, and
would seldom have to travel far from any spot without meeting with an
acceptable morsel.

(_Pieris Brassicæ_). _a_, larva; _b_, pupa; _c_, imago; _d_, egg.]

But we must now pass on to a brief consideration of the other stages of
the insect's existence. After a time, varying from a few days to several
months, the young caterpillars or larvæ make their appearance. They soon
commence feeding in right earnest. Their period of existence in this
state varies from a few weeks to several months, and even, in some
cases, to years. During this time their growth is generally very rapid,
and they undergo a series of _moults_ or changes of skin, of which we
shall have more to say in a future chapter. Then, when fully grown, they
prepare for an apparently quiescent form, which we speak of as the
_pupa_ or chrysalis, and in which they again spend a very variable
period, extending over a few days, weeks, or months. Now, inclosed in a
protective case, each pupa is undergoing a remarkable change. Some of
its old organs are disappearing, and others are developing; and, after
all the parts of the future insect have been developed as far as its
narrow shell will permit, it bursts forth into the world as a perfect
insect or _imago_.

Its wings at first are small, shapeless, and crumpled in a most
unsightly fashion; but it is not long before they assume their full
size, beautiful form, and gorgeous colouring. Then, in about another
hour or two, the wings, at first soft and flaccid, have become
sufficiently dry and stiff to bear their owner rapidly through the air.

We have thus observed some of the more striking features in the
structure of the butterfly and moth in its most perfect state; and
alluded in a very brief manner to the various stages through which these
creatures must necessarily pass before finally reaching this stage. But
now we must study these earlier stages more closely, and watch the
insects during the marvellous transitions they are destined to undergo.
This we shall do in the following chapters.



I suppose you are all acquainted with the general structure of the hen's
egg, having dissected several, in your own way, many a time.

Its outer covering, which you speak of as the 'shell,' you have observed
is hard and brittle. It is composed of a _calcareous_ or limy substance,
known chemically as _carbonate of lime_. If you put some pieces of it
into an egg cup, and throw over them a little vinegar or any other
liquid acid, you will see them gradually dissolve away, and small
bubbles of carbonic acid gas will rise into the air. Then again, if you
take a long and narrow strip of the shell, and hold one end of it in a
gas or lamp flame, after a short time that end will become softer, and
will glow brightly in the flame, for it is converted into lime--the same
substance that is used by the builders for making their mortar--and the
bright glow is really a miniature _lime light_, such as is always
produced when a piece of lime is made intensely hot.

Just inside this shell you have seen a thin membrane or skin that is
easily peeled off the substance of the egg itself. Next to this comes
the 'white' of the egg, which is really colourless while liquid, but
turns white and more or less solid in the cooking. Last of all, in the
centre of this, you have noticed the oval yellow mass that is termed the
'yoke' or 'yolk,' and which contains the embryo of the future chick.

Now if you imagine this egg to be reduced in size till two or three
dozen of them would be required to form a single line about one inch
long, the outer calcareous shell to be entirely removed, the skin or
membrane to be converted into a firmer substance of a horny nature, and,
finally, the yolk to be absent and the whole internal space to be filled
with the 'white,' you will then have some idea of the nature of the egg
of a butterfly or moth.

To put the matter more briefly, then, we will say that the eggs of these
insects are simply little liquid masses, usually of a colourless
substance, surrounded by a horny and flexible covering.

Such a description may certainly give you some idea of the nature of the
eggs of insects, but no amount of book reading will serve the purpose so
well or be so pleasant as the examination of the eggs themselves. During
the summer months very little difficulty will be experienced in finding
some eggs in your own garden. Turn over some leaves and examine their
under surfaces, choosing especially those plants which show, by their
partially eaten leaves, that they are favourites with the insect world.
Or you may amuse yourself by catching a number of butterflies--common
'Whites' are as good for the purpose as any--and temporarily confine
them in a wooden or cardboard box, containing a number of leaves from
various plants, and covered with gauze. In this way you are sure to
obtain a few females that have not yet laid all their eggs; and if you
watch your prisoners you will soon see them carefully depositing the
eggs on the under surfaces of leaves, bending their abdomens round the
edges if there is not sufficient room to get themselves completely
under. And then, when you are satisfied with the number of eggs thus
obtained for your examination, you can have the pleasure of seeing all
your liberated captives flying joyfully in the free air.

In giving these simple instructions I have assumed that the reader has
not yet learnt any of the characters by which female butterflies are to
be distinguished from their lords and masters; but I hope that he will
know soon, at least with regard to a good many species, from which
individuals he may most reasonably expect to obtain eggs, and so be able
to avoid the imprisonment, even though only temporary, of insects which
cannot satisfy his wants.

Again, it is not necessary, after all, that butterflies should be
captured for the purpose of obtaining eggs. Watch them as they hover
about among your flowers. Some, you will observe, are intent on nothing
but idle frolicking; and you may conclude at once that _these_ have no
immediate duty to perform. Others are flying without hesitation from
flower to flower, gorging themselves with the sweets of life: these are
not the objects of your search. But you will descry certain others,
flying round about the beds and borders with a steadier and more
matronly air, taking little or no notice of their more frivolous
companions, and paying not the slightest heed to the bright
nectar-producing cups of the numerous flowers. These are seriously
engaged with family affairs only. Watch one of them carefully, and as
soon as she has settled herself on a leaf, walk steadily towards her
till you are near enough to observe her movements. She will not move
unless you approach too closely, for, like busy folk generally, she has
no time to worry about petty annoyances. You will now actually witness
the deposition of the eggs exactly as carried on in the perfect freedom
of nature; and the eggs themselves may be taken either for examination
or for the rearing of the caterpillars.

Some species of _Lepidoptera_ lay some hundreds of eggs, and it is
seldom that the number laid by one female is much below a hundred.

As already stated, the under surfaces of leaves are generally chosen for
the deposit of eggs, but a few of the insects we are considering always
select the upper surface for this purpose. Thus the Puss Moth (page
235), and two or three others resembling it, though much smaller, known
as the Kittens (page 234), invariably lay them on the upper surface. And
this is the more surprising since the eggs of these moths are brown or
black, and consequently so conspicuous on the green leaves as to be in
danger of being sighted by the numerous enemies of insects.

The Hairstreak Butterflies (page 183) afford another exception to the
general rule, for their eggs are deposited on the _bark_ of the trees
and shrubs (birch, sloe, elm, oak, and bramble) on which their larvæ

At the moment each egg is laid it is covered with a liquid sticky
substance, so that it is immediately glued to the leaf or stem as soon
as it is deposited. The sticky substance soon dries, causing the egg to
be so firmly fastened in its place that it is often impossible to force
it off without destroying it completely.

Some of the _Lepidoptera_ deposit their eggs singly, or in small
irregular clusters; but by far the larger number set them very regularly
side by side, in so compact a mass that it would be impossible to place
them on a smaller area without piling one on top of another. This is not
accomplished with the aid of the sight, for the insect performing her
task with such precision often has her head on one side of a leaf or
stem while arranging her eggs on the other. If you take the trouble to
watch her, you will see that she carefully _feels_ out a place for each
egg by means of the tip of her abdomen immediately before laying it.

The eggs are laid by moths and butterflies at various seasons of the
year. In some cases they are deposited early in the spring, even before
the buds of the food plants have burst; and the young larvæ, hatched a
few weeks later, commence to feed on the young and tender leaves. Then,
throughout the late spring, the whole of the summer and autumn, and even
till the winter frosts set in, the eggs of various species are being

Those deposited during the warm weather are often hatched in a few days,
but those laid toward the autumn remain unchanged until the following

In this latter case the frosts of the most severe winter are not capable
of destroying the vitality of the eggs. In many instances the perfect
insect or the larva would be killed by the temperature of an average
winter day, but the vitality of the eggs is such that they have been
subjected to a temperature, artificially produced, of fifty degrees
below the freezing point, and even after this the young larvæ walked out
of their cradles at their appointed time just as if nothing unusual had

Experiments have also been performed on the eggs with a view of
determining how far their vitality is influenced by high temperatures.
We know that the scorching midsummer sun has no destructive influence on
them, but these experiments prove that they are not influenced by a
temperature only twenty degrees below the boiling point--actually a
considerably higher temperature than is _necessary_ to properly cook a
hen's egg.

Let us now examine a number of eggs of different species, that we may
note some of the many variations in form and colour.

With regard to colour, we have already observed that the eggs of a few
species are black; but more commonly they are much lighter--pearly
white, green, yellow, and grey being of frequent occurrence.

The great variety of form, however, will provide a vast amount of
enjoyment to anyone who possesses a good magnifying lens or a small
compound microscope. Some are globular, others oval; while many others
represent cups, basins, and domes. Then we have miniature vases, flasks,
bottles with short necks, and numerous figures that must remind a
juvenile admirer of the sweet cakes and ornamental jellies that have so
often gladdened his longing eyes.

Again, the beautifully sculptured surfaces of a large number are even
more striking than their general shapes. Some are regularly ribbed from
top to bottom with parallel or radiating ridges, and at the same time
marked with delicate transverse lines. Others are beautifully pitted or
honeycombed, some ornamented with the most faithful representation of
fine wicker-work, while a few are provided with a cap, more or less
ornamental, that is raised by the young larva when about to see the
world for the first time. A few of these beautiful forms are here
illustrated and named, and another has already appeared on page 14, but
an enthusiastic young naturalist may easily secure a variety of others
for his own examination.



[Illustration: FIG. 13.--EGG OF THE VAPOURER MOTH.]

It may be surmised from the accompanying illustrations that the form of
the egg is always the same for any one species. This is really the case,
and consequently an experienced entomologist can often decide on the
name of the butterfly or moth that deposited a cluster of eggs he
happens to find in his rambles and searchings; but in such decisions he
is always greatly assisted by a knowledge of the food plants of the
various insects, and sometimes also by the manner in which the eggs are

We have seen that the period during which the _Lepidoptera_ remain in
the egg stage is very variable, and depends largely on the season in
which they were laid; but it is often possible to tell when to expect
the young larvæ by certain changes which take place in the appearance of
the egg. As the horny covering of the egg is transparent, the gradual
development of the caterpillar from the clear fluid can be watched to a
certain extent; but if you have a microscope, and would like to witness
this development to perfection, proceed as follows.

Arrange that some butterflies and moths shall lay their eggs on strips
of glass of convenient dimensions for microscopic work--three inches
long by one wide is the usual size for this kind of work. This is easily
accomplished by placing a proper selection of female insects in a rather
small box temporarily lined with such 'slips.' When a few eggs have thus
been secured, all you have to do is to examine them at intervals with
your microscope, always using the reflector so as to direct a strong
light _through_ the eggs from below.

But even without such an arrangement some interesting changes are to be
observed. As a rule, the colour of the egg turns darker as the time for
the arrival of the infant larva approaches, and you will often be able
to see a little brown or black head moving slightly within the 'shell.'
You may know then that the hatching is close at hand, and the movements
of the tiny creature are well worth careful watching. Soon a small hole
appears in the side of the case, and a little green or dark cap begins
to show itself. Then, with a magnifier of some kind, you may see a pair
of tiny jaws, working horizontally, and not with an up-and-down motion
like our own, gradually gnawing away at the cradle, till at last the
little creature is perfectly free to ramble in search of food.

Strange to say, the young larva does not waste a particle of the horny
substance that must necessarily be removed in securing its liberty, but
devours it with an apparent relish. Indeed, it appreciates the flavour
of this viand so highly that it often disposes of the whole of its
little home, with the exception of the small circular patch by which it
was cemented to the plant. When the whole brood have thus dispensed with
their empty cradles, there remains on the stem or leaf a glittering
patch of little pearly plates.

After the performance of this feat the young caterpillar starts off in
life on its own account with as much briskness and confidence as if it
had previously spent a term in the world under the same conditions; but
we must reserve an account of its doings and sufferings for our next



In almost every case the young caterpillar, on quitting the 'shell' of
the egg, finds itself standing on and surrounded by its natural food,
and immediately commences to do justice to the abundant supply. It will
either nibble away at the surface of the leaf, removing the soft
cellular substance, so that the leaf exhibits a number of
semi-transparent patches when held up to the light, or it will make
straight for the edge, and, closing its horizontal jaws on either side,
bite the leaf completely through, and thus remove a small piece each


Several naturalists have amused themselves by performing experiments and
making calculations on the efficiency of the masticating and digesting
powers of the caterpillar. The illustrious Réaumur, for example, proved
that some of the cabbage eaters disposed of more than twice their own
weight of food in twenty-four hours, during which time their weight
increased one-tenth. Let us see what this would be equivalent to in
human beings: A man weighing eleven stone would devour over three
hundred pounds of food in a day, and at the end of that day weigh about
fifteen pounds more than he did at the beginning!

So the young caterpillar eats, and rests, and grows, till, while still
young, its body has become too large for the already tightened skin. It
evidently feels very uncomfortable. Its appetite fails, and it remains
for a time perfectly quiet in one spot, having previously spun a little
carpet of silk to form a firm foothold during its temporary
indisposition. Its colours have also become dingy, and anyone, not
understanding the character of its growth, might easily be led to
suppose that the poor creature was displaying the earlier symptoms of a
serious and perhaps fatal illness.

But soon an encouraging symptom is observed. The caterpillar begins to
get restless. Its front segments are turned alternately right and left,
and are also made to swell out much beyond their normal size. Then in a
very short time--often less than a minute from the first appearances of
restlessness--the skin, which has become somewhat dry and brittle,
splits along the back over the second, third and fourth segments,
revealing a new and bright coat beneath. The caterpillar continues its
struggles and, in addition to the previous movements, causes the
swelling to move backward along the body. This, acting like a wedge,
causes the rent in the old coat to extend in that direction.


The caterpillar now draws its head backward, and, with a few convulsive
struggles, pulls the front segments out of their old skin, and passes
its head out of the rent in the back. With its foremost segments thus
rendered perfectly free, it walks straight out of the old garment, which
is left still fixed by the legs to the silken carpet.

The larva, although now fresh and smart in its appearance, is exhausted
by these struggles and its prolonged fast. The new skin, moreover, is
very soft and tender, even to the cases of the head and legs, which are
normally very hard. But a short period of rest suffices to dry its skin
and sharpen its appetite, and then it eats more vigorously than ever.

We will now leave the caterpillar for a moment while we look at its
cast-off clothes. They are still clinging to a stem so firmly that they
can scarcely be removed without injury. The hard shell that covered the
head and jaws is perfect in form, and so are the claws and cases of the
legs. All the hairs or spines that happened to adorn the previous owner
still retain their positions; and the whole skin, although always more
or less shrivelled, is sometimes so slightly altered in form that it
might be mistaken for a living caterpillar if not closely examined.

But this is not all. For, according to the accounts of some
authoritative observers, the lining of the digestive organs, which is
really a continuation of the outer skin, is cast off (or rather cast
_out_) at the same time, as are also the linings of the larger breathing
tubes which are presently to be described.

We have seen that some caterpillars, on quitting their egg cases (which
may really be regarded as the first moult), make their first meal of the
old covering. So also some of them, in their future moultings, exhibit
an apparently useless economy (seeing that they are surrounded by an
abundance of their natural vegetable diet) by devouring their old coats!
In the face of this fact we can hardly describe them as strict


Having thus passed through its first hardship, the caterpillar has by no
means seen the end of the troubles and dangers that beset it; for,
during its existence in the larval state, it has to go through a series
of three, four, five, or even six moults, all of which are periods of
considerable inconvenience, and perhaps even pain, and frequently prove
fatal. And it is by no means an uncommon thing to meet with the lifeless
body of an unfortunate individual who, as shown by its shabby appearance
and the silken carpet under its feet, has evidently fallen a victim to
the dangerous process of ridding itself of an old garment.

But this is only one of the many dangers to which caterpillars are
exposed. Throughout every hour of the day the sharp and hungry eyes of
the numerous insect-eating birds are searching the leaves for such
delicacies to satisfy the wants of themselves and their broods. The
lively little lizards, too, during the sunny hours are busily engaged in
searching them out among the foliage of heaths and banks.

Very formidable enemies also exist in the form of Ichneumon and other
species of flies, which pierce the skins of caterpillars with their
sharp _ovipositors_, and lay their eggs within the bodies of the
unfortunate victims. As soon as the young larvæ are hatched from these
eggs, they commence feeding on the fatty substance stored beneath the
caterpillar's skin. They carefully avoid, at first, attacking the vital
organs of their host's body, and in this way secure for themselves a
more lasting supply of fresh food. When the fatty substance is nearly
all gone, they eat their way into the more important structures, of
course steadily growing all the time; and so, even though the body of
the caterpillar is rapidly diminishing, the total bulk shows often no
very appreciable decrease in size. When the larvæ of the flies are fully
fed, they either change to the pupa within the carcase of their host, or
eat their way out of its body and construct for themselves a cocoon in
which to undergo the transformation.

As for the caterpillar itself, it sometimes dies before the time for its
metamorphosis has arrived; but it often changes to the chrysalis before
its fate is sealed. In this latter case, a number of flies, having
undergone their final transformation within the chrysalis shell (there
being but little else than shell remaining of the victim's body), break
forth from the remains of the carcase somewhere about the time at which
the butterfly or moth should have appeared.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--AN ICHNEUMON FLY (_Cryptus Migrator_).]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--ANOTHER ICHNEUMON FLY (_Pimpla Instigator_).]

Caterpillars have also their nocturnal enemies and devourers, among
which may be mentioned frogs, toads, newts, and insect-eating mammals.

We must now learn something of the structure of caterpillars; and then
become acquainted with their habits, and the change to the chrysalis or

Take a caterpillar from your garden, preferably a full-grown one of a
rather large species, that is not very densely covered with hair, and
examine it carefully as we note the main points in its structure. The
first point that strikes our notice is the division of its body into
segments or rings, separated from each other by a more or less distinct
line or slight constriction of the body.

There are thirteen of these segments, reckoning, as is usual, the head
as the first.

The head is usually very hard, and often of a much darker colour than
the rest of the body. It is also frequently divided into two lobes by a
couple of oblique lines, between which the parts of the mouth are
situated. The two powerful horizontal jaws, to which we have already
referred, are very hard and sharp, and curved like a sickle, and
therefore splendidly adapted for biting from the edges of leaves. The
head is also provided with a pair of antennæ, usually very short and
inconspicuous and protected by a horny covering.

Unlike the perfect insect, the caterpillar has no large compound eyes,
but twelve very small simple eyes, situated on the cheeks, very near the
mouth--six on each side.


If you examine them with a magnifier, you see that each one is provided
with a small and very convex lens--a lens of very _short focus_, such as
would be used for the examination of small objects held very near to the
eye. From this arrangement we should be inclined to conclude that the
caterpillar can see only those objects that are close to its mouth; and
this idea is strengthened if you place one in a box containing a number
of leaves, one of which is that of its own food plant. It will wander
about the box, apparently looking at every part of every leaf it passes,
after the manner of a very short-sighted individual, and never taking a
general look round. A butterfly or a moth can see a flower in the
distance, for it flies unhesitatingly from one to another in the
straightest and shortest path, but if you place a caterpillar in the
centre of a ring composed of a leaf of its food plant and nine others
from other plants, the chances are (nine to one) that it will _not_ walk
towards what it would like to have.

Again, the eyes are situated on the _lower_ part of the cheek, directed
slightly downward, and are therefore adapted for seeing what is just
under its jaws as it walks along. Had we no knowledge whatever of the
caterpillar's twelve little eyes, we should probably have thought that
it sought out its food by some sense other than that of vision.

Another important and interesting feature of the head is the
silk-spinning apparatus, situated under cover of the lower lip. This
consists of two tubular glands, corresponding to our own salivary
glands, the special purpose of which is to secrete a viscid fluid that
solidifies on exposure to air. The opening by which the fluid escapes is
so situated that the caterpillar can easily apply it to the surface of
any object over which it is walking, and then, by drawing or turning
away its head, cause a silken fibre to be produced.

Some caterpillars make use of this spinning apparatus only on a few
special occasions, but others, more especially some of the smaller
species, seem to have it always in use, so that if at any time you
suddenly start them into the air by giving a smart tap to the plant or
twig on which they rest, they invariably fall slowly on the end of a
growing web, the spinning of which they stop as soon as they consider
they have fallen far enough. Sometimes, as you are walking through a
wood, you will see hundreds, nay, thousands of little caterpillars thus
suspended, swinging gently in the breeze. Not long since, after only a
few minutes' walk among the trees of Epping Forest, I found I was
decorated with several dozens of these swingers with which I had come
into collision--in this case consisting chiefly of the larvæ of the
Green Tortrix Moth (_Tortrix viridana_).

Now let us examine the caterpillar's limbs. Attached to each of the
second, third, and fourth segments is a pair of true walking legs,
corresponding with those of the perfect insect. These are covered with a
hard and shining substance, and are also each provided with a hook. The
fifth and sixth segments have no limbs at all, nor have the eleventh and
twelfth, but some or all of the others (seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth,
and thirteenth) are furnished with a pair of claspers which we shall
presently describe.

First, as regards the number of claspers, it will be seen from what has
just been said that this is not always the same. Some caterpillars
possess five pairs, thus making up the total number of walking
appendages to sixteen. In fact, we must regard this as the _usual_
number. But there are at least a few hundred exceptions to the rule.
Many of the _Bombyces_ (page 217), for example, have only four pairs of
claspers; and in others of the same group the fifth pair is present, but
only partially developed, and quite useless for walking.

Look at the peculiar caterpillar of the Lobster Moth (fig. 23)--a
creature that differs from most other caterpillars not only in its
claspers, but in many other respects too. Observe its long and slender
legs, its humped middle segments, and its upturned hindermost segment,
of enormous size and mounted with a pair of clubbed 'horns.' This last
segment you will observe, has no claspers.


[Illustration: FIG. 21--LARVA OF THE YELLOW UNDERWING MOTH (_Pronuba_).]


[Illustration: Fig. 23.--LARVA OF THE LOBSTER MOTH (_Fagi_).]

Another allied caterpillar is that of the Iron Prominent Moth (fig. 24).
This one also has humped segments, and the claspers of the thirteenth
segment are imperfectly developed.

A large number of other exceptions to the general rule are to be found
in the caterpillars of the Geometer Moths (page 268), one of which is
here represented. These have generally only two pairs of claspers, one
pair on each of the tenth and last segments, so that there is a distance
equal to the combined length of six segments between the hindermost true
leg and the first pair of claspers. But even among the Geometers there
are variations to be observed in the number of claspers, and some of
these will be pointed out in our brief descriptions of the commoner


[Illustration: FIG. 25.--LARVA OF THE BRIMSTONE MOTH (_Luteolata_).]

These limbs which we have been calling claspers are known by several
other names. Thus they are termed 'pro-legs,' 'temporary legs,' 'false
legs,' and 'abdominal legs;' but if you watch a caterpillar as it walks
up a stalk or along the edge of a leaf, you will certainly agree that
the term 'clasper' is everything that could be desired. But why not call
them legs, seeing that they are used in walking? The reason is that they
differ in many respects from the three foremost pairs of limbs as
regards structure, persistency, and function. The true legs, as we have
called them, continue to exist, though concealed, in the chrysalis
state, and again appear, far more perfectly developed, in the butterfly
or moth, but the claspers are no more to be seen after the caterpillar
has passed into the quiescent stage. We have noticed, too, that the true
legs are pointed and clawed, also that they are protected by a hard and
horny covering; but examine a large caterpillar, holding it between the
fingers and thumb with its under side uppermost, and you will soon see
that the claspers are not at all hard, but soft and fleshy; not pointed,
but often terminating in a broad flat circular surface. You will also
observe, as the creature struggles to escape from your grasp, and tries
to get a hold on something with its claspers, that these limbs, if we
may so call them, are retractile, and are sometimes completely drawn
into the body. Finally, examine the broad end of a clasper with a
magnifier, and you will see it surrounded by a circle of little hooks,
turning in all directions. You will no longer wonder how it is that a
caterpillar can hold so tenaciously to a piece of twig that it is often
almost impossible to remove it without injury.

Now put your caterpillar down, so that you may observe its gait. If it
happens to be one with the full complement of sixteen limbs, you see
that at each stride it makes but little progress. The segments contract
and relax alternately and in succession, thus sending a series of
wave-like motions along the body, and urging onward the front segments
while the claspers keep the hinder portion firmly fixed.


But if your caterpillar is one of the Geometers, with only two, or
perhaps three, pairs of claspers, the mode of procedure is very
different. The creature stretches its body out at full length, often
raising its head high in the air, and swinging its long body right and
left with a most furious motion, as if to hastily scan the
neighbourhood. Then, having satisfied itself as to the _direction_ of
its proposed course (which, by the way, is often changed considerably at
almost every stride), it holds on by the true legs and pulls its hinder
quarters forward till the body forms almost a closed loop, with the
fourth segment nearly touching the ninth. The claspers now become the
holdfasts. The little hooks with which they are provided are firmly
fixed to the surface on which it is walking; and the body being again
straightened out to its utmost length, the same man[oe]uvre is repeated.
So, you see, the insect progresses by strides equal in length to about
six segments of the body, and these the longest segments generally; and
the rate at which the strides succeed each other, especially in some of
the smaller species, is really astonishing.

We have seen the caterpillar in the act of taking its walk, and now we
will give it a twig of its food plant so that we may see it feed. It
walks up the twig without hesitation--for caterpillars (excepting those
which feed on roots) always seem to move upward when in search of
food--and soon finds itself on a leaf. Over this it walks till it
reaches the edge; and, grasping the edge firmly between the claspers, so
as to give perfectly free play to its legs and head, it stretches its
body at full length, and takes a series of bites as it brings its head
backward in a curve. When the head has thus been brought close to its
fore legs, the body is again extended, and the same ground is gone over

If the caterpillar is a fairly large and hardy one, it will bite through
the smaller veins, and perhaps even the larger ones; but the smaller
species often change their position on reaching a moderately thick vein,
and so devour little else than the soft cellular substance of the leaf.
In any case, it is astonishing to see how rapidly the leaf disappears
under the influence of the powerful jaws and marvellous digestive
apparatus of the hungry grub.

Those who take a delight in watching the _movements_ of caterpillars are
sure to be interested in observing them when at rest; for at such times
the various attitudes assumed are as pleasing and instructive as are
their active moments. And these attitudes are all the more interesting
on account of the mimicry by which the creatures often baffle their
numerous enemies. We may profitably spend a little time in studying a
few cases in point.

Many species, when at rest, fix themselves by means of their claspers to
a small twig or leaf stalk, or on the midrib of the leaf itself. Here
they remain perfectly still, with their bodies perfectly straight or
with head slightly raised. I need hardly say that these generally fix
themselves on the _under_ side of the leaves and stalks, thus securing
themselves against the attacks of the feathered foes above. But some
birds are equal to the caterpillars in this matter; and it is really
amusing to see them hopping about beneath the leaves in our gardens,
every now and again slyly turning one eye upward, and smartly plucking
an unwary grub from its resting place.

The precautions of the caterpillar, however, do not end merely with the
selection of an under surface. You will find that the bright green
species invariably settle on a leaf or a _green_ stalk, while the darkly
coloured insects often choose a twig covered with a brownish bark. Some
even make for the _trunk_ of the tree on which they feed, and here
remain quite still in a vertical position, so that they look just like a
ridge in the bark, the colour of which is faithfully imitated by their
skin. Further, many of the caterpillars that resort to this stratagem
have bodies that are notched or knotted and spotted in such a manner
that the resemblance to their surroundings is so perfect as to defy any
but the most experienced eye. And even this is not all, for a number of
these mimics of the insect world never venture to feed by day, but take
in their quantum of provisions during the dark hours, and practise their
deceptions throughout the day.

Most of the Geometer caterpillars, of which we have already spoken, are
well trained in the art of deception. You are out on a caterpillar hunt,
and engaged in carefully turning over the twigs of the hazel or some
other shrub, so that you may the more readily examine the under surfaces
of the leaves. At last you lay hold of a small broken twig for this very
purpose. To your astonishment it is very soft, and readily bends between
your fingers. You look more closely at this peculiar piece of stick, and
find, to your surprise, that you have grasped a looper caterpillar that
was standing out at an angle just like a broken twig, supported by its
two pairs of claspers, and coloured and knotted exactly like the little
branch on which it rested.

At other times you meet with little green caterpillars of the same
group, supporting themselves in exactly the same manner on a small twig,
and looking just like a leaf stalk from which the blade had fallen or
been devoured.

What a wonderful power is exhibited in the grasp of the claspers and the
tension of the muscles, enabling the caterpillar to fix itself and
retain its position for so long a time! Imagine an acrobat fixing
himself by his hands on an upright pole, throwing out his body at an
angle, and without any further support retaining his position motionless
for several hours!

Other experiences of the larva hunter are equally interesting and,
perhaps, even more tantalising. He is engaged in very cautiously turning
over the leaves of a certain food plant from which he hopes to obtain
the larva of a much-coveted species. Then, just as his eye catches a
glimpse of the very object of his search, down falls the caterpillar,
rolled up into a little ball, among the herbage below. This latter is
diligently and patiently examined. But no, the anticipated prize is
nowhere to be seen. It is probably a green one, and this adds to the
difficulty of the patient entomologist. Then, as he carefully separates
the low herbs, hoping to find the spot where the larva had fallen, the
insect, rolled up into a compact little ball, only sinks deeper and
deeper into the maze.

Many caterpillars avoid capture in this manner, while others seek to
avoid detection by remaining perfectly motionless, even when roughly
handled. They allow themselves to drop from their resting place on the
slightest sign of danger, and, when the alarm is over and all is quiet
again, they ascend the food plant and resume their position.

Some caterpillars not only rest, but even feed under cover, quite secure
from most, if not all, of their enemies. Several of them feed on roots,
and many a farmer can relate sad experiences of the havoc committed by
these caterpillars on his turnips and other crops. Then there are those
which feed on flowers and buds, completely burying themselves in the
dense mass of food.


We must conclude this brief account of resting and hiding places and
attitudes of caterpillars by a few observations on the leaf miners and
leaf rollers.

The former are very small caterpillars--the larvæ of certain small
moths--that eat burrows into leaves without doing any considerable
injury to the outer _epidermis_, and thus prepare a safe resting place
within the substance of their food.

The latter, also mostly of small size, make themselves secure by curling
a leaf or a portion of a leaf into a cylinder, and holding it in
position by means of a number of silken threads.

If you examine a leaf thus curled you will soon be convinced that a
considerable number of the extremely delicate threads must be necessary
to hold it in position; but, if you would like to know how a very small
and feeble caterpillar can manage to roll up a comparatively large and
rigid leaf, you must watch the little creature at its work.

You need have but little difficulty in finding a willing worker, for
such caterpillars are extremely numerous. Take a few out of their
self-made homes, place them on a sprig of the food plant, and you will
soon have the pleasure of seeing one start its extraordinary work.

At first it spins a number of threads stretching from the edge of a leaf
to about the middle of the surface. These threads are not tight by any
means, and the leaf is, as yet, unchanged in position. But now the
little mechanic exhibits a tact that almost seems to prove a knowledge
of the principles of its art. Each thread in turn is pulled _at right
angles_ at its middle, and then fastened by means of the creature's
spinneret. Each time this is done the edge of the leaf is bent round _a
little_; and when at last the cylinder is completed, a number of other
threads are stretched across from the scroll to the flat part of the
leaf to secure it firmly in its place.

Many caterpillars are solitary in their habits: that is, they are always
found singly, whether walking, resting, or feeding. But a large number
of species are gregarious, living in dense clusters either throughout
their larval state or, perhaps, only while young. In many such cases it
is difficult or even impossible to find any reason for this gregarious
tendency--to discover any advantage that the insects may derive from the
habit. Many species, however, are true co-operators in the defence of
their communities. The caterpillars of such live in clusters, sometimes
several scores in each, and all help in the spinning of a complicated
mass of silk fibres, which, with the leaves and twigs they join
together, form a safe home in which they can rest, feed, or change to
the chrysalis state. In early summer hundreds of such caterpillar
'nests' are to be seen in many of our hawthorn and other hedgerows.

Before closing our general account of the caterpillar we must have a
word to say about the breathing apparatus, more especially as in our
future descriptions we shall frequently have to mention the colours and
markings which surround the openings in its body through which the air
supply is admitted.

If you examine the sides of the segments of a caterpillar, using a lens
if the insect is a small one, you will observe some little round holes,
often inclosed in a ring or a patch of some prominent colour. These are
the _spiracles_ or openings of a series of air tubes called _tracheæ_.
These latter divide and subdivide within the body of the caterpillar,
the branches of one often uniting with those of another, thus forming a
really complicated arrangement of air pipes by which the supply of
oxygen is distributed.

A microscopic examination of a portion of one of the tracheæ will show
that its walls are supported by an elastic spiral of a firm substance.
This arrangement serves to keep the air passages open, and secures for
the caterpillar a free supply of air at times when a contraction of the
segments would otherwise cause the tubes to collapse.

There are nine spiracles on each side of the caterpillar's body, and
never more than one in the side of the same segment. The head, which we
have been regarding as the first segment, has no spiracles. The second
segment has a pair--one on each side. There are none in the third and
fourth; but all the segments, from the fifth to the twelfth inclusive,
have each a pair; the last (thirteenth) segment has none.

We have already observed the general arrangement of the caterpillar's
limbs; but perhaps it may be interesting and even convenient to the
reader to give here a little table that will show at a glance the
disposition of both limbs and spiracles.

  First segment--head        Two short antennæ, two jaws,
                               and twelve eyes.
  Second      "              Legs and spiracles.
  Third       "              Legs only.
  Fourth      "              Legs only.
  Fifth       "              Spiracles only.
  Sixth       "              Spiracles only.
  Seventh     "              Spiracles, and sometimes
  Eighth      "              Spiracles, and sometimes
  Ninth       "              Spiracles, and sometimes
  Tenth       "              Spiracles, and generally
  Eleventh    "              Spiracles only.
  Twelfth     "              Spiracles only.
  Thirteenth  "              Claspers only, and these
                               occasionally absent.

We must now watch the caterpillar through its later days, to see how it
prepares for passing into the pupal stage, and to witness the various
interesting changes that take place at this period.

When fully grown, it ceases to eat, and begins to wander about in search
of a convenient spot for the coming event. Its colours fade, and the
body becomes appreciably smaller, especially in length, as it ejects the
whole contents of its digestive apparatus. According to some accounts,
it even evacuates the lining of the intestines with their contents.

A great variety of situations are chosen by the different species at
this time. Some will fix themselves on their own food plant, and there
remain till they finally emerge in the perfect state, suspending
themselves from a silken carpet, hiding themselves in a rolled leaf, or
constructing a cocoon of some kind. A large number walk down the food
plants, and undergo their changes in moss that happens to lie at the
foot; or construct a cocoon on the surface of the ground, utilising for
the purpose any decayed leaves, fragments of vegetable matter, or pieces
of earth or small stones. Many seek a further protection than this, and
burrow into the soil, where they either lie in a little oval cell that
they prepare, or in a cocoon constructed by spinning together some
particles of earth. Again, there are those caterpillars, chiefly of
butterflies that frequent our gardens, which find their way to the
nearest wall or fence, and there secure themselves in a sheltered nook.
We will watch a few of these varied methods of procedure, taking as our
first instance the caterpillar of the common Large White or Cabbage

When fully fed, this larva seeks out a sheltered spot, generally
selecting the under surface of some object, or of the ledge of a wall or
fence. Sometimes it will not even leave its food plant, though it
generally walks some considerable distance before a suitable shelter is
found. Having satisfied itself as to the site of the temporary abode, it
sets to work at spinning a silken carpet. At first the threads spread
over a rather wide area, and seem to be laid in a somewhat irregular and
aimless manner; but after a little time its labours are concentrated on
one small spot, where it spins several layers of silk fibres.

This done, it fixes the little hooks of the claspers firmly in its
carpet bed, and then proceeds with a highly interesting movement. It is
not satisfied with only the one mode of suspension. In fact, this alone
would hardly be safe, for when it casts its skin, as it is shortly about
to do, its claspers will all disappear; and although it afterwards
secures itself by the 'tail,' it would be dangling in such a manner as
to swing with every breeze--a very unsatisfactory state of affairs,
especially with those that pupate late in the summer and remain in the
pupal state throughout the winter storms.

Its next procedure, then, is to make a strong silk band round the middle
of its body, so as to keep it close to the surface against which it
rests. But how is this to be done? It bends its head round till the
spinning organ can be applied to a point close beside the middle of its
body. Here it fixes one end of a thread; and then, gradually twisting
its body, brings its head round to the other side, still keeping it
close to the same segment, and fastens the other end of the thread
exactly opposite the point at which it started.

The head is now brought back to its former position, thus adding another
thread to the band; and the process is repeated several times, till at
last the caterpillar is satisfied with the thickness and strength of the
cord formed.

Now it straightens out its body as if to rest from its labours; but the
work is not yet complete. Soon it exhibits much restlessness. Its
foremost segments are seen to shorten, and consequently become thicker.
Then the skin splits, and the last moult of the caterpillar commences.
The movements that follow are exactly similar to those we have already
described in connection with one of the earlier moults: the alternate
and successive contractions of all the segments gradually force back the
old coat, and this is finally thrown entirely off by a somewhat vigorous
wriggling of the 'tail.'

Then, for a moment, the creature is supported only by its silken cord.
But this lasts _only_ for a moment. For, as soon as it is quite free
from the old garment, it applies its tail to the densest part of the
carpet it had prepared at the start, and secures its hinder extremity by
means of little hooks.

But what a change has now come over the creature! It is no longer a
caterpillar. Its head is no longer distinct, although we can readily
make out the positions of the eyes. Its mouth and jaws have quite
disappeared, and the legs and claspers are apparently gone. The three
segments that bore the legs are no longer distinctly separable, though
in reality they still exist. The head and thorax are peculiarly shaped;
and, instead of being cylindrical, are angled and ridged; but, beneath
the soft greenish skin--the new garment--we can discern the outline of
a pair of small wings, and see a proboscis and a pair of long antennæ.
Also the six long legs of the future butterfly can be traced with care.

The abdomen is conical in form, coming to a sharp point at the end, and
its segments are quite distinct.

No stranger to the metamorphoses of insects would connect the present
form with that of a caterpillar; they are so very unlike. And yet the
time occupied in the whole change, from the spinning of the carpet, does
not occupy more than about thirty or thirty-five hours.

The apparent suddenness of this change is really surprising, but in
reality the transformation is not nearly so sudden as it appears.
Dissection of a caterpillar a few days before the final moult is due
will show that the changes are already going on. In fact, a simple
removal of the skin will prove that the organs of the future butterfly
are developing. Still, in proportion to the short time occupied, the
change is extremely great; and it may reasonably be inquired, Why so
great a change within so short a space of time?--why is not the change
continued steadily and equally through the larval existence? The reason
has already been hinted at. Caterpillars are living eating machines,
whose office is to remove excess of vegetable matter. Consequently they
must have their jaws and bulky digestive apparatus in full development
to the end. If these organs were to _gradually_ disappear as the
caterpillar reaches its non-eating stages, it would simply be starved to
death. So the change from the larval to the pupal state, which we may
regard as the final moult of the caterpillar, is a far greater change
than any of the preceding ones, and occupies a proportionately longer
time, although it is principally confined to the last few days of the
caterpillar life.

A number of caterpillars, and especially those of the butterflies,
suspend themselves when about to change; and the peculiarities of the
modes adopted must be left for our descriptions of species in a future
chapter; but we will find room here for one more interesting example,
taking this time the larva of one of the commonest of the Vanessas (page
166)--the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.

The caterpillars of this insect are gregarious when young; and if ever
you meet with one, you are almost sure to be able to obtain a hundred or
so without much searching. But as they grow older they feed singly, yet
generally without straying very far from their birthplace.

When full grown they sometimes stray to a neighbouring plant or fence to
undergo the change to a chrysalis, but more commonly they are perfectly
satisfied with the protection afforded by the leaves of their food
plant. We will now watch one of these as we did the larva of the Large
White Butterfly.

Of course the under side of the leaf is chosen. Here a silken carpet is
spun as before described; but the caterpillar, instead of clinging with
_all_ its claspers, suspends itself in a vertical position by its
hindermost pair only.

Here it hangs, head downwards, awaiting the coming events. The splitting
and casting of the skin goes on just as in the case of the Large White,
but there is this puzzle to be solved: how can the insect shuffle itself
out of its old coat without falling to the ground, leaving the cast-off
garments still hanging by the hooks of the claspers? This really seems a
matter of impossibility, since the little hooks which alone suspend the
insect are thrown off with the skin of the claspers.

The thing is managed in this way. As the skin slowly splits through the
wrigglings of the apparently uncomfortable occupant, it is gradually
pushed backward--that is, upward--till it is in a shrivelled condition,
and the body of the insect is nearly free. But the chrysalis thus
brought to light is provided with little hooks on the end of its 'tail'
by which it can attach itself to the irregularities of the crumpled
coat. Its conical abdomen is also very flexible, and it can, by bending
this, seize hold of a ridge in the skin, holding it between the
segments. Thus, although practically quite free from the old garb, it
never falls to the ground.

There is now, however, another point to be attended to. The newly formed
chrysalis desires to be entirely independent of its cast-off skin, and
to suspend itself directly from the silky carpet it has prepared. To
this end it works steadily for a time, alternately bending its supple
abdomen from side to side, gripping the folds of the skin between the
segments, pulling its body a little higher at each movement, and
securing itself at each step by the little hooks at its extremity.

So it climbs, and at last it reaches the network of silk fibres, and
thrusts the tip of its abdomen among them till some of the hooks have
taken hold. Not satisfied with this, it turns its body round and round
to get the little hooks so entangled between the silk fibres that a fall
is impossible, and in so doing it frequently pushes the old skin out of
its place so that it falls to the ground.

Although the caterpillars of this species do not show any great
gregarious tendency when nearly full fed, yet it is not an uncommon
thing to find several hanging from the under surface of one leaf, all
being attached to the one common carpet at which all had worked. And
when bred in confinement, a number will often spin in company in a
corner of their cage. I have thus obtained a cluster of thirty-seven
pupæ, all hanging by the 'tails' to the same mass of silk, which was so
small that they formed quite a compact mass of beings with their tails
close together.



We have seen that the Large White Butterfly makes itself secure by a
silk band round its middle, while the 'Tortoiseshell' is fixed only by
its tail. But the extra provision for the safety of the former is not so
necessary in the case of the latter, as it never spends more than two or
three weeks in the pupal state. Here it is the perfect insect that
braves the winter, and not the chrysalis.

There is a great variety in the means taken by the caterpillars of moths
to protect themselves during their metamorphoses, but we shall have
space for only a few illustrations.

A clever cocoon is spun by the larva of the Emperor Moth (_Pavonia_). It
is pear-shaped, and composed of a brownish silk; and is so constructed
that the newly emerged moth can easily walk out of the small end without
breaking a fibre, while the entry of an insect enemy from without is

This is managed as follows. A number of rather stiff threads are made to
project from the small end of the cocoon, and these converge as they
pass outward so that the ends are all near together. The other portions
of the cocoon are of compact silk, and any insect intruder that ventures
to enter by what we may almost term the _open_ end is met by a number of
spikes, as it were, that play on it at every attempt. Many of these
wonderful cocoons may be found during the winter months attached to the
food plants of this insect.

Of the silken cocoons spun by various caterpillars some are so thin and
light that the chrysalis can easily be seen through them, and others are
so densely woven as to be quite opaque. A great difference is also to be
observed in the adhesive power of the silk fibres. In some cases little
threads of silk can be pulled off the cocoon; but some of them, that of
the Oak Eggar (page 229) for example, look as if they had been
constructed of paper rather than of silk, because, at the time of
spinning, the moist silk fibres stuck so closely together.

An extreme case of this character is to be met with in the cocoon of the
Puss Moth (page 235); for here the fluid from the spinneret of the
caterpillar does not harden at once on exposure to air, and so the
threads become thoroughly united together, thus forming a solid gluey

When the Puss caterpillar is about to change, it descends the tree
(poplar, willow, or sallow) till it is within a few feet of the ground.
Then it commences gnawing away at the bark, at the same time cementing
all the pieces together with the gluey substance from its spinning
glands. In this way it surrounds itself with a very hard cocoon, which
so closely resembles the surrounding bark in colour that detection is
difficult indeed.

But how will the caterpillar proceed if it is removed from its native
tree and has no bark to gnaw? That you can easily answer for yourself,
or rather Puss will answer it for you. Go and search among the poplars,
willows and sallows in the month of July. You may possibly come across a
caterpillar that is just in the act of creeping down the bark in search
of a resting place; but if not you may be successful in obtaining a few
either by examining the twigs, or you may start them from their hiding
places by smartly tapping the smaller branches with a strong stick.

Having secured one or more larvæ, take them home, and they will give
some rather novel performances. If they are not fully grown, you must
supply them with fresh leaves every day till they refuse to eat; and
then is the time for your experiments. Shut one in a little wooden box,
and you will have the pleasure of watching it construct a cocoon of
chips of wood that it has bitten out with its powerful jaws, all joined
together into a hard shell by means of transparent glue. Shut another
Puss in a glass vessel--a tumbler, for instance--either by placing it
under the inverted vessel, or by covering over the top. Perhaps it will
not be superfluous to mention that, should you place it under an
inverted vessel, this vessel should not stand on a polished table, for,
whatever be the material, unless _extremely_ hard, it is sure to be
utilised in the manufacture of the cocoon.

Let us suppose, then, that the caterpillar is under an inverted tumbler
that stands on a plate or saucer. Now it is for _you_ to decide what
material shall be used in the construction of the new home. Give Puss
some fine strips of brightly coloured ribbon, and it will construct a
very gaudy house by gluing them together. Or, provide it with sawdust,
pieces of rag, glass beads, sand, paper, anything in fact; and the
material will be 'made up' into a cocoon more or less ornamental
according to the nature of the supply.

But what if you give it _nothing_ with which to work, and so inclose it
that nothing its jaws can pierce is within its reach? For instance, shut
it in with tumbler and saucer as before, inverting the former on the
latter, and give it no material whatever. What will it do now? We will
watch and see.

At first it is very restless, and walks round and round the edge of the
tumbler, evidently a little dissatisfied with the prospects. Then, after
a little while, the events of nature transpiring in their fixed order
regardless of trivial mishaps, the glutinous fluid begins to flow from
the creature's spinning glands, and it moves about in a somewhat aimless
fashion, applying the transparent adhesive matter both to tumbler and

It seems now to become a little more reconciled to its unnatural
surroundings; and, making the best of bad matters, keeps its body in one
place, and starts the construction of a ridge or barrier all round
itself. By the continued application of the creature's spinneret this
barrier is made gradually thicker and higher, till at last the
overhanging sides meet and the caterpillar is inclosed in its
self-constructed prison. But the walls of this prison are so transparent
that every movement can be watched; and, after the insect has spent a
few days in completing the cocoon, we can see it cast off its old skin,
and appear in the new garb of a fine greenish chrysalis.

Its soft green skin soon hardens and turns to a rich dark brown colour,
and it settles down for a long rest lasting till the following May or

When the whole operation of building is completed, lift up the tumbler,
and up will come the saucer too. The two are firmly glued together by
the substance secreted; and the power of this as a cementing material
will be well illustrated if you endeavour by mere pulling force to
separate the two articles.

The Puss is not the only caterpillar that works up a foreign material
with the contents of the spinning organs. There are several others, in
fact, that use for this purpose fragments of wood or other parts of the
food plants; and a still larger number bind together leaves, fresh or
dead, or particles of earth or other matter. Several such cocoons will
be described in our accounts of individual species in another chapter.
We shall now devote a little space to a few general remarks on the
chrysalides and the final metamorphosis of butterflies and moths.



As soon as the last moult of the caterpillar is over, the chrysalis that
had already been developing under the cover of the old skin is exposed
to full view; and although the perfect insect is not to be liberated for
some time to come, yet some of its parts are apparently fully formed.

[Illustration: FIG. 30.--THE PUPA OF THE PRIVET HAWK (_Ligustri_).]


The newly exposed skin of the chrysalis is very soft and moist, but as
it hardens it forms a membranous or horny covering that protects and
holds firmly in place the trunk and the various limbs and appendages
that are distinctly to be traced on the under surface.

If, however, you examine a chrysalis directly after the moult is over,
you will often find that the wings, antennæ, proboscis, and legs of the
future butterfly can be easily separated from the trunk of the body on
which they lie by means of a blunt needle, and can be spread out so as
to be quite free from that surface.

In form the chrysalides of butterflies and moths are as variable as the
caterpillars. Many of the former are sharply angular like that of the
'Small Tortoiseshell' already mentioned; but some of the
butterflies--the Skippers (page 197)--have smooth and tapering
chrysalides, and so have most of the moths.

In colour they are equally variable. Some are beautifully tinted with
delicate shades of green, some spotted on a light ground, some striped
with bands more or less gaudy and distinct, but the prevailing tint,
especially among the moths, is a reddish brown, often so deep that it is
almost a black.



As a rule there is no marked resemblance between the different stages of
the same insect. Thus, a brilliantly coloured caterpillar may change to
a dull and unattractive chrysalis, from which may emerge a butterfly or
moth that partakes of the colours of neither. But in a few cases there
_are_ colours or other features that remain persistent throughout the
three stages, or show themselves prominently in two.

An interesting example in point is that of the Magpie or Currant Moth
(page 279). The caterpillar of this moth is cream-coloured, with orange
stripes along the sides, and very bold black markings down the back. The
chrysalis, which is at first entirely yellow, afterwards turns black
with the exception of some yellow transverse bands. Then, the moth
exhibits the same colours as these two earlier stages, with the same
degree of boldness; for its pale cream-coloured wings, tinted with
patches of yellow, are marked with numerous deep black spots. Thus, in
this case, we find the same general character of the colouring
throughout the insect's existence.

[Illustration: FIG. 34.--THE PUPA OF THE CURRANT MOTH.]

[Illustration: FIG. 35.--PUPA OF THE PALE TUSSOCK MOTH (_Pudibunda_).]

Another interesting example, though not so striking as the last, is to
be found in the case of a group of moths known as the _Liparidæ_. The
caterpillars of these are remarkable for their very hairy bodies, often
ornamented by several bold brush-like tufts. The chrysalides are also
hairy; and several of the moths themselves are not only thickly clad
with shaggy hair, but a bold tuft often tips the abdomen.

We must not leave these few remarks on the characters of chrysalides
without a mention of the brilliant spots of burnished gold that decorate
the pupæ of certain butterflies. This is the feature that led to the
invention of the term _chrysalis_, which is derived from the Greek word
_chrysos_, meaning _gold_. For the same reason the term _aurelia_ has
been applied to the pupæ of _Lepidoptera_, this being derived from
_aurum_--the Latin name for gold.

Strictly, then, these two terms apply only to the pupæ of a certain
number of the butterflies; but the former is now generally used to
designate the pupæ of all the _Lepidoptera_, and is even extended to the
corresponding stages of insects of other orders.

If you examine one of these gold-speckled chrysalides, the brilliant
metallic lustre seems to belong to the outer surface, just as if certain
spots had been tipped with real gold; but after the butterfly has
quitted its case the beautiful golden spots are gone. This proves that
the metallic appearance is not due to reflection from the outer surface
of the chrysalis, but to a reflection from some structure beneath it.
This latter is a very thin membrane which lies just under the outer
transparent covering of the chrysalis.

The period during which the _Lepidoptera_ remain in the chrysalis state
varies very considerably in different species, and also depends more or
less on the temperature. As a rule, when a caterpillar pupates before
the end of the summer, it remains dormant in the pupal condition for
only a few weeks; but, if late in the summer or in the autumn, it
remains in this condition throughout the winter, and emerges in the
following spring or early summer.

Both these conditions are illustrated in the life history of the Large
White or Cabbage Butterfly--an insect with which we have already become
acquainted. We get two distinct broods of this butterfly every year, the
first appearing in May and the second in August. The eggs of the first
brood hatch in about a fortnight, and the larvæ are full grown about
four weeks later. These then change to chrysalides, from which the
perfect insects (the second brood) emerge in a few weeks--the period
varying slightly with the temperature of the season. From the eggs of
this second brood we get another invading army of cabbage eaters that
change to pupæ late in the summer. These remain dormant till the
following April, and may be found in numbers throughout the winter,
attached to the walls and fences of kitchen and market gardens.

If, then, the pupæ of the same species are so influenced by the
temperatures of the seasons, can we limit or prolong the period of
quiescence by subjecting them to high or low temperatures artificially
produced? Most certainly we can; and every practical entomologist knows
how to obtain the perfect butterflies and moths of certain species long
before their appointed times, or, if he desires it, to compel them to
remain in their dormant stage long after the natural period has

Sometimes an enthusiastic insect hunter obtains a large number of what
we may term 'winter pupæ,' by collecting and breeding various species.
He also anticipates a number of successful captures of perfect insects
during the following summer. Thus, from two distinct sources, he obtains
a goodly assortment of butterflies and moths, the setting, preserving,
and arranging of which entails an immense amount of home work.

Under such circumstances he will sometimes endeavour to cause some of
his pupæ to emerge before their accustomed time, so that he may get some
of his insects 'on the boards' before his field work is in full swing,
and so avoid a rush, or prevent the loss of insects that will be spoiled
before he has time to take them in hand.

This process of hurrying up his pupæ he calls 'forcing,' and simply
consists in keeping them for a time in a warm room or hothouse where the
high temperature is pretty constant.

On the other hand, the entomologist may desire to try the effect of a
continued _low_ temperature on his pupæ. This he can do by placing his
pupæ in an ice house. Such experiments have often been performed, and
the results are very interesting. In some cases the emergence of the
perfect insect has been delayed for many months, and even years; and
then, after an exposure to a normal temperature lasting only a week or
two, the winged insect has made its appearance just as if nothing
unusual had happened.

Such are the effects of _extreme_ temperatures on the duration of the
chrysalis state; and we naturally infer, from such results, that the
pupa under natural conditions is influenced, though in a lesser degree,
by the variations experienced with the seasons, especially in such a
fickle climate as our own.

The insect hunter has always to bear this in mind, and particularly so
when he sets out on a search for certain desired species. Suppose, for
example, he has set his mind on the capture of a certain butterfly that
_usually_ appears in the _first_ week in May. Before finally naming the
day, he has to consider what the weather has been during the last few
weeks, and if he finds that this has been much warmer than the average
for the corresponding periods in the past, he selects a day in _April_,
earlier or later according to the difference between the present season
and the average.

If he does not pay due attention to such considerations, he will
sometimes find that all the insects netted are shabby and much worn,
even though, under average conditions, he would be catching newly
emerged and brilliant specimens. This, then, will explain how it is that
we so often see in entomologists' periodicals startling accounts of
'early captures,' and of the appearance of certain insects late in the
season that _ought_ not to have emerged till the following summer.

I will give just one illustration of these variations. The beautiful
Orange Tip Butterfly (Plate I, fig. 7) generally appears about the
middle of May in the southern counties. Farther north it is of course a
little later. In the north of England it has been taken in June; and in
Scotland as late as July. On the other hand, I have taken it in
Gloucestershire as early as March, on a rather bleak day with a cold
east wind; and, withal, in a field on the slope of the Cotswolds fully
exposed to the unfavourable breeze; but it was evident that, in this
case, the butterfly had been enticed from its winter quarters by the
milder weather of the few previous weeks.

It may be as well, in passing, to observe that it is not only the pupa
that is influenced by temperature. The hatching of eggs may be forced by
high temperatures, or be retarded by exposure to cold; and in nature the
period of incubation varies with the seasons. The larvæ, too, grow
faster or more slowly, or pupate earlier or later from similar causes.
And so no very definite date or period can be assigned to any one stage
of any insect.

Now let us return to one of the chrysalides that we have already watched
through the earlier stages of its existence, and follow it in its future

It is now, as we say, in its quiescent or dormant condition, but we must
not suppose that it is always in a profound sleep, nor can we say that
it is insensible to its surroundings. Touch it gently or surprise it
with a puff of air from your mouth, and it will begin to wag its pointed
tail, sometimes with such vigour as to send the body rolling round and
round in its box. Lay it on a bed of cocoa-nut fibre or finely sifted
soil and let it remain _quite undisturbed_ for a few hours or days, and
you will probably find that, by occasional movements of its body, it has
made a slight depression in its bed, and lies partly submerged. I have
known some chrysalides to completely bury themselves in this way during
the course of a day or two, and others to partly expose themselves after
having been lightly covered. Others again, I have observed, will move
smartly if a strong light is suddenly turned on them. Many, too,
certainly appear to have a strong objection to exposure to the direct
rays of a hot sun; for, when thus exposed, they will struggle
persistently, as if to work their bodies into some shady corner. I would
not advise a young entomologist to try this experiment, however, if he
values the pupæ he possesses, for direct sunlight is undoubtedly very
harmful to many species, and perhaps it is to all.

Some chrysalides are not nearly so active as has just been represented;
in fact, there are many which seem to show no signs of life during the
greater part of the time spent in that state. But in all, whether
apparently active or not, certain important internal changes are at
work. We have already noticed that, even in the last days of the
_larval_ existence, some of the organs of the future imago are to be
traced. But these are as yet imperfectly developed. We have also
observed that a continuation of these changes, gradually carried on,
would be impossible in a voracious feeder; so the insect, now fully
grown, and no longer requiring a supply of food, settles down in perfect
quiet, submitting itself quite passively to any further changes that
nature may demand.

It has already suffered the loss of its claspers. Its wonderful jaws
that did so much damage (for good or evil as the case may be) to the
vegetable world are now gone, and the bulky digestive apparatus has
rapidly dwindled to useless dimensions. These and other changes, already
in progress, have to be perfected while the creature is in a restful and
helpless condition, though they may often be retarded or even suspended
during cold weather when progress would certainly bring it to an
untimely end.

But now the grandest of all these transformation scenes is nigh at hand.
The protective skin is already loosening from the almost perfect imago,
and consequently feels softer and far more yielding than it did when in
close contact with the body: the swaddled butterfly or moth (for such
the pupa is) is slowly preparing to throw off its imprisoning garb. The
wings and large compound eyes are assuming their final colours, which
now begin to show themselves through the more or less transparent skin,
and the long legs, the perfectly formed antennæ, and the slender
proboscis, all of which are folded closely under the creature's thorax,
now begin to move within their loosened sheaths.

Now let us watch it closely, for one of the most wonderful sights ever
witnessed by a naturalist is about to be presented to our view. We think
we can observe slight movements; and, it may be, we can actually see the
struggling insect endeavouring to set itself free. The legs and
proboscis are moving within the loosened skin; and lo! as we watch these
motions, the prison wall bursts with a slight snapping noise (at least,
such is the case with some of the larger species), and in a moment out
pop a few long legs which immediately struggle for a foothold. The
proboscis also appears, alternately lengthening itself out and coiling
into a spiral, as if impatient to reach the sweet nectar from the bottom
of some fragrant flower cup.


All this takes place in less time than one requires to describe it; and,
before many seconds have passed, the struggling insect has quite
completed its last moult, and is bidding good-bye to the rent garment
that has done it good service for so long a time.

But how dreadfully disappointing! Did we not say only a few minutes
since, that a beautiful butterfly or moth was about to emerge? How,
then, is this? Here is an odd-looking creature, such as we have never
seen before! True, it has the right kind of body, though even that is so
soft and heavy that it is fairly dragged along as the insect walks. Its
antennæ, too, seem to be just the right thing--that is, just what we
were expecting to see. But oh! the wings! Are we looking at a
deformity?--a failure on the part of Nature to produce what she ought?

We will not judge hastily, but continue to watch it a little longer. It
seems very restless at first, and, with the fluttering apologies for
wings, drags its heavy body along till it reaches some surface up which
it can climb. If nothing of the kind is close at hand you may place a
_rough_ upright stick in its path, and it will immediately begin to
ascend. Its motto is now 'Excelsior!' and its ambition to rise may be so
great that, on reaching the very top of the stick provided for it, it
struggles for a still higher position in life till, failing to get a
foothold in the air itself, it falls to the ground and has to retrace
its steps.

I once thought I would like to test the perseverance of a large moth in
performing its first upward journey; and as it was one from a chrysalis
to be found in nature at the foot of a tree that attains some
considerable height, I was, of course, prepared to exercise a little
patience myself.

As soon as the moth had emerged, I placed it at the bottom of a window
curtain that hung from about eight feet high to the floor. In less than
half a minute it had reached the top, and was struggling hard to get
still higher. I took it down, and again placed it at the bottom. Up it
went as fast as before; and this was repeated nine times with exactly
the same result. For the tenth time I placed the persevering creature at
the bottom of the curtain; and, after it had walked about halfway up, it
_suddenly_ stopped, apparently quite satisfied with having travelled a
distance of over seventy feet in an upward direction. Its six legs were
immediately arranged symmetrically in a business-like manner, and there
it settled quite still, as if it had some definite object in stopping
just exactly in that spot.

But we must now return to our own insect, which has by this time settled
itself in a similar manner on the stick we provided for it. The peculiar
organs which represent the wings, though so very small, show distinctly,
in miniature, the colour and pattern of the fully developed wings of the
species. An interesting change is just now commencing. These wings are
apparently growing larger, but the development is very unequal, so that
they become curled and crumpled till they are even more unsightly than
before. All seems to be going amiss. But this lasts only for a short
time. The fluid from the body steadily rushes into the _nervures_,
causing the wings to expand, and in a few minutes the beautiful pinions
are stretched to the full extent, assume their normal shape, and expose
the full glory of their brilliant colours.

It may be interesting if I give an example showing the exact time taken
for the full development of the wings of a certain insect. So I will
here quote an entry from my note book; and, by the way, let me strongly
advise all my young readers who follow up this subject to habitually
enter in a book kept specially for the purpose all facts which strike
them as they pursue their study of nature. The note to which I refer
runs as follows:

'Early on the evening of the 22nd [April] I selected a few chrysalides
of Populi [the Poplar Hawk Moth, page 209] which, from the looseness of
their cases, were thought to be just on the point of emerging. At 8.46
one of them showed signs of restlessness; and, after a few vigorous
movements, during which it rolled itself over on the glass [I had placed
the pupæ on a piece of plate glass so that slight movements might be
more easily detected], the front of its case was suddenly thrust off
with considerable force; and in _less than four seconds_ the imago was
quite free and crawling on the table. After trying hard to reach a
higher point than was provided for about four minutes, it rested to
expand its wings--now about seven-sixteenths of an inch long, or
one-third the total length of the body. At 9 o'clock the wings reached
half the length of the body, and were much curled. At 9.12 they were
fully expanded and straightened out.'

From this extract we see that the whole period from the bursting of the
case to the full expansion of the wings was only twenty-six minutes; and
it will be well to remind the reader that the process occupies even a
much shorter time than this with many species, both of butterflies and
moths. It will be observed, also, that the _evening_ was chosen as the
time for the observation. There was a reason for this. The Poplar Hawk
Moth, as is the case with many others, almost invariably emerges from
the chrysalis in the evening--usually after dark. But it may be
mentioned in passing that a far larger number of the _Lepidoptera_ as
invariably emerge in the morning.

Again we will return to our newly emerged insect, for there are still
one or two interesting points to observe. The wings have fully expanded,
it is true, but how very limp they are! Take the creature on the tip of
your finger and hold it so that its body is in a horizontal position.
Immediately the wings bend downward with their own weight, so soft and
flexible are they. The body, too, is still very soft, and apparently
much too heavy for flight. Then, if you place it on a flat surface, it
will immediately try to find some perpendicular or overhanging surface
from which it can suspend itself by means of its legs, so that the
pendant and straightened wings are in the best possible position for
drying. As the insect walks away in search of such a resting place, the
body still drags as it did before, and the wings bend over, either both
on one side or one on each side of the body.

It is some time before the wings are sufficiently dry and rigid for
flight, but the period varies greatly with different species. Some of
the small butterflies and moths take to flight long before an hour has
passed, but in many cases several hours elapse before the creature
starts from its first resting place. Butterflies that emerge in the
morning spend their first day actively on the wing; but the nocturnal
moths that emerge early in the day do not fly till evening twilight.
When, however, the time arrives, the insect flutters its wings as if to
test their power before committing itself to the air; and frequently,
after only a few seconds spent in this preparatory exercise, off it
darts with astonishing rapidity. But others seem far more cautious. They
vibrate their wings, sometimes with such rapidity that they are lost in
a kind of mist, and with such power that their bodies would be carried
suddenly into the air were they not firmly anchored by three pairs of
hooked claws. Then, continuing the rapid vibration, they move slowly
along, always holding on firmly by one or more legs, as if to still
further satisfy themselves concerning the efficiency of their wings.
Then they venture on a few short trial trips from one neighbouring
object to another, and at last gain sufficient confidence for a long

How strange must be the feelings of a winged insect during its first
flight! After a long period during which it was a helpless, crawling
grub, and this followed by a term of imprisonment during which it was
almost or quite shut off from the world, it now suddenly acquires such
great powers of locomotion that it is often a match for ourselves.

But, alas! this life is short. A few days spent in sporting with those
it meets and in sucking the sweet juices of many flowers; then a day or
two during which the female deposits its eggs; again a few days employed
in pleasures that become less and less attractive, till, at last, the
creature becomes weary of life and settles down to die.

We have now traced the complete life history of the _Lepidoptera_ from
the egg to the perfect insect, avoiding descriptions that apply only to
certain species as far as possible, excepting where such are useful as

Only one thing more remains to be done before we start in real earnest
with our practical work. We shall shortly be giving hints on the modes
of capture, the 'setting' and the preservation of butterflies and moths.
And in so doing we shall often have to observe important points in which
our dealings with these two great divisions of the order will differ
very materially. Hence we must not consider ourselves ready to proceed
with the practical portion of the entomologist's labours till we are
perfectly satisfied that we know the main features that enable us to
distinguish between the butterflies and the moths, and also know just a
little concerning the subdivisions on each side.

This, then, shall form the subject of the next short chapter.



The _Lepidoptera_ are divided into two very unequal groups, to which we
have so frequently alluded as 'Butterflies' and 'Moths.' And, although
these two terms are popularly applied in a fairly accurate manner, yet,
strange to say, very few persons indeed have any definite knowledge of
the differences that entomologists recognise between the two groups.

Every entomologist has his circle of sympathetic and, perhaps, even
admiring friends. Consequently, many a little package is sent round to
his abode 'with great care,' accompanied by a note or a message
concerning the fine 'butterfly I have just caught, and thought you would
like to add to your collection.'

The 'butterflies' that so frequently reach us through these channels
nearly always turn out to be _brightly coloured_ moths, and this
naturally gives one the idea that the popular notion as to the
classification of the _Lepidoptera_ is based on colour or brilliancy of
design, the term 'butterfly' being applied to the gayer species, and
'moth' to the more dingy members of the race.

There is really some shadow of a reason in this method of nomenclature,
for butterflies _are usually_ more brightly clad than moths; but the
scientific classification, at least as far as the main divisions and
subdivisions are concerned, has nothing whatever to do with colour or
design; and we must at once acquaint ourselves with the fact that there
_are_ very dingy butterflies, and most beautiful and highly coloured

How shall we account for the fact that the specimens so kindly sent us
by our friends are generally moths? Is it because moths are more
numerous and more frequently seen? They are certainly more numerous;
for, while our butterflies do not number seventy species, the other
division contains about two thousand. Yet, in spite of this fact, moths
are not generally observed as much as butterflies, for the former are
nearly all night-fliers, and the latter _always_ fly by day and rest by

Still our question remains unanswered. The reason is this. The captives
sent us are seldom caught on the wing. Most of our grown-up friends,
even though they admire our own pluck and general carelessness
concerning the remarks of the spectators of our entomological antics,
would not themselves like to be seen, hat in hand, chasing a butterfly;
and the night-flying moths are, of course, less frequently observed. But
they often, in the course of their daily employments, meet with a large
moth fast asleep in some corner of a dwelling house, workshop, or
outhouse. Such moths are easily caught while in the midst of their
slumbers, and, as they often make no attempt to fly by day, are as
easily transferred to a box suitable for transmission by messenger or by

In the above few remarks we have alluded to some features by which the
two great groups of the _Lepidoptera_ may be distinguished; but we have
already referred (page 5) to a far more important one in our description
of the various forms of antennæ. All butterflies--at least all _British_
butterflies--have knobbed or clubbed antennæ, while the corresponding
organs of all our moths terminate in a sharp point.

This distinction obtains in all British _Lepidoptera_, and is so far
regarded as the most important basis of classification that naturalists
have derived from it the two Greek terms that are synonymous with our
two popular names--butterflies and moths. The scientific name for the
former group is _Rhopalocera_--a term derived from two Greek words, one
signifying a horn, and the other a club, and thus meaning 'club-horned.'
The corresponding name for moths is _Heterocera_, derived from the same
source, and meaning 'variously horned.'

But, although we find embodied in these two long and formidable names an
unerring mark of distinction between British butterflies and moths, we
must not neglect other less important facts which, though less
distinctive, are not without interest.

Observe a butterfly at rest. Its wings are turned vertically over its
back, and brought so closely together that they often touch. In this
position the 'upper' surfaces of the 'upper' wings are completely hidden
from view, and the 'under' surfaces are exposed on the two sides,
except that those of the 'upper' pair are partly hidden by the other

Now look at a moth under the same circumstances, and you will generally
find the wings lying over its body, which is almost or completely hidden
beneath them. As a rule the upper pair together form a triangular
figure, and entirely cover the second pair; but in some cases a portion
of each of the under wings extends beyond the margin of those above
them, and in others the upper pair extend so far forward that nearly the
whole of the under wings is exposed behind them.


[Illustration: FIG. 38.--A MOTH AT REST (GOTHIC).]

Again, the wings of butterflies are so rigid that they can never be
folded; but you will observe that the under wings of moths are generally
very thin, soft, and pliant, and are neatly pleated lengthwise when not
in use.

Another feature deserving notice is a slight difference to be often
observed in the form of the body. The butterfly, which generally has a
slender body, has a distinct constriction or waist between the thorax
and abdomen. This is not so apparent with moths, and especially with the
thick-bodied species.

The _Rhopalocera_ or Butterflies are divided into _Families_, each of
which contains insects that possess certain features in common by which
they may all be distinguished from the members of any other family.

The British species represent eight families. They are as follows:

1. _Papilionidæ._--Containing only one British species--the beautiful
Swallow-tail (Plate I, fig. 1).

2. _Pieridæ._--Containing ten species. These are often known
collectively as the 'Whites,' but include four butterflies that are
distinguished by beautiful shades of yellow and orange.

3. _Nymphalidæ._--This family contains seventeen insects, among them
being several splendid species. It includes the Fritillaries and

4. _Apaturidæ._--Of this we have only one representative--the Purple
Emperor (Plate V, fig. 1).

5. _Satyridæ._--Including the 'Browns' and 'Heaths,' and numbering
eleven species.

6. _Lycænidæ._--Including the Hairstreaks, 'Coppers,' and 'Blues,' in
all seventeen species.

7. _Erycinidæ._--Containing only the 'Duke of Burgundy.'

8. _Hesperiidæ._--This family contains seven British butterflies
commonly known as the 'Skippers.'

Although all the members of the same family resemble each other in
certain points of structure, or in their habits, yet we can often find
among them a smaller group differing from all the others in one or two
minor particulars. Such smaller groups are called _Genera_.

To make this all quite clear we will take an example.

The Brimstone Butterfly (Plate II, fig. 4) belongs to the second
family--_Pieridæ_, _all_ the members of which are distinguished from
those of the other families by the characteristics mentioned on page

But our Brimstone Butterfly possesses another very prominent feature in
which it differs from all the other British _Pieridæ_, and that is the
conspicuous projecting angles of both fore and hind wings. Among the
foreign species of the family we are considering there are several that
possess these angles; but as there are no others among our own members,
the 'Brimstone' is placed by itself in the list of British _Lepidoptera_
as the only member of the genus _Gonopteryx_ or 'angle-winged'

Thus the full relationship of this butterfly to other insects may be
shown in the following manner:

  _The Brimstone Butterfly._


Now, every butterfly has a Latin or Greek name in addition to that by
which it is popularly known. I should have said _two_ Latin or Greek
names. The first of these is always the _generic_ name, and the second
is the one by which we denote the particular member or _species_ of that
genus. Thus, the scientific name of the Brimstone Butterfly is
_Gonopteryx Rhamni_.

'But,' the reader may be inclined to ask, 'why should we not be
satisfied with the one popular name only?' And, 'If we _must_ have a
separate scientific name, could we not find suitable terms among our
English words to build up such a name--one that might express the
principal characteristics of the insect, and also serve all the purposes
of classification?'

Such questions sound very reasonable, and so they are. But the
entomologist's answer is this. We ourselves may get on well without the
help of the dead languages, but we have brother naturalists all over the
world, speaking a great variety of different languages. We endeavour to
help one another--to exchange notes and generally to assist one another
in our labours; and this can be greatly facilitated if we all adopt the
same system of nomenclature. The educated of most of the great nations
generally know something of Latin and Greek, and consequently the
adoption of these languages is generally acceptable to all.

This sounds well, but for my own part I believe that if we are to make
any branch of natural history a popular study, especially with the
young, we must to a certain extent avoid anything that may prove
distasteful. There is no doubt whatever that many a youngster has been
turned away from the pursuit of the study of nature by the formidable
array of almost unpronounceable names that stretch nearly halfway across
a page; and those who desire to make such a study pleasant to beginners
should be very cautious with the use of these necessary evils. One would
think, on glancing over some of the scientific manuals that are written
'especially for the young,' that the authors considered our own too mean
a language for so exalted a purpose, for in such works we find all or
nearly all the popular names by which the schoolboy knows certain
creatures he has seen entirely omitted, and the description of a species
appended to a long Latin term that conveys no idea whatever to the
reader, who is studying the description of a well-known animal or plant
and doesn't know it.

Our plan will be to give the popular names throughout, except in the
case of those few species that are not so well known as to have
received one; but the scientific names will always be given as well for
the benefit of those readers who would like to know them. And the short
description of the method of classification just given will enable the
more ambitious of my readers to thoroughly understand the table of
British butterflies and moths toward the end of the book.

This table includes _all_ the British species of butterflies and of the
larger moths; and the arrangement is such as to show clearly the
divisions into sections, families, &c. It will therefore be of great
value for reference, and as a guide for the arrangement of the specimens
in the cabinet.

In the foregoing description of the method of classification butterflies
only are mentioned; but the division and arrangement of moths is carried
out in just the same manner except that the system is a little more
complicated. The number of moths is so large in comparison, that we are
able to select from them some very large groups the species of which
possess features in common. These groups are termed _tribes_, and are
again divided into families just like the butterflies. Thus the
arrangement of moths includes _tribes_, _families_, _genera_ and
_species_. We will take an example by way of illustration as we did
before, and ask the reader to verify the same by comparison with our

  _Example._--The 'Common Tiger' (Plate X, fig. 3).

  Scientific Name.--_Arctia Caia._

I have already said that the Latin and Greek names of butterflies and
moths are not at all necessary to the young entomologist. It is quite
possible to be well acquainted with the natural history of these
creatures, and to derive all the pleasure and benefits that the study of
them can afford without the knowledge of such names; but most
entomologists go in for them, often to the entire exclusion of the
popular English terms.

There are those who consider themselves (or would have us consider them)
expert entomologists because they have the power to vomit forth a long
list of scientific names of butterflies and moths which (to them) have
no meaning whatever; and it is astonishing that we meet with so many
youngsters who can rattle away such terms, and, at the same time, are
totally ignorant of the real nature of the creatures they name.

If you wish to be a naturalist in the true sense of the term, study your
_specimens_, and take but little pains to commit their hard names to
memory; and you will then find that the latter will gradually become
your own property without any special effort on your part. Your
continued reference to illustrated works and museum collections will
bring them to you almost unconsciously, and you will generally find your
entomological vocabulary extending as rapidly as your cabinet becomes

Again, with regard to the _meanings_ of the scientific terms, don't
trouble much about them. It unfortunately happens that in a very large
number of cases these names are ill chosen, and do not in any way refer
to the distinguishing characteristics of the species to which they are
applied. You will observe, too, if you look at the table, that many
insects have _two_ scientific names applied to the species, one being
placed in brackets after the other. In such cases both these names are
in common use, having both been applied by independent authorities, and
the insertion of the two will prove an assistance at times.

It is a common practice with entomologists, in their communications, to
use only the second or _specific_ name of insects. Thus, they would
speak of the Brimstone Butterfly as _Rhamni_, and not _Gonopteryx
Rhamni_. When _writing_ a communication, however, they very commonly
place in front of the specific name the initial letter of the first or
_generic_ name. Thus the full title of the butterfly just mentioned
would be abbreviated to _G. Rhamni_.

Having said so much concerning the principles of classification and
nomenclature, we will pass on to the practical portion of the
entomologist's work.





It is not at all surprising that entomology should prove such a
fascinating study to the young, and more especially that portion which
deals with the department we are now considering. Butterflies and moths
are among the most beautiful and most interesting of living creatures.
The study of their life history is enchanting, and the creatures
themselves are of such a size as to be conveniently handled and
preserved, and withal occupy so little space that anyone with only
moderate accommodation may possess a fairly typical collection.

Compare the work of the entomologist with that of one whose hobby is the
study of mammals. The latter has to deal with large and cumbersome
objects, a collection of which requires an enormous amount of space;
and, unless he has the time and means to travel in foreign countries, he
cannot get together a good typical collection of specimens representing
his particular branch, for the few British mammals contain no
representatives of several of the orders into which the class is

Entomology is undoubtedly, _par excellence_, _the_ study for youngsters.
It is equally suited to the studious and to those of an adventurous turn
of mind. It leads its follower into the bright sunshine and the flowery
meadows; and with body and mind pleasantly occupied, the joy of living
is deeply felt. The necessary apparatus can be made by anyone. No
dangerous gun is required, and there are no precipitous rocks to scale.
When the autumn flowers fade the year's work of the entomologist is not
done, for the arranging of his cabinet and the demands of his living
specimens keep him more or less actively engaged until the flowers of
the following spring call both him and the insects he loves once more
into the field. And so, season after season, and year after year, he
finds himself engrossed in labours so fascinating that idleness--the
curse of so many of our youths--is with him an impossibility.

I assume that the readers of this book have a desire to take up the
study of one branch of entomology--that of butterflies and moths--in
real earnest; that they intend not only to _read_ about these
interesting insects, but to _know_ them. And there is only one way in
which one may really get to know living creatures; that is by searching
them out in their haunts, observing their growth and habits, and by an
occasional close examination in order to become acquainted with their

Hence I shall in this, the practical portion of the work, give such
information as will assist the beginner in catching, preserving,
rearing, breeding, and arranging the specimens that are to form his

_Catching Butterflies_

There was a time when we would try to capture a butterfly at rest on a
flower by a quick sweep of the hand, or, more commonly, by a sharp
downward stroke of the cap. We were led to this action by a mere
childish love of sport, or by a desire to possess an insect simply
because it was pretty. When we succeeded in securing our prize, we
handled it somewhat carelessly, often passing it from one hand to the
other, or boxing it in our closed and perspiring fist till our fingers
were dusted with the pretty microscopic scales of the creature's wings,
and the wings themselves, stripped of all their beautiful clothing, were
merely transparent and veined membranes. Having thus carelessly but
unintentionally deprived the creature of its greatest beauty, we set it
free, often in such a damaged or exhausted condition that the poor thing
could scarcely fly.

But our childish ideas and inclinations have vanished. Now we would
rather watch the insect than catch it, for we find much pleasure and
interest in its varied movements. And if for purposes of study we
occasionally require to make one captive, we proceed in such a manner as
to preserve its beauty unimpaired. The cap now gives place to a
well-made and suitable net; and we are careful to provide ourselves with
sufficient and proper accommodation for our captives.

It is probable that many of my readers are as yet unacquainted with the
nature of an entomologist's requirements for field work, so we shall
describe them, confining ourselves at first to those that are required
for a butterfly hunt.

First and foremost comes the net. This essential portion of your
equipment may be either purchased or constructed by yourself. Very
little skill is required to enable you to do the former. Provided your
pocket is well charged, you may start off at once to the dealer in
naturalists' appliances, and treat yourself to a complete outfit. But
even in this case a little advice may not be out of place. See that what
you purchase is very _strongly_ made. You can get nicely finished nets
constructed on the most convenient principles, made to fold and go in an
ordinary coat pocket, but with _weak joints_. See that you have the most
convenient form of net by all means, but do not go in for convenience
and appearance at the expense of strength and durability. Nothing is
more annoying than to find your net give way just when you are in the
midst of a good day's sport.


[Illustration: FIG. 40.]

The folding net is certainly very convenient, for you can conceal it in
your pocket while you are walking through town or travelling in a
railway carriage, and thus avoid that contemptuous gaze which certain of
the public are prone to cast on a poor 'bug hunter.' And although such
nets are generally purchased, yet they _may_ be constructed by anyone
who has had experience in the working of metals. But other forms of
nets, equally useful and even stronger, can be made by anybody; and I
will give a few hints on two or three different ways of putting them

A very simple and strong frame for a net may be made as follows: Get a
piece of stout iron or brass wire about forty inches in length, and bend
it into a circle with the two ends, turned out about two inches each, at
right angles to the circumference as shown in the accompanying sketch.

Now take a good tough stick, the length of an ordinary walking stick,
and cut out two grooves opposite each other at the end, just large
enough to take the straight ends of the wire. The end of the stick will
now resemble fig. 40 in shape. Place the ends in their grooves, and bind
them tightly to the stick by a good many turns of rather fine wire.

A frame well made after this fashion is as strong as anything you could
desire, but it has the disadvantage of being always fixed to the handle,
thus preventing the use of the latter as a walking stick when you are
not directly engaged in your entomological work.

A much more convenient frame may be made by thrusting the ends of a
piece of cane into the two narrow arms of a metal Y. You may purchase
the Y at any of the naturalists' stores, or you can make one yourself if
you know how to perform the operation of soldering. I have always made
mine with odds and ends of brass tubing such as old gas pipes. One piece
must be just the size to fix on the stick; and the other two must fit
the cane tightly. The three pieces must be filed off at the proper
angles, and the doubly bevelled end of the wider tube must then be
flattened down to the width of the smaller ones before soldering. If you
decide to buy one, give the preference to strong brass rather than the
cheaper and more fragile ones made of tinned iron.

[Illustration: FIG. 41. THE METAL Y.]

The advantage of such an arrangement over the last frame is evident at
once. The cane, with net attached, can be pulled out of the Y when not
in use, and bent small enough to go in the pocket or a satchel; and the
Y can also be separated from the stick, thus allowing the latter to be
used as a walking stick.

Some entomologists speak very favourably of what is known as the
'umbrella net'--a large and light net that will shut up like an
umbrella, and may even be made to look very much like this useful
protector, but the possession of such an imitation is somewhat
tantalising in a pelting shower. The ring of this net consists of two
steel springs attached to a couple of brass hinges, one of which is
fixed near one end of the handle, while the other slides up and down in
the gamp fashion.

One other form of net--'the clap net'--although still occasionally seen,
has had its best days. Two sticks are provided to this one, so that the
two sides of the net may be brought together on the insect; but as both
hands are required to manage it, it is almost surprising that it ever
had any advocates at all.

When your frame is completed, sew round it a strip of strong calico, to
which the net itself may be afterwards sewn, for the lighter material of
the net is too delicate to stand the constant friction against the metal
or cane frame.

The material usually employed in making the 'bag' is called leno. It can
be purchased at most of the drapers' shops, and three colours--white,
yellow and green--are usually kept in stock. Measure the circumference
of your net frame, and see that you get sufficient leno to make a good
full net. Suppose, for instance, that the circle of your frame measures
thirty-six inches round, then your leno should be at least forty inches
in length. Fold this double, and then cut out two pieces of the shape
shown in fig. 42, letting the depth of the net be nearly or quite equal
to the width of the material. There is nothing to be done now but to
stitch the bag together and sew it to the calico on the ring.

[Illustration: FIG. 42.]

At first you will find the leno rather stiff and harsh, but a damping
and good rubbing between the hands will soften it down; or, if you
prefer it, you may soften the material by a slight washing before
cutting out the net. The latter is perhaps the better plan, for the
washing will remove the objectionable 'dressing' that renders the
material rather hard and stiff.

Of the three colours mentioned above, green is the one most generally
chosen, because it is more in harmony with the surroundings of a
butterfly catcher; but many prefer the white leno to the green, as the
insects are more easily seen in a net of this colour. Yellow is
certainly not a desirable tint.

As a rule it will be necessary to kill an insect as soon as it is
captured. This is always the case with butterflies unless you require to
keep them alive either to watch their movements or to obtain eggs. For
this purpose you will require a killing bottle or box containing some
volatile substance.

The selection of this necessary piece of apparatus is a point deserving
of much consideration, for so many different forms are in use by
different entomologists, and so many advocates each declare that his own
plan is far superior to that of any of the others, that the final
decision is not to be worked out in a moment. The best thing for a
beginner is to try as many as he can, and then, after some considerable
experience of his own, he will be able to decide which apparatus suits
himself best.

I recommend this because it is impossible to say of any one plan that it
is the best, for that which gives perfect satisfaction to one individual
will often fail to give anything but annoyance in the hands of another.

To enable my young readers to follow the advice I have just given, I
will describe some of the commonly used killing arrangements and show
how they should be used.

I will take first the 'cyanide bottle.' This is a wide-mouthed bottle,
containing a very poisonous substance called _cyanide of potassium_. It
is fitted with a good sound cork. The 'cyanide' is a solid substance,
and must be fixed in some way or other at the bottom of the bottle so
that it cannot shake about and damage the butterflies.

[Illustration: FIG. 43.--THE CYANIDE BOTTLE.]

A cyanide bottle can be purchased ready for use at the cost of a
shilling or thereabouts; but if you are old enough to be trusted with
deadly poisons, you may buy the 'cyanide' of a chemist who knows you
well and is satisfied as to your intentions, and then prepare your own.
Every entomologist should know how to do this, for the poison loses its
power after some time, and it is not always convenient to leave your
bottle in the hands of a chemist or a 'naturalist' to have it recharged.
This will cost you more than it would to do it yourself, but that is
nothing compared with the annoyance that may result when, the night
before an anticipated butterfly hunt, you are calmly told that 'your
bottle will be ready in a few days.' You can charge it yourself in a few
minutes if you can manage to keep a small supply of 'cyanide' in stock,
and it is ready for use very shortly after.

Here is the _modus operandi_.--Purchase an ounce or two of the cyanide
of potassium, and immediately put it into a stoppered or well-corked
bottle. Label it at once, not only with the name, but also with the word
POISON in very large and conspicuous letters. This dangerous chemical is
often sold in sticks that look much like certain 'sugar sticks' I was
acquainted with in my younger days; but whether this is or is not the
case with your cyanide, see that the bottle is kept quite out of the
reach of the inquisitive and sugar-loving juveniles of the house.

The quantity above mentioned is more than you will require for the first
'charge,' but you will soon experience the convenience of having a
supply always at hand for recharging when your cyanide bottle fails to
do its work expeditiously, or when an accident calls for the somewhat
sudden appearance of a new one.

Now procure a bottle for your work. Its mouth must be wide enough to
take the largest insect you hope to catch, and the widest part of the
bottle need not be much larger. Get a perfectly sound cork to fit it
tightly; and, to insure the more perfect exclusion of air, paint over
the top of the cork with melted paraffin wax.

Dissolve a few drams of the cyanide in a little water, using a glass rod
to stir up the mixture till the solid has all disappeared; and be
careful that neither the solid nor the solution touches the skin if it
should be in the slightest degree scratched or broken. Now sprinkle
plaster of Paris into the solution, a little at a time, and stir all the
while. As soon as the mixture begins to set, pour it into your bottle as
cleanly as you can--that is, without touching the sides--and press it
down with the flat end of a stick if it is not level. Now cork it, and
put the bottle away in a cool place till required for use.

This is, I think, the best way of charging the bottle; but there are two
other common methods that may, perhaps, be regarded as a little more
simple. One is this: put a few small lumps of the 'cyanide' into your
bottle, and then cover them with a stiff mixture of plaster of Paris and
water, and press down as before. The other plan is to cover the
'cyanide' with a few thicknesses of blotting paper, cut just a little
larger than the inside of the bottle. The first of these two methods is
fairly satisfactory, but I have always found that the charge, when made
in this way, has a tendency to become wet and pasty, in which condition
it will spoil the wings of the insects. The other is very objectionable,
especially for field work, for the blotting paper fails to keep its
place while you are on the chase. If the plaster is used, the mixing
must be done quickly and without hesitation, or the mixture will become
solid before you can press it into your bottle.

We will not enter now into the _pros_ and _cons_ of the cyanide bottle,
but will consider the advantages and disadvantages of the various
methods of killing the insects after we have noticed a few more.

The 'laurel box' has had many devoted advocates, although it does not
seem to be much in use now. It is a very good arrangement, however, but
is a little more troublesome than the cyanide bottle, as it requires
frequent replenishing.

A very good laurel box may be prepared as follows. Get a small tin box
of cylindrical form, measuring about five inches by two, and cut a
circle of perforated zinc or wood just the size to fit it snugly as a
false bottom without any danger of falling out of its place. Now gather
some of the young leaves of the green laurel bush, and beat them almost
to a pulp with a mallet or hammer. Place this in your tin box, and press
down the perforated false bottom on it. The bruised laurel leaves give
off a very powerful odour, which stupefies butterflies immediately.

[Illustration: FIG. 44.--SECTION OF THE LAUREL BOX.

_a_, space for insects; _b_, perforated partition; _c_, bruised laurel

Of course the reader may be able to think of various other ways in which
the laurel box may be made. Any arrangement will do providing the vapour
can come to the insects without allowing the leaves to touch their
wings; and any ingenious youth could manufacture a more satisfactory
article than the one I have mentioned. My desire is, as far as possible,
to give instructions that may easily be carried out by anyone, even if
he has not the slightest mechanical skill, leaving the clever youth,
sometimes, the opportunity of displaying his own inventive power. But in
this case I will give a few suggestions concerning other ways in which a
laurel killer may be constructed. A firm and _fixed_ false bottom is a
decided advantage. This is easily managed by fixing a circular piece of
perforated zinc or 'tin' by means of a little solder; or even a wood
partition may be used, fixed with a few brads, driven into it from the
outside. With the fixed partition, however, you must have a lid at each
end of the box. This is easily managed if you get two tins of the same
size, knock out the bottom of one, and fit the lid of the other in its

I have heard of laurel boxes without any partition save a piece of rag
in which the bruised leaves are wrapped. The whole is _pressed_ into the
box so firmly that it is not likely to be displaced while you are on the
chase. I do not recommend this, for in addition to the chance of its
slipping there is a danger of the sap of the leaves exuding through the
rag and spoiling the insects' wings. But if the reader should prefer to
try this on account of its simplicity, it will probably occur to him
that a bottle may be used instead of a tin box.

A well-made laurel box, with a fixed metal partition, is a piece of
apparatus strongly to be recommended to all young entomologists who
desire to test the relative value of the various poisons that are used
by the different experts; for with it any one of these substances can be
used. In the poison compartment you can place pieces of 'cyanide'
wrapped in blotting paper, or any kind of porous substance moistened
with liquid ammonia, chloroform, benzole, or any other volatile liquid
insecticide. All the above-named substances are declared to be 'the
best,' so they must all be worth the trial.

'Cyanide' is valued on account of its lasting powers. A cyanide bottle
well charged will retain its efficiency throughout a whole season. I
always recharge two in the spring, one for active service in the field
and the other as a reserve force; and these kept in a cool place do good
execution throughout the year. If they should exhibit a slight failing,
a few minutes' warming before a fire will improve them; but for field
work it is better to recharge. At the same time see that the corks are
in good condition.

Next to the 'cyanide,' the bruised laurel takes the first rank for
permanency; but you must not expect this to last many days. For a few
days' continuous work one charge will suffice, but if the laurel box has
not been in use for some time you must have a fresh supply.

The liquid poisons, such as ammonia, chloroform, and benzole, are so
volatile that they are very powerful for a short time, but so much
vapour is lost each time the box is opened that it is absolutely
necessary to carry a bottle of the one you use into the field with you.
Also see that you have sufficient of the blotting paper or other
absorbent to prevent the liquid from leaking through the perforations of
the partition.

If you choose ammonia--a substance that is not regarded as a poison, and
is therefore easily obtained from any chemist--always get the strongest,
and see that it is labelled 'Liq. Ammonia, S.G. .880' as a guarantee. A
small bottle such as you can conveniently carry in the waistcoat pocket
will contain sufficient for a day's work. Use only a few drops at a
time, but renew frequently. Although the ammonia corrodes cork, yet a
good cork is far preferable for the pocket to a glass stopper, for its
elasticity prevents it from losing its hold, and the liquid from
saturating your pocket and its surroundings; but a glass stopper is
certainly better for the stock solution kept at home.

Most of the above remarks apply equally well to benzole and to
chloroform, but the latter is so powerful a poison that a very little is
required for a day's work, and consequently a very small bottle is more
convenient. The dealers in naturalist's appliances supply metal
'chloroform bottles' with screw stoppers and a small nozzle that will
allow the liquid to run out only in drops. This is a very good
arrangement, since it enables you to avoid the 'drop too much' which is
not only unnecessary and therefore wasteful, but saves you from
experiencing the disappointment of an empty bottle before your work is
half done.

[Illustration: FIG. 45.--THE CHLOROFORM BOTTLE.]

Some entomologists recommend the solid carbonate of ammonium instead of
liquid ammonia, but this is not so powerful. It must be remembered that
we have the butterflies to consider, as well as our own convenience, in
the selection of the poisons we use. It is the opinion of many
well-known entomologists that 'insects cannot feel pain,' and that we
are therefore at liberty to deal with them in any way we please. Still
it is as well to save all possible suffering, and be satisfied with no
killing box that is not practically instantaneous in its effects.

Among other poisons used by entomologists I may mention sulphur fumes
and tobacco smoke. The former may be obtained by burning a little
sulphur or a sulphured lucifer match under the perforations of a killing
box of the pattern described, and the latter--well, every smoker knows
that. I should at once condemn the former method, at least for field
work, as troublesome and inconvenient; and as to the other, I have tried
the effect of a puff (and many puffs) of tobacco smoke on an imprisoned
insect, but was so dissatisfied with the result that I am not likely to
do so again.

We have now considered a good many insecticides more or less suitable to
our purpose, but there still remains the unsolved problem as to which is
the best. Each one has its advantages. For _convenience_ nothing beats
the cyanide bottle. It is very speedy in its action, and the use of a
bottle is a little preferable to a metal box, for you can always satisfy
yourself as to its efficiency without opening it. Cyanide, chloroform,
benzole, and some others render the insects more or less brittle and
stiff, so that it is not so easy to 'set' them for the cabinet. Perhaps,
if you happen to have a supply of growing laurel close at hand, you
cannot do better than stick to the laurel box. The time taken in
bruising up a few leaves is inconsiderable, and the moisture given off
from them will keep your insects moist and supple, or will even 'relax'
them if they have become rigid. But try various plans for yourself, and
you will be able to settle a question which all the entomologists in the
world cannot answer for you--which method answers best in _your_ hands.

The next item for our consideration is the 'collecting box.' This is
merely a box in which the butterflies are pinned as soon as they are
dead. Here, again, we shall note a few variations from which a selection
can be made according to the means or the ingenuity of the reader. For a
couple of shillings you can obtain a good zinc collecting box, lined
with cork, of oval form (a most convenient shape for the pocket), and
quite large enough for one day's captures; and half that modest sum will
purchase a wooden box, also lined with cork, adapted to the same

As with many other things, so with collecting boxes, the cheapest is
often the dearest in the end. You may feel inclined to save a shilling
by buying a wooden box, but you are sure to discard it after a little
practical experience for a metal one. We shall speak a little later on
concerning the advisability of 'setting' the butterflies as soon as
possible after capture; but this is not always practicable, especially
after a good day's catch. Now, if the insects are pinned in a wooden
box, they soon become dry and rigid, and consequently cannot be 'set'
till they have been put through the more or less tedious process of
'relaxing.' If you use a wooden collecting box you will often find, on a
hot and dry day, that all or nearly all your butterflies are rigid
before you arrive home; but a metal box will keep them moist and supple,
so that you can even put off the setting till the following day if you
are unable to do it immediately after your return.

Another point worth considering is the best economy of space. If your
collecting box is only about one inch deep inside, you have room for
only one layer of pinned insects; but a box only a little deeper may be
lined with cork both at top and bottom, and thus be made to accommodate
double the number. The zinc boxes sold by the dealers are generally
lined with cork in this manner, and are, of course, deep enough for the
double layer of specimens; but the wooden boxes are sometimes lined on
the bottom only. After these few remarks you will at once see the
economy of expending the extra shilling on the former.

Although the prices of collecting boxes are low, yet there are many who
would prefer making their own, and there is much to be said in favour of
this. A great deal of pleasure is to be derived from the construction of
your own apparatus, especially when that apparatus is afterwards to be
used in the pursuit of a delightful hobby. During the whole of the time
thus engaged, you are looking forward with the most pleasurable feelings
to the glorious treat before you, and every joint you make seems to
bring you nearer to the realisation of your joys. During the bleak
winter months there is no better employment for an entomologist who has
a little spare time than the preparation for the next outing. It is just
one of those artful schemes by which he seeks to get as much pleasure
out of life as it is capable of affording. How many there are who, for
the lack of a pleasant and instructive hobby, find their leisure hours
the most dismal of all, and who complain of the toil and wearisomeness
of their lot! The mournful thought with them is, 'Is life worth living?'
but who ever heard such an expression from the lips of an active

But I must have done with moralising and proceed to business. The
question is--How shall we set to work about the construction of a
collecting box? If it is to be a wooden one, select or make a box of
such a size as to suit your pocket or satchel, and cover the bottom, and
lid too if the depth allows of it, with sheet cork or slices of good
wine corks, about one-eighth of an inch thick, fixed on with glue.

The metal box is not quite so easy, but even here you may save yourself
much work by keeping your eyes open. Very neat little collecting boxes
can be made out of the flat metal boxes in which are sold certain
favourite brands of tobacco. Some of these are just the right depth, and
also of a very convenient size for the coat pocket. Beg one of these
boxes from a smoking friend, and if the lid is not held by a hinge (a
great advantage, by the way), you can easily solder on a brass one.

All that remains now is the fixing of the cork. Buy a sheet of cork at a
naturalist's shop, this being a commodity always in stock, and cut out
two pieces just the size to cover the bottom and the lid.

Gum and glue are not very satisfactory as fixing agents, for, as you
will presently learn, there are times when it will be necessary to keep
the box moist, and moisture softens both these substances. The cork must
be fixed by means of little strips of metal. Here are two ways of doing

First.--Cut a few little strips of sheet tin, each about two inches long
and one-eighth wide. Double and bend them as shown in fig. 46, and
solder them to the surfaces which the cork is to cover (fig. 47). As the
cork is pushed in its place, these little slips are allowed to force
themselves through slits in it made by means of a penknife, and then the
ends are bent over as shown in fig. 48. Two or three such fasteners will
be quite sufficient to hold down each sheet of cork.

[Illustration: FIG. 46.]

[Illustration: FIG. 47.]

[Illustration: FIG. 48.]

[Illustration: FIG. 49.]

Second.--Put the sheets of cork in their places _first_, then make a few
little slits through both metal and cork with the point of a penknife,
and then bind the two together with a few ordinary paper fasteners. This
arrangement is shown in section in fig. 49.

Just one point more concerning the metal collecting box. You will often
call moisture to your aid in keeping the butterflies flexible and soft.
This will have but little action on zinc, but will sooner or later cause
the 'tin' (really tinned iron) box to rust. Here, then, is a point in
favour of zinc, but still a home-made 'tin' collector will last a long
time if kept dry when not in use.

As already hinted, there are times when it is desirable to take home
certain butterflies alive, either for a study of their movements or for
the purpose of securing eggs for breeding. To this end you must provide
yourself either with a number of 'chip boxes' with a few small holes
pricked in the cover, or with some metal boxes with perforations for the
admission of air. If the latter, you will have no difficulty in
securing a few 'tin' boxes of suitable size, but, as the surface of the
metal is very smooth, you should always introduce a few leaves or
something else that will provide a foothold for the inmates.

The last item of the outfit is the pins. Ordinary draper's pins are
quite out of the question. They are far too thick and clumsy for the
collector's work. If you are not already acquainted with the
'entomological pins,' you had better ask a dealer to give you a sample
card. This will be very useful for reference until you become well
acquainted with the various lengths, thicknesses, numbers and prices.
The card will contain one of each kind, with price and number attached.

If you fix a butterfly with the ordinary pin, you may find the latter
partly covered over with verdigris after a time. This bright green
substance is formed by the action of decomposing animal matter on the
copper of the pin, and gives a very unsightly appearance to the
specimen. To avoid this the entomological pins are either silvered,
blackened or gilded. The silvered pins tarnish after a time, but the two
other kinds keep their colour well, and are therefore better. The gilded
ones are rather expensive and unnecessary, and perhaps the black ones
are to be preferred to the silvered, although they are rather more

Most dealers will supply you with a box of mixed pins, each box
containing about six different sizes. This is very convenient for those
who work in a rather small way; but if you intend to make entomology a
prolonged study you had better get an ounce or so of each of the more
useful sizes.

Butterflies vary much in size, and Nos. 3 to 8 are the most useful sizes
of pins to fix them; No. 3 being for the largest, and 8 for the

Supposing all the foregoing requisites to be quite ready, still you are
really by no means prepared for all your work. The butterflies captured
should be set as soon as possible after your return, and everything
required for _this_ part of the work must be in perfect trim. Yet I
think it will be more convenient just now to confine our attention to
the subject of 'Catching Butterflies,' leaving all the indoor work to
form the substance of another chapter. Our next point, then, shall be
the consideration of seasons, times, and localities.

The earliest of the butterflies make their appearance on the wing in
April, or, if the weather is mild, towards the end of March; and from
this time you can find employment up to the end of September or the
beginning of October--a period of about seven months. But it must not be
supposed that all parts of this long season are equally prolific, and
will yield equally valuable catches. Remember the short term of a
butterfly's life, and bear in mind that each one has its own regular
season in which to spend the winged state; you will then see that anyone
who wishes to 'work' as many species as possible must arrange his
outings in accordance with the insects' own times.

Some butterflies are double-brooded, and the two broods may not come
forth at certain fixed times. Hence they seem to be on the wing almost
without cessation for several months together, and therefore need not
have a special day set apart for them. But others are more uniform in
their date of appearance, and die off at about the same time. To catch
such as these you must be careful to watch the weather, make allowance
for any severities that may tend to cause a delay, or an unusually high
temperature that may hasten their emergence, and then select a day in
which you may expect to find them fresh and unworn. A week too early,
and none are to be seen; a week too late, and nearly all you catch are
worn and worthless.

A glance at our Calendar (Appendix II) will give you a few illustrations
in point. Thus you will observe that May is a month for the 'Whites,'
early 'Blues' and certain of the Fritillaries; July for most of the
Hairstreaks and Browns, and so on. Before you have been long collecting
you will have captured the very common species, and then you will find
that your butterfly hunts are very unproductive unless you make it a
point to try for certain species at the proper times.

Time, however, is not the only thing to take into account when preparing
for a day with the butterflies. It is equally important that we should
carefully select our locality in accordance with the known haunts of the
various species. As long as you are simply working up the common kinds,
you may wander almost at random in waste places, flowery meadows, corn
fields, railway banks, &c.; but when you have secured a few specimens of
each of these, you must search out the favoured resorts of the more
local and the rarer species. For instance, wooded spots must be visited
if you are to take certain of the Fritillaries, oak woods for the Purple
Emperor and the Purple Hairstreak, fenny districts for the beautiful
Swallow-tail, and so forth. In some cases the butterflies are closely
restricted to certain isolated localities, to which you must travel if
determined to obtain them.

There yet remains another important matter to consider, and that is the
kind of day you shall select for your outing. Butterflies are not only
strictly day-fliers, but most of them venture out only on bright days.
Always choose as hot a day as possible, with a very bright sun. If you
are to be out for a full day's collecting, manage to be on the hunting
ground at about ten o'clock in the morning. As a rule there are not many
out before this time, and some do not appear to stir till an hour later:
still there are a few 'early birds' among them, one of which--the Wall
Butterfly--I have seen on the wing before eight.

If your season, your day, and your locality are all well chosen, you may
reckon on a good six hours' work. At about four the butterflies begin to
lag, and then drop into their hiding places, one by one, till only a few
of the late stragglers remain on the wing.

So far I have furnished some general instructions that may be regarded
as preparatory to the start; but I will now give a few hints as to the
mode of procedure when the day for field work has come.

First, see that you have secured _all_ your apparatus, and that it is in
perfect condition. What is more annoying than to find, after you have
travelled some miles to get to your hunting ground, that you have left
your screw ferrule at home, or that the soldering of your metal Y is
just giving way? If you are troubled with a short memory, it will be
advisable to make out a list of every requisite for your field work, and
keep this for reference on all field days.

Here is a list of your equipment for a day with the butterflies. Net,
ferrule or Y, stick, collecting box (the cork of which should be damped
if the box is a metal one), a few 'chip boxes' for live insects, killing
apparatus, a good supply of pins of several sizes, a piece of string,
needle and cotton, and your penknife.

You observe in this list one or two items not previously mentioned,
since they hardly come under the category of apparatus, but a moment's
thought will convince you of their usefulness, especially in the case of
a breakdown. If your net catches in a thorn--a very common
occurrence--and a big rent is made, the needle and cotton will save you
a deal of agony, and perhaps loss of temper. If your stick breaks under
your exertions, the knife or the string may prove a most valuable
companion. Your pins may be stuck in the cork of your collecting box,
certainly the most convenient spot for immediate use; but you may also
have a reserve store in a small pocket cushion, or arranged neatly on a
strip of flannel which can be rolled up in the waistcoat pocket.

At last you are on the hunting ground, fully equipped but inexperienced,
and at first find yourself just a little awkward in the use of your new
gear. Your experience with the cap has been a very wide one, and you are
possibly an expert at knocking down 'Whites' in the streets and in your
neighbour's kitchen gardens. Now you have to wield the net, and coax
your captives into your killing bottle; hence a slight feeling of
incompetence at first.

You soon get over this, however, and within five minutes you may be seen
furiously slashing away at all the poor butterflies that come within
range, common 'Whites' and dingy 'Browns' receiving as much attention at
your hands as any rare gem that may happen to cross your path.

How different are the movements of an experienced collector! He walks
stealthily along the route he has chosen, apparently taking but little
notice of the majority of butterflies that approach and pass him. He has
already secured his 'series' of nearly all the species, and is carefully
on the watch for the gems that are required to complete his cabinet. His
actions are slow and deliberate rather than rash; and he trusts more to
his eyes than his legs.

The beginner may take to his field work quite to his own satisfaction,
and may travel homeward with a feeling of great pride over his first
day's catch; but yet there are a few points in which a little advice may
not be quite out of place, particularly so with regard to the management
of the net, and the killing and pinning of the insects.

Most of the butterflies may be caught on the wing, and it is far better
to net them in the air than to sweep them off the herbage and flowers.
If these are rather low, you should strike the net smartly _upwards_
from below them, but of course this movement is impossible with insects
that happen to be almost above your reach. If a butterfly is busily
engaged in searching out its sweet food, flying from flower to flower,
don't think of giving chase, but follow it up stealthily, and you will
sooner or later get an opportunity of striking at it while in the air.
Sometimes, however, you will see a powerful flier making a straight dash
across your field, taking no notice whatever of the fragrant blossoms,
but evidently engaged on some important errand. If such happens to be a
species you require, then you must run for it, but you will probably be
satisfied with only a few chases of this kind, particularly if the sun
is very hot, and the ground diversified with clumps of furze, heather,
'molehills,' and ditches.

There are times when your only plan of netting a butterfly is to sweep
it from a flower or leaf on which it has settled. If the vegetation is
very low, you have simply to bring the net down upon it, and then,
holding up the apex of the net with the other hand so as to give it room
to fly, you can inclose it by grasping the lower part of the net as soon
as the butterfly has fluttered upward. If the herbage is tall it is
advisable to strike either upward or sideways at the insect, starting it
from the leaf or flower on which it rests; for if you bring _down_ the
net you will have to inclose the whole or part of the plant on which the
butterfly has settled--a procedure that often ends in a torn net, or in
the insect becoming damaged through being rubbed against the plant.

Whenever you capture a butterfly by a sweep of the net through the air,
you immediately turn the ring into a horizontal position, so that the
bag of the net closes itself as it falls over the edge. This gives you
an opportunity of examining the insect before you introduce your killing
bottle. This is a very necessary precaution, for you are generally
unable to judge of the condition of a butterfly while on the wing, and
in some cases you cannot even be certain of the species. If, then, you
were to call the killing bottle into requisition for every capture you
make, you would certainly find yourself taking the life of many an
insect that is of no use whatever to you. Always examine your specimens
at the moment they have been secured, at least as far as it is possible
to do so, by looking through the gauze; and let your examination be as
brief as possible, or some of the butterflies that were at first in
splendid condition will render themselves useless to you during their
struggles to get away.

When satisfied that an insect is likely to be of value to you, keep it
in the apex of the net by grasping the bag beneath it with the left
hand, and then introduce the opened killing bottle with the other hand.
As a rule you will experience not the slightest difficulty in coaxing it
into its trap, and then you quickly cover the mouth of the killing
bottle with the gauze, then apply your left hand, using it as a
temporary stopper for a few seconds, and now, the insect having been
quieted, replace the cork.

A good killing bottle is almost instantaneous in its action, not only
stupefying, but immediately killing the insects; and as soon as you are
sure that each specimen is quite dead, you may pin it in your collecting

You must be cautious, however, on the one hand, that you do not take it
out too soon. If you do you may find that it recovers from the mere
stupefying effect of the poison, even after it has been pinned, and when
you open your collecting box for the next butterfly, you are horrified
at the sight of the poor victim struggling to free itself.

On the other hand, don't keep the insects in the killing bottle too
long. If you do you will soon have a number, one lying on another, and
all tumbled about together while you are on the chase. Of course, under
such circumstances you are sure to damage them more or less.

Many collectors, although they may always use a killing bottle for
moths, never employ one for butterflies, but kill them by pinching the
thorax. It is well to know how to do this, for it sometimes turns out to
be a really quicker process than that we have just been considering;
and, more than this, you can resort to it should you break or lose your
bottle while in the field. It is done in this manner: Bring the two
opposite sides of the net together, closing them on the insect so that
it cannot flutter. If now the wings are brought together over the back,
all is right, but if not, give it just a little room to flutter till you
have the opportunity of closing the gauze upon it with the wings in the
desired position. Now pinch the thorax smartly between the finger and
the thumb, applying the pressure outside the net, but be careful not to
squeeze the abdomen. In a moment you will find the insect quite dead,
and not in the least damaged unless you performed the operation

Now as to pinning. Hold the dead butterfly between the finger and thumb
of the left hand, and pass a pin of convenient size through the centre
of the thorax above, and push it through so that the point appears
centrally on the under surface. It is now ready for your collecting box.

So you work on till the sun begins to get low, and the butterflies
become fewer and fewer, till only a few stragglers of common species are
to be seen. Still there are a few hours of daylight and perhaps even of
bright sunshine before you, and if you are not weary with the work done,
you may very profitably spend these hours in the collection and study of
the habits of moths.

_Catching Moths by Day_

The reason for choosing the sunny hours for butterfly collecting is
obvious, all these lovers of brightness being then actively on the wing;
and although many may be driven out of their hiding places by beating
the herbage with the handle of your net, or even be searched out as they
rest on stalks and leaves during dull days or at morning and evening
twilight, yet such methods are comparatively tedious and unproductive.

Some moths also are lovers of sunshine, and while engaged in butterfly
hunting you will often meet with a moth flying briskly from flower to
flower and taking its fill of both sweetness and brightness. Again, as
you wade among flowery herbs in quest of butterflies you will certainly
disturb a number of moths, causing them to take a short flight in search
of a safer spot. Thus you will almost invariably find a few moths among
the contents of your collecting box even though you made no special
effort to seek them out. But we shall now see how we may set to work to
obtain a successful catch of moths at times when butterflies are not so
much in demand, or during the less brilliant hours of the day, when
butterflies are at rest.

The apparatus required for this work need not differ in any important
respect from that recommended for butterflies. The same net is used, any
reliable killing bottle will do, and the pins and collecting box used
for butterflies are equally serviceable. But your mode of procedure is
very different.

As you walk towards your proposed hunting ground you will do well to
examine the trunks of trees, old walls, and wooden fences. In this way
you will meet with moths fast asleep, which are consequently easily
taken. All you have to do is to hold the open killing bottle obliquely
just below the insect, and then push it gently downward with a small
twig or stalk. As a rule the moth will drop direct into the bottle and
make no attempt to fly away; but some are very light sleepers, ready to
take flight at the slightest disturbance; and when dealing with these
you must be careful to bring the mouth of the killing bottle so closely
round them that there is no room for flight except into the bottle
itself. It is well, however, not to take long at this kind of searching,
but to reserve as much as possible of your time for what you consider to
be a very favourable locality.

Speaking generally, a good locality for butterflies is a favourable one
also for moths, and you will do well to give special attention to
well-grown hedges, especially those that surround clover fields; also
overgrown banks, the borders of woods, open spaces in woods, the trunks
of isolated trees, gravel pits, and old chalk quarries.

Walk beside or among the undergrowth of woods, or among the tall herbage
of waste places, tapping the branches and twigs with the handle of your
net as you go. Then, if your locality is well selected, you will rouse
moths to flight at almost every stroke. Some of these will shoot upward
among the lofty branches and disappear quite beyond your reach; others
will fly rather low and somewhat heavily, giving you favourable
opportunities to try your skill with the net; others, again, will fly
only a yard or so, and alight on a neighbouring leaf, often remaining so
quiet that the killing bottle is easily made to inclose them.

There are moths that show a decided preference for large trees. These
may be seen hovering about high branches during the evening twilight,
and sometimes even in sunshine. In many such cases the chance of a
capture seems hopeless, but occasionally one will descend so low that a
watchful collector is able to secure it by a sweep of the net.

If at any time you are in a locality by day where you suspect the
presence of certain species of moths at rest among the upper branches of
trees, such branches should be beaten if possible to dislodge the
insects they may shelter. A long stick will often serve this purpose
well, and, failing this, a few stones thrown among the branches may
prove effectual. In the case of small and rather slender trees, a kick
against the trunk will set the whole in vibration sufficient to surprise
all the lodgers; and the same effect may be produced with larger trees
by giving each a good sound blow with a mallet or some other suitable

This or any other plan of 'beating' for moths is much more conveniently
worked by two collectors together than by one alone; for one engaged in
beating the herbage cannot be at the same time fully on the alert with
the net. If two persons are together, one may take the lead, armed with
the beating stick only, while the other, only very slightly in the rear,
is always ready to strike.

We have said that butterflies should always be killed in the field, but
this plan is not so universally adopted with moths. Many collectors
carry a large supply of pill boxes when going out for the latter and
then take as many as they possibly can by boxing them direct in these.
This method of 'pill-boxing' is very simple in the case of the lazy and
soundly sleeping moths. It is only necessary to hold the open box below
the insect, and then cause it to fall by pressing the lid down gently on
it from above.

Many of the moths so caught will remain quiet in the boxes and can be
taken home alive without much fear of damage. All may then be killed at
the same time by packing all the pill boxes in some vessel of sufficient
accommodation, and shutting them in with a little chloroform, ammonia,
benzole, or other suitable poison. The vapour will soon find its way
through the pores of the pill boxes, but, in order to make its action
speedy, each one should have a few perforations in the lid.

Whatever advantages this method may give to the collector who works at
night, when the process of pinning would be more or less tedious, there
is no necessity for its adoption during the day. The large number of
pill boxes required is certainly far more bulky than the single
collecting box that would accommodate all the day's captures; and
although most of the insects boxed alive may be none the worse for the
shaking they get, and may not damage themselves by fluttering in their
small prisons, yet there is often a little loss on this score.

If you do adopt the pill-boxing method, be very careful that you do not
mix the occupied boxes with the empties; and unless you fix on some
definite plan for the prevention of such an occurrence, you will often
find yourself releasing a prisoner from a box you have just opened to
receive a new-comer.

Suppose that you start with all your empties in your right pocket. Then
each one, as soon as it is tenanted, might be placed in the _left_, with
the name of the insect, or any particular concerning it you would wish
to note, pencilled on the lid.

When examining the trunks of trees you will be continually meeting with
specimens of very small Moths--_Pyralides_, _Crambi_, _Tortrices_, and
_Tineæ_--and at first may find some difficulty in boxing or bottling
such small and delicate creatures. A grass stalk will enable you to tip
some of them into your killing bottle, but some are so snugly packed in
crevices of the bark that it is almost impossible to get them out
without damage, even with a thin and slender stalk. But a sudden puff of
wind from your mouth will often be sufficient to dislodge them and blow
them into your net, and from this they are easily transferred to a box
or bottle.

These few hints will prove sufficient to start you on moth-hunting
expeditions during the daytime, and will enable you to make good use of
the dull days and cloudy hours when the butterflies are quiet; but we
must now turn our attention to the night work of the entomologist, and
see how we may attract and catch moths during their hours of work and

_Searching for Moths at Night._

It is a well-known fact that the night-flying moths are attracted by
lights, a characteristic of these insects that it is difficult to
explain. Their love of darkness is in many instances so decided that
they absolutely refuse to take flight while the fading light of day
still lingers on the horizon, and even display a great aversion to the
rays of the moon; and yet these very same species will often rush madly
into the fierce glare of a naked artificial light, or fly with an energy
almost amounting to fury against the glass of a street lamp or lighted

Puzzling as this peculiar tendency is, we can profitably turn it to our
own account by making it a means of luring a number of moths into our

The simplest way of putting this mode of capture into effect is to post
yourself at your open window, with net and cyanide bottle at hand, while
the brightest light you can command casts its rays as far and as wide as
possible into darkness outside. If you use an oil lamp for the purpose,
let it stand just inside the window frame, or, if a jointed gas bracket
happens to be situated beside the window, bend it round so that the rays
may pass over a wide area outside.

Two such lights are sometimes a very decided advantage--one quite
outside the window to attract the moths from all possible points, and
then another near the middle of the room to invite them inside. Whether
you use either one or two lights, always see that it or they are so
surrounded by a screen that the moths cannot by any possibility rush
into the flame. There is nothing better for this purpose than a covering
of light gauze, for this is not only a barrier for the prevention of the
suicidal tendencies of the insects, but it also gives a good foothold to
those who would like to rest and enjoy the luminous feast.

You will soon begin to learn that moths, like ourselves, exhibit great
differences in their ways of enjoying their festal moments. Some will
satisfy themselves by flying _near_ the light in almost a straight
course, hardly slackening their speed as they pass; or will, perhaps,
make a hurried curve round the light and then pass on at once about
other business. To catch these you must be always on the alert, with net
in hand, ready to make a dash at the right moment. But many will make
straight for the flame, and then, finding a barrier in the form of gauze
or glass, will either flutter round and round as if dissatisfied with
your attempt to save them from an untimely end, or else settle quietly
on the screen to enjoy the brightness for a long period. The flutterers
are usually easily covered by a glass or the open cyanide bottle, and as
for those that settle down quietly, you can take them at your leisure.

It will not do for a collector to depend solely on this method of
obtaining moths, but at times when either his duties or the bad weather
keeps him at home it affords him a means of capturing a few specimens
that otherwise would have been missed. He may be even so busily engaged
in other matters that he cannot afford the time to stand and watch with
net in hand, but the insects that fly into his room and dance round the
gas jet or inquisitively examine the white surface of the ceiling are
easily netted or boxed without much loss of time.

The chances of success at this kind of work will vary considerably with
the aspect, the season, and the weather. If your window opens on a large
flower or fruit garden, on a patch of wooded country with plenty of
underwood, a piece of waste ground overgrown with rank vegetation, or a
stretch of heath or moor, then you may expect a very large number of
visitors; but if you are situated on a level and barren country, or in
the dense atmosphere of a thickly populated district, you must not
reckon on many intruders.

As regards the season, this is more extended than that of the
butterflies. A few species of moths may give you a call during the bleak
nights of October and November, and also during the somewhat less dismal
nights of February and March; but from April to September you may rely
on a goodly number of captures. Of course you will not expect many of
the 'rarities' and 'gems' to find you out; these are to be searched for
in the open field in the manner to be presently described; but your
lights will attract a large number of the commoner species of _Geometræ_
and _Noctuæ_, the former _chiefly_ during the early summer, and the
latter more or less throughout the season.

A little experience will show you that the atmospheric conditions form a
very important consideration. The dark and warm nights are the most
productive. Very little luck is to be anticipated when the full moon is
throwing down her silvery rays from a clear sky; nor will you see many
while a cold east or north-east wind is blowing. Under these conditions
many moths prefer to keep in the sheltered nooks where they slept away
the sunny hours of the day. They love a warm and moist air such as calls
forth the odours of the fragrant blossoms that provide their sweets, and
show no dislike to a fine drizzling rain that you yourself would prefer
to avoid. A pelting shower will generally keep them under cover, but
they delight in the fresh and moist air that immediately succeeds the
passing storm.


If you reside on the outskirts of a town an occasional tour of
inspection of street lamps may add a few specimens to your collection,
and some entomologists attach so much importance to the value of these
luminaries that they provide themselves with a special net for the
removal of moths from the glass and rails (fig. 50). The straight side
marked _a_ is applied to the panes of glass when flutterers or settlers
are to be taken, and the bend on the opposite side is to secure those
that rest on the rail. Such a frame is easily made by bending a piece of
stout wire to the required shape, and then soldering it to a ferrule to
receive a long stick. The net itself should not be deep.

Many different forms of traps are now made for catching moths, and these
are deservedly coming rapidly into favour. They are generally
constructed on a 'catch-'em-alive-oh' principle, and have the advantage
that, after having been set, they may be left alone all night without
any watching, and give an ambitious collector the opportunity of taking
insects in his garden and searching in the open field both at the same

One of these traps may be constructed as follows at the cost of only a
few pence over the price of a small paraffin lamp. Put together a square
box, the sides about two feet and the front open, or procure a suitable
one from your grocer. Place a paraffin lamp with a bright tin reflector
at the back of this, and make a hole in the top just over the chimney to
allow the heated air to pass out freely. Three sheets of glass are now
to be placed as shown in the sketch (fig. 51), one upright piece
completely shutting off the lamp, and two others placed obliquely with a
space between them just large enough to allow admission. These must be
exactly the width of the box, and should not be permanently fixed, but
simply resting on small wooden supports nailed on to the sides. When
required for use, it is only necessary to light up the lamp, strew some
dead leaves on the bottom of the box, and put the sheets in their
places. It will be seen at once that the angles at which they are placed
will direct all light-seekers into the lower compartment, whence they
are not at all likely to find their way out again; and after vain
endeavours to reach the light they finally settle down on the sides of
the box or seek shelter among the dead leaves.

[Illustration: FIG. 51.--A TRAP FOR CATCHING MOTHS.]

Occasionally it happens that an entomologist is lucky enough to claim
the friendship of a person who, from the nature of his calling, is
peculiarly well qualified to render him great assistance. Thus a
friendly lamplighter, expert and patient in the use of the cyanide
bottle or pill box, is capable of giving valuable aid at times; and the
keeper of a lighthouse has it in his power to capture many a gem that is
seldom seen on the wing; but, although much may be done by means of
these and other stationary lights, this kind of work does not compare
favourably with the night rambles of a naturalist in the very haunts of
the objects of his search.

For such out-door work in search of moths a good lantern is essential.
An ordinary 'bull's-eye' is almost useless, for, although it
concentrates a good light on certain objects, the narrow range of its
rays constitutes a strong objection to its use for entomological work.
For this purpose it is necessary that the rays of light not only pass in
front of you, but also shoot off right and left to warn you of the
approach of a moth before it is too late to wield the net. This wide
range may be obtained by means of three flat glass sides, or, better
still, by a bent plate glass front.

In addition to this you must go out provided with your net, killing
bottle, and a number of pill boxes. Choose your night according to the
hints already given, and if you are on the look-out for any particular
species, be careful that the date of your outing is well timed, making
any necessary allowances for the forwardness or backwardness of the
season, for a moth that is generally due on a certain _average_ time of
the year may appear some weeks sooner if the preceding weeks have been
unusually warm, or its emergence may be delayed considerably by the
prevalence of cold east winds or a late frost.

Make up your mind as to the field of your operations before you start,
and if possible choose a route that will carry you through a variety of
situations, so that you may pass the favourite haunts of a number of
different species. Clearings in woods with an abundant undergrowth,
waste places with plenty of tall and rank vegetation, overgrown railway
banks, clover fields, the flowery borders of corn fields, plantations in
parks, heaths and moors, sheltered and overgrown hollows such as chalk
pits and old disused quarries, reed and marsh land, all these are good
localities, each one inhabited by its own peculiar species, and if your
route runs through a fair variety of such places you may, other things
being equally favourable, depend on a good catch.

See that your time also is well chosen. Of course you cannot say exactly
what the night will be till it actually comes, and, as you have to start
off before it is dark, you must consider the probabilities of the future
from the present condition of the air. Let it be a night when a bright
moon is not due, and if it follow a warm and moist day with a south or
south-west wind, or if drizzly, so much the better; but let your feet be
shod with boots that will permit you to wade through moist herbage
without danger, and take a waterproof if necessary.

It is always advisable to be on your hunting ground before twilight sets
in, as a number of moths venture out before the sun has disappeared; and
then you can work on till midnight if you feel inclined, or even extend
your labours till the early hours of the morning.

Before dusk you will meet with many of the little _Tortrices_ (page 298)
in sheltered spots, and a little later the _Geometræ_ and Hawks will be
on the wing. Thus, before dark, you may make good use of your net,
dealing with your captures just in the same way as recommended in the
case of butterflies.

After a time, however, the lantern will have to be brought to your
assistance in making known the whereabouts of the later species,
consisting chiefly of the _Noctuæ_, many of which do not make their
appearance till it is quite dark. If now you carry your lantern in your
left hand, your work will be rendered somewhat difficult and tedious,
for, although one hand is sufficient to manage the net properly, you are
compelled to rest your light on the ground every time you make a
capture, as it is impossible to box your specimens unless both hands are
quite free. This difficulty is easily overcome by suspending the lantern
by means of a string or strap placed round your neck, allowing it to
hang on your chest; and a further advantage is gained by having a second
strap round your chest to prevent it from swaying about with every
movement of your body. This arrangement gives you both hands perfectly
free during the whole time, and also prevents the necessity of
continually bringing yourself into a stooping or kneeling posture while
you are examining or boxing the specimens you have netted.

There are now two courses open to you. Either you can kill and pin the
moths as you catch them, fixing each one securely in the collecting box,
or you may simply shut each one in a separate pill box and leave the
remainder of the work to be done at home. If the ordinary collecting box
only is used, a little of your time is necessarily occupied in pinning
and transferring, and if many insects are about such an occupation may
appear to you to be a waste of valuable time. But this is not all. Often
and often will you find that while thus engaged a splendid moth will
come and flutter round your light; and, before you have time to drop
your collecting box and pick up the net, the fine creature you would
have prized has darted off again. This certainly seems to speak in
favour of the pill-boxing method, but it must be remembered that a few
of the moths will continue to flutter after they have been boxed, so
that when you arrive home they are more or less damaged, a large number
of the scales that once adorned the wings now lying on the sides and
bottom of the boxes. Perhaps the best plan is to take both the
collecting box and also a quantity of pill boxes, and a little
experience will soon show you which is the better accommodation for
certain kinds.

Particular attention must be paid to flowers, some of which are very
attractive to the _Noctuæ_ especially. Sallow blossom in spring and ivy
bloom in autumn should be carefully and frequently watched, and at
other times the blossoms of heather, ragwort, bramble, clover, and
various other flowers must be searched.

As you cast the rays of the lantern on the feasting moths some will
prove themselves very wary, and dart away at your approach; but others
will take but little notice of your advance, and will continue to suck
the sweet nectar, their eyes glaring like living sparks.

As a rule the _Noctuæ_ thus engaged are easily pill-boxed or caught
direct in the cyanide bottle; but a few of the more restless species are
to be made sure of only by a sweep of the net. Some will feign death as
soon as disturbed, and allow themselves to drop among the foliage, where
further search is generally fruitless.

Another common difficulty arises from the inconvenient height of many of
the attractive blossoms--often so great that it is impossible to reach
them with the net, and very difficult to direct the rays of your lantern
on them. This is particularly the case with sallow and ivy, the flowers
of which are two rich sources of supply to the entomologist.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.]


Those who intend giving special attention to these blossoms should be
provided with some form of apparatus that will enable them to extend
their operations as high as possible. Perhaps the most effective
arrangement is the well-known combination here figured. It consists of a
long and stout stick, at the top of which is a tubular joint (fig. 52)
that might be termed a T-piece were it not that the smaller part does
not stand out at right angles to the other. In this is fixed, in a
straight line with the stick, a short rod on which hangs a lantern--an
ordinary bull's-eye answers well here; and in the smaller tube is
another short rod carrying a shallow basin-shaped net, and of such a
length that the net is just in advance of the lantern.

At first sight this arrangement will strike you as being very
unsatisfactory, there being no kind of trap to prevent the escape of the
insects. But it must be remembered that moths are more or less addicted
to habits of intemperance--that they will hold on to the supply of the
sweet fluid they enjoy till they are ready to drop with intoxication.
This being the case, some will fall into your net as soon as they are
startled by the sudden and near approach of the glare of your lamp, and
others are easily _made_ to fall therein by gently tapping the
flower-bearing stems from below with the edge of the ring.

Having become acquainted with this very sad propensity, which thus
brings ruin to so many unfortunate moths, can we not yet further turn
their evil doings to our own profit in our endeavours to become
acquainted with their structure and history? Most certainly we can. All
we have to do is to distribute in their haunts a bountiful supply of
some artificial intoxicant such as they love, and then lie in wait for
the victims that fall a prey to our snare. This process is known to
entomologists as 'sugaring,' and is a splendid means of securing an
abundance of species, often including some rare ones that are scarcely
to be obtained by any other plan. Let us now inquire into the _modus
operandi_ of this interesting operation.

The first thing to do is to prepare the luring sweetmeat. Supply
yourself with a quantity of strong, dark treacle, and also some dark
brown sugar; always remembering, in the selection of these viands, that
odour rather than purity is to be the guide. The best kinds of sugar are
those very dark and moist brands imported in a raw state from the West
Indies, nothing being better than that known as 'Jamaica Foots.'

Mix about equal quantities of these with a little stale beer, and boil
and stir till all the sugar is dissolved. The consistency of the mixture
should be such that it will work well with a brush when used as a
paint--not too thick, nor so thin that it is easily absorbed by the
substance on which it is 'painted,' nor must it be in such a fluid
condition that it easily runs.

When satisfied on these points, transfer the mixture to a tin canister,
see it properly covered, and set it aside as your 'stock' from which you
can draw supplies as required. Now secure an ordinary painter's brush of
convenient size, and a number of strips of linen or other rag, each one
of which is fastened to a hook formed of bent wire. These items,
together with the usual lantern, collecting box, pill boxes, and killing
bottle, complete your outfit for the sugaring expedition.

When the selected time for operations has arrived, take sufficient
'sugar' for your night's work, mix it well with sufficient strong rum to
give it a very decided odour, and start off at dusk with this and the
other requisites just mentioned.

The night chosen should be warm and calm, with a rather damp atmosphere,
and no moon preferred. Let your locality be a well-wooded one;
abounding, if possible, with giant oaks and other trees, and containing
open spaces with plenty of underwood and rank herbage. Such localities
are to be met with at their best in forest lands, and if you would do
wonders at sugaring you cannot do better than arrange for spending your
holidays in such a spot as the New Forest, taking with you sufficient
'sugar' for several nights' work.

Having reached a likely spot of no very great extent, you prepare for
real work. Light up the lamp, and get out your sugaring tin and brush
ready for action. Take your course along some definite track that you
are sure to remember, painting vertical strips of sugar, about a foot
long, on the trunks of trees or on palings, and hanging strips of rag
that have just been steeped in the sugar on the branches of small trees
and shrubs where you do not find good surfaces for the brush.

After satisfying yourself concerning the amount of sugar distributed,
retrace your steps, examining every patch of sugar as you go. It will
not be long before signs of life appear. Earwigs, spiders, centipedes
and slugs will soon search out the luscious feast, but unless the time
and the locality are ill chosen, the lantern will soon reveal a goodly
number of moths, with eyes glaring like little balls of fire, greedily
devouring the bounteous repast. These will consist chiefly of _Noctuæ_,
but _Sphinges_, _Geometræ_ and numerous small species also join the

Some will exhibit a restless disposition, either darting off before you
make a close approach, or keeping their wings in rapid vibration as if
to be fully prepared for a hasty retreat when occasion demands. These
must receive your attention first; and, having secured them, proceed to
box as many as you require of the more lazy and gluttonous species.

As a rule, moths thus engaged are easily pill-boxed, but the livelier
ones will not submit to such treatment without attempting to escape. The
best way to secure these is either to cover them with the opened cyanide
bottle (or its substitute), and replace the cork as soon as a favourable
opportunity occurs; or to perform the same feat with a glass-bottomed
pill box.

The advantage of the latter over the ordinary boxes will be seen at
once. After the insect is covered, its movements can be watched, and so
a favourable opportunity can be seized for snapping on the lid.

As already stated, some moths feign death when in danger, allowing
themselves to fall in places where they are often quite safe from
capture. Others allow themselves to fall simply because they have so
gorged themselves with the intoxicating sweet that they can no longer
maintain their hold. Both these classes of sugar seekers may easily be
secured by means of a net commonly known as the 'sugaring net.'

[Illustration: FIG. 54.--FRAME FOR THE SUGARING NET.]

This implement is so simple in its construction that anyone can easily
make his own. The frame may consist of two straight wires or canes fixed
in a metal Y, and the other ends joined by a piece of strong string or
catgut as shown in fig. 54. The net itself need not be deep. As soon as
you reach a tree where moths are feeding on the sugar, press the string
of the net against the bark just below them. The string at once assumes
the form of the trunk so well that you may be sure of every insect that
falls while you are boxing.

For this work both hands must be free, and this is easily managed in
spite of the number of appliances called into service. The lantern is
slung round your neck and secured by a strap round the chest. The
'sugaring net' has a very short stick, and just while you are engaged in
boxing specimens, it may be gently held against the trunk by a slight
pressure of the body. But such precautions as these are necessary only
when the night worker is out alone. There are many circumstances,
however, that render the work of two or more in company much more
enjoyable than that of a single-handed entomologist. The labours are
considerably expedited where a division enables each one of the night
ramblers to take a particular portion of the work; and if there is such
a person as a nervous entomologist, that individual should on no account
go a sugaring in lonely spots on dark nights. Every rustling leaf gives
such a one a start; all footsteps are those of approaching disturbers of
the peace; and when at last the invisible landowner or his keeper,
attracted by the mysterious movements of the lamp, greets him with his
gruff 'What's your business here?' then for the moment he forgets his
enchanting hobby and wishes he were safely at home.

It is certainly advisable to take a friend, whether an entomologist or
not, on such expeditions; and if you intend working on private grounds,
always make previous arrangements with the property owner, that you may
fear no foes and dread no surprises; for a sugarer is far more sure of
success in his work if he keeps a cool head and has nothing to think
about for the time being but his moths and his boxes.

A few hours at this interesting employment pass away very rapidly, and
when midnight arrives there is often no great desire to leave off,
especially when it is known that some species of moths are not very busy
till very late at night. Still it is not advisable to surfeit oneself
with even the sweets of life. Perhaps it is better as a rule to work the
early species only on one night, and reserve another for the later ones.
The searchings are then always carried on with vigour throughout, and
the labours that are thus never made laborious ever retain their
attractiveness in the future.

It has often been observed that, when sugaring has been carried on for a
few successive nights in the same locality, the success is greater each
night than on the one preceding it. Hence it is a common practice to
work a chosen 'run' for two, three, or more nights in succession; and
some collectors even go so far as to lay on the bait for a night or two
previous to starting work. For the same reason it is often advisable to
continue the use of a fairly productive beat rather than to wander in
search of a new one.

In the neighbourhood of large towns one may often meet with patches of
sugared bark that mark the course and extent of a brother entomologist's
beat, and such are valuable to an inexperienced amateur in that they
give him some idea of the nature of the localities that are chosen by
more expert collectors. But it must be remembered that each entomologist
has a moral right to a run he has baited, and that it is considered
ungentlemanly, if not unjust, to take insects from sugar laid by
another. I have sometimes seen cards, bearing the names of the
collectors and the date of working, tacked on to baited trees and
fences, thus establishing their temporary exclusive rights to the use of
their runs. Such precautions are not necessary in large tracts of forest
land, where the choice of runs is practically unlimited.

There are two other modes of capture available to the moth
collector--the use of decoy females, and the employment of 'sugar
traps'--and both these may be used on the sugaring run, or at other
times either in the woods or in your own garden.

The wonderful acuteness of the sense by which the males of certain
species are enabled to seek out the females has already been alluded to,
and the possession of a suitable decoy will often bring you a number of
beautiful admirers without the least trouble, except that taken in
securing the decoy and preparing her temporary abode. It is absolutely
necessary that the female moth be one that has recently emerged, and
consequently you had better secure her in one of her earlier stages,
either by previous rearing or by collecting the pupæ.

A little cage composed of a framework of wire covered with gauze must
now be made. Perhaps the simplest pattern is that illustrated. Here the
gauze is attached to two wire rings, only a few inches in diameter, and
suspended by a string. Such a cage answers every purpose in the field,
and has the advantage of folding into an exceedingly small space when
not in use. It may be suspended in your garden or taken into the field
whenever you have a suitable decoy at your disposal.

[Illustration: FIG. 55.--CAGE FOR DECOY FEMALES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 56.--A SUGAR TRAP.]

The sugar trap may be of much the same pattern as that in which a light
is used, but if intended for field work it should be of a convenient
size for portability. A lighter and far more convenient form may be
constructed as follows:

Procure a large cylindrical tin box, and cut a circular piece of
perforated zinc just small enough to drop into it. Then make two wire
rings, one a _little larger_ than the top of the tin, and the other only
about an inch in diameter. Next make a conical net of leno, open at both
ends, and of such a size that the two rings may form the frames of its
two extremities. When the trap is required for use, cut a circular
piece of flannel or other absorbent, steep it in sugar that has just
been flavoured with rum, and place it in the bottom of the tin. Then
place a few pebbles of equal size around the sides to support the zinc
partition, drop in the partition, and then allow the net to hang on the
rim as shown in the sketch.

This arrangement will explain itself. The moths, attracted by the sweet
perfume, flutter about in the net till at last they find their way
through the small ring. Once in, they make further attempts to reach the
sugar; and, at last, finding all efforts fruitless, and, like Paddy at
the fair, not being able to discover the 'entrance out,' they finally
settle down in a disappointed mood awaiting your pleasure.

Perhaps another word of explanation is necessary here. Why not allow the
poor creatures to reach the sugar that attracted them to the spot? The
reason is this. They sometimes gorge themselves to such an extent that
their bodies, dilated to the fullest capacity with syrup, are a bit
troublesome when the insects are placed in the cabinet. It is therefore
advisable to see that the zinc is so far above the sugar that the moths
are unable to reach the latter by thrusting their extended proboscides
through the perforations. A few dead leaves scattered on the zinc is
also a useful addition, since it affords shelter to such of the insects
as prefer it.

This is a very useful trap to keep in one's garden throughout the
season. It may not attract large numbers, but it has the advantage that
it requires no watching. It is simply necessary to set it at dusk, and
remove the captives in the morning or at your leisure.



We have already observed that insects should, as a rule, be set as soon
as possible after their capture; and it would therefore seem that this
is the proper place for instructions in this part of the work. But it so
happens that butterflies and moths are to be obtained by means other
than those already described, and we shall therefore consider these
previous to the study of the various processes connected with the
setting and preserving of our specimens.

Were we to confine our attention to the capture of the perfect forms
only, our knowledge of the _Lepidoptera_ would be scanty indeed, for we
should then be ignorant of the earlier stages of the creatures' lives,
and have no opportunity of witnessing the wonderful transformations
through which they have to pass.

Such an imperfect acquaintance with butterflies and moths will, I hope,
not satisfy the readers of these pages; so it is intended, in the next
two chapters, to give a little assistance to those who would like to
know how to set to work at the collection of their eggs and larvæ, how
to search for the pupæ, and how to rear the insects from the stage at
which they are acquired till they finally emerge in the perfect form.

These portions of an entomologist's work certainly take up a great deal
of his time, and also require much patience and perseverance; but the
advantages derived cannot be over-estimated, for in addition to the
knowledge gained of the early stages of insect life, this kind of work
will enable him to place in his cabinet a number of gems he would
otherwise have not and probably know not. Occasionally a prize may be
obtained in the form of a cluster of eggs (_ova_) of a rare species, in
many instances the larvæ are to be obtained with comparative ease, while
the perfect insects of the same species are not often seen or not easily
captured, and many a rare pupa has been dug out of its hiding place
during a season when the entomologist had but little other work to
occupy his time.

These and other similar subjects we shall now consider in turn.

_Collecting Ova_

The collection of ova may be carried on more or less throughout the
year. A number of moths are out in February, and even in January if the
weather is mild. These soon lay their eggs, which are hatched about the
time that the buds of the food plant are breaking. From this time till
late in the summer the ova of various species are being deposited, the
average period from laying to hatching being from two to three weeks.
Then, during the autumn, when the leaves of food plants are turning
brown and crisp, ova are still being laid, but these remain unchanged
till the new buds of the following spring are bursting.

Of course if you intend searching for the ova of particular species you
must previously ascertain the favourite haunts of those species, become
acquainted with their food plants, and also with the season or seasons
during which the eggs are laid. But the few following hints will suffice
as general instructions for the search.

In nearly all cases we must expect to find ova on the food plants of the
respective species, but at times, especially with certain moths, we may
come across them in the most unlikely spots. Thus, it sometimes happens
that a moth settles on a street lamp, and lays her eggs on the framework
round the glass, or even on the glass itself. The same thing may take
place on the sash or glass of a brightly lighted window.

Such occurrences, however, we must regard as accidental and
comparatively rare, and therefore we confine our searchings for ova to
the food plants of the species we require.

As a rule the under sides of the leaves will yield the most, but we have
already noticed (page 18) that some moths leave their eggs exposed on
the upper surface. Again, some larvæ feed on flowers and seeds and
fruit, and the eggs of such are deposited on these parts. Those insects
which feed on the leaves of shrubs and trees often lay their eggs on
trunks, branches and twigs. Sometimes these are laid singly, sometimes
in dense clusters; and it is not unusual to find them arranged in rings
or spirals with great regularity. When examining the trunks of trees for
ova it is necessary to look well into the crevices of the bark, for some
insects take particular care to lay them in deep sheltered chinks; but
others take no such precautions, and deposit them on exposed ridges or
plain surfaces where they are easily discovered.

One difficulty of the ova collector lies in the fact that many insects
lay on the upper branches of large trees. Of course a search for these
is out of the question; but in places where the trees have been cut down
a few years previously, and where a consequent undergrowth has
developed, there are considerable chances of success with these species.
Young saplings of trees often yield well, especially in places where
tall trees of the same species are absent. It may be mentioned, too,
that some moths (page 294) actually lay their eggs beneath the surface
of water, depositing them on the under surfaces of floating pond weeds;
and others (page 298) even enter the nests of wasps and bees for the
same purpose. It is clear, then, from these few remarks, that the work
of an ambitious collector of insects' eggs is by no means a monotonous
task; for his employment takes him into the meadows and woods, leads him
to the banks of ponds, and even compels him to tear down banks and
hedges for the nests of _Hymenoptera_ at the risk of a sting or two.

One of the most productive sources of eggs is undoubtedly the possession
of captured females. When you are out netting butterflies you often see
a female that is evidently engaged in her matronly duties. Instead of
seeking food from the various flowers in her path, she pays attention
only to the foliage, looking out a suitable leaf on which to deposit her
eggs. Should you meet with an insect thus engaged which you would like
to rear at home, or of which you would like to know the egg, secure it
in a perforated pill box with a leaf of the proper plant; and it will
often supply you with abundance of eggs for your purpose, in many cases
depositing them in the box before you arrive home. The eggs of numerous
species of moths are also to be easily obtained from captured females.

Some insects do not seem inclined to deposit their eggs in captivity as
freely as when at large, and in order to induce them to do so we must,
as far as possible, put them in their natural conditions. Let them have
plenty of room, and supply them with fresh twigs of their food plants,
kept green by standing them in vessels of water. It is also advisable,
supposing you are not well acquainted with the dispositions of the
species you have, to keep a portion of the box well shaded from direct
sunlight, and allow another part to be as bright as possible; for some
species will not lay in a bright light, while others will not do so
without it.

Again, while some deposit their eggs within a few hours of quitting the
pupa case, others do not lay for several days. With regard to the
latter, it is frequently necessary to feed them while in captivity, by
placing in the box a piece of rag or sponge that has been dipped in
honey or syrup.

Each batch of ova should be carefully examined with a view to knowing
them by sight on a future occasion. A sketch should be made in your note
book, showing every detail that you can make out with the aid of a good
lens. Then observations concerning the season, colour of the eggs, the
situation in which deposited, arrangement, and any other useful
particulars, should be entered.

In the next chapter some hints will be given concerning the management
of ova and the rearing of the larvæ from the time of hatching.

_Collecting Larvæ_

This occupation is generally far more productive to the entomologist
than searching for ova. The latter are very small, usually well
concealed, and to be detected only by a careful scrutinising use of the
eyes; but the superior size of the larvæ, the frequent bright colouring,
and the fact that they are easily beaten from their hold, render the
searchings of their hunters comparatively easy and fruitful.

Before setting out on a larva-hunting expedition, there are a few
requisites to prepare. These include not only the implements for your
work in the field, but also the cages in which you intend to rear your
little captives. The latter are described a little later on under the
head 'Rearing Lepidoptera,' and the former we will now briefly

The outfit must consist of a quantity of suitable boxes, a stout hooked
stick, a strong net, and a white material to place under the herbage
while you are 'beating.'

'Larva boxes' are usually made of zinc, and have little sliding doors in
the lids, so that the lids need not be removed while out of doors after
the fragment of the required food plant has been inserted. Such boxes
are not by any means essential. Small tin boxes will answer all purposes
nearly as well, providing a number of small holes be made in them for
the admission of air. Chip boxes are also fairly satisfactory, but these
also should be perforated. The best way to do this is to push a red-hot
iron wire through the chip, making about half a dozen small holes in
each box. This method will give you clean holes of a uniform size
without otherwise injuring the boxes.

Metal boxes possess the advantage that they keep the food plants moist
for a long time, while chip boxes allow them to dry rather rapidly. Yet
there are some larvæ that do far better in the latter, since such a
quantity of moisture exudes through their skins that they soon become
uncomfortably wet if their apartment is not well ventilated. Under these
circumstances perhaps it is better to take a supply of both, so that
changes may be made as found necessary.

One grave objection to chip boxes, however, is the weakness of the
material. They are easily crushed by pressure, and a bottom or a top
disc of wood often falls out; but this is easily overcome by gluing
narrow strips of calico round the top and bottom edges. Chip boxes
should always be treated in this way, and they will then last five or
six times as long.

Your supply of boxes should always include one large one of metal in
which to bring home a supply of food for the larvæ. If you have a
botanist's vasculum, by all means take it, for nothing can serve this
purpose better. If not, any rather large square tin box will do, and
this may be carried in your satchel, or a couple of hooks may be
soldered to it so that a leather strap can be fixed for slinging it over
your shoulder.

The net required is that commonly known as the 'sweep net.' It must be
very strong, for it has to submit to rather rough usage. The frame must
be made of thick wire; and the bag, which need not be more than a foot
deep, should be of strong calico or holland.

Now with regard to the white material previously mentioned. This may be
a square of calico, hemmed round the edges. Nothing is more convenient
than this, as it occupies but little room in the pocket when not in use,
if neatly folded. The material need not be thick, but the larger it is
the better. Many prefer a white umbrella or an ordinary umbrella with a
white lining, but as this is only a matter of taste and convenience you
must decide for yourself as to which you will use.

If your field of operations is only a little way from your head
quarters, and quantity of luggage therefore not a serious consideration,
you may provide yourself with a heavy mallet, loaded if necessary with a
pound or two of lead. This will prove very useful in shaking larvæ from
trees and large branches. Lastly, take a pencil and a note book or
writing paper for your observations in the field.

Now for the choice of the season. Larvæ are to be found all the year
round. Early in the spring, as soon as the buds are bursting, some break
out of the eggs recently laid by the moths that appear in February and
March. Later on, during April and May, a host of both butterflies and
moths are busy arranging for their broods. Then, throughout the whole of
the summer, thousands of caterpillars of all sorts and sizes are to be
met with everywhere. And finally, during the bleak winter months, you
may amuse yourself by digging the hybernators out of their hiding places
where they rest themselves till the spring sun again calls them out to
refresh them with the young and tender leaves of a new year. Thus,
unless you are merely intending to search out certain species you happen
to require, there is not much difficulty in settling on the season.

The day selected should be dry, for your work lies among the herbage of
banks, meadows, and woods, and nothing is more unpleasant than wading
through a wet and dense vegetation, or beating down on yourself a shower
of large drops from the branches of trees and shrubs.

Having reached the hunting ground, the first thing to do is to look out
for _signs_ of the presence of larvæ rather than for the larvæ
themselves. Healthy vegetation with sound leaves must be passed by as
untenanted; but the presence of partly eaten foliage immediately arouses

A little experience will soon enable you to distinguish between the
ravages of larvæ and of slugs, snails, wasps, &c. Some of the smaller
larvæ certainly eat out clean holes like those cut by _Hymenopterous_
insects, but as a rule they bite away at the edges, leaving the midrib
and the larger veins standing out almost naked.

By looking well into the edges of the eaten leaves, it is easy to see
whether the marauders have been recently at work. If they are dried up
and discoloured, it is not of much use to search; but if still green and
moist, you may feel almost sure that the hungry larvæ are not far off.

In this case you will carefully turn over the leaves to examine the
under sides, and also the leaf stalks and branches or stems; but you
must be prepared for all kinds of protective mimicry. Little green
caterpillars will be seen lying on the midrib or veins, so straight and
so still that they are scarcely perceptible. Others are snugly tucked in
a depression of a leaf with the same result. Then we must also be
prepared for the artful little tricks of the larvæ of _Geometræ_ (p.
268), by which they imitate stalks and twigs so closely that a sharp eye
is necessary to discriminate between the two.

While thus searching we may meet with the cast skin of a caterpillar.
This gives us fresh hopes, and so we continue our careful examination.
At last, on grasping a leaf in order to turn it over for inspection, we
feel something hairy or something soft and smooth. But lo! it is gone.
It is one of those numerous caterpillars that feign death and drop to
the ground on the slightest sign of danger. We search below for it, but
the density of the vegetation renders this hopeless, and we are just
about to start off in search of a more productive locality when we espy
a quantity of the excrement of larvæ lying on a little bare patch of
ground close by. This gives us a new idea. Here is another indication of
the presence of the creatures we require, one that we can put into
practice; and by-and-by we learn that in many cases this is really the
surest sign of their whereabouts.

We look at these little pellets of excrement, and gain at once some idea
of the _size_ of the larvæ that produce them. Then we observe whether
they are fresh and moist, or dry and stale. If the latter, it is not of
much use to examine the leaves above; but if otherwise, there is little
doubt of our meeting with larvæ, as the present position they occupy is
so truly marked. The leaves just over them are carefully examined,
either by turning them over as before described, or, if the height of
the foliage admits of it, by placing our heads below and looking upward.

If we find that the larvæ are some of those that endeavour to escape by
feigning death and allowing themselves to drop at the slightest
disturbance, the net is always kept beneath the leaves we are touching
in order to intercept them in their downward journey.

Continuing the search, we meet with leaves that are rolled up and bound
with silk threads, and others that are drawn together and similarly
bound. These are carefully uncurled and pulled asunder with the result
that active little larvæ are exposed to view, or, it may be, pupæ are
discovered. In some cases flowers are drawn together in just the same
way, and an examination reveals one or more of the species that prefer
petals and other parts of flowers to the green leaves.

Silken threads always arouse our suspicions. These may be seen lying on
the surfaces of leaves, and passing from one leaf to another, or they
may be hanging perpendicularly from the branches of trees above. In the
latter case a larva may be frequently seen on the lower extremity of the
fibre, swinging gently in the breeze, and, should we require it, we have
only to place the open box below for its reception.

Hawthorn and other trees are sometimes seen almost devoid of leaves,
nearly every bit of green having been greedily devoured by a host of
small larvæ. In such cases we often meet with dense clusters of silk
fibres that may easily be mistaken for spiders' nests. But when we look
more closely into the structure we observe that we have discovered
instead nests of gregarious larvæ, such a large number being in each
little community that the deplorable appearance of the tree is at once

A little farther on we meet with a sickly-looking plant in the midst of
a number of flourishing individuals of the same species, and stop to
make inquiries into the cause of this strange occurrence. Is it due to a
poorness of the soil? No, this cannot be the case; for intermingled with
its roots are those of its flourishing companions. We pluck a stunted
and half-shrivelled leaf and examine it. At first we do not notice the
cause of its peculiar condition; but, holding it up to the light, and
looking _through_ it, we see a number of little galleries that have been
eaten out of its internal soft substance, leaving the thin skin
(_epidermis_) almost entirely intact. But nothing more is to be seen.
Another leaf is examined in exactly the same way; and here we see the
little destroyer, lying motionless in its burrow till a gentle pressure
applied against it from outside causes it to wriggle along its narrow
passage. This is the larva of one of the little leaf miners mentioned
again on page 303.

Reaching a little marshy spot we see a number of water-loving reeds,
most of them beautifully green and in a flourishing condition, but here
and there in their midst is a poor stunted specimen--another result of
the ravages of the larvæ of one or more moths. An examination of the
blades reveals nothing; but on splitting open the stalk we discover some
larvæ that have already devoured a quantity of the internal pith, and
thus endangered the life of the plant. On inspecting other similar reeds
we are at first puzzled as to how the larvæ could get inside the stems
without damaging the outer portion; but at last we see in each one a
little discoloured hole that was eaten out by the young caterpillar
just after its escape from the egg. Once within the reed, it found a
plentiful supply of food, and there grew at the expense of the plant
without doing any further external damage save by causing a stunted

It may be that the stem eaters we have found are just about full grown.
If so we examine a number of the stems with a hope that we may find one
or two that are just about to change to the chrysalis state, or even a
pupa already formed. By this means we may secure one of the perfect
insects without the necessity of feeding larvæ at home. Such a
consideration becomes a most important one when it happens that the
required food plant is one that cannot be easily obtained.

Close by the reeds is another water-loving plant in the form of an old
willow tree. This is always an attractive object to the entomologist, so
it comes in for a share of our inspection. On its leaves we may find
several species of the larvæ of _Lepidoptera_, including those of some
of our largest insects. But a strange feature catches our eyes as we
happen to glance at the bark of the tree. Here we see a few holes of
different sizes, about which are a number of little fragments of wood
that remind us of 'sawdust;' and, examining the ground below, we see
quite a little heap of this dust, looking just as if a carpenter had
been at work on the spot.

This is not the effect of a saw, however; it is a sure sign of the
ravages of wood-eating larvæ (p. 224), whose powerful jaws gain them
admittance into the very hearts of trees, and the application of the
nose to one of the larger holes leaves no doubt of the presence of the
large and beautiful caterpillar of the Goat Moth (p. 224).

If we require any of these wood-eaters, either for rearing or for
preservation, we must be prepared for a little rather heavy work. A
strong pocket knife is not sufficient, but with a good chisel the wood
can be gradually cut away, and the galleries traced, till at last we
come to the larvæ snugly resting in their burrows.

It often happens that the tree thus tenanted is half decayed, and
consequently the work is rendered much easier. Also, while tearing away
the wood, we often meet with a number of cocoons that have been
constructed by the caterpillars for their winter quarters, or as a
resting place while undergoing their transformations. These are composed
of the wood dust bound together by strong silk fibres, and are often in
such a good state of preservation that they form useful illustrations
for the cabinet.

As further aids to larvæ searching we may mention that many
species--chiefly of the _Noctuæ_--hide under the surface of the ground
or among dense and low herbage during the day, and come out to feed only
by night; that many others feed on roots, and are therefore seldom seen
above the surface of the soil; also that a good number burrow into
fruits, in the interior of which they spend the whole of their larval
stage. The best way to secure the latter is to examine the 'windfalls'
that lie scattered on orchard lands, for it is a well-known fact that
the fruits that are infested with larvæ generally fall earlier than
others--a result that must be attributed to the damaging work of the
larvæ themselves.

All the larvæ collected should be carefully boxed at once, a separate
compartment being used for each species, and a few fragments of the food
plant being introduced in each case. It is also a good plan to have each
box previously lined with moss as a further addition to the comfort of
the captives. Without such a precaution some of the more delicate
species are liable to injury during their transmission from field to

Hitherto we have obtained our larvæ by _searching_ only, but there are
times and occasions when our boxes may be far more rapidly filled by
methods that are not such a tax on our time and patience. Suppose, for
instance, that we reach a bush, the mutilated leaves of which seem to
show that larvæ are present on its branches. We spread our white cloth
or open out the white-lined umbrella just under a selected branch, and
then tap that branch very smartly with our stick.

Down comes a host of living creatures! Spiders, larvæ, beetles, aphides,
earwigs, and what not, struggling and running about on our white fabric
in all directions, and all mingled with bits of stick, leaves, and
fragments of all kinds. We leave the cloth or the umbrella, as the case
may be, quite still for a few seconds to allow all the living creatures
to get a good foothold, and then, raising it into a vertical position,
allow all the rubbish to drop off.

We can now put the cloth down again, and select as many of the larvæ as
we require, giving our first attention to the nimble runners and loopers
that are already near the edge and just on the point of making their
escape. This productive method of larva hunting is known as 'beating,'
and is particularly applicable to tall herbs and the lower branches of
trees and shrubs.

The same principle may be employed in the case of branches that are
quite out of the reach of the stick, but the blows are here applied to
the trunk, a mallet or some other rather heavy implement taking the
place of the stick.

Another splendid method of securing larvæ where mere searching would be
tedious and unproductive, lies in the use of the sweep net described on
page 102. This implement comes into service in waste places that are
covered with rank vegetation, in clover and hayfields, and in all spots
covered with low herbs.

Walking among the vegetation, the net is swept right and left before
you, and the contents examined at frequent intervals. It is advisable to
work the different species of herbs separately as far as possible,
otherwise there may be some difficulty in the determination of the food
plants of the mixed larvæ that the net will contain. If, however, this
plan is impracticable, you may save time by turning out all the
'sweepings' into one large box, leaving the sorting to be done at home
in leisure hours.

_Collecting Pupæ_

We have seen that ova and larvæ may be obtained in greater or less
abundance at all times of the year, so variable are the seasons of the
different butterflies and moths. The same remark applies equally well to
pupæ; but so many of the Lepidoptera spend the winter months in the
chrysalis state that this period may be regarded as the harvest time of
the pupa hunter.

A large number of caterpillars undergo their change to the quiescent
state during the months of August and September, and, of course, remain
in this state until the warm days of the following spring or summer. And
as insects even in the pupal stage have a number of enemies and dangers
to contend with, it is advisable to start your search for them as soon
as possible after they have changed.

If you set your mind on searching for particular species, you should
endeavour to ascertain the _usual_ time at which such species pupate;
make any necessary allowances for the forwardness or backwardness of the
season, and then allow a week or two for the change to be completed, for
insects should never be disturbed at times when their metamorphoses are
in progress.

For general pupa hunting the best season is undoubtedly from the end of
August to the end of October, but there is no reason why the work should
not be carried on throughout the winter. If, however, you continue your
work so late, you must not expect nearly as much success as time
advances. You must remember that entomologists are not the only pupa
hunters. Many hungry birds are always on the look-out for insects, and
seem to enjoy them equally well in all their stages. Those that
hybernate on or under the ground are liable to fall a prey to moles and
beetles. In addition to these dangers, all pupæ are subject to the
effects of extreme cold, dampness, or floods.

As regards the choice of a day, very little need be said. Any day that
is sufficiently genial for yourself will do for your work, except that
periods of hard frost render the ground too hard for digging--the most
profitable part of the pupa hunter's task.

The apparatus required is extremely simple: A satchel or large pockets
full of small metal or chip boxes, a small garden trowel, and a strong

If metal boxes are used they should be perforated; in fact, nothing is
better than the ordinary larva boxes of the dealers. All the boxes, of
whatever kind, should be lined with moss previous to starting work.

The trowel and chisel do not pack well with a number of small boxes,
therefore it is a good plan to fix them in a couple of leather sheaths
attached to your belt. In this position they are far more handy for use,
and the boxes are also in less danger of being crushed or damaged, as
they probably would be if in contact with hard and heavy tools.

A note book is also a valuable addition to your outfit, as it enables
you to make memoranda concerning the trees and localities from which you
obtain your pupæ.

The best localities for pupa hunting are clearings in woods, parks with
numerous large timber trees, and meadows in which large isolated trees
are scattered; and the best trees include willows, poplars, oaks,
beeches, birches, elms, and hawthorns.

The best thing you can do on arriving at the selected hunting ground is
to make at once for isolated trees of large size, and work each one as

First examine well the crevices of the bark, for many caterpillars
descend the tree to within a short distance of the ground, and then seek
out a snug little crevice in which to spend the winter, often protecting
themselves with silken cocoons, or constructing a neat little shelter of
gnawed fragments of the wood cemented together.

If there is any loose bark, very carefully force it out with your
chisel, and examine both its inner surface and the wood from which it
was removed. The wood thus exposed may reveal openings of the galleries
of wood-eating larvæ, in which case, unless the material is too hard to
be broken up with the chisel, you may be able to trace out a few pupæ.
Where these exist, they are usually to be found very near the entrance,
sometimes even protruding slightly from the opening, for the larvæ
generally place themselves in this position of easy escape when about to

Next give your attention to the moss, if any, covering the lower portion
of the trunk. This affords a very favourite shelter to many species.
Tear it off very carefully, beginning at the top, and watch for loose
pupæ and cocoons as you do so. Then hold the clumps you have removed
over a patch of bare ground or over a spread handkerchief, and pull it
to pieces, in order that any pupæ it contains may fall out; also examine
the fragments carefully for others that may remain attached.

This done, the surface of the ground must be examined. Remove all dead
leaves, and watch for pupæ that may be sheltered beneath them. If any
loose stones lie on the ground, turn them over. Search well into the
angles between the roots, and if there are any holes or hollows beneath
them or in the trunk itself, pull out all loose matter within, and
_feel_ gently above and around for cocoons.

After all loose matter has been removed, there still remains the soil
for examination. If this is very hard and clayey, it is probably useless
to carry the search any farther; also if very wet you need not expect
much; but if comparatively dry and friable there are more hopes of

As a general rule the north and east sides of the trunk are drier than
those which are exposed to the heavy rains brought by the south and
south-west winds, and are consequently more favoured by larvæ that are
seeking a resting place for the winter.

Most larvæ seek shelter in the angles between the roots of the trees on
which they fed, but a few species seem to prefer the edges rather than
the corners; and in cases where no such angles are formed at the
surface, you will do well to examine the earth and turf all round the
trunk; but it is generally useless to extend the search more than a few
inches from the tree.

After having searched every available nook and corner as far as possible
without digging, thrust the trowel obliquely into the soil a few inches
from the tree, turn over the sod, and then examine the spot from which
it was removed. Now give your attention to the sod itself. If loose and
friable, break it up gently, keeping a sharp eye for falling pupæ, and
also for earthen cocoons that are easily mistaken for little lumps of

If the soil is held together by roots, it must be pulled to pieces, and
the fragments shaken over a bare piece of ground where the fall of a
pupa or cocoon could be easily seen; and if you have removed a grassy
turf, it will be necessary to look between the bases of the blades as
well as among the roots.

In this way you may search round tree after tree, wherever the soil is
of such a character as to allow of the admittance and shelter of larvæ.
But the variability of your success will be quite beyond your
comprehension. Sometimes you will sight a grand old oak with the most
favourable anticipations, and consider yourself quite certain of a good
find when you discover, on a nearer approach, the liberal coating of
moss that clothes its trunk and the dry sandy soil at its foot; and yet
the most careful search ends in nothing but disappointment. At other
times you try your luck at tree after tree without ever seeing a single
pupa or even a cast-off case, and then, when just on the point of
despairing, you search round another that is apparently much less
promising, and, to your great surprise and delight, a dozen or two are
turned out in a few minutes. Such an occurrence as this is not at all
uncommon, and cannot be satisfactorily explained, but we must take
things as they come and make the best of them, remembering that pupa
searching is one of the best of all entomological operations wherewith
to test one's perseverance and patience.

It may be mentioned, in conclusion, that the pupæ of _Lepidoptera_ are
never to be found far below the surface of the soil. Generally they
exist, if buried at all, only an inch or two down, and very rarely at a
greater depth than four inches.

In our next chapter we shall learn how to rear the perfect insects from
the earlier stages we have been considering.



_Management of Ova_

In the management of insects in all stages the strictest attention must
always be paid to one general rule on which the success of the work
almost entirely depends; and that is--keep every specimen as far as
possible under the same conditions as those in which you find it in

Applying this principle to ova, we store them in airy and light places,
protected from the direct rays of the sun, and avoid handling and rough
treatment of any kind. It is also advisable in most cases to maintain a
slight amount of dampness corresponding with that of the open air at the
particular season of the year.

They do not require much space, and it is certainly desirable not to
give much, otherwise the newly hatched larvæ, when their time arrives,
will actively wander all round their premises in search of food, and
give you no end of trouble in gathering them up.

Chip boxes are, as a rule, very good and very convenient receptacles for
ova. After placing the eggs in these, cover them over with very fine
muslin, held in place by elastic bands; and label each as far as you can
with the name of the species contained, and other particulars worth
remembering. The boxes may then be put in front of a window facing
north, or in any situation within or out of doors where rain and sun
cannot reach them. A greenhouse is an admirable place in which to keep
them, the natural dampness of the atmosphere being apparently a
considerable assistance to the tiny larvæ just as they are striving to
escape from their shell.

Whatever place is selected, it is absolutely necessary that the ova be
carefully watched, so that each brood may be supplied with the required
food plant within a few hours of quitting the shells.

When ova are kept in a warm room, very great inconvenience and even loss
is sometimes caused by the appearance of larvæ before the necessary food
plant shows its buds. Yet, on the other hand, it is sometimes a great
gain to the entomologist to get certain broods off early in the season,
providing the food is at hand; for in this way he can not only get some
of his work over during a slack season, but also, if he desires it,
secure an additional brood; that is, one brood more than the usual
number. Thus, supposing a certain species he is rearing is naturally
double-brooded, he can, by judicious management, secure three successive
broods before the food plant casts its last leaves.

This hastening of the natural events of insect life is known as
_forcing_, and merely consists in subjecting the species concerned to a
reasonable amount of artificial heat, such as that of a room in which a
fire is always kept, or of a hothouse.

It is interesting at all times to note the dates on which eggs are laid
or collected, and the times at which the young larvæ appear. In addition
to this all changes that take place in the colours or forms of eggs
should be carefully observed; for such changes will assist you in
distinguishing between fertile and sterile ova, and also enable you to
judge approximately as to the date of the appearance of future broods.

_Rearing Larvæ_

The main point in connection with the rearing of larvæ is certainly the
selection and construction of the cages or their substitutes. For newly
hatched and all very small caterpillars a small bottle with a wide mouth
makes a very fair abode. Put a layer of sand or sifted soil in the
bottom, fix in this a small twig of the food plant or lay a few leaves
on the top, and then, after the larvæ have been introduced, cover the
top with a piece of muslin, held in place by an elastic band.

The great drawback with this arrangement is the lack of any provision
for keeping the food moist and fresh, thus rendering a change necessary
at very frequent intervals; but this may be obviated by using damp sand
as a foundation for the little twig of food plant. With this
improvement, if you cover the top of the bottle with apiece of glass, a
saucer, or any impermeable substance, you may keep the twig fresh for
several days, generally until the disappearance of the last leaf calls
for a fresh supply; but it is very doubtful whether the damp atmosphere
resulting from this inclosure is not injurious to the larvæ. It
certainly does not seem to have much influence on some, but the
unhealthy conditions that result must be detrimental to the inmates. It
must also be remembered that many species require a _dry_ soil in which
to burrow when about to change.

When the time comes for the change of food, great care must be taken not
to injure young and small larvæ. In many cases they need never be
touched, for if a fresh twig be placed beside the stale one, they will
readily find their way to it; and to facilitate this, and also to afford
a convenient foothold to those larvæ that accidentally fall from the
twig, the layer of sand at the bottom of the bottle should be covered
with moss or cocoa-nut fibre.

[Illustration: FIG. 57.--A LARVA GLASS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 58.--A LARVA GLASS.]

If you find it necessary to move the larvæ yourself from the stale food,
never touch them with your fingers, but lift them gently by means of a
small camel-hair brush. Larger larvæ need never be moved at all. They
will always search out fresh food for themselves, and the stale may be
removed after they have quitted it.

For rearing larger species ordinary bottles are hardly satisfactory, and
we must either use large jars or construct cages of some kind.

An ordinary bell jar such as is used for covering ferns or for aquaria
makes a very useful 'larva glass.' Place a small bottle of water at the
bottom, and then introduce sufficient dry clean sand or sifted soil to
reach up to its neck. On the top of this place a layer of moss or
cocoa-nut fibre. Next introduce the food plant, fixing it firmly in the
bottle of water, and plugging up the space between the stem and the rim
with cotton wool. This precaution is to prevent the larvæ from falling
into the water as they attempt to pass up or down the stem, and the wool
also helps to keep the twig in a vertical position. The glass is now
ready for the caterpillars, but it is advisable to keep a covering of
muslin or gauze over the top in all cases even though the larvæ
contained are unable to creep up the surface of glass, for the great
enemies of caterpillars--the ichneumon flies--are always on the alert,
and will often take advantage of an open window to 'sting' the larva
rearer's pets.

Another form of larva glass can easily be made out of a large glass jar
if you know how to cut off the bottom, or of a chemist's bell jar which
is open both at top and bottom. In this case the bottle of water and the
soil are arranged as before in a pan of unglazed earthenware, and then
covered over with the glass. This is shown in fig. 58, and is an
exceedingly convenient larva house, since the lifting of the glass
enables you to get at the insects without any trouble.

[Illustration: FIG. 59.--A LARVA CAGE.]

Wood larva cages are very commonly used for the larger species after
they have attained a fair size and require more food than can be stocked
in bottles and glasses. These cages have glass fronts, either sliding or
in the form of a hinged door, and sides of perforated zinc. They are
kept in stock by all dealers in entomologists' requisites, but equally
useful ones are easily constructed. If you select a box of suitable size
at the grocer's, cut out large pieces from the lid and sides with a fret
saw, and fix in the glass and zinc, you will have a cage that will
answer all purposes.

The internal arrangements consist of a shallow tray filled with soil, in
which stands the bottle of water for the food, and a layer of moss
sufficiently high to cover the bottle completely.

A series of such boxes standing on end on a shelf, or hanging on a wall,
will form a very satisfactory nursery for your pets, and will occupy but
little space.

We have already observed that some larvæ burrow into soil when about to
change, while others creep to a sheltered corner, or suspend themselves
from the food plant itself. It will be seen that the larva cage just
described supplies all these demands, and care must be taken not to
disturb the occupants while they are undergoing their metamorphoses.
Those that suspend themselves on the food plant should be allowed to
remain where they have fixed themselves, and when it is necessary to
remove the stale food in order to give a fresh supply to the later
larvæ, let it be fixed in an airy place where it can be watched till the
perfect insects emerge. Those which suspend themselves on the sides or
top of the cage, or spin cocoons in the corners, should never be
disturbed unless you are greatly in want of the same cage for the
accommodation of another brood; and even then it is possible that their
presence will not in any way interfere with the new species. But if
their removal becomes a necessity, let it be carried out as carefully as
possible, and not until the change to the pupal stage is known to be

The species that burrow into the soil or bury themselves in the moss
need never be disturbed till the rearing season is quite over, and then
they may be transferred to a box specially kept for the accommodation of

There is yet another method of rearing larvæ to which we must refer--a
method known as 'sleeving'--particularly useful when you happen to have
the required food plants in your own garden. The ova or larvæ are placed
on the plant, the whole or part of which is then covered with a bag or
'sleeve' of gauze. The larvæ thus imprisoned have the full benefit of
fresh air and light, and are also free from the attacks of ichneumon
flies. They have a fair amount of liberty, and yet cannot get beyond
your reach; also abundance of fresh food without further trouble on the
part of the rearer.

But even this arrangement is not perfection. It will not suit the night
feeders that like to hide beneath the soil during the day, and it
interferes somewhat with the burrowing tendencies of those which pupate
underground. These little difficulties, however, can be overcome by
placing the food plants in large pots or tubs of soil, and tying the
mouth of the 'sleeve' round the outside of this utensil. If this cannot
be done, those insects that pupate underground must be removed from the
plant when their restless disposition shows that the changing time has
arrived, and then be transferred to a box of soil where they can find
the seclusion they seek.

The larvæ that hybernate throughout the winter are rather more
troublesome, especially those which are inclined to take a ramble on
certain mild days in search of food when none is at hand. Still there is
no reason why even a beginner should not attempt the rearing of these.
They will require food in the autumn until the cold weather sets in, and
again early in spring as soon as the new leaves appear; but this is not
of much consequence to those who reside in districts where the required
food plants abound.

Wood feeders also require some special treatment and precautions, and
the successful rearing of some is a matter of no little difficulty. A
wooden cage is, of course, quite out of the question with these, unless
you wish to test the power of their jaws. They must be kept in large
pots or jars, covered over with wire gauze or perforated zinc, and
supplied with fresh stems or logs of wood, or with moist sawdust fresh
from their favourite tree. A few of them--the 'Goat' (page 224), for
example--will eat dead and rotting wood, and may be fed on old palings
and other waste providing the right kind is selected.

The troubles and disappointments of larva rearers are numerous and
varied, and commence with the earliest moments of the young insects.
Even the hatching period sometimes proves a trial, for it occasionally
happens that the young larva has not sufficient strength to bite its way
through the shell that surrounds it, and dies with nothing but the
surface of its head exposed to view. This may be the result of keeping
the ova in too dry a spot, the shell having become too hard and horny
for the little creature's jaws.

Then the moulting seasons are always periods of trial to the larvæ, and
often of loss to the rearer. Some of the hardier species may pass
through all their moults without appearing to suffer anything more than
a slight inconvenience at each, but in other cases the greater part of a
brood may fall victims to these ailments of the growing stage.

Apart from these sources of loss, however, larvæ are subject to numerous
diseases, infectious and otherwise, about which we know but little. A
fever may rage in one of our cages; a fungoid growth may establish
itself on the bodies of our pets, or we may see them cut down, one by
one, through a fatal attack of diarrh[oe]a.

In many such cases we are at a loss as to what to do. Blue pills and
black draughts are not to be prescribed, and the modern practices of
surgery and inoculation have not yet been applied to insect patients
with very great success; but we must do our best to adopt hygienic
principles, paying the greatest attention to proper means of ventilation
and to a regular and wholesome dieting. In the case of diarrh[oe]a--a
very common insect malady--the best we can do is to avoid the young and
juicy leaves of the food plant, and substitute the older, and drier

Ichneumon flies have already been mentioned as great enemies of larvæ.
These flies either deposit their eggs on the skins of caterpillars, or
thrust their sharp _ovipositors_ into the creature's flesh and lay their
eggs beneath the skin. When the young ichneumons are hatched, they
immediately begin to feed on the fatty matter that is usually stored in
comparative abundance under the skin of the caterpillar, and thus they
grow at the expense of their host, within whose body they lie completely
hidden from view.

The poor caterpillar, though being eaten alive, often shows no external
signs of the mischief wrought within, and, even though its substance is
really decreased by the hungry internal parasites, yet the rapid growth
of these robbers maintains the general plumpness of a healthy larva. But
the ichneumons, having at last devoured the store of fat, and avoided
the vital organs of the caterpillar, as if with a view to preserve their
living home to the latest moment, now commence to attack the latter,
speedily reducing the vitality of their host to the lowest ebb, and
finally causing its death.

This untimely end may come before the caterpillar is full grown, or the
insect may change to the pupa before the ichneumons have done their
worst, but it rarely occurs that the unfortunate creature has sufficient
strength to carry it on to the final stage.

A large number of the collected larvæ will have been 'stung,' much to
the disgust and disappointment of the rearer; and hence the advantage of
rearing your specimens from ova wherever possible, providing you keep
them so well under cover that the ichneumons cannot visit your broods.

_The Management of Pupæ_

The disappointments connected with the rearing of _Lepidoptera_ are by
no means at an end when all have passed successfully into the pupal
condition, and the number of perfect insects obtained will often fall
far short of the number of pupæ in your boxes; but we must now see what
can be done to minimise the death rate of the captives.

One or more suitable boxes must be prepared for the reception of the
pupæ, and the following suggestion will answer all purposes:

Get a wooden box, quite rough and unplaned inside, large enough to
accommodate your pupæ with ease, and not less than eight inches deep.
Make several holes in the bottom, or else knock the bottom completely
out, and nail in its place a sheet of perforated zinc. Also make a lid
consisting of gauze attached to a light wood frame.

Place a layer of clean gravel, about an inch deep, in the bottom, and
over this a few inches of sifted soil or cocoa-nut fibre.

Now take all the pupæ that are 'earthed' in your cages, and arrange them
on the prepared bed; also add to them the pupæ you may have dug out
during your various excursions. Cover all with a layer of the material
selected for the bed, and then add a layer of moss.

Next come the pupæ that are suspended by silky fibres, or are inclosed
in cocoons. These should be fixed with pins around the sides of the box,
running the pins either through the tuft of silk at the 'tail,' or the
outer layer of the cocoon, or through the portion of the dried food
plant to which they are attached.

Here your pupæ will remain till they emerge, and the box may be kept in
any airy place where it is not likely to be forgotten, for it is
essential that the perfect insects should be removed as soon as possible
after quitting their cases. It does not matter much whether the pupæ be
kept in or out of doors, providing they are sheltered from rain and very
severe frosts; but of course, if the former, the imagines will emerge a
little earlier, even if the room in which your specimens are stored has
no fire.

Even when protected in boxes such as that described the pupæ are subject
to enemies and dangers. The soil and moss employed may contain slugs,
mites, or other creatures which prey on insects, and the amount of
moisture present in these materials and in the atmosphere may prove too
little for some species or too much for others.

The remedy for the former evil is a simple one. Bake the soil or fibre
well before fitting up the box, and boil and afterwards dry the moss.
You may then be sure that all life previously contained is quite

But the degree of humidity is a point not so easily settled, and so
variable are the experiences and opinions of different entomologists
that it is difficult to advise a beginner on the subject. The fact that
some strongly advise a perennial dampness, while others recommend no
attempt at the application of water, would seem to show that there are
probably important points to be urged on both sides.

Nothing can be better than a very careful observation of pupæ in their
natural conditions. When engaged in pupa digging you will observe that
the larger number are to be found on the east and north sides of trees
where the soil is protected from the heaviest rains; on the other hand a
good many are certainly found in very moist and sometimes even in wet

Particular notice should be taken of such experiences, making every
allowance for the exceptions that prove the rule, and then let the
natural conditions be maintained in your nurseries at home. To carry
this out two pupa boxes should be kept, one for those species that seem
to require dry situations, and the other for the species that apparently
do best with moist surroundings.

But when it is desired to maintain the pupæ in a moist condition, great
care must be taken not to allow any accumulation of stagnant water. The
box we have described, with its bottom of perforated zinc, is well
adapted for this purpose. Let it stand on a couple of strips of wood, so
that any excess of moisture may readily drain through. The perforated
bottom will also allow of a free circulation of air, thus securing the
ventilation that is desirable in all boxes, whether wet or dry.

If you have any insects that have pupated within moist stems, they
should be kept in a moist condition till they emerge. The simplest way
of doing this is to support the stems in a layer of wetted but
well-drained silver sand.

Forcing may be resorted to when it is required to obtain the imagines
for early setting in order to get them in the cabinet before the busy
season begins. The method is simple. Place the pupa box on a shelf in a
room where a fire is kept every day. By this means you may get all your
specimens out within a few weeks, even when you start the forcing at the
beginning or middle of the winter. If, however, you require the imagines
for breeding, you must be careful that the eggs are not laid long before
the buds of the necessary food plants are due.

When you are expecting the appearance of perfect insects, the pupa
boxes should be examined every day. A morning visit to your pupæ (for
most insects emerge in the morning) may reward you with the sight of a
newly emerged imago, clinging to the rough surface of the box, thus
affording you an opportunity of observing the wonderful expansion of the
wings. But the greeting is not always of such a pleasant character, for
your disappointed eyes will sometimes be cast on a host of horrid
ichneumons that have just quitted a shell from which you were expecting
a prize of some specially valued species.



_Setting and Preserving Butterflies and Moths_

Up to the present we have been dealing only with living forms--learning
how to catch and rear the Lepidoptera that fall to our lot; but now we
have to become acquainted with the methods of preparing our dead
specimens in such a way that they may form a useful collection for
future study and reference. Our first attention shall be given to the
apparatus necessary for this work.

The most important requirement is the setting boards, of which several
are necessary, the sizes varying according to the dimensions of the
different insects to be 'set.' The _lengths_ of all the boards should be
the same, not only for the convenience of packing when not in use, but
also in order that they may, if required, be arranged neatly in the
'drying house' to be presently described. The widths only will vary, and
in this respect the boards must be adapted to the measurements of the
insects from tip to tip when the wings are fully expanded. Thus, a set
of a dozen boards, ten or twelve inches long, and from one to five
inches wide, will do for a good start. Of course you may commence with a
smaller number than twelve, but if you really mean to do the thing well,
you will eventually require a good stock of boards.

Here, again, it may be mentioned that all the necessary requisites may
be purchased ready for use, a set of boards and a drying house complete
costing from ten to twenty shillings according to size and quality; but
as the reader, like myself, may prefer to construct his own, I will
supply him with hints and suggestions sufficient for the work.

Each board is constructed in this way. Cut out and plane up a piece of
wood of the required length and breadth, and about one-eighth of an inch
thick. Glue on the top of this a layer of cork about half an inch in
thickness, leaving the whole under a moderate pressure until the glue is
quite hard. The sheets of cork for this purpose may be bought at any
naturalist's stores; but slices cut from good large bottle corks may be
made to answer equally well if you don't mind the extra time expended in
cutting and fixing.

When the glue has well set, trim off the edges of the cork flush with
the sides of the wood, and then cut out a groove down the whole length
of the cork, of course in the middle, and of such a size that it will
just contain the bodies of the insects for which it is intended.

[Illustration: FIG. 60.--SECTION OF A SETTING BOARD.]

The satisfactory cutting of this groove is not a very easy matter, but
if its position is first carefully marked, a long rat-tail file may be
made to plough it out neatly and regularly. As an alternative the
following plan is good. First cover the wood with a layer of cork about
a _quarter_ of an inch thick, and then glue on the top of this _two_
narrower strips, about as thick as the bodies of the insects for which
the board is intended, leaving a space of the required size between
them, as shown in fig. 60. In this way you get a groove of square
section, that is in some respects preferable to the round one cut out by
means of the rat-tail file.


Now comes a question about which there is a difference in the tastes or
fancies of entomologists. Shall the boards be perfectly flat on the top,
or shall the sides slope from the groove, or shall the surface be
rounded? A glance at the three sections of setting boards will show
clearly what is meant. The rounded board is most commonly used, and the
graceful curve thus given to a butterfly or moth set on such is
certainly attractive; but it is not natural. The wings of these insects
are rigid, and are never seen bent into such curves in a living
specimen. For this reason I much prefer a perfectly plane surface on
each side of the groove. Then, as to whether there shall be a slope or
not, this is a matter of less importance. A very decided sloping of the
wings is certainly not so convenient for future examination; nor does
it, to my mind, look nearly so well as both sides in the same plane, or
at a very gentle inclination. But perhaps this subject had better be
left to the taste of the reader, remembering, however, that, whatever
plan be adopted, all the boards should be alike in this respect, so that
there may be a degree of uniformity in the cabinet.

The surface of the cork must, in all cases, be nicely smoothed down with
glass paper, and then covered with thin white paper, fixed to its
surface with ordinary paste.

When insects are on the boards, they should be placed in an airy spot,
as free as possible from dust, while they are drying. Hence the
advisability of some form of 'drying house.' This is simply a box,
standing on end, and provided with a hinged door consisting of a sheet
of perforated zinc in a wooden frame. The boards may slide in this on
little slips of wood nailed or glued on to the sides, or the wooden
bases of the boards may project beyond the cork at the ends, and slide
into grooves in the side of the house.


Beyond these requirements nothing is wanted save a good stock of pins,
thin card or ordinary writing paper, and a 'setting needle.' The
last-named item is simply a needle mounted in a handle, and a good one
may be made by thrusting the head of a darning needle into a piece of
twig. The pins used for setting--that is, for fixing the pieces of paper
or card to keep the parts in position--may be of the ordinary kind; but
entomological pins are far preferable, even for this purpose; for, being
much thinner, they do not damage and disfigure the setting boards so

Now as to the setting. First see that the pin with which you are to fix
your dead insect passes centrally through the thorax. Then fix it firmly
on the setting board, its body lying neatly in the groove of the cork.
Cut out some little pointed strips of card or paper, and, after bringing
the wings into position with the setting needle, fix each one by a
pinned strip. In spreading out the wings, care must be taken not to
pierce them at all, but simply to push them into their place by pressing
the needle at their bases, or by putting the needle beneath and
_lifting_ them out.

Instead of pointed pieces of card, uniform strips of paper may be used,
as shown in fig. 63, each strip passing over both wings.

After the four wings have been properly arranged, a few extra pins may
be used to keep other parts in position. Thus, the antennæ may be placed
at equal angles, the proboscis may be extended, and a couple of pins may
be used to support the abdomen if it is inclined to bend downward.


As before mentioned, insects should be set soon after they are dead,
while the parts are still soft and supple. But where this cannot be
done, and the specimens have become stiff, brittle, and rigid, they must
be 'relaxed' before any attempt is made at setting them out.

This process of relaxing consists in placing the specimens in a very
moist atmosphere for a few days. There are several simple ways of doing
this, many of which will readily suggest themselves to the reader. Your
collecting box, if a zinc one, may also be used as a relaxer. Pin your
stiff insects in it, after well moistening the cork, and simply shut
them up for a day or two. Any metal box will serve the same purpose
providing you put into it a piece of sheet cork on which to fix the
insects, and this cork may rest on a bed of moist sand.

Another plan is to float the pinned specimens on corks in a shallow
vessel of water, and cover them over with a bell glass.

Insects that are being relaxed should be examined from time to time, and
the degree of flexibility acquired tested by a gentle pressure of the
setting needle or by blowing on them. If not sufficiently supple, give
another day in the damp cell, but never allow them to be forgotten till
they are covered with mildew.

The time occupied in thoroughly drying butterflies and moths will vary
considerably according to their sizes and the condition of the
atmosphere. In hot and dry summer weather four or five days will prove
quite sufficient for the _very_ small and thin-bodied species. From one
to two weeks, however, may be looked upon as the average period; but the
large and thick-bodied moths may require more than this.

Perhaps the best test of their condition is the gentle pressing of the
setting needle against the abdomen--the last part of the body to become
dry and stiff. If the abdomen seems quite firm and rigid, you are pretty
safe in removing the specimen from the board; but if it bends at all
under a slight pressure of the needle let it remain for a day or two

If your cabinet is quite ready for the reception of new-comers, the
insects may be put in their proper places immediately after their
removal from the setting boards; but if not, they may be pinned
temporarily in a 'store box' till the time comes when you have proper
accommodation provided. The full consideration of these matters will be
dealt with in another chapter.

It is possible that the setting of some of your specimens will not
exactly please you. If such is the case, put them in a relaxing box for
a day or two, and then reset them more to your fancy.

We have now to deal with a matter that applies more particularly to
moths, especially the very large and thick-bodied species. The abdomens
of these become more or less contracted and shrivelled on drying,
sometimes to such an extent as to look most unsightly.

There is a remedy for this, and the time and patience required in
working it out will be well repaid by the superior results obtained.

While the abdomen is still in a soft condition, make a slit throughout
its length with a very sharp knife or a sharp-pointed pair of scissors.
This slit should be made down the centre of the under surface, or, if
the insect is to be placed in the cabinet with the under side exposed,
down the middle line of the back. Then remove all the contents of the
abdomen, scraping them out with a piece of hooked wire, or removing them
with a fine pair of forceps, and leaving the skin as clean as possible
both within and without. Now introduce a packing of cotton wool, just
sufficient in quantity to maintain the natural form of the body as the
specimen dries.

There is another good method of stuffing moths that possesses a decided
advantage over the one just described, since it leaves the specimen in
such a perfect condition that it shows no appearance of having been
stuffed when viewed from either side. This consists in snipping off the
abdomen at the waist, clearing out the contents with a hooked wire,
lightly stuffing it with cotton wool pushed in at the waist, and then
setting it aside to dry, while the other part of the insect is
undergoing the same process on the setting board. When both parts of the
moth are thoroughly dry, the stuffed abdomen is easily fixed in its
place with a little coaguline; and this, if neatly done, will not show
the slightest sign of the treatment to which the insect has been

Even after your insects are finally housed in the cabinet, they are
subject to two other dangers, both of which are more destructive to
moths than to butterflies. One is technically known as 'grease,' and the
other is the invasion of certain museum pests that feed on the
specimens, causing them to fall to pieces.

Examine the moths that have been for a time in the cabinet, and some are
sure to exhibit an oily or greasy appearance, the hairs of the abdomen,
and perhaps also of the thorax, being clogged together just as if the
specimen had been dipped in oil, the same miserable condition perhaps
being shared also by parts of the wings.

This is due to the gradual oozing out of the fatty matter that is always
present to a greater or less extent in the bodies of the insects, and
which must necessarily show itself more sparingly in specimens that have
been carefully stuffed.

The old saying, 'Prevention is better than cure,' applies well in the
present case; but as there are times when a knowledge of the 'cure' is
the only means of saving a valuable specimen from destruction, we will
study both.

To deal with the two in the order of the well-worn proverb, we will
consider the prevention first. Always carefully clean out and stuff the
abdomens of large-bodied insects; and as a rule, treat them with some
substance that will either absorb or dissolve out all oily matter. I
think the best plan is to remove the abdomen, clean it out if its size
permits of such an operation, and then, after labelling it to prevent
its future application to the wrong body, either let it remain in a
bottle of magnesia for several weeks, or soak it in benzole or ether for
a few hours or longer.

If magnesia has been employed as an absorbent, you have simply to blow
or lightly brush off the loose powder that clings to the body, and then
fix it in its place with coaguline. A body dipped in ether or benzole
will look as if completely spoilt at first, for the furry coat that
clothes it will lie matted and almost entirely robbed of its beautiful
colours, reminding one forcibly of the proverbial 'drowned rat.' But
take no notice of this change. Let the body have at least a few hours in
the liquid, extending the time to a day or two in the case of very large
ones and those which experience has proved to be particularly liable to
'grease;' and, immediately on withdrawing it, fix it with a pin in a
good strong draught, such as you may obtain by opening a window about an
inch, or, if a breezy day, in the open air.

These liquids are so volatile (and for that reason should never be left
exposed in an open vessel) that they rapidly evaporate, leaving the dry
hair to be loosened by the breeze, thus bringing back the natural
appearance almost perfectly.

It is probable that many of the smaller insects that were not considered
to require the stuffing or grease-removing operations will sooner or
later exhibit a greasy tendency in the cabinet. At first the abdomen is
affected, and the oily matter then gradually creeps over the rest of the
body, finally spreading over the wings, and giving the insect a most
deplorable aspect. But these are not irreparably lost, and the following
cure will often bring them back to their former beauty.

If the abdomen only shows signs of grease, cut it off and soak it in one
of the above-named liquids for a day or so, replacing it as above after
the drying operation. If, however, the oily matter has spread to the
thorax and the bases of the wings, the whole specimen must be soaked,
using a basin or jar of suitable size, covered with a plate of glass. A
good draught during the drying operation will do much to prevent the
hair from sticking in matted tufts close against the surface of the body
and wings, and a gentle brushing with a very soft camel-hair brush will
loosen and reset the fur.

The other danger to which we have referred is the invasion of certain
'mites' and other museum pests that pay periodical visits to our cabinet
drawers and store boxes, often committing such havoc as to severely try
the patience of an interested naturalist.

The way to prevent such intrusions is to make the atmosphere of the
compartments so obnoxious (to them) that they dare not enter; and,
further, to so spice up your specimens that they are no longer safely
edible to the invaders.

The first object can be attained by always keeping camphor or
naphthaline (albo-carbon) in each division. A lump of either substance
may be secured by pins or a little perforated cell in the corner of each
drawer or box, or the bottom of each may be dusted with finely powdered
naphthaline; but as both these solids are volatile, care must be taken
to renew the supply as occasion requires.

Then, with regard to the second precaution, perhaps nothing is more
effectual than corrosive sublimate. A little of this may be dissolved in
a small bottle of alcohol (spirits of wine), labelled with the name and
the word POISON, and kept ready for use. All the skins of stuffed
specimens should be painted with this solution, and the stuffing itself
may be moistened with it before insertion.

There is yet another circumstance that renders a watchful care of your
cabinet specimens necessary, if you happen to possess many that were
captured 'at sugar.' Some of these will have so gorged themselves with
syrup that they are literally full of it, and this will sometimes find
its way to the outside, often dropping on the surface beneath. In such
cases the sugar should be removed as completely as possible, and the
bodies stuffed, before they are quite dry; but if the specimens have
been in the cabinet so long that they are stiff and hard, the under
sides of the abdomens may be completely cut out with a very sharp knife
and thrown away, and then the sugar cleaned out from the upper shell as
neatly as possible.



Many young entomologists give their attention almost solely to the
perfect forms of insects, often collecting and studying a very large
number of species without regard to their earlier stages and
metamorphoses. This is decidedly a very great mistake. Although the
lifeless form pinned in a cabinet may be a most beautiful object in
itself, yet a study of this alone is uninteresting compared with that of
the wonderful changes it has undergone since the time it was a very
young larva.

The different stages of the insects should be known as far as possible,
and these, as well as the perfect forms, should be included in the
collection for future study and reference. A good cabinet, according to
my own opinion, is one that possesses, among other good features, a
number of complete sets illustrative of the life history of at least the
more typical forms; and as it is not a difficult matter to preserve the
earlier stages, there is really no excuse for their omission from the

The empty shells of ova are in themselves sometimes interesting objects,
especially when they illustrate some peculiar instinct on the part of
the parent. Sterile eggs, also, often fall into the hands of breeders
and rearers, and these, though in other respects unprofitable, are
useful in the cabinet.

If fertile eggs are to be prepared for a collection, they must be
killed. This is easily done by thrusting into each one the point of a
very fine needle, or by immersing them for a moment in boiling water, or
by shutting them up in a bottle with camphor. In drying they often
contract more or less, and frequently change their colour; still these
are useful, providing notes have been taken of the characters thus lost.
The larger eggs are capable of special treatment where the owner has the
necessary time and patience, and where the highest results are desired.
By means of a surgeon's injector of small size the contents of the eggs
can be removed; and then, by the same instrument, a warm solution of
gelatine, coloured in such a way as to restore the natural tint, may be
forced into the empty shell. As the gelatine cools and hardens, it
prevents any shrinking of the shell, and thus both form and colour are
well preserved.

For the preservation of larvæ you will require one or two simple

The first of these is a suitable glass blowpipe, one form of which is
here illustrated. It consists of a glass tube, one end of which has been
drawn out very fine; a piece of watch spring tied to it in such a manner
that it will hold the skin of a larva at the small end, and a piece of
india-rubber tubing at the other end, pressed by means of a brass spring

[Illustration: FIG. 64.--A BLOWPIPE FOR LARVÆ.]

A little drying oven is also very useful, but not absolutely necessary.
If you decide to have one, any square box of sheet iron (not soldered
tinned iron) may be readily converted into one. It must be provided with
a hinged door in the front with a ventilator at the bottom, a hole for
the escape of hot air at the top, and a tripod wire stand inside on
which to rest the specimens while drying. The whole should be supported
on a wire stand, so that heat may be applied below.

Each larva to be preserved should be dealt with in this way. First kill
it by means of any one of the killing bottles or boxes already
described, or by immersion in spirit of wine. When quite dead, enlarge
the anal orifice by thrusting a needle into it, and then lay it on a
piece of blotting paper with its head toward you. Now take a round
ruler, previously covered with blotting paper, and roll the larva gently
from head to tail till all the contents of the skin have been expelled.
Next fix the skin on the fine end of the blowpipe, by thrusting the
point of the latter into the opening, and allowing the spring to press
gently on its edge. Gently blow into the skin till it is inflated just
to a _little below_ natural size, then either hold it near a fire or
rest it in the drying oven till it is quite dry and rigid.

If you have done your work neatly, the skin and blowpipe will both be
quite air-tight when the clip is closed; and the air, finding no outlet,
will still further inflate the skin when it expands on exposure to heat.
This is the reason why you are directed to blow it out to something
short of the natural dimensions. If you find that this expansion causes
the skin to stretch beyond its normal size, a little of the air must be
allowed to escape while it is yet soft and flexible.

The front of the larva is generally the last portion to become dry, and
when this is quite rigid the skin may be removed from the blowpipe. This
is a matter that requires the greatest care; for the skin is so very
thin and brittle that a little rough handling will break it to pieces.
As a rule it may be easily pushed off the pipe by a slight pressure
behind, or a gentle twisting motion will loosen its hold; but this
latter method can hardly be applied to hairy larvæ without breaking off
the hairs, now rendered very brittle by the heat.

If you find the slightest difficulty in detaching the skin of a valuable
specimen, it is far better to damage the blowpipe than to risk spoiling
the skin. Supposing your blowpipe is a glass one, you can easily break
off the end of it after making a cut with a very small triangular file,
and the portion thus removed may be left attached to the skin. Then,
after softening the glass blowpipe in a gas flame or the flame of a
spirit lamp, it can be drawn out thin again for future work. Those who
can manipulate glass tubing in this way will find it far better to lay
in a stock of suitable material, drawing it out when required, than to
purchase blowpipes ready made at the naturalist's shop.

Very fine hollow stems, such as those of the bamboo cane, may be used
instead of glass; and these possess the advantage of being easily cut
with a sharp knife when there is any difficulty in removing the skin.
Again, whether glass or fine stems are used, a little grease of any kind
placed previously on the end will allow the dried skin to be slid off
with less difficulty.

Preserved larvæ should preferably be mounted on small twigs or
artificial imitations of the leaves of the proper food plants. A little
coaguline applied to the claspers will fix them very firmly on these
twigs or leaves, which are then secured in the cabinet by means of one
or two small pins.

It is much to be regretted that the natural colours of many caterpillars
cannot be preserved in the blown skins. Some are rendered much lighter
in colour on account of the withdrawal of the contents, while others
turn dark during the drying. In the smooth-skinned species the natural
tints may be restored by painting or by staining with suitable aniline
dyes, but these artificial imitations of the natural colours are always
far less beautiful than the hues of the living larvæ.

Very few words need be said on the preservation of pupæ. Many of them do
not alter much in form and colour, and therefore they require no special

If a pupa has to be killed for the purpose of adding to the value of the
collection, simply plunge it into boiling water, and it is ready to be
fixed in the cabinet as soon as it is quite dry.

The empty pupa cases, too, from which the perfect insects have emerged,
are often worth preserving, especially if the damage done by the imago
on forcing its way out is repaired with the aid of a little coaguline.

Let all larvæ and pupæ be preserved in their characteristic attitudes
and positions as far as possible, so that each one tells some
interesting feature of the life history of the living being it
represents. Further, enrich your collection by numerous specimens of the
various kinds of cocoons constructed by the larvæ, pinning each one
beside its proper species; and never refuse a place to any object that
relates something of the life history of the creatures you are



The selection of a cabinet or other storehouse for the rapidly
increasing specimens of insect forms is often a matter of no small
difficulty to a youthful entomologist. Indeed, there are very many
points of considerable importance to be considered before any final
decision is made. Freedom from dust, the exclusion of pests, the
convenience of the collector, the depth of his pocket, and the general
appearance of the storehouse must be considered, and it is impossible,
therefore, to describe a form that is equally suitable to all.

If it is absolutely necessary that the cabinet (or its substitute) be of
a very inexpensive character, and if, at the same time, the collector
has not the mechanical skill necessary for its construction, then
perhaps the best thing he can do is to procure a number of shallow
(about an inch and a half deep) cardboard, glass-topped boxes, such as
are to be obtained at drapers' shops. For the sake of uniformity and
convenience in packing, have them all of one size. Glue in small slices
of cork just where the insects are to be pinned, and see that each box
is supplied with either camphor or naphthaline. All the boxes may be
packed in a cupboard or in a case made specially to contain them; and a
label on the front of each will enable you to select any one when
required without disturbing the others.

It may be mentioned here that glass is not necessary, though it is
certainly convenient at times, especially when you are exhibiting your
specimens to admiring non-entomological friends, who have almost always
a most alarming way of bringing the tip of the first finger dangerously
near as they are pointing out their favourite colours. 'Isn't _that_ one
a beauty?' is a common remark, and therewith off snaps a wing of one of
your choicest insects. When glass is used, however, see that the
specimens are excluded from light, or the colours will soon lose their
natural brilliancy.

Anyone who has a set of carpenter's tools and the ability to use them
well will be able to construct for himself either a set of store boxes
or a cabinet of many drawers in which to keep his natural treasures. In
this case a few considerations are necessary before deciding on the form
which the storehouse is to take.

A cabinet, if nicely made, forms a very sightly article of furniture;
and, if space can be found for it, is the best and most convenient
receptacle. One of about twelve to twenty drawers will be quite
sufficient for a time; and the few following hints and suggestions may
be useful.

The wood used should be well seasoned, and free from resin. The drawers
should fit well, and slide without the least danger of shaking. Each one
should be lined with sheet cork, about one-eighth of an inch thick,
glued to the bottom, nicely levelled with sand paper, and then covered
with thin, pure white paper, laid on with thin paste. It is also
advisable to cover each with glass, inclosed in a light wood frame that
fits so closely as to prevent the intrusion of mites.

The drawers may be arranged in a single vertical tier if the cabinet is
to stand on the floor, or in two tiers if it is to be shorter for
placing on the top of another piece of furniture; and glass doors,
fastened by a lock and key, may be made to cover the front if such are
desired as a matter of fancy, or as a precaution against the meddlesome
habits of juvenile fingers.

Store boxes are sometimes chosen in preference to cabinets because they
are more portable, and because they can be arranged on shelves--an
important consideration when floor space is not available.

These boxes should be cork-lined and glazed like the cabinet drawers;
and if they are made in two equal portions, lined with cork on both
sides, and closing up like a book, they may be arranged on shelves like
books, in which position they will collect but little dust.

Both store boxes and cabinets are always kept in stock by the dealers,
the former ranging from a few shillings each, and the latter from
fifteen shillings to a guinea per drawer. Knowing this, you can decide
for yourself between the two alternatives--making and purchasing.

We have now to consider the manner in which our specimens should be
arranged and labelled.

The table forming Appendix I contains the names of _all_ the British
butterflies and larger moths, and shows their division into _Sections_,
_Tribes_, _Families_, and _Genera_. This table is the result of most
careful study on the part of leading entomologists, and shows how, in
their opinion, the insects can best be arranged to show their relation
to one another; and you cannot do better than adopt the same order in
your collection.

  PAPILIONIDÆ                    _Euchloë_                    NYMPHALIDÆ
   _Papilio_         O              O              O          _Argynnis_
      O              O              O              O              O
      O              O              O              O              O
      O              O              O              O              O
   Machaon          Rapæ        Cardamines       Edusa            O
   PIERIDÆ           O         _Leucophasia_       O
   _Aporia_          O              O              O              O
      O              O              O           v. Helice         O
      O              O           Sinapis                          O
  Cratægi          Napi                        _Gonopteryx_       O
                                 _Colias_          O           Euphrosyne
   _Pieris_          O              O              O
      O              O              O              O              O
      O          Daplidice          O              O            Latona
      O                             O            Rhamni
      O                           Hyale

Complete label lists can be purchased, printed on one side of the paper
only. These, when cut up, supply you with neat labels for your

If you intend to study the British _Lepidoptera_ as completely as
possible, you may as well start at once with a sufficiently extensive
cabinet, and arrange all the labels of your list before you introduce
the insects. You will thus have a place provided ready for each specimen
as you acquire it, and the introduction of species obtained later on
will not compel you to be continually moving and rearranging the

Probably the number of blank spaces will at first suggest an almost
hopeless task, but a few years of careful searching and rearing will
give you heart to continue your interesting work.

Arrange all the insects in perpendicular rows. Put the names of each
section, tribe, family, and genus _at the head_ of their respective
divisions, and the names of the species below each insect or series of
insects. The opposite plan, in which the circles represent the insects
themselves, will make this clear.

Three or four specimens of each species are generally sufficient, except
where variations in colouring are to be exhibited. Wherever differences
exist in the form or markings of the sexes, both should appear; and one
specimen of each species should be pinned so as to exhibit the under

Finally, each drawer or box should have a neat label _outside_ giving
the name or names of the divisions of insects that are represented
within. This will enable you to find anything you may require without
the necessity of opening drawer after drawer or box after box.



We have now treated in detail of the changes through which butterflies
and moths have to pass, and have studied the methods by which we may
obtain and preserve the insects in their different stages. I shall now
give such a brief description of individual species as will enable the
reader to recognise them readily. We will begin with the butterflies.




_The Swallow-tail_ (_Papilio Machaon_)

Our first family (_Papilionidæ_) contains only one British species--the
beautiful Swallow-tail (_Papilio Machaon_), distinguished at once from
all other British butterflies by its superior size and the 'tails'
projecting from the hind margin of the hind wings.

This beautiful insect is figured on Plate I, where its bold black
markings on a yellow ground are so conspicuous as to render a written
description superfluous. Attention may be called, however, to the yellow
scales that dot the dark bands and blotches, making them look as if they
had been powdered; also to the blue clouds that relieve the black bands
of the hind wings, and the round reddish orange spot at the anal angle
of each of the same wings.

It appears that this butterfly was once widely distributed throughout
England, having been recorded as common in various counties, and has
also been taken in Scotland and Ireland; but it is now almost
exclusively confined to the fens of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire,
and Norfolk. Occasionally we hear of the capture of single specimens
quite outside these localities, sometimes even in most unlikely spots,
where its food plant does not abound. But we know that _Machaon_ is a
general favourite with entomologists, and that it is sent in the pupal
state, by post, to all parts of the kingdom; so that the occasional
capture of the insect far beyond the borders of its haunts is probably
the outcome of an escape from prison, or of the tender-heartedness of
some lover of nature who could not bear to see such a beautiful creature
deprived of its short but joyous, sunny flight.

You cannot hope to see this splendid butterfly on the wing unless you
visit its haunts during its season--May to August; but the pupæ may be
purchased for a few pence each from most of the entomological dealers;
and if you obtain a few of these and watch them closely, you may be
fortunate enough to see the perfect insect emerge from its case, and
witness the gradual expansion of its beautiful wings.

The pupa (Plate VIII, fig. 7) itself is a most beautiful object. Its
colour is a pale green, and it is fixed to its support by the tail, and
further secured by a very strong silk band.

The larva (Plate VIII, fig. 1), too, is exceedingly beautiful. Its
ground colour is a lovely green, and twelve velvety black rings mark the
divisions between the segments. Between these are also black bars, all
spotted with bright orange except the one on the second segment.

A remarkable feature of this larva is the possession of a forked,
Y-shaped 'horn,' that is projected from the back, just behind the head,
when the creature is alarmed. If it is gently pressed or irritated in
any way, this horn is thrust out just as if it were an important weapon
of defence. And perhaps it is, for it is the source of a powerful odour
of fennel--one of the food plants of the caterpillar--that may possibly
prove objectionable to some of its numerous enemies.

The food plants of _Machaon_ are the milk parsley or hog's fennel
(_Peucedanum palustre_), cow-parsnip (_Heracleum sphondylium_), and the
wild angelica (_Angelica sylvestris_); but in confinement it will also
partake of rue and carrot leaves.

The caterpillar of this species may be found in the fens during the
greater part of the summer. It turns to a chrysalis in the autumn, and
remains in this state throughout the winter, attached to the stems of
reeds in the vicinity of its food plants. The perfect insect is first
seen in May, and is more or less abundant from this time to the month of


This family, though known commonly as the 'Whites,' contains four
British species that display beautiful tints of bright yellow or orange.

In many respects the _Pieridæ_ resemble the last species. Thus the
perfect insects have six fully developed legs; the caterpillars are
devoid of bristles or spines; and the chrysalides are attached by means
of silky webs at the 'tails,' and strong cords of the same material
round the middle.

All the larvæ are also cylindrical or wormlike in shape; and their skins
are either quite smooth, or are covered with very short and fine hairs,
that sometimes impart a soft, velvety appearance.

The members of this family are remarkable for their partiality for
certain of our cultivated plants and trees; and are, in some cases, so
abundant and so voracious, that they are exceedingly destructive to
certain crops.

_The Black-veined White_ (_Aporia Cratægi_)

This butterfly may now be regarded as one of our rarities. At one time
it was rather abundant in certain localities in England, among which may
be mentioned the neighbourhoods of Cardiff and Stroud, also parts of
Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Huntingdonshire, and the Isle of Thanet; but it
is to be feared that this species is nearly or quite extinct in this
country. It is well, however, not to give up the search for it, and if
you happen to be in one of its favoured localities of former days, you
might net all the doubtful 'Whites' of large size that arouse your
suspicions, liberating them again if, on inspection, they do not answer
to the description of the species 'wanted.' This course becomes
absolutely necessary, since the Black-veined White is hardly to be
distinguished from the Common Large White while on the wing.

If you examine a number of British butterflies you will observe that in
nearly all species the wings are bordered by a fringe of hair, more or
less distinct. But the case is different with _Cratægi_. Here they are
bordered by a black nervure, without any trace of fringe, thus giving an
amount of rigidity to the edges (see Plate I, fig. 2).

The wing rays, or nervures, are very distinct--a feature that gave rise
to the popular name of the butterfly. In the male they are quite or
nearly black, but those of the fore wings of the female are decidedly
brown in colour. At the terminations of the wing rays there are
triangular patches of dark scales, the bases of which unite on the outer
margins of the wings.

Another peculiar feature of this insect is the scanty distribution of
scales on the wings. This is particularly so in the case of the female,
whose wings are semi-transparent in consequence.

The butterfly is on the wing during June and July, at which time its
eggs are laid on the hawthorn (_Cratægus Oxyacantha_) or on fruit
trees--apple, pear and plum.

A vigorous search of these trees in the proper localities _may_ reveal
to you a nest of the gregarious larvæ, all resting under the cover of a
common web of silk. These remain thus under their silken tent throughout
the hottest hours of the day, and venture out to feed only during the
early morning and in the evening.

When the leaves begin to fall in the autumn, they construct a more
substantial web to protect themselves from the dangers of the winter,
and in this they hybernate till the buds burst in the following spring.
They now venture out, at first during the mildest days only, and feed
voraciously on the young leaves, returning to their homes to rest. Soon,
however, they gradually lose their social tendencies, till at last, when
about half or three-quarters fed, they become quite solitary in their

In May they are fully grown, and change to the chrysalis state on the
twigs of their food trees.

The larva is black above, with two reddish stripes. The sides and under
surface are grey, the former being relieved by black spiracles.

The pupa (page 45) is greenish or yellowish white, striped with bright
yellow, and spotted with black.

It is probable that the reader will never meet with this insect in any
of its stages. But, though it may have left us, it is still very
abundant on the Continent, where it does great damage to fruit trees;
and the foreign pupæ may be purchased of English dealers.

_The Large White_ (_Pieris Brassicæ_)

We pass now from one of the rarest to one of the most abundant of
British butterflies. Everybody has seen the 'Large White,' though we
doubt whether everybody knows that this insect is not of the same
species as the two other very common 'Whites.' The three--Large, Small,
and Green-veined--are so much alike in general colour and markings, and
so similar in their habits and in the selection of their food plants,
that the non-entomological, not knowing that insects do not grow in
their perfect state, may perhaps regard the larger and the smaller as
older and younger members of the same species. But no--they are three
distinct species, exhibiting to a careful observer many important marks
by which each may be known from the other two.

On Plate I (fig. 3) will be seen a picture of the female _Brassicæ_, in
which the following markings are depicted: On each fore wing--a blotch
at the tip, a round spot near the centre, another round one nearer the
inner margin, and a tapering spot on the inner margin with its point
toward the base of the wing. On the hind wings there is only one spot,
situated near the middle of the costal margin.

The male may be readily distinguished by the absence of the black
markings on the fore wings, with the exception of those at the tips. He
is also a trifle smaller than his mate.

This butterfly is double-brooded. The first brood appears in April and
May, the second in July and August; and the former--the spring
brood--which emerges from the chrysalides that have hybernated during
the winter, have _grey_ rather than black tips to the front wings.

The ova of _Brassicæ_ may be found on the leaves of cabbages in every
kitchen garden, also on the nasturtium, during May and July. They are
pretty objects (see fig. 10), something like little bottles or
sculptured vases standing on end, and are arranged either singly or in
little groups.

As soon as the young larvæ are out--from ten to fifteen days after the
eggs are deposited--having devoured their shells, they start feeding on
the selfsame spot, and afterwards wander about, dealing out destruction
as they go, till little remains of their food plant save the mere stumps
and skeletons of the leaves.

The ground colour of the caterpillar is bluish green. It has a narrow
yellow stripe down the middle of the back, and two similar but wider
stripes along the sides; and the surface of the body is rendered
somewhat rough by a number of small black warty projections, from each
of which arises a short hair.

When fully grown, it creeps to some neighbouring wall or fence, up which
it climbs till it reaches a sheltering ledge. Here it constructs its
web and silken cord as already described (page 36), and then changes to
a bluish-white chrysalis, dotted with black. The butterflies of the
summer brood emerge shortly after, but the chrysalides of the next brood
hybernate till the following spring.

It is remarkable that we are so plagued with 'Whites' seeing that they
have so many enemies. Many of the insect-feeding birds commit fearful
havoc among their larvæ, and often chase the perfect insects on the
wing, but perhaps their greatest enemy is the ichneumon fly.

Look under the ledges of a wall of any kitchen garden, and you will see
little clusters of oval bodies of a bright yellow colour. Most gardeners
know that these are in some way or other connected with the caterpillars
that do so much damage to their vegetables. They are often considered to
be eggs laid by the larvæ, and are consequently killed out of pure
revenge, or with a desire to save the crops from the future marauders.

No greater mistake could be made. These yellow bodies are the silken
cocoons of the caterpillar's own foes. They contain the pupæ of the
little flies whose larvæ have lived within the body of an unfortunate
grub, and, having flourished to perfection at the expense of their host,
left its almost empty and nearly lifeless carcase to die and drop to the
ground just at the time when it ought to be working out its final
changes. Often you may see the dying grub beside the cluster of cocoons
just constructed by its deadly enemies. Should you wish to test the
extent of the destructive work of these busy flies, go into your garden
and collect a number of larvæ, and endeavour to rear them under cover.
The probability is that only a small proportion will ever reach the
final state, the others having been fatally 'stung' before you took

_The Small White_ (_P. Rapæ_)

This butterfly closely resembles the last species except in point of
size. The male, represented on Plate I (fig. 4), has a dark grey blotch
at the tip of each fore wing, a round spot of the same colour beyond the
centre of that wing, and another on the costal margin of the hind wing.
The female may be distinguished by an additional spot near the anal
angle of the fore wing.

Although this and the two other common butterflies (_Brassicæ_ and
_Napi_) that frequent our kitchen gardens are usually spoken of as
'Whites,' a glance at a few specimens will show that they are not really
white at all, but exhibit delicate shades of cream and yellow, inclining
sometimes to buff. The under surfaces are particularly noticeable in
this respect, for here the hind wings and the tips of the fore wings
display a very rich yellow.

The species we are now considering is also very variable both in its
ground colour and the markings of the wings. The former is in some cases
a really brilliant yellow; and the latter are in some cases entirely

_Rapæ_ is double-brooded, the first brood appearing in April and May,
and the other in July and August.

During these months the eggs may be seen in plenty on its numerous food
plants, which include the cabbages and horse-radish of our gardens, also
water-cress (_Nasturtium officinale_), rape (_Brassica Napus_), wild
mustard (_B. Sinapis_), wild mignonette (_Reseda lutea_), and nasturtium
(_Tropæolum majus_).

The eggs are conical in form--something like a sugar loaf, with ridges
running from apex to base, and very delicate lines from ridge to ridge

The young larvæ often make their first meal of the shell, and then
attack the food plant so voraciously that they are fully grown in about
three or four weeks. In colour they are of a beautiful glaucous green,
hardly distinguishable at times from the leaves on which they rest. A
yellow stripe runs along the middle of the back, and lines of yellow
spots adorn the sides; and the whole body is covered with very short
hairs, each one arising from a minute warty projection.

The pupæ may be found during the same seasons and in the same situations
as those of _Brassicæ_. They are very variable in colour. Some are of a
very pale grey or putty colour, some are decidedly brown, and others of
a greenish tinge; and they are often spotted and striped with dark grey
or black.

_The Green-veined White_ (_P. Napi_)

A non-observant beginner at entomological work may easily mistake this
insect for the last species, for the ground colour and markings are very
similar, even to the features by which the sexes are distinguished from
each other; but an inspection of the under surface will give a ready
means of identification, for here the wing rays are bordered with black
scales which, by contrast with the rich yellow around them, often
appear of a greenish hue. The butterfly receives its popular name from
this circumstance.

A careful observer, however, will readily find distinguishing marks on
the upper side, for here also the chief 'veins' are more or less
accompanied with black scales, especially the extremities of those of
the fore wings, where little triangular blotches are often distinctly
formed; and the dark veining of the under surface of the hind wings
frequently shows through. The under side of this insect is shown on
Plate I (fig. 5).

This butterfly is not so abundant as the two preceding, but is widely
distributed throughout England, and is in most parts decidedly

The first brood (for it also is double-brooded) appears during April and
May, and the second in July and August.

The eggs are very similar to those of _Rapæ_, resembling ribbed and
striated sugar loaves; and the larvæ are of the same rich glaucous
green, but may be identified by the black spiracles surrounded by yellow
rings. In our gardens we may find both eggs and larvæ on mignonette and
horse-radish; the other food plants of this species include the
water-cress (_Nasturtium officinale_), winter cress (_Barbarea
vulgaris_), rape (_Brassica Napus_), cuckoo-flower (_Cardamine
pratensis_), and Jack-by-the-hedge (_Sisymbrium Alliaria_).

The pupa is greenish, and marked with small black dots.

_The Bath or Green-chequered White_ (_P. Daplidice_)

There is no doubt that many butterflies migrate from one country to
another across the seas; and as the Bath White is very common on the
other side of the Channel, and has been taken very sparingly in England
almost exclusively in the south-east, it is highly probable that the
majority of those that have been captured here are specimens that have
taken a voluntary trip across the water, or have been blown over during
rough weather.

This butterfly is one of our greatest rarities, and the capture of a
specimen in England is an event that must necessarily be recorded in our
entomological literature. It seems that _Daplidice_ has bred in England,
for its caterpillars have been found at large on one or two occasions,
so I will give a short description of the various stages of the insect,
with a hope that some of my readers may be fortunate enough to meet with

The female butterfly is shown on Plate I, fig. 6. From this it will be
observed that each of the fore wings is tipped with a rather large
smoky-black blotch, in which are four white spots. A double spot of the
same colour also occupies a place near the centre of the wing, and
another smaller and round one lies near the anal angle. The hind wings
are clouded with grey, and bordered along the hind margin with distinct
smoky-black spots.

The male may be distinguished from the female by the absence of the spot
near the anal angle of the fore wings, and of all the clouds and spots
of the hind wings. Nevertheless the latter have a decidedly clouded
appearance, but this is due to the markings of the under surface showing
through them.

The under side of both sexes is most beautifully marked--the fore wings
resembling the upper sides, but the hind pair chequered with a beautiful
soft green on a pale yellow ground.

The eggs of this insect are deposited during April and May, and again in
August or September--for it is, like the other 'Whites,'
double-brooded--on two species of Wild Mignonette (_Reseda lutea_ and
_R. luteola_).

[Illustration: FIG. 65.--THE BATH WHITE--UNDER SIDE.]

The caterpillars, which are of a bluish colour, with two yellow stripes
down the back, and two others along the sides, may be _looked_ for in
June and September. Those of the first brood only have been taken in
this country, while the others on the Continent change to the chrysalis
in the autumn, and hybernate in this state throughout the winter.

The chrysalis is of a brownish colour, and closely resembles that of the
Small White in form.

Those in search of this rare British insect should wander along the
south-east coast, and net all the doubtful slow-flying small Whites
(_Daplidice_ is rather slow and heavy on the wing), and their
perseverance _may_ be rewarded with a prize that will ever be a reminder
of a glorious catch and an eventful day. If you fail in this, and most
probably you will, rather than remain a stranger to this beautiful and
interesting insect, fill up the blank in your cabinet with a foreign
specimen, which can be obtained at any time for a few pence, but be
careful to label it 'not British,' in order that your brother
collectors may not be deceived, or be led to make any unnecessary

_The Orange Tip_ (_Euchloë Cardamines_)

No one could possibly mistake the male of this species for any other
British butterfly, the popular name alone giving quite sufficient
information for its identification, but the female Orange Tip is _not_
tipped with orange, and its markings, both above and beneath, resemble
those of _Daplidice_ so nearly that the same written description might
apply almost equally well to both.

On Plate I (fig. 7) is shown the upper side of the male, and just
opposite it (fig. 8) the under surface of the same. The female is
usually a little larger than her mate, and is marked similarly on both
sides except that the bright orange blotch is entirely wanting. She may
always be distinguished from _Daplidice_ by the smaller size of the
white spots that break the dark blotch at the tip of the fore wing; also
by the very small size of the dark spot in the centre of the same wing.
The green chequerings of the under side of the hind wings are also more
sharply defined, and the insect is generally of a lighter build.

Like many other butterflies, the Orange Tip is subject to variations in
colouring. Sometimes a pale but bright yellow takes the place of the
white ground, and the orange blotch of the male is occasionally present
on the upper or lower surface only.

_Cardamines_ is a single-brooded insect, and is essentially a creature
of the spring, at which time it may be found in abundance in lanes,
meadows, and clearings in woods throughout the British Isles. Its flight
is so light and airy that even the female may easily be distinguished
from other Whites when on the wing, while the brilliant orange of the
male, intensified by the bright rays of the spring sun, may be
identified at some considerable distance.

The food plants of _Cardamines_ include the cuckoo-flower (_Cardamine
pratensis_) and the bitter cress (_C. impatiens_), after which the
insect is named, also water-cress (_Nasturtium officinale_), winter
cress (_Barbarea vulgaris_), rock cress (_Arabis perfoliata_), hedge
mustard (_Sisymbrium officinale_), Jack-by-the-hedge (_S. Alliaria_),
wild mustard (_Brassica Sinapis_), &c., and the eggs of the butterfly
may be found on these during May and June.

The caterpillar (Plate VIII, fig. 2) is green, with a white stripe on
each side, and its body is covered with short hair. In July it is fully
grown, and ascends a stem of the food plant to prepare itself for its
long winter sleep.

The chrysalis (Plate VIII, fig. 8) is a very peculiar object. Both ends
are much elongated and sharply pointed; and the foremost extremity
stands out at an angle with the stem to which it is attached.

This butterfly should be looked for during April and May, but in mild
seasons it may often be met with in March.

_The Wood White_ (_Leucophasia Sinapis_)

The distinguishing feature of this butterfly (see Plate II, fig. 1) is
the extreme lightness and delicacy of its build. Its wings are narrow,
and rounded at the tips; and the only mark to relieve the white ground
of the upper side is a squarish blotch at the tip of the fore wing, and
even this is either very indistinct or entirely absent in the female.
The under surface is clouded with a pale greenish tint.

This insect may be looked for in May and again in August, in paths and
clearings in woods, where it moves along with a slow but steady flight,
hardly ever seeming to rest for a moment. It is not by any means a
common butterfly, but is very widely distributed, and sometimes appears
in considerable numbers in certain favoured spots. Among the localities
recorded may be mentioned Torquay, Exeter, Plymouth, South Dorset, New
Forest, Reading, Darent Woods, Morecambe Bay, Haslemere, Windermere, &c.

The caterpillar is of a beautiful green colour, and is covered with
short whitish hairs. A darker green stripe runs down the middle of the
back, and a bright yellow stripe along each side. Its food plants are
the tufted vetch (_Vicia Cracca_), bird's-foot trefoil (_Lotus
corniculatus_ and _L. pilosus_), bitter vetch (_Lathyrus tuberosus_),
and the everlasting pea (_L. sylvestris_).

The chrysalis is a very beautiful object. Its colour is a delicate
green, tinged with pink; and the wing-cases project in beautiful curves
much beyond the general surface.

_The Pale Clouded Yellow_ (_Colias Hyale_)

The ground colour of this butterfly (Plate II, fig. 2) is very variable.
It is usually a sulphury yellow, and on this account the insect is
commonly known as the Clouded Brimstone; but sometimes the yellow is
exceedingly pale--almost white--and tinged with green.

A very large black blotch, broken by indefinite patches of the ground
colour, fills up the tip of each fore wing, and extends to the anal
angle, becoming narrower as it approaches this point. A black oval spot
lies just above the middle of this wing.

The hind wings are bordered with black, and a conspicuous spot of deep
yellow lies very near the centre of each.

The antennæ are rather short, compared with those of the preceding
members of this family, and are distinguished by their reddish-brown

The male and female of this species are similarly marked, but the ground
colour of the latter is commonly paler.

This is not by any means a very common butterfly with us, though it is
very plentiful on the other side of the Channel; but it has a way of
taking us by surprise in certain seasons, and then almost neglecting us
for several years together.

Its head quarters are certainly the coasts of Kent and Sussex, but it
has been taken in considerable numbers as far west as Cornwall, and also
to a less extent in some of the midland and northern counties. It is
particularly fond of lucerne and clover fields, especially those that
are situated close to the sea cliffs; and often it may be seen flying
over the beach, sometimes even flitting over the breakers away from land
till at last it disappears in the distance. This maritime tendency of
_Hyale_ makes it probable that a large number of those that are seen on
our south-east coasts have made a passage across the narrow end of the

The eggs are laid in spring, by females that have hybernated throughout
the winter, on various leguminous plants, including the lucerne
(_Medicago sativa_), black medick (_M. lupulina_), purple and Dutch
clovers (_Trifolium pratense_ and _T. repens_), and the bird's-foot
trefoil (_Lotus corniculatus_), and on these plants you may search for
the larva, though it can scarcely be said that you are likely to find

The caterpillar is green, with black dots, and a yellowish stripe on
each side. When fully grown it ascends a stem of its food plant and
changes to a green chrysalis with yellow stripes.

_Hyale_ is single-brooded in England, although two broods regularly
appear on the Continent. In our country the perfect insects emerge
during July and August. Many of these die before the approach of winter;
but, as we have already observed, some hybernate and deposit their eggs
in the following spring.

_The Clouded Yellow_ (_Colias Edusa_)

Not only are this and the last species similarly named, but a glance at
the figures will show that they much resemble each other in appearance;
and we shall also learn presently that in their habits and life history
they have much in common.

The male _Edusa_ is shown on Plate II (fig. 3), and when we compare it
with its relative on the opposite side, we are at once struck with the
superior richness of the brilliant orange or saffron of the ground
colour. The black border of both fore and hind wings is also denser,
wider, and more extensive. The whole of the yellow area of the hind
wings is dusted more or less with black scales, with the exception of a
round central spot of deep orange, corresponding with the orange spots
on the hind wings of _Hyale_.

The female, which is shown in the accompanying woodcut, is generally
larger than the male, and is further distinguished by the very pale
yellow spots that break the black border of both pairs of wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 66.--THE CLOUDED YELLOW--FEMALE.]

_Edusa_ further resembles _Hyale_ in the reddish colour of the antennæ;
and, in both the species, the red legs form a pleasing contrast with the
yellow furry surface of the under side of the thorax.

There is a variety of the female of this butterfly, in which the ground
colour is a _very pale_ yellow, almost white. The hind wings are more
thickly dusted with black scales than in the normal insect, and the
orange spots of these wings show up much more conspicuously from the
contrast with their surroundings.

It is usual to apply distinct names to constant varieties of
species--names that are to be added to the ordinary title. In this
particular case the distinguishing name is _Helice_, so that we should
speak of the variety of _Edusa_ above mentioned as:

_Colias Edusa_, var. _Helice_

Like _Hyale_, _Edusa_ is particularly capricious in its appearance. In
certain summers it absolutely swarms in favourite localities, while
during the intervals between such remarkable appearances--usually
several years--it is positively scarce. The last favoured season was the
summer of '92, during which (from the beginning of August to the end of
the summer) dozens might easily have been caught in an hour or two; in
fact, so plentiful were they in many places, that they were continuously
in sight, often several at one time.

Those in search of this insect should repair to the south coast,
especially the south-east, and where lucerne and clover fields are in
flower. It has very decided maritime tendencies, and may often be seen
flying over the cliffs and beaches, and even skipping over the breakers;
but, at the same time, it is more or less plentiful in many inland
districts. It has been taken in many parts of Ireland and Scotland,
particularly along the southern coasts of these countries; but its head
quarters are undoubtedly the southern cliffs of England, from Cornwall
to Kent, and also the hilly inland districts of the south-eastern

_Edusa_ catching is very lively sport, and is likely to prove sufficient
for any lover of outdoor exercise under a scorching sun; for this
butterfly is not only very powerful on the wing, but its flights are
usually long, so that a good run is often absolutely necessary in order
to capture it. On very hilly ground, such as _Edusa_ loves, chase is
often hopeless, and then it is necessary to resort to stratagem. In such
a case the best plan is to make a very cautious approach when the insect
has been observed to settle, and then secure it with a sudden
down-stroke of the net.

The eggs are laid during May and June by a few females that have
survived the winter.

The caterpillar may be found in June and July on its food plants, the
chief of which are the bird's-foot trefoil (_Lotus corniculatus_), and
the purple and Dutch clovers (_Trifolium pratense_ and _T. repens_). Its
colour is grass-green, and it is marked with a narrow whitish stripe on
each side, which is broken by the yellow of the spiracles.

The chrysalis is of a pale yellowish green, and is marked with yellow
stripes and reddish-brown dots.

_The Brimstone_ (_Gonopteryx Rhamni_)

This, the last member of the present family, is remarkable for the
graceful outline of its wings. The costal margins of the fore pair are
most beautifully arched, and both pairs are sharply angled on the hind
margins. This latter characteristic is quite unique among British
butterflies, though we shall presently meet with instances of angular
projections on hind wings only.

The ground colour of the male (Plate II, fig. 4) is a rich sulphury
yellow, with a greenish tinge. That of the female is a very pale
greenish yellow. The only conspicuous markings are small saffron spots,
one near the centre of each wing. The antennæ are red, short, and
beautifully curved; but, unlike the two preceding species, the legs are
almost white.

The eggs of this butterfly are laid in April on the two species of
buckthorn (_Rhamnus catharticus_ and _R. Frangula_) by the females that
have successfully weathered the winter. They are of a bright yellow
colour, and are usually hatched in about a fortnight.

The body of the caterpillar is green, and it is thickly covered with
little black wart-like projections. A pale stripe also runs along each
side. During May and June it may be found on its food plants, and toward
the end of the latter month it attaches itself by a silken carpet and
belt to the under side of one of the leaves.

The chrysalis is of a very peculiar shape, the body being curved, and
the wing cases standing out prominently beyond the general surface. Its
colour is a bright apple green marked with yellow, and it is so
transparent that certain of the structures can be seen through its skin.

The perfect insect emerges in about three weeks after the change to the
chrysalis; and may be looked for from July to the end of the summer.
This period may be regarded as the best time in which to hunt for
_Rhamni_, but it is to be noted that this butterfly makes its appearance
during all months of the year, even though it is single-brooded.

A large number seem to hybernate, and their winter sleep is so light
that the welcome rays of the sun on a mild day, even during the bleak
months of November to February, will often call them out from their
hiding places. Then, as a rule, the hybernating butterflies do not live
long after depositing their eggs for the future brood; but the Brimstone
often lives on till its offspring have themselves attained the perfect
state, so that it is possible to capture the insects of two different
years both on the same day. In such a case it is generally easy to
distinguish between the two, for the newly emerged specimens are
beautifully bright and fresh in colour, while those of the previous year
are more or less faded and worn, their wings being often
semi-transparent through the loss of scales, and frequently disfigured
by the stains of mildew.




We now come to a rather large family, which contains some of our largest
and most brilliant butterflies. Some of them display the most gaudy
colours, and others exhibit patches of a beautiful metallic lustre.

If you were to see all the members of this family side by side, they
might strike you as being so varied in their appearance that you would
wonder why they are all placed in one family group. But, were you to
see, in addition to the perfect insects, all their larvæ and
chrysalides, the reason would be made clear at once, for these earlier
stages are seen to resemble each other in certain points at the very
first glance. The former are all provided with peculiar spines, and the
latter are all more or less angular, and are all suspended to a silken
carpet by means of hooks at the tip of the abdomen, and have no belt as
we have observed in the case of the _Pieridæ_.

The perfect insects, too, although so varied in colouring, are alike in
that they have only four walking legs, the first pair being so
imperfectly developed as to be useless for this purpose.

This family includes the Fritillaries and the Vanessas.

_The Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary_ (_Argynnis Selene_)

The interesting group of butterflies known as the Fritillaries vary
considerably in size, but are remarkably uniform in the ground colour of
the wings, which, in all cases, is a rich golden or sienna brown; and
this ground is chequered with darker colours in such a manner as to
remind one of the petals of the wild flower known as the Snake's Head
or Fritillary--hence the popular name of the group.

The Small Pearl-bordered, our first example, is one of the lesser
Fritillaries, and is shown in Plate II (fig. 5).

The arrangement of the black markings on the upper surface will be
readily made out from the coloured plate, but the pattern of the under
side will require a little special notice, for it is here, as with the
other Fritillaries, that we find the chief marks by which we identify
the species. On this side (fig. 67) the fore wings are light orange
brown, with a patch of darker brown near the tips, and spotted with a
dull black. The hind wings have the light brown displaced by a very warm
chestnut tint, some yellow, and bright silvery spots.


Seven silvery spots of triangular form border the hind margin. A large
one occupies the centre of the wing, and ten others are somewhat
irregularly scattered over other parts of the wing--five between the
central spot and the hind margin, and five between it and the costa.

All the spots on these wings, whether yellow, chestnut, or silver, are
bordered by a narrow black line.

_Selene_ is not a very abundant butterfly, but is widely distributed in
England, and is also found in parts of Scotland. Its favourite resorts
are clearings in woods, especially those of Kent and other southern

It appears in May and June, in which latter month it deposits its eggs
on the dog violet (_Viola canina_).

The caterpillar is not fully grown at the end of the summer, and
hybernates during the winter among the roots of its food plant. In the
following spring it emerges again, and feeds till May, when it changes
to the chrysalis on a stem. It is less than an inch long when fully
grown, and is of a dark-brown colour. Six rows of hairy spines are
arranged longitudinally on its body.

The chrysalis is greyish brown, and has a number of very short
projections corresponding with the spines of the caterpillar.

_The Pearl-bordered Fritillary_ (_Argynnis Euphrosyne_)

There is very little difference in the size of this and that of the last
species, but _Euphrosyne_ (Plate II, fig. 6) is generally a trifle
larger. The two butterflies are also very similar in appearance; indeed,
they are so much alike on the upper side that it is impossible to decide
on the name of either without an examination of the under surface.

_Euphrosyne_ has a border of seven triangular silver spots on each hind
wing, exactly corresponding with those of _Selene_. It has also the
large central spot of silver. But, beside these, there is _only one_
other, and that is situated in the basal angle. Thus there are only nine
silvery or pearly spots on each hind wing of _Euphrosyne_, while there
are seventeen on _Selene_. This will form a ready means of
distinguishing between the two species.


The seasons and localities of this butterfly correspond very closely
with those of the last species, but it is much more common, and may be
found in abundance in nearly all our southern woods during May and June.

The caterpillar, also, feeds on the same plant (dog violet) as _Selene_.
It is black, with whitish lines along the sides; and is provided with a
number of bristly spines.

The chrysalis is of a grey-brown colour, with small dots of a paler tint
on the wing cases; and its body has a number of short conical
projections exactly corresponding with the spines of the caterpillar.

_The Queen of Spain Fritillary_ (_Argynnis Latona_)

We now pass from the commonest to the rarest and most prized of our wood
butterflies--The Queen of Spain (Plate II, fig. 7). This royal personage
is not easily mistaken for any of the meaner Fritillaries even when the
upper surface only is examined, as the concave hind margins of the fore
wings serve as an almost conclusive mark of distinction. The rich tawny
brown of this side is boldly marked with black, and the long hairs and
scales of the bases of the wings are tinged with green.

The under side presents a most beautiful appearance. Here the ground
colour is paler than that of the upper side. The fore wings are spotted
with black, and have a few small patches of silver at the tips. Each
hind wing has no fewer than twenty-four bright silvery spots. Seven of
these, mostly of large size, adorn the hind margin, and above each of
these is a small one in the middle of a little patch of dark brown. The
arrangement of the others is not quite so easily described, but may be
readily made out from our illustration.


This rare gem among British butterflies has been taken in many
localities, but in very small numbers. Seeing that it is a common insect
on the other side of the Channel, and that the British captures have
been made chiefly in the Isle of Wight and on the south coast, I am
inclined to believe that many of the highly valued genuine Britishers
have no right to their title, but are visitors that have spent only a
few days within our shores, having flown or been blown across the sea.

It is not likely that many of my readers will ever meet with _Latona_
during their rambles in our own country, and if they are anxious to have
the species represented in their collections, they will probably have to
purchase either a British or a foreign specimen, the former of which
will command a very high price, while the latter may be obtained for
three or four pence.

The perfect insect may be looked for in August and September, during
which time the eggs are laid on the leaves of violets and the heartsease
(_Viola canina_, _V. odorata_, and _V. tricolor_).

The caterpillar is brown, with numerous yellowish spines, and has three
whitish or yellowish stripes--one down the middle of the back and one
along each side. It hybernates during the winter, and is fully grown in
the following June or July. I hope that my reader will be so fortunate
as to secure either this or some other stage of this rare and beautiful
insect. The chances are decidedly against him, but that is no reason
why he should abstain from a vigorous search when he happens to be
'doing' the southern counties.

_The Dark-green Fritillary_ (_Argynnis Aglaia_)

This butterfly is larger than _Latona_, as will be seen by reference to
Plate II, fig. 8. Its colour is, as usual with the Fritillaries, a tawny
brown with black markings. The female is usually larger than the male,
and she is further distinguished by the ground colour being darker and
the black markings larger.

The under side of the fore wings is very similar in colour and markings
to the upper, but there are silvery spots near the tips. The hind wings
are beautifully tinted with olive green and brown, and studded with
silver. The arrangement of the latter is not easily described, but is
accurately represented in the accompanying woodcut.


The favourite resorts of this insect are wooded spots, and also heaths
and downs clad with heather or ferns, where its food plant (the dog
violet) lies scattered; but it seems to be less partial to woods than
the other Fritillaries. It is very widely distributed throughout
England, and is common in parts of Scotland and Ireland.

The perfect insect is on the wing in July and early August.

The caterpillar first appears toward the end of August, and commences
its period of hybernation among the roots of its food plant before it
has grown to any considerable size. It comes out again in the spring,
and continues to feed till the beginning or middle of July, and then
changes to the chrysalis state, after protecting itself by binding three
or four leaves together.

Its colour is a velvety black, with dark and glossy grey between the
segments. There is a double yellow line along the back, and a thin line
of orange yellow on each side below the spiracles. It has a number of
black hairy spines, arranged in six longitudinal rows.

The chrysalis is of a shiny black colour, with brownish abdomen; and the
conical projections are black with yellow tips.

_The High-brown Fritillary_ (_Argynnis Adippe_)

The upper side of this butterfly is so much like that of _Aglaia_ that
it would be difficult indeed to give a written description of one that
did not almost equally well apply to the other; so we look to the under
surface for the chief marks by which we can distinguish between them.

On this side (Plate III, fig. 1) the fore wings are much the same as
those of _Aglaia_. The hind wings, too, are very similarly coloured and
marked, but here we have a distinguishing feature in a row of rust-red
spots with silvery centres, just inside the silver border of the hind

[Illustration: FIG. 71.--THE HIGH-BROWN FRITILLARY.]

This butterfly is common in open spaces of woods in many parts of
England, more particularly in the south, and seems to be also fond of
hilly heaths and moors.

It is on the wing in July, and, towards the end of this month and in the
beginning of August, the eggs are laid on the leaves of the dog violet
(_Viola canina_) and heartsease (_V. tricolor_).

The young caterpillar emerges about two weeks later, and feeds only for
a short time before it seeks out its winter quarters among the dead
leaves at the root of its food plant. The feeding is resumed in the
spring, and continued till the month of June, when it is fully grown. At
this time it is about an inch and a half long. Its head is black, and
its body pinkish brown. A white line extends down the back, but is
interrupted by several black marks. The spines, of which there are six
rows, are white, with pinkish tips.

_The Silver-washed Fritillary_ (_Argynnis Paphia_)

This beautiful and noble butterfly is the largest of the Fritillaries,
and the most powerful on the wing. During the latter part of June and
throughout July it may be seen gracefully sweeping through the trees and
undergrowth of woods, often settling down on a favourite flower for a
short time. So strong is its flight that it is useless to attempt to
pursue it for any distance. Sometimes it will sail along a wooded path,
followed at short intervals by others of its species, and may be taken
in the net as it passes. But perhaps the most successful method of
netting _Paphia_ is to wait till it has settled, and then secure it by a
quick upward or side stroke of the net. If then you miss your aim, off
it will dart, sailing over the tree tops till, in a very short time, it
is quite out of sight.


The upper side of this butterfly is shown in Plate III, fig. 2, where
the general arrangement of the black spots on the rich orange-brown
ground is carefully marked. There is a considerable difference between
the male and female of this species. The figure on Plate III represents
the male. The female does not possess the broad black lines that follow
the course of the veins of the fore wings; the basal portions of all
four wings are also tinged with a rich olive-brown colour, often with a
decided tendency to green; and the black spots of all the wings are

The under side is particularly rich in its decorations. The front wings
are of the usual orange brown, chequered with black. The hind wings are
partly brown and partly orange, and exhibit beautiful greenish
reflections. They have also two bars of silver, and a silvery spot in
the basal angle, all with rather indefinite outlines.

The female lays her eggs late in July on the food plants (_Viola canina_
and _V. odorata_) or on the moss that surrounds them.

About two weeks later the young caterpillar is out and feeding; and
then, after a few more weeks, while it is yet very small, it hides among
the dead leaves at the roots. Early in the spring it resumes its
feeding, and is full grown at the end of May.

The colour of the caterpillar (Plate VIII, fig. 3) is black, and there
are two yellow lines along the back, separated by a black stripe, also
one yellowish line on each side. Its body is adorned with reddish-brown
spines, two of which, situated just behind the head, are longer than the

The chrysalis (Plate VIII, fig. 9) is greyish, marked with metallic
spots, and has a number of angular projections representing the spines
of the larva.

_Paphia_ is to be met with in woods in all parts of England and Wales.
It has also been observed in Ireland, but is rarely seen in Scotland.

_The Greasy Fritillary_ (_Melitæa Aurinia_)

Unlike the other Fritillaries, this species (Plate III, fig. 3) exhibits
a variety of shades on the upper surface. A broad band of sienna brown
stretches across each wing, near to and parallel with the hind margin.
The other parts of the wings are marked with patches of sienna, orange,
and yellow, separated by black lines and bands. The margins are all
black, and inside the broader margin of the hind wing is a row of six
very pale yellow spots. The broad sienna band of the hind wing is also
divided by narrow black lines into seven parts, six of which have black


The under surface of the fore wings has indefinite yellowish and tawny
patches, which look as if they had been greased and smeared. The hind
wings are marked with pale yellow and deep orange; a broad band of the
latter, near the hind margin, is divided into segments, each of which
has a yellow spot with black in the centre.

This is a very local insect, although it is widely distributed
throughout England and Wales. It also occurs sparingly in Scotland and
Ireland. Its food plants are the honeysuckle (_Lonicera_
_Periclymenum_), devil's-bit scabious (_Scabiosa succisa_), and the
plantain (_Plantago_); and its chief resorts are damp meadows and marshy
places, where these plants (more especially the scabious) abound.

The butterfly appears about the end of April or in June.

The caterpillars emerge from the eggs towards the end of the latter
month, and always feed in groups under the cover of a silken web. Like
the preceding species they hybernate during the winter, and commence
feeding again in the spring. They are fully grown about the end of

In colour the caterpillar is velvety black, dotted with white, and its
body is covered with short bristly spines. When fully fed it seeks the
shelter of a curled leaf or dense herbage, suspends itself by the hind
claspers to a silken carpet, and then changes to a creamy white
chrysalis with black dots.

_The Glanville Fritillary_ (_Melitæa Cinxia_)

The pattern of the upper side of this Fritillary (Plate III, fig. 4) is
very similar to that of _Aurinia_, but the ground colour is a uniform
tawny brown, and the fringes of the wings are of a very pale straw
colour, barred with black.

The under side of the fore wings is tawny brown, with straw-coloured
tips bearing black markings. The hind wings have four alternate bands of
brown and straw colour, and a patch of straw colour at the base. The
marginal yellow band has six or seven black spots. The brown band next
to it is divided into six segments with black borders, each with a black
spot. The next yellow band has also a row of black spots. The inner
fulvous band is very irregular; and inside this is the yellow base with
six spots.


This is another local insect--very local indeed, for it seems to have
been found only in a few spots outside its head quarters, the Isle of
Wight. Those in search of it should carefully scan the rough cliffy
parts of the island, wherever the species of plantain (_Plantago
Coronopus_ and _P. maritima_) are plentiful, these being the food plants
of the larvæ. It first appears on the wing in May, but may be found till
the end of June.

The caterpillars, which are black and spiny, with reddish head and legs,
begin to feed in August, and as soon as the chilly weather sets in they
hybernate in groups under the cover of a tent constructed by binding
together leaves or blades of grass. In the spring they start out again,
and feed till the end of April, at which time they change to dark
brownish and smooth chrysalides.

_The Heath Fritillary_ (_Melitæa Athalia_)

Both the upper and under sides of this butterfly are shown on Plate III
(figs. 5 and 6), and it will be observed from these that its general
appearance is very similar to that of _Cinxia_.

The upper surface is of the same tawny brown, barred and striped with
black, and the fringes of the wings are pale yellow, interrupted by
small patches of black.

The under surface of the fore wings has the same ground colour with the
exception of the tips, which are yellow; and the whole is marked with
black, as in the illustration. The hind wings are pale yellow, with two
broad bands of brown corresponding with those of _Cinxia_; but a series
of black double arches along the hind margin and the _absence_ of rows
of black spots serve to distinguish this species from the last.

_Athalia_ is another local butterfly, but is sometimes found in
abundance in the spots which it frequents. It is met with chiefly in the
open spaces of woods along the south coast and for some distance inland.
Devon, Cornwall, Sussex, and Kent seem to be the most favoured counties;
and London entomologists would do well to search for it in Epping

The butterfly deposits its eggs during June and July, on several
different food plants, the chief of which are the greater and
narrow-leaved plantains (_Plantago major_ and _P. lanceolata_), foxglove
(_Digitalis purpurea_), two species of cow-wheat (_Melampyrum pratense_
and _M. sylvaticum_), wood sage (_Teucrium Scorodonia_), and the
germander speedwell (_Veronica Chamædrys_), and the young caterpillars,
after feeding for only a week or two, commence their period of
hybernation. They resume their feeding in April, and change to the pupal
state about the end of May.

The colour of the caterpillar is velvety black, finely dotted with
white, and the spines are yellow or orange, tipped with white.

The chrysalis is creamy white, banded and patched with orange and
black, and is suspended by anal hooks from a silken, carpet which the
caterpillar had spun on the leaf of the food plant.

_The Comma_ (_Vanessa C-Album_)

Leaving the Fritillaries, we now come to a genus (Vanessa) that includes
seven most beautiful butterflies, some of which are so common as to be
known to almost everybody.

It will be observed that this genus belongs to the same family as the
Fritillaries, and we may therefore expect to find that the two groups
possess features in common. A slight examination of a few in their
different stages will show that this is so. Thus, the perfect insects
have only four walking legs, the caterpillars are all spiny, and the
chrysalides are angular.

[Illustration: FIG. 75.--THE COMMA--UNDER SIDE.]

There is another feature concerning the chrysalides worthy of note. Like
some of the pupæ of the Fritillaries, they are adorned more or less with
brilliant metallic spots, sometimes of a rich golden hue, and sometimes
resembling burnished silver. Now the word 'chrysalis,' which, as we have
already seen, is derived from a Greek word meaning 'gold,' was
originally applied to the pupæ of some of the Vanessas, on account of
their metallic decorations, but it has since been extended to the pupæ
of all the Lepidoptera, and also to other orders of insects, even though
the greater number of them display no tints of the precious metal.

The first member for our consideration is the Comma Butterfly, of which
an illustration is given in Plate III, fig. 7. No one could mistake this
beautiful butterfly for any other British species, for its wings of rich
orange brown, with black and dark-brown markings, are so irregularly
scalloped on the hind margins that they present a somewhat ragged
appearance. Its name is derived from the fact that a white mark
something like the letter C, or, as some have it, like a comma, is
distinctly painted on the dark brown of the under side.

This butterfly generally emerges from the chrysalis late in the
summer--August and September, but it is often seen earlier, and
frequently as late as October. It is a great lover of sweets, and may be
found settled on various flowers and fruits. Its chief food plants are
the hop (_Humulus Lupulus_), red currant (_Ribes rubrum_), stinging
nettle (_Urtica dioica_), and the Elm (_Ulmus campestris_).

It is very abundant in certain districts where hops are grown, but seems
to avoid those counties that border the sea. It is widely distributed in
the midland counties, and extends to the north of England and into
Scotland, but is very capricious in its appearance in many parts.

The eggs are laid in May by females that have hybernated through the
winter, and the caterpillars may be found feeding during July and

The caterpillar is coloured grey and brown, with a black head, and a
broad white stripe down the back of the hindermost segments. The body is
armed with a number of spines, some of which are white, and others pale

The chrysalis is a very peculiar object, having two ear-like projections
extending forwards from the sides of the head. It has a number of
angular projections, and is of an umber-brown colour, finely netted with
black lines, and having several spots of a brilliant metallic lustre.

_The Large Tortoiseshell_ (_Vanessa Polychloros_)

Our two tortoiseshells--large and small--are very similar in their
colour and markings, and moreover are not always to be distinguished by
their size, for specimens of the larger species are sometimes even
inferior in this respect to the largest of the smaller species; so, to
avoid all risks of mistaken identity, we must look for more reliable
marks of distinction between them.

The present species is figured on Plate III (fig. 8), where it will be
seen that the ground colour of dark tawny brown is spotted and bordered
with black. The border of the hind wings contains a row of
crescent-shaped blue spots. The costal margin of the fore wings, between
the black patches, is decidedly lighter than the general ground, and is
yellow rather than brown. It will be noticed, too, that a black spot
lies very near the anal angle of these wings.

The under surface, though by no means brilliant, exhibits a rich
blending of various shades of brown.

This butterfly is not known to occur in either Scotland or Ireland, and
is by no means common in England. Its chief localities are in the
midland and eastern counties.

The perfect insect generally appears about the middle of July, and after
spending a month or six weeks on the wing, seeks out a sheltered spot in
which to spend the winter. In the spring--April or May--it again takes
to flight, and during the latter month the females are busily engaged in
the deposition of their eggs.

The caterpillar feeds on the two species of elm (_Ulmus campestris_ and
_U. montana_), willow (_Salix alba_), sallow (_S. Caprea_), osier (_S.
viminalis_), aspen (_Populus tremula_), and certain fruit trees; and is
full grown about midsummer. It is of a tawny grey colour, with a black
stripe on each side, and is covered with very small wart-like
projections, and the spines are branched.

The chrysalis is of a dull pinkish colour, and may be found on tree
trunks, palings, and walls, about the end of June, suspended from a
silken carpet by means of its anal hooks.

_The Small Tortoiseshell_ (_Vanessa Urticæ_)

_Urticæ_ (Plate III, fig. 9) may be distinguished from _Polychloros_ by
the _absence_ of the black spot in the anal angle of the fore wings of
the latter. It has also a white spot near the tip of each fore
wing-between the black border and the first black costal patch. The
whole of the base of the hind wing is also black, and the ground colour
is decidedly brighter.

It is one of the commonest of all British butterflies, and is to be
found more or less abundantly in nearly all parts of the British Isles.

The hybernated perfect insects come out early in the spring, and lay
their eggs in close irregular clusters on nettles (_Urtica dioica_ and
_U. urens_). Shortly after the gregarious caterpillars may be found on
these plants in dense masses. They change to the chrysalis state about
the end of May, and from this time there is a continuous succession of
butterflies till the end of the summer.

The later specimens, which do not emerge till September or October,
spend only a short time on the wing, and then hybernate till the spring,
giving rise to the first brood of the following season.

The caterpillar of this species is black above and greyish beneath. It
is thickly covered with yellow dots, which are so close together on the
back as to form two yellowish stripes, separated only by a fine black
line. There are also two yellowish stripes along each side; and the
body, as with the rest of this genus, is spiny, the spines in this case
being black or very dark green.

The chrysalis is brownish, and spotted with burnished gold in variable
quantity--sometimes so plentifully as to cover the greater part of the

_The Peacock_ (_Vanessa Io_)

This is another of our commonest and most beautiful butterflies. Its
general appearance is such that it cannot possibly be mistaken for any
other. The upper side (Plate IV, fig. 1) is rendered conspicuous by the
beautiful eye-like marks at the costal angles of all four wings; and the
under surface is very richly decorated with a fine arrangement of black
and dark-brown patches and streaks.

Io is very abundant in all parts of England, and is well known in many
parts of Scotland and Ireland, but seems to be rare in the extreme north
of both of these countries.

Its food plant is the stinging nettle (_Urtica dioica_), and on this the
eggs are laid in April by females that have hybernated during the

The caterpillar is full grown at the end of June or beginning of July.
It is black, with numerous minute white wart-like projections. Its
spines also are black, and its claspers brown.

The chrysalis may be found suspended by the tail on some object in the
neighbourhood of the food plant, or sometimes on the food plant itself.
It is of a greenish colour, with yellowish patches, but turns darker as
the time approaches for the emerging of the perfect insect.

This event takes place in August, and the butterfly, after a brief
period on the wing, seeks out a sheltered spot for its winter nap.

_The Camberwell Beauty_ (_Vanessa Antiopa_)

The reader will be fortunate if he succeeds in netting a specimen of
this highly prized British butterfly. It derives its popular name from
the fact that a few were taken in Camberwell about a hundred and fifty
years ago; and since that time it has been seen and taken in variable
numbers in several parts of England. So widely distributed, indeed, are
its localities, and so few, comparatively, its appearances, that it
would be useless to attempt to give any hints as to where it may be
looked for. It is, however, a very common butterfly in many continental
countries, and foreign specimens may be obtained from any dealer in
entomological wares for a few pence each.

This rare British gem is illustrated in fig. 2 of Plate IV. Here it will
be seen that nearly the whole of the surface is covered with a rich
velvety purple brown, bordered with a black band containing blue spots;
and outside this is a border of white, finely dotted and streaked with
black. The continental specimens may be easily distinguished from the
genuine Britishers by a darker border with a decidedly yellow tinge.

The eggs of this species are generally laid on the young leaves of the
willow (_Salix alba_), in the spring, by females that have hybernated,
but sometimes the nettle (_Urtica dioica_) and the birch (_Betula alba_)
are selected for the food of the larvæ.

The caterpillar is black and spiny, and has a row of seven rather large
reddish-brown spots on the back, commencing at the fifth segment.

The chrysalis, like those of the other members of this family, is
angular and suspended by the 'tail.' The perfect insect appears in
August, and may be seen from that month till October.

_The Red Admiral_ (_Vanessa Atalanta_)

There seems to be a tendency with many to under-estimate the beauty of
certain natural objects because they happen to be so very common, and
this is particularly the case with some of our most familiar
butterflies. The beautiful Red Admiral (Plate IV, fig. 3) may possibly
suffer in this respect; for, not only is it one of the commonest of our
butterflies, but it fearlessly hovers among the flowers of our gardens,
often venturing into the very heart of thickly populated towns.

The bright scarlet bands and white blotches of this gorgeous insect
stand out boldly on the rich velvety black ground of the wings, and the
additional touches of blue in the anal angles of the hind wings add to
the effect. The under side of the fore wings is somewhat similar to the
upper surface, but is relieved by brown and blue; and this side of the
hind wings presents most beautiful and indescribable blendings of
various shades of brown, grey, and pink. The female may be
distinguished by the presence of a small white spot on the scarlet band
of the fore wing.

The eggs are deposited singly on the nettle (_Urtica dioica_) in spring
by females that have hybernated through the winter.

The caterpillar always feeds under the cover of a tent made by drawing
leaves together. It is spiny, and its colour is usually a greenish or
yellowish grey, spotted with black, and striped along the sides with
white or yellow. When fully grown it bites the stem of the nettle nearly
through a few inches from the top, so that the upper part of the plant
bends over the withers. It then constructs a commodious tent by binding
the leaves of this drooping portion together, and suspends itself from
the roof of this strange home to undergo its metamorphoses.

The change to the chrysalis state takes place in July or August, and the
perfect insect may be seen during August, September, and October in
almost every part of the British Isles.

_The Painted Lady_ (_Vanessa Cardui_)

Although the time of appearance of this butterfly generally corresponds
with that of the last species, yet it is exceedingly variable, so much
so that it is impossible to give any fixed period as its season. It is,
moreover, very capricious with regard to its localities and its numbers.
Sometimes it will turn up unexpectedly in positive abundance in certain
localities where previously it had been a mere straggler; and then, for
some unaccountable reason, become comparatively scarce for several
successive seasons.

The upper surface of this beauty (Plate IV, fig. 4) is adorned with pale
red, orange, and black, and with five white spots near the tip of each
fore wing. The under side of the fore wings is marked something like the
upper, but much of the black is replaced by shades of brown. The hind
wings are beautifully variegated beneath with greys and browns, and have
a row of eye-like spots near the hind margin.

The eggs of this butterfly are laid singly on various species of
thistles, particularly the common field thistle (_Cnicus arvensis_),
generally in the month of June.

The caterpillar, which is black above and red beneath, with yellowish
stripes along the back and sides, feeds under the cover of a silken web
which it constructs among the leaves. It is full grown in July or
August, when it suspends itself after the manner of the other Vanessas
previous to undergoing its changes.

The chrysalis is angular, coloured with brown and grey, and adorned with
brilliant gold spots.

The perfect insect may be seen at large throughout late summer and the
autumn, and the eggs are laid by females that survive the winter.

_The White Admiral_ (_Limenitis Sibylla_)

The White Admiral (Plate IV, fig. 5) is neither so pretty nor so common
as its red namesake, but it is nevertheless a fine insect, although the
chief beauty is reserved for the under surface. Above, the ground colour
is a very dark rusty brown, relieved by bands and spots of white. The
under surface is beautifully marked with silvery blue, bright orange
brown, and white, the latter being arranged just like the corresponding
colour on the upper side.

It will be observed that this butterfly does not belong to the _Vanessa_
genus; so, while we may look for _family_ resemblances, we shall observe
a few features in which it differs from the preceding species.

It is not by any means abundant, being unknown in Scotland and Ireland,
and confined in England almost exclusively to the oak woods of the
south, where its food plant--the honeysuckle (_Lonicera
Periclymenum_)--abounds. Here it may be seen during July, gracefully
sailing among the trees and across the open spaces.

The caterpillar is very different from those of the Vanessas. Its colour
is dark green, with a narrow white stripe along each side. There are
very conspicuous branched spines on the third and two following
segments, also on the eleventh and twelfth; and smaller spines on most
of the others. All the spines are of a brownish colour, with pink tips.
While it is yet very small it prepares its winter quarters by bending
round the remains of a leaf on which it has been feeding, securing the
edges by silken threads, and then binding it to the stem of the plant.
Soon after, the petiole becomes detached from the stem, and the little
caterpillar then rests suspended in its snug swinging cradle, where it
remains perfectly secure till the following April, when the warm sun
calls it out to feed on the opening leaves. It continues at this till
about the beginning of June, and then changes to a beautiful angular and
eared chrysalis, of a bright green colour, marked with brown, and having
brilliant silvery spots and streaks.


_The Purple Emperor_ (_Apatura Iris_)

This grand insect is the only British member of its family, and richly
deserves its popular title. The male, which is figured on Plate V (fig.
1), exhibits a most gorgeous imperial purple, which is reflected at
certain angles only from the upper surface of his large and powerful
wings. His flight is lofty and vigorous, and among the topmost branches
of majestic oaks, where he defies the efforts of would-be capturers.
Unlike our other butterflies, he is also a very quarrelsome creature,
and will not hesitate to fiercely attack a brother Emperor who dares
approach the branch he has selected for his throne.

Many attempts have been made to capture this prized creature by means of
a large net mounted on the end of a pole twenty or thirty feet in
length, but the wielding of such a cumbersome implement against so
powerful an insect is no mean task, and but few fall a prey to such a
snare. But it so happens that this imperial personage has a very
depraved appetite, the indulgence in which has often brought him to
ruin. Instead of searching out the sweets so bounteously supplied by the
blossoms that are so attractive to other lepidopterous insects, he
delights in sipping the waters of the filthiest puddles, and imbibing
the odoriferous moisture of dung and the decomposing carcases of
animals. So deeply seated is this depravity of taste that the Emperor
may be netted with ease while indulging in his sumptuous feast, and is
even to be taken at times with the fingers.

The knowledge of this peculiarity of the imperial palate has led
entomologists to abandon the awkward net, and to bait the woods with
viands that alone can entice his highness from his lofty seat; and many
a splendid specimen has been easily captured while enjoying the
luxurious juice of a dead cat, stoat, or rabbit, or of a seething mass
of pig's dung.

The female is larger than her mate, and does not display the beautiful
purple reflections that adorn the male. She is very different, too, in
her habits, for she sits nearly all day on high branches of trees,
giving her attention to the graver duties of an imperial mother, and is
consequently but seldom seem. She lays her eggs in July on the sallow
(_Salix Caprea_) or the poplar (_Populus_), and in less than a fortnight
the young caterpillars are hatched. They feed on till the leaves are
falling, and then fix themselves by their claspers to a silken carpet
which they construct on a twig. Here they remain, exposed to all the
wintry blasts and frosts, till the new leaves are out in the spring,
when they again commence feeding, and continue to do so till they are
full grown--in May or June.

The under side of this species is shown in fig. 76, in which will also
be observed the eye-like spots of the fore wings which have given rise
to its specific name (_Iris_).

The caterpillar (Plate VIII, fig. 5) is a very peculiar creature. Its
body is green, with seven oblique yellowish stripes on each side, and it
has a pair of horns attached to its head.


The chrysalis (Plate VIII, fig. 10) may be found in June, suspended to
the under side of a leaf. It is of an apple-green colour, and still
exhibits the oblique stripes which we observed in the caterpillar.

This insect is not to be found in either Scotland or Ireland, but is
more or less abundant in many of the oak woods of the midland and
southern counties of England. Among the numerous favoured localities, we
may mention Colchester, Forest of Dean, Northamptonshire, Ipswich,
Huntingdonshire, Buckinghamshire, Epping, Lyndhurst, and the Isle of




This family contains eleven British species, often spoken of
collectively as the 'Browns,' since in most of them the prevailing tints
are various shades of brown. They are decidedly dingy in comparison with
the beautiful butterflies we have been previously observing; but to this
statement we must allow one marked exception, for the family includes
the beautiful Marbled White, which stands out prominently among its
fellows for brilliancy and boldness of colour.

The caterpillars of the 'Satyrs' have no spines, but their bodies are
covered with very minute hair-bearing warts that give them a soft
velvety appearance. The hinder extremity tapers off considerably, and
terminates in two points.

The chrysalides are not angular like those of the preceding species, and
though generally suspended by the tail, are sometimes found quite free
among leaves and grasses on the ground.

The perfect insects are rather feeble fliers, and generally take so
little notice of intruders that they are easily caught in the hand.
Their wings are devoid of angles, and they have only four perfectly
developed legs.

_The Marbled White_ (_Melanargia Galatea_)

Our first member of this family is the exception to which we have
already alluded as a relief to the general dinginess of the 'Browns.'
Its colours above are cream and black, arranged as shown in Plate V,
fig. 2. The under side (fig. 77) is marked with white, black, and
greenish grey, with a row of eye-like spots parallel with the hind
margin of the hind wings.

This butterfly is not known in Scotland or Ireland, nor is it to be
found in several of the northern counties of England. Its chief haunts
are the waste cliffy grounds of the southern and some of the midland
counties of England, where it is usually restricted to certain small
districts. In some places it is really a common insect, and among these
may be mentioned Brighton, Horsham, Dover, Folkestone, Margate,
Gravesend, New Forest, parts of Gloucestershire, Cambridgeshire, and
Devonshire, also in the Isle of Wight and South Wales.

[Illustration: FIG. 77.--THE MARBLED WHITE--UNDER SIDE.]

The perfect insect is out in July, during which month the eggs are
deposited on various grasses, or indiscriminately on leaves and stems in
grassy spots.

The caterpillar feeds on grasses; and, being still small at the end of
the autumn, hybernates during the winter among the stems of grass. It
feeds again in April, and is fully grown by the end of May. Its colour
is a dull green or brownish, with a darker stripe down the back, and
lighter stripes along the sides. Its spiracles are black.

The chrysalis is pale brown, marked with lines of a slightly darker
shade. It may be found among grass stems, without any attachment, during
the month of June.

_The Small Ringlet_ (_Erebia Epiphron_)

On account of the very limited range of this butterfly, only those who
have the opportunity of visiting its haunts can have any practical
acquaintance with its natural history. It is almost exclusively confined
to the lake district in England, to a few mountainous localities in
Scotland, and to one or two similar localities in Ireland. Its strong
partiality for elevated situations has earned for it the popular name of
Mountain Ringlet.

The colour of the upper surface (Plate V, fig. 3) is a dark brown, with
a broad band of rusty brown, parallel with the hind margin of each wing,
and broken by the wing rays. Each division of these bands has often a
black central spot, but frequently these are entirely absent. The
colouring of the under side is very similar but less defined, and the
rusty spots of the hind wings are very small.

The butterfly is out in June and July. The caterpillars, which are
green, with white stripes along the sides, feed on various grasses. They
hybernate during the winter, and change to the chrysalis state in the
following May or June.

_The Northern Brown_ (_Erebia Æthiops_)

The colour of this species (Plate V, fig. 4) is a rich dark brown, with
rust-coloured and black spotted bands arranged something like those of
the last. The markings, however, are very variable. There are usually
four black spots on the band of the fore wings, but the first two of
these are always united, and centred with white. The third is often very
small or entirely wanting.

The under side of the fore wings is marked something like the upper, but
the hind wings on this side are grey, with two broad bands of a darker

As its popular name implies, this butterfly is a northerner. It is
common in Scotland, where it flies in elevated spots. In England it is
confined to the mountainous districts of the north.

The perfect insect is at large in July and August, during which time the
eggs are deposited on various grasses or on low-growing herbage in
grassy spots.

The caterpillar is of a brown colour, and has a narrow black stripe down
the middle of the back, and two other stripes, lighter than the ground
colour, one on each side. At about the end of June it turns to a
chrysalis of a brownish colour.

The food plants of this species include a number of common grasses.

_The Speckled Wood or Wood Argus_ (_Pararge Egeria_)

Most of our butterflies delight in the hot sun, and are to be seen on
the wing only when it is shining brightly. This fact is particularly
noticeable on a bright day with occasional heavy clouds. While the sun's
rays are pouring uninterruptedly on the landscape, numbers of these
light-lovers are to be observed flitting about; but when the dense
shadow of a passing cloud creeps over the ground they rapidly disappear
from view, having settled down to rest on leaves and stems. Then, as
soon as the shadow passes away, the air is again enlivened with their
sports and flittings.

The Wood Argus is a marked exception to this rule. It delights in the
cool shade of the narrow paths of woods, where it slowly flies up and
down the lonely footpath, taking but little heed of strangers that
intrude on its haunts, and seldom venturing into the full blaze of the
sun unless pursued. Even on dull days it continues its solitary flight,
and may even be seen on the wing while a soft rain is bathing the
dripping foliage.

The upper surface of this pretty butterfly is shown on Plate V, fig. 5,
and the under side in the accompanying woodcut. Both sides are prettily
marked with various shades of brown and buff, and adorned with
white-centred dark eye-spots which have earned for it the name of Argus.

[Illustration: FIG. 78.--THE WOOD ARGUS--UNDER SIDE.]

It first appears on the wing in April, and may be seen from this month
continuously to the end of August.

The food plants probably consist of many species of grasses, the
cock's-foot (_Dactylis glomerata_) and couch grass (_Agropyron repens_)
being among the number, and the eggs are laid on or in the neighbourhood
of these during the summer months.

The caterpillar of this species is of a dull greenish or brownish
colour, and it has two whitish stripes (sometimes three) down the middle
of the back, and similar stripes along each side. It hybernates during
the winter, and is full grown in March, when it changes to a dull green
or brownish chrysalis, which is streaked with black, and has a few white
dots on the back.

It has been stated that the butterfly is on the wing from April to
August, and, according to some authorities, there are no less than three
broods during this time, following each other in rapid succession. It is
common throughout England and Ireland, and is known in parts of

_The Wall Butterfly_ (_Pararge Megæra_)

Belonging to the same genus is another very familiar butterfly--the
Wall--which receives its popular title from its peculiar habit of
frequently resting on walls and stony banks. It is one of the first, if
not _the_ first, to take to the wing in the morning, and is generally
the last to seek its hiding place in the evening. I have seen it
actively flying about during August, as early as 7.30 in the morning,
and found it still flitting from one spot to another along the western
side of a wall as late as 8 in the evening, as if in search of a
convenient shelter for the fast approaching night.

This pretty 'Brown' must be familiar to the reader, and the coloured
drawing on Plate V (fig. 6) will at once serve for purposes of
identification without the necessity of a wordy description. It may be
mentioned, however, that the male (the sex figured) is smaller than the
female, and is further distinguished by a broad dark oblique band
passing across each fore wing.

The Wall is a double-brooded butterfly, the first brood appearing in
May, and the second in August. The caterpillars which produce the latter
may be found on the cock's foot (_Dactylis glomerata_) and other grasses
in June, while those of the former are hybernators; and the chrysalides
of the two broods may be found in April and July respectively.

The colour of the caterpillar is green, with a slightly darker stripe
down the middle of the back, a pale stripe along each side, and another
similar stripe about midway between these two.

The chrysalis is green with the exception of the more prominent parts of
its surface, which are almost white.

This species is very common in almost every locality in Britain.

_The Grayling_ (_Satyrus Semele_)

The Grayling is the largest of our 'Browns,' and, although a powerful
flier, it seldom takes long flights. The female, which is shown in fig.
7, Plate V, is really a beautiful creature, the light markings of which
stand out in bold contrast with the deep brown ground colour; but the
male is comparatively dingy, there being much less contrast between the
ground and the markings. He is also smaller than his mate.

The under side of both sexes is similar (fig. 79), the pattern of the
fore wings being much like that of the other side, but considerably
lighter, and the hind wings are beautifully marbled with various greys
and browns.

[Illustration: FIG. 79.--THE GRAYLING--UNDER SIDE.]

This species is not nearly so common as the two preceding, but it is
very widely distributed, and is exceedingly abundant in some parts. On
some of the heathery cliffs and downs of the south and south-west coasts
it is so plentiful that the butterflies are started into the air at
almost every step, for it seldom flies except when disturbed. It is a
common insect in Ireland, and also in parts of Scotland.

The caterpillar is a hybernator, and may be found feeding on grasses in
the autumn and the spring. It changes to the chrysalis in June, and the
perfect insect is on the wing from June to the beginning of September.

The colour of the caterpillar is pinkish drab above, and greenish drab
beneath. A dark brown stripe, edged with a lighter colour, passes down
the middle of the back, and a dark line on each side. It changes to a
dark reddish-brown chrysalis on the surface of the ground, or, according
to some observers, a little beneath the surface.

_The Meadow Brown_ (_Epinephele Janira_)

Although this very common butterfly is usually considered to be the
dingiest of its family, yet it must be admitted that the colour of a
freshly emerged specimen is really very rich.

The male is of a dark brown colour, with an indistinct patch of a
lighter tawny brown near the outer margin of the fore wings, and a
white-centred black eye-spot near the costal angle of the same wings.
The female (Plate V, fig. 8) is of a lighter colour, the eye-spot on her
fore wings is larger and far more conspicuous, and an irregular patch of
light orange brown occupies a large area of each of the same wings. She
is, moreover, larger than her mate, and in every way a more attractive

The Meadow Brown abounds everywhere, from June to September, and may be
seen on grass land and waste grounds where other butterflies are seldom

The caterpillar is green, and is rendered slightly rough by a number of
minute warts. There is also a white stripe on each side. It feeds on
various grasses in the autumn, hybernates during the winter, and is full
grown in May.

The chrysalis is apple green, spotted with a lighter green, and has
several black markings.

_The Large Heath_ (_Epinephele Tithonus_)

This butterfly is sometimes called the 'Small Meadow Brown,' and is
certainly much like the last species, both in colouring and habits.

The fore wings of the male (Plate V, fig. 9) are light orange brown,
bordered with dark brown, and having a broad patch of the same across
the middle; and near the costal angle is a round black spot with two
white dots. The hind wings are dark brown with a patch of light orange
brown near the centre, and a small eye-spot near the anal angle. The
female is exactly similar, except that she does not possess the broad
bar on the fore wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 80.--THE LARGE HEATH--UNDER SIDE.]

The under side is shown in fig. 80, and is coloured with various shades
of brown.

This is a very common butterfly, and may be seen during July in most
English counties, also in the south of Scotland, and in a few localities
in the south of Ireland. It frequents meadows, heaths, downs, and lanes,
like _Janira_, but is not nearly so abundant as that species.

The young caterpillar is hatched in August, and is still very small when
it seeks its winter shelter among the stems of grasses. It resumes
feeding in the following May, and is full grown towards the end of June.
Its colour is very variable--pale green, olive green, or dull brown,
with five longitudinal stripes at about equal distances from each other.
These consist of a dark one down the middle of the back, a pale line
along each side, and another pale line midway between these.

The chrysalis may be found at the end of June, attached by the tail to
blades of grass. It is of a very light colour, almost white, but adorned
with numerous black lines and patches.

_The Ringlet_ (_Epinephele Hyperanthus_)

This is another rather plainly dressed insect, though somewhat prettily
adorned on the under side. The upper surface is of a very deep sepia
brown, almost black, with a few indistinct black eye-like spots near the
margins. The under side (Plate V, fig. 10) is of a lighter umber brown,
with corresponding eye-spots generally very conspicuous. These spots are
black, with white centres, and generally surrounded by light rings. They
are subject, however, to considerable variation. Those on the upper
surface are sometimes quite absent in the male, but are nearly always
readily perceptible in the female. On the under side, too, they are
occasionally quite absent, while in other varieties they are minute
white-centred dots, without any surrounding light ring. Our coloured
drawing represents the most usual form.

[Illustration: FIG. 81.--THE RINGLET--UPPER SIDE.]

The favourite haunts of the Ringlet are the borders of woods, and the
sheltered sides of flowery hedgerows. It is not so widely distributed as
some of the common 'Browns,' but is usually very abundant where it
occurs, sometimes appearing in such numbers that several may be taken
with a single stroke of the net. It does not seem to be a frequenter of
Scotland, and is known in Ireland only in the south. Its head quarters
are the southern and south-midland counties of England.

The eggs are laid in July on various grasses, on which the young
caterpillars feed from about the middle of August till the cold weather
sets in. They hybernate at the roots of the grasses till the beginning
of the following May, and change to the chrysalis state about the middle
of June, suspending themselves to grass blades by means of their anal

The colour of the caterpillar is dull green or brown, and is marked with
five longitudinal stripes much like those of the Large Heath.

The chrysalis is pale brown, spotted and striped with a darker shade of
the same colour.

_The Marsh Ringlet_ (_Cænonympha Typhon_)

The upper surface of this butterfly is shown in the first figure of
Plate VI, and the under side in the accompanying woodcut; but it must be
remembered that the species is a very variable one, so much so that it
is almost impossible to give anything like a short and, at the same
time, a satisfactory description. The female may usually be
distinguished by a pale patch across the middle of the fore wings; and
the eye spots of the same wings, always more or less indistinct when
present, are sometimes entirely wanting. The markings of the under side
are even more variable, the transverse bars and the eye spots being
often particularly conspicuous, and at other times hardly discernible.

[Illustration: FIG. 82.--THE MARSH RINGLET--UNDER SIDE.]

This is generally spoken of as a northerner, its chief localities being
in the mountainous parts of Scotland and the elevated districts of the
north of England, but in Ireland it extends to the southern ranges. Its
haunts are elevated moors and marshy heaths, where its food plant--the
beak-rush (_Rhyncospora alba_)--abounds, and it is on the wing from the
end of June to August or September.

The caterpillar is green, with five longitudinal stripes--one dark one,
bordered with yellow, down the middle of the back, and two pale yellow
ones on each side. It is a hybernator, and is full grown about the end
of May, when it suspends itself by the hindmost claspers to a silken
carpet, and changes to a green chrysalis with pale brown wing cases.

_The Small Heath_ (_Cænonympha Pamphilus_)

The last member of the family _Satyridæ_ is the well-known Small Heath,
that may be seen almost all over the British Isles on heaths, meadows
and moors, from May to September.

The upper surface of this butterfly (Plate VI, fig. 2) is a tawny
yellow, with a dark brown border, and a spot of the same dark tint near
the tip of each fore wing. The under side is much like that of the last
species, but there are no eye spots on the hind wings.

The eggs of the first brood are laid during May and June on the various
grasses on which the caterpillar feeds.

The caterpillars that emerge from these are fully grown in July or early
August, and go through their changes during the latter month; but the
later ones hybernate during the winter, and are not full fed till the
following May.

The colour of the larva is pale apple green, with a wide darker stripe
down the back, two others along the sides, and two more between the
latter and the dorsal stripe. All these five stripes are bordered with a
whitish colour.

The chrysalis is bright apple green, dotted with white, and the wing
cases are striped with a purple-brown line edged with white.




This is a large family, including as it does no less than nineteen of
the British species. These are all of small size, and are characterised
by their short and jerky flights. They seldom rise much above the
ground, and are consequently very easily caught.

The caterpillars of this family have all short and rather thick bodies,
shaped very much like that of the wood louse--flattened beneath and very
convex above.

The chrysalides are generally attached by the 'tail,' and further
secured by a silken cord round the body, as we have already observed in
the case of the _Pieridæ_.

The perfect insects differ from the preceding species in that all six
legs are perfectly developed and adapted for walking.

There are only three genera in this large family:

  1. _Thecla_--The Hairstreaks, with 'tailed' wings.
  2. _Polyommatus_--The 'Coppers.'
  3. _Lycæna_--The 'Blues,' with wings either blue or brown.

_The Brown Hairstreak_ (_Thecla Betulæ_)

The five Hairstreaks which constitute the genus _Thecla_ are all pretty
insects, characterised by hair-like streaks on the under surface.

_Betulæ_ is the largest of these. Its upper surface is of a deep brown
colour, with orange-brown marks at the anal angles of the hind wings,
and, in the female, a large patch of orange on the fore wings. The under
side (Plate VI, fig. 3) is orange brown, much lighter in the male than
in the female. On the fore wings are two white lines, the inner one of
which is indistinct; and on the hind wings are two others, the outer one
being longer and more distinct than the inner.

This butterfly is by no means an abundant insect, though it is widely
distributed, and in some places plentiful. Its chief haunts are woods,
and we may mention among its favoured localities Epping Forest, Monk's
Wood in Cambridgeshire, the wooded parts of South Devon and Dorset, New
Forest, Colchester, and Peterborough.

[Illustration: FIG. 83.--THE BROWN HAIRSTREAK--MALE.]

The perfect insect is on the wing from July to October, and the eggs are
deposited in the autumn on the twigs of its food plant--the blackthorn
(_Prunus spinosa_). These do not hatch till the following spring. Toward
the end of June the caterpillar is fully fed.

The colour of the caterpillar is light green, with two white stripes
down the back, and two others along the sides. There are also two small
oblique whitish lines on each side of each segment.

The chrysalis is smooth, and of a pale brown colour.

_The Black Hairstreak, or White-letter Hairstreak_ (_Thecla W-album_)

The first of the above two popular names has been applied to this
species on account of the very deep brown colour of the upper side,
which colour is often a near approach to black. The second is due to the
W-shaped bend of the white streak of the hind wings. The ground colour
of the under side (Plate VI, fig. 4) is greyish brown, with a bright
orange band, spotted with black near the hind margin of the hind wings.


_W-album_ is a somewhat rare insect, but is occasionally seen in plenty
in a few localities, Cambridgeshire, Berkshire, Epping, Colchester and
Suffolk being among its chief resorts. It is out on the wing in July,
and should be looked for in wooded country where the common elm (_Ulmus
campestris_) and the wych elm (_U. montana_), its food plants, exist.

The eggs are laid on the twigs of these trees late in the summer, and
the young caterpillars do not appear till the following spring. The
chrysalis may be found attached to an elm twig or leaf about the end of

The caterpillar is pale green. The ridges along the back are tinged with
yellow, and there are two fine oblique white lines on each side of each

_The Dark Hairstreak_ (_Thecla Pruni_)

The upper side of this butterfly is very much like that of _W-album_,
but it may be distinguished by the presence of a few orange spots near
the anal angle of the hind wings. The colouring of the under side (Plate
VI, fig. 5) is also very similar, except that the white lines of the
wings are thinner and less distinct than in the last species, and do not
exhibit the W-shaped bend. The orange band of this surface is bordered
on each side with a row of black spots, each of which is touched with a
bluish white or a metallic blue.

This insect is not by any means common, but has been seen in
considerable numbers in certain localities. It is not found in either
Scotland or Ireland, and its chief haunts in England seem to be in
Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. It frequents
wooded country, and flies during June and July.

The eggs are laid late in the summer on the twigs of the blackthorn
(_Prunus spinosa_), and are not hatched till the following spring.

The caterpillar, which is pale green, with rows of yellow spots, may be
found in May.

_The Purple Hairstreak_ (_Thecla Quercus_)

This pretty butterfly, by far the commonest of the Hairstreaks, though
comparatively very small, reminds one forcibly of the noble Purple
Emperor. Its haunts are the same oak woods, and its upper surface,
though only a dull dark brown in certain lights, exhibits the same
imperial purple reflections when viewed at certain angles. The purple of
the male extends over the whole of the wings, but that of the female is
confined to a V-shaped patch at the base of the fore wings. In the
latter case, however, the purple is much richer than in the male sex.

The under side (Plate VI, fig. 6) is coloured with a delicate grey
ground, adorned with a white streak on each wing, and a couple of orange
spots near the anal angle of the hind wings.

This species is very widely distributed, being common in oak woods in
most parts of England, and also in many parts of Scotland and Ireland.
It flies around the branches of the trees, and often disappoints the
collector by keeping far beyond the reach of his net.

[Illustration: FIG. 85.--THE PURPLE HAIRSTREAK--MALE.]

Those in search of this pretty insect should ramble in oak woods,
preferably in the south of England, during July and August. The eggs may
be found glued to the twigs throughout the winter, and the larvæ may be
beaten from the branches of the oak in June.

The colour of the caterpillar is brownish or pinkish green, with a row
of V-shaped marks down the back.

The chrysalis is of a brown colour, short and thick, and may be found
either attached to oak leaves, or under the surface of the earth at the
foot of the tree on which the caterpillar fed.

_The Green Hairstreak_ (_Thecla Rubi_)

Next to _Quercus_, this is the most plentiful of the genus. It frequents
woods and heaths in nearly every county in England, and is also found in
parts of Scotland and Ireland. It is peculiar among British butterflies
as being the only one that exhibits a bright green colour. It also
differs from the other Hairstreaks in two important particulars, for the
hind wings, though angled at the hind margin, are not 'tailed,' and the
characteristic hairstreak which gives the popular name to the genus is
here represented only by a series of white dots across the wings, or, in
some cases, by one or two dots on the hind wings only.

[Illustration: FIG. 86.--THE GREEN HAIRSTREAK.]

The upper side is dark brown, displaying metallic reflections when
viewed in a strong light. The under side is represented in fig. 7 of
Plate VI.

The chief food plants of this species are the bramble (_Rubus
fruticosus_), the birch (_Betula alba_), and the broom (_Cytisus

The perfect insect flies in May and June, and the eggs are deposited
during the latter month on the above plants. The caterpillars are full
fed in July, and change to the chrysalis state towards the end of the

The colour of the caterpillar is pale green, with a yellow stripe and
several white oblique lines along the sides, also a yellowish stripe
down the back.

The chrysalis is short and thick, and of a dark brown colour.

_The Large Copper_ (_Polyommatus Dispar_)

Our next genus contains only two British species. The first of
these--the Large Copper--was once a common insect at Whittlesea in
Cambridgeshire, and in some of the fens of Huntingdonshire, but is now
feared to be quite extinct, as none have been seen for many years. The
last capture was made in 1847 in Huntingdonshire. However, it _may_ turn
up again; and even if it does not, it would be a pity to allow the
memory of so fine an insect to die out; so we find room to figure it
(Plate VI, fig. 8), and append a few remarks.

There is a very great difference between the male and the female. The
former is of a brilliant copper hue, and all the wings have a black
margin and a black streak near the middle. The female is larger; and the
coppery colour is much redder. The black border of the fore wings is
wider, and there are also several large black spots on these wings. The
hind wings are almost entirely covered with black, with the exception of
a broad coppery band near the hind margin.

The food plant of the caterpillar appears to have been the water dock
(_Rumex Hydrolapathum_), on which the eggs were laid late in the summer.
It is probable that the caterpillar was a hybernator, seeking its winter
shelter while still very young; and it was full fed in June.

Its colour was green, with a darker stripe of the same colour on the
back; and the chrysalis was attached by anal hooks and a cord round the

_The Small Copper_ (_Polyommatus Phlæas_)

The only other British member of the genus _Polyommatus_--the Small
Copper--is one of the commonest of our butterflies. It may be found in
nearly all parts of the British Isles from April to September, more
particularly in April, June, _and_ August, for it is apparently triple

This brilliant and lively little insect is shown on Plate VI (fig. 9),
and, being so very familiar, needs no description.

The caterpillar feeds on different species of dock--the broad-leaved
dock (_Rumex obtusifolius_), the fiddle dock (_R. pulcher_), the sorrel
(_R. acetosa_), and the sheep sorrel (_R. acetosella_); also on the
ragwort (_Senecio Jacobæa_). It is full fed about three weeks after
hatching, and then changes to a small and stout chrysalis, of a pale
brown colour, on the leaf of its food plant.

The caterpillar itself is green, with a reddish line on the back and on
each side; and it glides over the surface of the leaves something after
the manner of a slug, without exhibiting any very apparent motion of its
short legs and claspers.

_The Tailed Blue_ (_Lycæna Bætica_)

We now come to a genus containing no less than ten species of beautiful
little butterflies, known commonly as the 'Blues;' but one of them
exhibits no trace of the colour so characteristic of the group, although
it resembles the others in structure and habits.

Our first example is the Tailed Blue, known also as the Pea-pod Argus.
The upper side of this insect (Plate VI, fig. 10) is of a dull smoke
colour, exhibiting purple-blue reflections, which are, in the female,
confined to distinct blotches on the bases of the wings, but in the male
are less noticeable, and extend over the whole surface. The hind margin
of the hind wings has a row of spots, more or less distinct, and much
more prominent in the female than in the male. The under side is
beautifully marked with bands of fawn and grey, and with two spots of
brilliant metallic green in the anal angle of the hind wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 87.--THE TAILED BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

This butterfly abounds in the countries of South Europe, where the
caterpillar feeds on the pods of certain leguminous plants; but only a
few stragglers have been taken in England, so that its reputation as a
true Britisher is very uncertain. It is highly probable that the two or
three specimens caught on our south coast were blown over from the
Continent, and that the insect has never bred on this side of the

_The Silver-studded Blue_ (_Lycæna Ægon_)

The upper surface of the male (Plate VI, fig. 11) of this species is
purple blue, with a black border on the hind margins of all wings. The
female (fig. 12 of the same plate) is of a very dark smoky-brown colour,
often with a bluish tinge, and has generally a row of orange spots near
the hind margin of the hind wings.

The under side of both sexes is similar, and is illustrated in the
accompanying woodcut. The ground colour is bluish grey, and is marked
with a number of black spots surrounded by light rings. Along the hind
margin of the hind wings is a row of orange spots, each bordered with
black on the inner side, and with a silvery blue on the outer.


This insect appears in July, and is common in many dry, sandy, or chalky
spots in various parts of England, and also in a few localities in
Scotland and Ireland. It has been reported as abundant at Darlington and
in certain localities in Lancashire, but its head quarters are
undoubtedly the chalk downs and dry gravelly banks of the southern

The caterpillar feeds on the bird's-foot (_Ornithopus perpusillus_), and
is full grown towards the end of June. Its colour is yellow or grey,
with a brown dorsal stripe, a white line on each side, and pale oblique
lines near the former. About the end of June it changes to a dull green
chrysalis, with projecting wing cases.

_The Brown Argus_ (_Lycæna Astrarche_)

Neither male nor female of this species exhibits any trace of blue. The
upper surface, shown in fig. 13 of Plate VI, is coloured with a warm
brown, and all four wings have a row of orange spots near the hind
margin. The fore wings have also a central black spot. The under
surface, drawn on the same plate (fig. 14), is bluish grey, with a
border of orange spots on each hind margin as on the other side. There
are also numerous black spots in light rings, the arrangement of which
will be seen in the figure.

Some species of butterflies and moths are so variable in their colouring
and markings that varieties have often been mistaken for distinct
species; and, in other cases, distinct species are sometimes so similar
in character that they are looked upon as identical.

A butterfly that closely resembles the normal Brown Argus in many
points, and named _Artaxerxes_, has often been described as a distinct
species, but is now, I believe, recognised by most entomologists as a
constant variety of the present species.

It differs from the normal type in having a _white_ instead of a _black_
spot in the centre of the fore wings, and the border of orange spots is
often very indistinct. On the under side, too, instead of black spots in
white rings, it has white spots, with little or no trace of a black

The ordinary Brown Argus is a southerner, and is particularly abundant
on the chalk downs of the south coast and the Isle of Wight, but
_Artaxerxes_ is to be found only in Scotland and the north of England;
and it is interesting to note that, between these northern and southern
districts, intermediate varieties are to be met with.

Again, _Astrarche_ is a double-brooded butterfly, appearing on the wing
in May and August; while _Artaxerxes_ is single brooded, flying at
midsummer. This fact has lent support to the opinion that the two are
distinct species; but it must be remembered that several insects that
are single brooded in one country are double brooded in a warmer

The caterpillar of _Astrarche_ feeds on the hemlock stork's-bill
(_Erodium cicutarium_). It is of a pale yellow colour, with a brownish
line on the back; and is full fed in April and July.

_The Common Blue_ (_Lycæna Icarus_)

Although this pretty little butterfly is so common that it is almost
sure to be known to all who take any interest in insect life, yet it is
important to observe it carefully, since it is an easy matter to
confound it with other species of the same genus.

The upper surfaces of the two sexes are very different, that of the male
(Plate VI, fig. 15) being a beautiful lilac blue; and that of the
female (Plate VI, fig. 16) a dark brown, powdered with blue at the bases
of the wings, and having _generally_ a border of orange spots, more or
less defined, on the hind margins of all wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 89.--THE COMMON BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

The under side, shown in the accompanying woodcut, is ashy brown; warm
in the female, but paler in the male. The hind wings, and sometimes all
four, are bordered with orange spots; and this species may be
distinguished from _Astrarche_ by the presence of two black spots, in
white rings, near the base of the fore wings.

There will be no need to name localities for this insect, as it is
abundant everywhere, frequenting meadows, heaths, and all waste places.
It is double brooded, and is on the wing continuously from May to
September, the first brood enduring from May to July, and the second
from July to the end of the warm weather.

The caterpillar is green, with a dorsal line of a darker tint, and a row
of white spots on each side. It feeds on clover (_Trifolium pratense_
and _T. repens_), bird's-foot (_Ornithopus perpusillus_), bird's-foot
trefoil (_Lotus corniculatus_), and the rest-harrow (_Ononis spinosa_).

The chrysalis is short and rounded, of a dull green colour, tinged with
brown on the under surface.

_The Clifden Blue_ (_Lycæna Bellargus_)

Our coloured representations of this beautiful blue (Plate VI, figs. 17
and 18) show that here also there is a great difference between the male
and female. The former is a most lovely and brilliant sky blue, bordered
by a fine black line; and the latter is a dull dark brown, with a more
or less distinct border of orange spots, and the bases of the wings are
powdered with scales of a tint corresponding with those of the male. In
both sexes the fringe is very distinctly barred with dark brown.

[Illustration: FIG. 90.--THE CLIFDEN BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

The under side (fig. 90) is similar in both sexes--greyish brown, with
a border of reddish spots, and a number of black spots in white rings,
the arrangement of which is here represented.

The butterfly frequents chalky downs, chiefly in the south of England,
and seems to be unknown in Scotland and Ireland. The Isle of Wight, and
the chalky downs and banks of Sussex, Surrey, and Kent, are its
favourite localities; and even in these it is generally very local,
sometimes swarming on a grassy bank of no great extent, when the
surrounding neighbourhood, though apparently equally suitable to its
requirements, does not harbour a single specimen. It is on the wing in
May and June, and again in August.

The caterpillar is green, with two rows of yellow streaks on the back,
and a yellow stripe on each side. It feeds on the Dutch clover
(_Trifolium repens_), horse-shoe vetch (_Hippocrepis comosa_), and
various other leguminous plants.

_The Chalk-Hill Blue_ (_Lycæna Corydon_)

The male of this species (Plate VII, fig. 1) is readily to be
distinguished from all other members of the genus by its pale glossy
blue, but the female (fig. 2 of Plate VII) so closely resembles that of
_Bellargus_ that it is often a somewhat difficult matter to discriminate
between them. The following, however, are a few points worthy of
observation: The upper side of the female _Corydon_ has the bases of the
wings more or less sprinkled with the pale silky blue that characterises
the male; and the black bars of the fringe are _usually_ broader in
_Corydon_ than in _Bellargus_. The black-centred spots of the under side
are also usually more conspicuous in the former species than in the

[Illustration: FIG. 91.--THE CHALK HILL BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

The difficulty of identification is increased by the fact that both
these butterflies frequent similar localities, and are often on the wing
at the same time; but although _Corydon_ is certainly a frequenter of
chalky districts, yet it is often found plentifully in districts far
removed from the chalk, notably at Arnside in Lancashire, and in Epping

The butterfly is out in June and July. The caterpillar is green, with
two rows of short yellow streaks on the back, and a yellow stripe on
each side. It feeds on the purple and Dutch clovers (_Trifolium
pratense_ and _T. repens_), bird's-foot trefoil (_Lotus corniculatus_),
horse-shoe vetch (_Hippocrepis comosa_), and lady's fingers (_Anthyllis

_The Holly Blue_ (_Lycæna Argiolus_)

While all the other Blues delight to sport on low flowery banks in the
full blaze of the summer's sun, the Holly Blue prefers to flit among the
branches of trees, often many feet from the ground. The larva feeds on
the flowers of the holly (_Ilex Aquifolium_) in the spring, and on those
of the ivy (_Hedera Helix_) late in the summer; also on the alder
buckthorn (_Rhamnus Frangula_); and it is in localities where these grow
that we may find this lovely Blue sporting among the branches, or
resting on a leaf with its wings folded together, thus making itself
conspicuous among the dark foliage by exposing the pale silvery blue of
its under surface.

The upper sides of both the male and female are shown on Plate VII
(figs. 3 and 4 respectively), where the beautiful lilac blue will be
seen to have a border of black, wider in the latter than in the former.

[Illustration: FIG. 92.--THE HOLLY BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

The under surface is spotted with black, as shown in fig. 92, and has no
border of orange spots.

This is a double-brooded butterfly, appearing first in April and May,
and then again in August. It is not at all uncommon in the south of
England, and extends northward as far as the Lake District, but is not
found in Scotland. It is generally distributed throughout Ireland.

The caterpillar may be looked for in June and October. It is light
green, with a line of dark green down the back.

_The Mazarine Blue_ (_Lycæna Semiargus_)

The male (Plate VII, fig. 5) is deep purple blue, with a narrow
dark-brown border, and the female (fig. 6 of the same plate) dark brown.
The under side of both sexes is light greyish-brown or drab, with a row
of black spots in white rings parallel with the hind margin of each
wing, and no reddish or orange spots.

This pretty butterfly seems to have been plentiful in several localities
some years since, but has not been seen for a long time; and it is
probable that its reckless slaughter by those who catch all the pretty
butterflies they can secure either for ornament or for gain has caused
its name to be permanently removed from our list of natives.

[Illustration: FIG. 93.--THE MAZARINE BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

It was formerly abundant in Dorset, Hereford, Glamorganshire, and near
Shirley, and was on the wing in June and July, but it disappeared from
our view before a full account of its life history had been prepared.

_The Small Blue_ (_Lycæna Minima_)

We now come to the smallest of all British butterflies--a little insect
that measures less than one inch from tip to tip when its wings are
expanded. Its upper surface is of a dull and dark-brown colour, the
bases of the wings being dusted with blue in the case of the male. The
under side is pale drab, tinged with greenish blue at the bases of the
wings, and marked with black spots in light rings as shown in the
accompanying figure. The upper side is represented in fig. 7 of Plate

[Illustration: FIG. 94.--THE SMALL BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

This butterfly is on the wing in May and June, and during the latter
month the eggs are deposited on the flowers of the lady's fingers
(_Anthyllis vulneraria_).

The caterpillars are hatched in about a week, and commence feeding on
the calyx of the buds, and soon burrow into them till they are quite

The colour of the caterpillar is brownish, with a darker stripe on the
back, and a row of oblique brown streaks on each side.

This species is widely distributed in England, and is plentiful in most
chalky and limestone districts. It is also found in parts of Scotland
and Ireland.

_The Large Blue_ (_Lycæna Arion_)

The last of our Blues is the largest of the genus, and is, with the
exception of _Semiargus_, the rarest. It is a very local insect,
appearing in small numbers, during June and July, in parts of South
Devon, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, and a few other counties.

[Illustration: FIG. 95.--THE LARGE BLUE--UNDER SIDE.]

The colour of the upper side is a dark and rich blue, with a broad dark
border on the hind margins, and a group of black spots near the centre
of the fore wings. The under side (fig. 95) is of a pearly grey, without
any red spots, but having a double border of black spots, and also an
irregular row of black spots in white rings across the middle of each

The caterpillar feeds on thyme (_Thymus Serpyllum_), on which plant the
eggs are laid singly, generally on the flower heads.




_The Duke of Burgundy_ (_Nemeobius Lucina_)

The family _Erycinidæ_ has only one British representative, commonly
known as the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary, but although this butterfly
certainly resembles the Fritillaries in general appearance (see figs. 9
and 10 of Plate VII), its habits and life history present many points of
difference from these.

The upper side is chequered with black and tawny brown, the fringe is
white and barred with dark brown, and a row of tawny spots with black
centres border the hind margins. The under side has two rows of white
spots, one near the base, and the other across the centre of each wing.

The male has only four legs adapted for walking, but the female has six.

The butterfly is out in May and June, and frequents the paths and open
spaces of woods, chiefly in the south of England, but it has been taken
in some of the northern counties.

The caterpillar (Plate VIII, fig. 6) is not spiny like those of the true
Fritillaries, but more closely resembles those of the Blues, being
somewhat of the form of a woodlouse. It is reddish brown, with tufts of
hair, black spiracles, and a dark line down the back. It feeds on the
primrose (_Primula acaulis_) and the cowslip (_P. veris_), and may be
found during June, July and August.

When fully grown, the caterpillar secures itself to a leaf or stem by
means of its anal claspers and a silken cord round its body, and changes
to a short, thick, hairy and light-coloured chrysalis (Plate VIII, fig.
11), which is marked with several black spots. In this state it spends
the winter, and emerges early in the following summer.


This family contains eight small species, none of which are remarkable
for brilliancy of color. They are, nevertheless, very interesting
creatures, for they exhibit peculiarities of structure and habit that
render them singular among the butterflies, and seem to show a sort of
cousin relationship with the moths. They have thick bodies that remind
us somewhat of the _Noctuæ_. Their heads are broad, so that the antennæ,
which are slightly hooked at the tips, are rather wide apart at the
bases. When at rest, they neither press their wings together over their
back like the other butterflies, nor do they set them horizontally after
the manner of the moths, but seem to lay claim to an intermediate
position in the scale of Lepidopterous insects by holding them in a half
elevated position. Their flight, too, is not graceful like that of most
other butterflies, nor even so steady as that of the little flitting
blues, but brisk and erratic, and resembling the fitful motions of moths
disturbed from their slumberings at unwonted hours. Thus they have
earned their popular title of skippers from their habit of skipping
rather than flying from flower to flower. All the three pairs of legs of
these butterflies are fully developed for walking.

The caterpillars have rather large heads, and their bodies taper from
the middle toward both extremities. Like the larvæ of many moths, they
hide themselves in leaves which they have rolled and secured with silken
threads; and when about to change to the chrysalis state, they also spin
silken cocoons for their further protection.

_The Grizzled Skipper_ (_Syrichthus Malvæ_)

The ground color of this species is a very dark brown, relieved by a
number of square white spots arranged as shown in fig. 11 of Plate VII.
The fringe is wide, and barred with the same two colours, arranged
alternately. The pattern of the under side is similar, but the dark
brown of the upper surface is replaced by a lighter olive tint.

The butterfly may be looked for in May in the open spaces of woods,
particularly in damp places. It is common all over England, and is found
also in the south of Scotland.

The caterpillar is either green or brownish, with a darker dorsal stripe
of the same color, and two white lines on each side. It feeds on the
raspberry (_Rubus idæus_), the bramble (_R. fruticosus_), and the
strawberry-leaved cinquefoil (_Potentilla Fragariastrum_), and is full
fed about the end of June.

The chrysalis is greyish, spotted with black. It is rather elongated,
and without angles, but has a short and sharp projection extending
backwards from the 'tail.'

_The Dingy Skipper_ (_Nisoniades Tages_)

Colour--a dingy brown, indistinctly barred and spotted with a darker
tint, and having a row of small white spots just inside the fringe of
the hind margins. Under side--a paler brown, with rows of small white

This butterfly is common in all parts of England, and is found in a few
localities in Scotland and Ireland. It frequents dry banks, and is
particularly partial to the chalky districts of the south-eastern
counties. It is on the wing in May, and a second brood appears in lesser
numbers in August.

The caterpillar is pale green, with two yellow stripes on each side, and
a row of black spots above each stripe. It feeds on the bird's-foot
trefoil (_Lotus corniculatus_), and may be found in June, and again in

The chrysalis (Plate VIII, fig. 12) is shaped something like that of the
last species, and is coloured green on the front segments, and a rose
red on the abdomen.

The perfect insect is represented in fig. 12 of Plate VII.

_The Small Skipper_ (_Hesperia Thaumas_)

In briefly describing the various British butterflies no mention has
been made, except in a few cases, of the shape of the wings, this matter
having been left to the reader's own observations of our illustrations.
We will, however, call attention to the somewhat square-cut form of the
wings of _Thaumas_ and the following species.

The above-named butterfly (Plate VII, fig. 13) is a lively-looking
little insect, its wings being of a bright tawny orange colour, bordered
with black, beyond which is a light fringe. The male, which is the sex
figured, is distinguished from the female by an oblique black streak
across the middle of the front wings. The under side is orange, with a
decidedly greenish tinge.

The butterfly is out in July, and is very abundant and widely
distributed. It lays its eggs on various grasses, particularly the
meadow soft-grass (_Holcus lanatus_).

The caterpillar hybernates through the winter, and is full fed in the
following June, when it changes to a green chrysalis after spinning a
light silken cocoon among the blades of grass. The colour of the
caterpillar is green, with six longitudinal white stripes--two on the
back, and two on each side.

_The New Small Skipper_ (_Hesperia Lineola_)

A few years since (1888) a butterfly was taken in one of our
south-eastern counties that closely resembled the well-known _Thaumas_
(or _Linea_), but which turned out to be a species not previously known
in Britain. When, however, the distinguishing features of the new
butterfly were made known, several entomologists discovered that they
had already secured the new prize, but that, being ignorant of its
characteristics, they had placed it in their series over the label

Since the above date, this new insect (Plate VII, fig. 18), which is
named _Lineola_, has been taken in considerable numbers at Leigh,
Harwich, Southend, and near Shoeburyness in Suffolk, as well as in the
Fens of Huntingdonshire; and it is highly probable that it may turn up
in various other localities where it has not yet been observed.

It appears on the wing about the first week of July, a little later than
_Thaumas_, but the two kindred species are often found flying together.

The chief points by which we distinguish _Lineola_ from the last species
are these: The general appearance of the wings is a bit dingier than in
_Thaumas_; the inner portion of the hind wings is of a bright tawny
colour in _Thaumas_ but not in _Lineola_; the tips of the antennæ are
yellow beneath in _Thaumas_, but black in _Lineola_; and the black
streak across the fore wings of the latter species is short and
generally broken.

The eggs of _Lineola_ are laid at the end of July or beginning of August
on various grasses, chiefly the various species of _Triticum_, but do
not hatch till the following April.

The larva is full fed about the end of June or beginning of July, and
then changes to a long yellowish-green chrysalis, from which the perfect
insect emerges in two or three weeks.

_The Lulworth Skipper_ (_Hesperia Actæon_)

Although this species is somewhat similar to the two preceding, it may
be readily distinguished by the heavy clouding of dull greenish brown
that almost covers the wings. The male, which is shown in fig. 14 of
Plate VII, has a black streak across the fore wings, and the female
possesses a semicircular row of tawny spots near the tip of the same
wings, and also a tawny streak near the centre.

This is a very local species, having been found only in a few
localities. At Lulworth Cove and 'Burning Cliff' in Dorset it has been
met with in profusion. In Devon it frequents the rough ground near the
cliffs at Sidmouth and Torquay; and it has also been reported as
appearing at Stratford-on-Avon, Shenstone near Lichfield, and the
neighbourhoods of Swanage and Tyneham.

One can scarcely hope to see this insect at large without making a
special trip to one of its favourite haunts, in which case a day should
be chosen toward the end of July or early in August.

_The Large Skipper_ (_Hesperia Sylvanus_)

During May, June, and August this butterfly may be seen on grassy banks
in nearly every part of England, as well as in certain localities of
Scotland and Ireland.

The wings are all of a bright orange-brown colour, with a narrow black
border, inside which is a broad shading of brown. The latter colour
usually completely covers the hind wings with the exception of about
half a dozen squarish spots; and the same colour, together with the dark
brown wing rays, breaks up the light ground of the fore wings, often
forming several squarish and triangular patches, most distinct near the
tips. The male (Plate VII, fig. 15) may be readily distinguished from
the female by the presence of a thick dark brown streak across the fore

The under side of both sexes is pale tawny brown, with a greenish tinge;
and has several rather indistinct yellowish spots.

The larva is of a dull green colour, with a dark line on the back. Its
upper surface is dotted with black, and there are white spots on the
under side of the tenth and eleventh segments. It feeds on several kinds
of grasses, some of its favourites being the meadow soft grass (_Holcus
lanatus_), the cock's-foot (_Dactylis glomerata_), and couch grass
(_Agropyron repens_).

_The Silver-spotted Skipper_ (_Hesperia Comma_)

This species is very similar on the upper side to the last, except that
the squarish spots of both fore and hind wings are much paler and much
more distinct; and here, too, the male (Plate VII, fig. 16) is to be
distinguished from the female by a black streak crossing the front wings
obliquely. The under surface has a greenish tinge, more particularly on
the hind wings; and this side is conspicuously marked with a number of
_white_ square spots with sharp outlines, arranged as shown in fig. 96.


Although common in some localities, this butterfly is not widely
distributed. It is confined to some of the southern and midland counties
of England, and is particularly partial to the chalk districts of the
south-east. On the chalk downs of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex it is
moderately common. It is on the wing during July and August.

The caterpillar feeds on certain leguminous plants, among which are the
bird's-foot (_Ornithopus perpusillus_) and the bird's-foot trefoil
(_Lotus corniculatus_).

_The Chequered Skipper_ (_Carterocephalus Palæmon_)

This is another local insect, more so even than the last, but it
sometimes appears in profusion in certain limited districts. Kettering,
Oundle in Northamptonshire, and Monk's Wood in Huntingdonshire are
places where it has been taken freely. It appears in June.

The wings are chequered with very dark brown and orange. The fore wings
are bordered with small rounded yellow spots, and beside these there are
about nine very conspicuous yellow spots on the fore wing and three on
the hind wing. The arrangement of these markings may be seen in fig. 17
of Plate VII.

The caterpillar feeds on the greater plantain (_Plantago major_).





We have already observed the chief features by which we are able to
distinguish between butterflies and moths (page 56), so we shall devote
the present division to a description of the characteristics and life
histories of some of the latter insects.

The number of British butterflies is so limited that space could be
found for a brief description of every species, but with moths the case
is very different. There are about two thousand known British species of
this division of the Lepidoptera, and every year adds some newly
discovered insects to this long list; we shall therefore have to content
ourselves with making a selection of these for individual mention.

In doing this I shall endeavour to provide the young entomologist with a
fairly representative list--one that will enable him to become more or
less intimately acquainted with all the principal divisions of the
_Heterocera_; and his attention will be drawn especially to many which
may be described as 'common' or 'generally distributed,' so that during
his first few seasons at collecting he may be enabled to identify and
study a fair proportion of his captures. Occasionally, however, one of
the rarer species will be described in order to illustrate some striking

We shall commence with the tribe of _Sphinges_ or _Hawk Moths_.

This group consists of three families--the _Sphingidæ_, including the
largest of the 'Hawks,' and the 'Bee Hawks,' the _Sesiidæ_ or
'Clearwings,' and the _Zygænidæ_, including the 'Foresters' and the
'Burnets'--numbering in all about forty species.


This family is named from a fancied resemblance of the larvæ to the
celebrated Egyptian sphinx. The perfect insects have very thick bodies,
generally tapering toward the tail, and their wings are rather narrow in
proportion to the length, but are exceedingly powerful, and the flight
is, with one or two exceptions, very rapid. The antennæ terminate in a
small and thin hook.

Most of these insects fly at dusk, but a few delight in the brightness
and heat of the midday sun. In either case the velocity of their flight
is generally so great that it is a difficult matter to follow them with
the eye, and a still more difficult matter to secure the insects in the
net; consequently, the best way to study them is to search out the larvæ
on their food plants, and rear them till they attain their perfect form.

The larvæ of the _Sphingidæ_ are large and smooth, and most of them have
a horn projecting from the top of the last segment but one. They all
undergo their metamorphoses under the surface of the ground.

_The Death's-Head Hawk_ (_Acherontia Atropos_)

Our first example of the Sphinges is the beautiful Death's-Head Hawk
Moth--an insect that often attains a breadth of five inches from tip to
tip when the wings are fully expanded. Its popular title has been
applied on account of the peculiar markings of the thorax, which are
said to resemble a human skull; and this feature has certainly some
connection with the superstitious beliefs of ignorant country folk
concerning this moth. But this characteristic is probably not the only
one that has caused the creature to be regarded with superstitious
alarm. Both its superior dimensions and nocturnal habits serve to
intensify the unfounded fear; but, what is particularly striking and
unique about it is its power of uttering a squeaking sound, which it
does when disturbed. Even the earlier stages of the insect possess this
strange power. The caterpillar makes a peculiar snapping noise when
irritated, and the chrysalis has been observed to squeak shortly before
the emergence of the perfect form.

The fore wings of this moth are of a very rich dark brown, beautifully
mottled with lighter tawny shades, and with a small but conspicuous
yellow dot near the centre. The hind wings are yellow, with a black band
and margin; and the body is yellow, with six broad black bands, and six
large blue spots down the middle.

[Illustration: FIG. 97.--THE DEATH'S-HEAD HAWK MOTH.]

The moth is rather widely distributed, and even common in some parts,
but is not nearly so often met with as the larva. It is on the wing
during August and September.

It is probable that the reader will never have an opportunity of
capturing the perfect form of this remarkable species, but he may with a
little perseverance obtain some caterpillars and rear them. These larvæ
feed on the potato, the deadly nightshade (_Atropa Belladonna_), and the
woody nightshade (_Solanum Dulcamara_); and they are well known to
potato growers in some parts of the country.

The colour of the caterpillar is generally pale yellow, with numerous
small black dots, and seven oblique violet stripes on each side. The
horn is yellowish and rough, and is bent downward, but recurved again at
the tip.

It feeds during the night, and remains hidden throughout the daytime. In
August it is fully grown, and then retires into the ground to undergo
its transformations.

[Illustration: FIG. 98.--THE LARVA OF ATROPOS.]

_The Privet Hawk_ (_Sphinx Ligustri_)

This is another fine moth, measuring nearly four and a half inches from
tip to tip. It is represented in the centre of Plate IX in its natural
colours, so that it need not be described.

The perfect insect flies in June and July, and, although common, is not
frequently seen at large. The larvæ, however, are to be met with in
abundance in privet hedges. Even in the centres of large towns we may
see them resting on the topmost twigs of a privet hedge, their beautiful
green tint closely resembling that of the surrounding leaves. After a
little experience they may be readily discerned by a careful observer,
but there are certain signs by which their presence may be proved before
they have been actually seen. Sometimes a number of the twigs are
completely stripped of their leaves, even the midribs and the leaf
stalks being almost or entirely devoured; and beneath the bushes are
the large black masses of excrement that tell of the marauders above.
When found, these larvæ should always be removed on a piece of the twig
to which they are attached, for they hold on so firmly by their claspers
that it is sometimes almost impossible to remove them from their hold
without injury.

These caterpillars may easily be distinguished from those of the other
'hawks' by the seven oblique stripes which adorn the sides. These are
each composed of two colours, white and lilac, and form a pretty
contrast with the bright green of the rest of the body. The horn is
smooth and curved, and is black with the exception of part of the under
side, which is yellow.

They are fully grown in August, and from the end of this month till the
following June the chrysalides may be dug out from under privet and
lilac bushes, both of which are attacked by the larva.

_The Spurge Hawk_ (_Deilephila Euphorbiæ_)

This is a very rare British species; in fact, it has never been seen in
this country in its perfect state, but the larva has been found
plentifully at Appledore and Braunton Burrows, in North Devon, feeding
on the sea spurge (_Euphorbia Paralias_).

The perfect insect is shown on Plate IX (fig. 2).


The caterpillar is black, with a large number of small yellowish white
dots, and two rows of spots of the same colour on each side. There is
also a red line on each side, and another down the middle of the back.
The horn is rough and red with a black tip. It feeds during August and

_The Small Elephant Hawk_ (_Chærocampa Porcellus_)

This pretty insect is one of the smallest of our hawk moths. It is
widely distributed, being met with in many parts of England and in the
south of Scotland. It flies in June.

The fore wings are of a dull yellow colour, with rosy-red hind margins,
and a broad border of the same tint on the costal margin. The hind wings
have also a rosy-red hind margin, and are smoky black along the costæ,
and yellow in the anal angle. The body is coloured with bright rose-red,
tinged with olive on the foremost and hindmost segments.

The popular name of this and the following species has been applied
because of the power which the caterpillar has of extending and
retracting its front segments, a peculiarity which has given the idea of
a semblance to the elephant's proboscis. The colour of the caterpillar
is light-brown or green, mottled with dark-brown, dark-green, or black.
It has a conspicuous eye-like spot on each side of the fifth and sixth
segments, and has no horn.

[Illustration: FIG. 100.--THE SMALL ELEPHANT HAWK MOTH.]

This larva may be found in July and August, feeding on species of
bedstraw (_Galium verum_, _G. Mollugo_, and _G. palustre_), willow herb
(_Epilobium hirsutum_), or the purple loosestrife (_Lythrum Salicaria_).

_The Large Elephant_ (_Chærocampa Elpenor_)

This species (Plate IX, fig. 3) is very similar to the last in form and
markings; but is, as its name implies, larger.

The caterpillar, too, is very like that of the last species, but may be
distinguished from it by the possession of a short black horn, tipped
with white, on the 'tail.' Its colour is green or brown, mottled and
spotted with black. The eye-like spots on its fifth and sixth segments
are black, and each contains a brown spot surrounded by a white line.

Its chief food plants are the hairy willow herb (_Epilobium hirsutum_),
three species of bedstraw (_Galium verum_, _G. Mollugo_ and _G.
palustre_), the purple loosestrife (_Lythrum Salicaria_), and the
enchanter's nightshade (_Circæa lutetiana_). It will also feed on the
vine and the apple in confinement.

_The Eyed Hawk_ (_Smerinthus Ocellatus_)

Our next genus (_Smerinthus_) contains three well-known moths, all of
which have the hind margin of the fore wings angulated or indented.

The first is the Eyed Hawk, represented in fig. 4 of Plate IX and named
after the beautiful and conspicuous eye-like spot near the anal angle of
each hind wing.

The caterpillar has a rough green skin, sprinkled with white dots, and
marked with seven oblique white lines on each side, each of which is
bordered with dark green above. The spiracles are pinkish, surrounded by
violet rings; and the horn is blue.

The moth flies during May, June, and July; and the caterpillar may be
found in plenty during August, feeding on the apple, willow (_Salix
alba_), sallow (_S. cinerea_ and _S. Caprea_), poplar (_Populus alba_
and _P. nigra_), aspen (_P. tremula_), and the blackthorn (_Prunus

As with many other _Sphinges_, the larvæ are much more commonly seen
than the perfect insects; but the latter may often be met with resting
on tree trunks and fences in the neighbourhood of their food plants.

_The Poplar Hawk_ (_Smerinthus Populi_)

[Illustration: FIG. 101.--THE POPLAR HAWK.]

This moth is very common and very widely distributed, and may be easily
found in any of its stages. The perfect insect flies during May, June,
and July; and being rather heavy on the wing, it is easily taken with a
net as it hovers round the branches of its favourite trees or among the
flowers of gardens at dusk. The larva may be beaten from the boughs of
poplars and sallows during August and September, and during the latter
month may often be seen creeping down and around the trunks of these
trees, searching for a suitable spot in which to undergo its changes.
The pupa may be dug out of the soil at the foot of the same trees
during the autumn, winter, and spring months.

The fore wings are ashy grey or greyish brown, marbled with darker
tints, with a conspicuous white spot near the centre. The hind wings are
similarly coloured except at the base, where there is a large patch of

The caterpillar is rough, of a pale green colour dotted with yellow,
with seven oblique yellow stripes on each side. The spiracles are white,
edged with red; and the horn is yellow on the upper, and reddish on the
under side. Its chief food plants are the poplar, the Lombardy poplar
(_Populus pyramidalis_), aspen (P_. tremula_), and sallow (_Salix
Caprea_ and _S. cinerea_).

_The Lime Hawk_ (_Smerinthus Tiliæ_)

This beautiful moth (fig. 5, Plate IX) is easily identified by its rich
olive green and brown wings, the fore pair of which have very
conspicuous patches of deep olive, sometimes uniting to form a
continuous central bar. It flies in May and June.

The caterpillar is rough, of a pale green colour, dotted with yellow,
with seven oblique yellow stripes on each side. Thus it is very like the
larva of _Populi_, but may be distinguished from that species by the
orange spiracles, and by the horn, which is rough, blue above, and
yellow beneath. Behind the horn, too, there is a flat purple or violet
scale with an edging of orange.

The food plants of this species are the lime (_Tilia vulgaris_), elm
(_Ulmus campestris_), and the hazel (_Corylus Avellana_), from which the
larvæ may be beaten in August and September, and from under these the
pupæ may be dug out during the winter months.

_The Humming-Bird Hawk_ (_Macroglossa Stellatarum_)

The genus to which this insect belongs contains three interesting
British species. Their antennæ are thickened toward the end, but
terminate in a small curved bristle. Their wings are rather short and
broad; their bodies are very thick, terminating in a broad tuft of hair;
and the perfect insects fly during the daytime, delighting in the
hottest sunshine. The larvæ feed principally on low-growing plants, and
undergo their metamorphoses on the ground among the foliage.

On Plate IX (fig. 6) one of these pretty moths is shown. It is the
Humming-bird Hawk, so called on account of its exceedingly rapid
humming-bird-like flight, accompanied by a soft humming sound.

This insect is very common; and, being very partial to the attractions
offered by many of our favourite garden flowers, it ought to be well
known to all observers of nature.

Take your stand near a bed of petunias or verbenas, or close to a
honeysuckle in bloom, on any hot summer's day, and you are almost sure
to be rewarded by a peep at the wonderful flight and interesting ways of
this moth. It makes its appearance so suddenly that you first view it as
an apparently motionless insect, suspended in the air, and thrusting its
long proboscis into the tube of an attractive flower. Its wings vibrate
so rapidly that they are quite invisible, and give rise to the soft hum
already mentioned. Then it darts from one flower to another, making a
similar brief stay before each while it sucks the grateful sweets. Raise
your hand as if to strike, and suddenly it vanishes you know not where.
But it is as bold as it is wary, and will often return to the selfsame
flower as if to defy your power. A sharp sweep of your net in a
horizontal direction, or a sudden downward stroke, _may_ secure it; but
if you miss it, as you probably will, it will disappear like a phantom,
and give you no opportunity of making a second attempt.

This moth is on the wing throughout the hottest months of the year--May
to September, and will often greet you as you roam over flowery banks in
search of butterflies.

The caterpillar feeds on the lady's bedstraw (_Galium verum_), hedge
bedstraw (_G. Mollugo_), and the goose grass (_G. Aparine_), and may be
searched for in August and September. It is rough, green or brownish,
and dotted with white. Along each side are two light lines. The horn is
thin and short, rough, and points upwards.

_The Broad-bordered Bee Hawk_ (_Macroglossa Fuciformis_)

The two other moths of this genus are called Bee Hawks from their
resemblance to the humble bee. They are very much alike, but may be
distinguished by a difference in the width of the dark border of the
wings; and are named Broad-bordered and Narrow-bordered respectively.

The former is illustrated in the woodcut appended. The fore wings are
transparent like those of bees, with a dark central spot and a broad
reddish-brown hind margin. The base and costa are black and tinged with
green. The hind wings are similarly coloured, but have no central spot.
The body is olive-brown, with a broad reddish belt, and behind are tufts
of hair, which are spread out when the insect flies, just after the
manner of the tail feathers of a bird. The moth flies in May.

[Illustration: FIG. 102.--THE BROAD-BORDERED BEE HAWK.]

The larva resembles that of _Stellatarum_, but exhibits a violet tint
above the legs. Its horn, too, is curved, and of a reddish or brownish
colour. It feeds on the honeysuckle (_Lonicera Periclymenum_), ragged
robin (_Lychnis Flos-cuculi_), evening campion (_L. vespertina_), red
campion (_L. diurna_), lady's bedstraw (_Galium verum_), and the field
scabious (_Scabiosa arvensis_), during the month of July.


This family contains fourteen very pretty British insects that differ
very much from other moths in many important and interesting

Their antennæ, like those of the _Sphingidæ_, are thickest beyond the
middle, and those of the males are slightly _ciliated_ or hairy. Their
bodies are slender, and terminate behind in tufts of hair. The hind
wings in all cases are transparent, margined and veined with black or
brown; and the fore wings also, in most cases, have transparent bases.

These moths delight in the hottest sunshine, and may be seen gracefully
hovering over the flowers in our gardens, looking more like gnats, bees,
and wasps, than moths.

The larvæ of these insects are all wood-eaters, and spend their time
within the stems of shrubs and trees, eating out galleries in the
material that forms both their food and their home. Within these they
also undergo their changes, and do not expose themselves to the free air
and light till they reach their perfect stage.

_The Hornet Clearwing of the Poplar_ (_Trochilium Apiformis_)

We can find space for a mention of only two of the clearwings, the first
of which is an insect that closely resembles the dreaded hornet, and
whose larva feeds in the stems of poplars--features which will account
for the above name.


The head of this species is yellow, its thorax brown with a large yellow
patch on each side, its abdomen yellow with two brown belts, and its
legs reddish orange. The front wings are transparent, with brown costæ,
and all the wings are margined with brown.

The caterpillar, when full fed, makes a cocoon with silk and the chips
of wood that it has bitten off; and in this undergoes its metamorphoses.
It is fully grown in April, and the moth flies from the end of May to
the end of July.

There is another 'Hornet Clearwing,' the larva of which feeds on the
stems of osiers. It may be distinguished from the species just described
by a yellow 'collar' between the head and thorax, both of which are

_The Currant Clearwing_ (_Sesia Tipuliformis_)

This is by far the commonest of all the Clearwings, and only too well
known to those who grow currants. Examine the shoots of _Ribes rubrum_
(red currant) and _R. nigrum_ (black currant), especially those that
present a withered or half-withered appearance, and you will almost
certainly meet with signs of the presence of this intruder. Little
wriggling larvæ occupy the pithless stems throughout the winter and
spring. These are full grown in April, and in June the pretty little
moth emerges through a hole in the side of a shoot, leaving the empty
pupa case within its former home.

[Illustration: FIG. 104.--THE CURRANT CLEARWING.]

The fore wings of this moth have black margins, and a black transverse
bar beyond the middle. The body is black, with three pale yellow belts,
and black tufts of hair at the tip.


The remaining family of the _Sphinges_--the _Zygænidæ_--includes seven
British species, three of which are known popularly as the Foresters and
the others as the Burnets.

Their antennæ are thickest beyond the middle, but do not terminate in a
hook. Their wings are narrow and completely covered with scales.

These moths are very sluggish creatures, spending the greater part of
their time at rest on the stems of low-growing plants. When they do fly,
their flight is short and heavy, and their pretty wings glisten in the
sunshine (for they are lovers of the sun), giving them the appearance of
bees rather than of moths. On account of this natural sluggishness, they
are exceedingly local, for they never move far from the spots where
their food plants abound, and where they had previously spent the
earlier stages of their existence. Thus we often come across a very
limited piece of ground actually alive with them, and outside which not
a single specimen is to be seen.

The larvæ, too, are sluggish creatures, with soft and plump cylindrical
bodies and no horns. I will briefly describe three members of this

_The Forester_ (_Ino Statices_)

The fore wings of this species are semi-transparent, and of a beautiful
glossy green. The hind wings also are semi-transparent, but of a dull
smoky tint. The thorax and abdomen are both of a brilliant metallic
green colour. The tips of the antennæ are blunt, and the male may be
distinguished from his mate by these organs being slightly fringed or

[Illustration: FIG. 105.--THE FORESTER.]

The caterpillar is dingy grey or greenish, with a row of black spots
down the back, and a whitish stripe on each side. It feeds on the common
sorrel (_Rumex acetosa_) and the sheep sorrel (_R. acetosella_), and
when fully grown it spins a cocoon on the stem of its food plant, and
there changes to a chrysalis.

The larva may be found during May and early June. The chrysalis state
lasts only a few days, and the moth is on the wing during June and

_The Broad-bordered Five-spotted Burnet_ (_Zygæna Trifolii_)

On Plate IX (fig. 7) will be found a coloured representation of this
Burnet. The two crimson spots in the base of the fore wing are very
close together, and often touch. The same remark also applies to the two
spots on the middle of the wing. A glance at the list of British Moths
(Appendix I) will show that we have also a _Narrow_-bordered
Five-spotted Burnet. This insect is very similar to the species now
under consideration, but may be identified by the narrower purplish
margin on the hind wings, and also by the shape of the antennæ, which
are not thickened so much near the end as they are in _Trifolii_.

The larva of the present species is yellowish or greenish, with a row of
black spots on the back and a row on each side. It feeds on the
bird's-foot trefoil (_Lotus corniculatus_), hop trefoil (_Trifolium
procumbens_), and the horse-shoe vetch (_Hippocrepis comosa_) in May.
Late in May or in early June the chrysalis may be found in a silken
cocoon attached to a stem or leaf; and the perfect insect flies during
June and July.

_The Six-spotted Burnet_ (_Zygæna Filipendulæ_)

So common is this moth, and so conspicuous when it flies in the blazing
sun, that it must be familiar to almost everybody. On a bright midsummer
day hundreds may often be started from their grassy beds from one little
patch of ground.

[Illustration: FIG. 106.--THE SIX-SPOTTED BURNET.]

[Illustration: FIG. 107.--THE LARVA OF FILIPENDULÆ.]

The colouring of the wings is much the same as in the last species, but
there are two crimson spots instead of one near the tips of the fore

The larvæ may be seen in vast numbers during May and June, feeding on
clovers (_Trifolium pratense_ and _T. repens_), and the bird's-foot
trefoil (_Lotus corniculatus_); and in the latter month thousands of the
chrysalides, inclosed in shuttle-shaped cocoons on grass stems, may be
seen on downs and sunny banks in almost every part of the country.

The caterpillar, which is yellow, may be known by the two rows of black
spots that adorn each segment of the body.



This tribe is an important one, inasmuch as it contains those few moths
whose silk is of present or anticipated commercial value. Many of the
British members, even, make silken cocoons of moderate compactness, but
none of them yield a quantity and quality of silk to justify any attempt
to utilise it in the arts.

There are more than a hundred British species in this group, and these
represent no less than seventeen families, which exhibit a great variety
in their general appearance and habits.


_The Green Silver-lined_ (_Hylophila prasinana_)

This family, under the name of _Chloephoridæ_, is included by some
authors among the _Tortrices_ (page 298), which they somewhat resemble
in habits. It contains only four species, of which we will take one
example--the Green Silver-lined.

[Illustration: FIG. 108.--THE GREEN SILVER-LINED.]

The fore wings of this insect are pale green, with three oblique silvery
white lines, the middle one of which is far more distinct than the other
two. The hind wings are silvery white in the female, and yellow in the
male. It flies in May, and is common in the wooded districts of the
south-eastern counties.

The caterpillar is pale green, dotted and striped with yellow, and has a
reddish transverse band on the second segment. It feeds on oak (_Quercus
Robur_), birch (_Betula alba_), hazel (_Corylus_ _Avellana_), beech
(_Fagus sylvatica_), and alder (_Alnus glutinosa_), from which trees it
may be beaten in July and August.


_The Short-cloaked Moth_ (_Nola cucullatella_)

We select this common moth as a representative of the small family
_Nolidæ_, which contains only five British species. These are all small
insects. They are nocturnal in their habits, and may be found at rest on
the trunks of trees during the daytime. The caterpillars are hairy, and
undergo their metamorphoses within silken cocoons.

[Illustration: FIG. 109.--THE SHORT-CLOAKED MOTH.]

The fore wings of _Cucullatella_ are pearly grey, with a dark patch at
the base, a triangular spot on the middle of the costal margin, and wavy
lines beyond this, parallel with the hind margin. The hind wings are
grey, and devoid of any markings.

The caterpillar is of a brownish colour, with a line of lighter patches
down the back, and it is covered with little tufts of hair. It feeds on
the blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), whitethorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_),
and also on plum trees in our gardens during the month of May. The moth
is on the wing during June and July.


_The Muslin Moth_ (_Nudaria mundana_)

The family _Lithosiidæ_ contains several small moths, distinguished from
the other _Bombyces_ by the narrowness of their fore wings. When the
insects are at rest, all the wings are wrapped closely round the body.
They fly at dusk on summer evenings, but may be obtained during the
daytime by beating the boughs of trees. If an open net be held under the
boughs during this operation, the moths will generally feign death and
allow themselves to fall into it when they are disturbed.

[Illustration: FIG. 110.--THE MUSLIN MOTH.]

Most of the larvæ of this family feed on the lichens that cover walls
and the bark of trees, and they conceal themselves so artfully among
this peculiar vegetation that it is no easy matter to search them out;
probably many still remain unknown to entomologists.

Our first example--the Muslin Moth--has light brownish-grey and semi
transparent wings, the front pair of which have darker markings arranged
as shown in the illustration. It is a common moth, and may be met with
in July and August.

The caterpillar feeds on lichens in June. It is of a dull grey colour,
with a yellow stripe down the back, and has numerous little tufts of
light hair.

_The Common Footman_ (_Lithosia lurideola_)

The fore wings of this species are of a leaden grey, with a bright
yellow costal stripe which dwindles to a point just before it reaches
the tip. The hind wings are very pale yellow.

[Illustration: FIG. 111.--THE COMMON FOOTMAN.]

The larva is black, with a reddish line on each side just above the
feet. It may be found during May and June among the lichens of oaks,
blackthorns, and firs, especially in the woods of the south of England.

The perfect insect flies during July and August.


_The Cinnabar_ (_Euchelia Jacobææ_)

The family _Eucheliidæ_ contains only four British species, two of which
must receive a share of our attention. The first of these is the
Cinnabar Moth, which is common in all localities where its food
plants--the groundsel (_Senecio vulgaris_) and the ragwort (_S.

[Illustration: FIG. 112.--THE LARVA OF JACOBÆÆ.]

Its colours are so striking that a glance at its representation (fig. 1
of Plate X) will render a written description quite unnecessary.

The caterpillar is a very familiar and conspicuous object. Its colour is
bright orange, broken by several broad black rings; and its body is
thinly covered with hair. When fully grown (July or August) it descends
to the ground, and there changes to a smooth and shining reddish-brown

The moth appears in June or early in July.

_The Scarlet Tiger_ (_Callimorpha Dominula_)

This is certainly one of the most beautiful of all our moths. Its fore
wings are dark olive green, with a lovely metallic lustre, and boldly
marked with large white and yellow spots. These spots are arranged
generally like those in the illustration, but are subject to great
variation. The hind wings are crimson, with large black patches, chiefly
distributed near the hind margin. The thorax is black, with two white
streaks; and the abdomen crimson, with a black line down the back.

[Illustration: FIG. 113.--THE SCARLET TIGER.]

This moth is a common one. It may be taken in June and July. I have seen
it flying somewhat freely while the sun was still shining brightly.

The caterpillar is very dark lead colour, nearly black; and is covered
with little wart-like projections, from each of which protrudes a short
black hair. There is a broad yellow broken line down the back, and two
others on the sides. It feeds on the hound's-tongue (_Cynoglossum
officinale_) and many other low-growing plants, hybernates through the
winter, and is fully grown in May. Like the other members of this
family, it spins a light silken cocoon, in which the hairs from its body
are interwoven.


_The Wood Tiger_ (_Nemeophila Plantaginis_)

The _Cheloniidæ_ are popularly known as the Tigers--a title suggested by
the tiger-like colouring of some of the prominent species. They differ
from the Scarlet Tiger and the other members of the _Eucheliidæ_ in that
the males have ciliated or fringed antennæ. The larvæ, too, are more
densely covered with hair.

The Wood Tiger (fig. 2, Plate X) is a beautiful insect, somewhat
variable in its markings, but so conspicuously coloured that our
illustration cannot fail to lead to its identification. It may be found
commonly among the undergrowth of our southern woods during May and

The caterpillar is dark brown or brownish black, covered with little
hair-bearing warts. The hairs are long and black on the foremost and
hind segments, but shorter and of a brown colour on the middle of the
body. It issues from the egg in September, feeds for a week or two on
the leaves of violets (_Viola canina_ and _V. odorata_), heartsease (_V.
tricolor_), plantain (_Plantago_), or groundsel (_Senecio vulgaris_),
and then hybernates till the following March. It is fully grown in May,
and then spins a light cocoon, with which its hairs are interwoven,
among the leaves of its food plant.

_The Tiger_ (_Arctia caia_)

This splendid moth is exceedingly variable in its colour and markings,
but its usual appearance corresponds closely with that of the
illustration on Plate X (fig. 3). In some specimens the cream colour
almost entirely covers the fore wings, while in others all four of the
wings are completely covered with shades of brown. This insect is
probably known to all my readers, for it is abundant everywhere.

The larva is as well known as the perfect insect. It is a kind of
universal feeder, partaking readily of almost every low-growing plant,
with perhaps a special partiality for dead nettles (_Lamium album_ and
_L. purpureum_). It feeds also on the lime tree (_Tilia vulgaris_), and
is commonly met with on apple trees and on the various plants of our
flower beds. The young caterpillar makes its appearance in the autumn,
and hybernates after feeding for two or three weeks only. It is full
grown in June, when it spins a silken cocoon, and changes to a shiny
black chrysalis.

The ground colour of the larva is black, but it is covered all over with
long hairs, those down the middle of the back being grey, and the others
brown. This familiar larva is known popularly as the Woolly Bear.

_The Cream-spot Tiger_ (_Arctia villica_)

There is yet another Tiger--the Cream-spot--too beautiful and too common
to be excluded from our list. It is represented on Plate X (fig. 4);
and, like the others of its genus, is so boldly marked that mistaken
identity is impossible.

It is a very sluggish moth, more often seen at rest than on the wing,
and will suffer itself to be roughly handled without making any attempt
to escape.

The caterpillar may be observed on sunny banks, generally feeding on
chickweed (_Stellaria media_) but sometimes on various other low-growing
weeds, including the dock and the dandelion. Its colour is black, with
red head and legs, and its body is covered with long brown hairs. It
commences to feed in the autumn, hybernates throughout the winter, and
is full grown in May, towards the end of which month it changes to a
black chrysalis within a light silken web.

The perfect insect appears in June.

_The Buff Ermine_ (_Spilosoma lubricipeda_)

The _Cheloniidæ_ also include three moths that are popularly known as
the Ermines, two of which--the Buff and the White--are exceedingly
common, and are among the constant visitors to our gardens during June
and July.

[Illustration: FIG. 114.--THE BUFF ERMINE.]

The Buff Ermine has all four wings of a buff or ochreous tint, and
spotted with black as here represented.

The caterpillar is whitish, with a white line down the middle of the
back, and its body is covered with long light brown hairs. It feeds on
the dock (_Rumex_) and many other low-growing plants during August and
September, and spends the winter in the chrysalis state, lying within a
loose cocoon on the surface of the ground.

[Illustration: FIG. 115.--THE WHITE ERMINE.]

_The White Ermine_ (_Spilosoma Menthastri_)

In this species the wings are of a pale cream colour, and the dots of
the fore wings are more uniformly distributed than in the last. Its
habits and life history closely correspond with those of _Lubricipeda_,
and its larva may be found feeding on the same plants.

This latter may be distinguished from the caterpillar of the last
species by the dark brown or black colour of the body, and the presence
of an orange line down the back. It is covered with long brown hairs.


The five species which compose this family are known as the Swifts, a
title which they have earned by their rather rapid flight. Their wings
are narrow, and the antennæ very short.

In the larval state they are long, naked and unsightly grubs, that live
under the surface of the ground and feed on the roots of plants. The
chrysalides are armed with short spines projecting from the segments.

_The Ghost Swift_ (_Hepialus Humuli_)

One of the commonest of these moths is the Ghost Swift, which may be
seen in hundreds on waste places in the south of England during the
month of June. The wings of the male are white, with a silky gloss, and
a very narrow brown margin. The fore wings of the female are yellow,
marked with irregular reddish lines. The hind wings are of a dull smoke

[Illustration: FIG. 116.--THE GHOST SWIFT--FEMALE.]

The larva is pale yellow, with a brown head, and a brown horny plate on
the front of the second segment. It feeds throughout the winter on the
roots of numerous plants, including the dock, dandelion, burdock, white
dead nettle, black horehound, and the hop.

_The Common Swift_ (_Hepialus lupulinus_)

The fore wings of the male of this species are brown, with a bent
whitish streak, sometimes broken, passing from the base to the middle of
the inner margin, and then to the apex. The hind wings are smoke
coloured, with a light brownish fringe. The female is much less
distinctly marked, and presents a rather dingy appearance.

[Illustration: FIG. 117.--THE COMMON SWIFT.]

The larva is dingy white, with brown horny plates on the second, third
and fourth segments. It feeds on the roots of dead nettles (_Lamium
album_ and _L. purpureum_), black horehound (_Ballota nigra_), and
various other herbaceous plants, throughout the winter months, and is
full grown in April.

This insect is abundant everywhere in waste places, and may be seen on
the wing in May and June.


The members of this family have longer antennæ than the _Hepialidæ_, and
the females are provided with extended ovipositors which enable them to
place their eggs in the deep crevices of the bark of trees.

The larvæ are naked or only very slightly hairy, and have a plate on the
second segment. They feed on the wood of trees or the interior of the
stems of reeds. The pupæ have spiny projections on each segment.

_The Goat Moth_ (_Cossus ligniperda_)

There are only three British species of this family, the largest of
which is the Goat Moth, so called on account of the characteristic odour
of the larva, an odour said to resemble that emitted by the goat.

The fore wings of this fine moth are pale brown, clouded with white, and
marked by numerous wavy transverse lines. The hind wings are somewhat
similar, but of a duller tint, and the markings are less distinct. Its
average breadth from tip to tip is over three inches, and it sometimes
reaches nearly four inches.

The larva is a most interesting creature. It is dark reddish brown on
the back, and flesh colour beneath; and its head is intensely black. It
feeds on the solid wood of the willow, poplar, oak, elm, and other
trees. The infected trees are often so riddled with the burrows of these
larvæ that they are completely destroyed, and the presence of the
intruders is frequently indicated by a heap of small chips of wood lying
on the ground near the roots. The odour of the larvæ, too, is so
powerful, that there is generally no difficulty in ascertaining their
whereabouts by it alone.

[Illustration: FIG. 118.--THE GOAT MOTH.]

It is not always in living trees, however, that we find these creatures,
for they often feed on rotting wood, such as the remains of old palings
and posts, that lie on the ground in damp places.


When fully grown they construct a strong cocoon of chips of wood, bound
together by silk, and within this they change to the chrysalis.

The moth emerges in June or July, and is commonly found resting on the
bark of willows and poplars during the daytime.

_The Leopard Moth_ (_Zeuzera pyrina_)

The wings of this species are white and semi-transparent, and marked
with numerous bluish-black spots in such a way as to remind one of the
skin of the leopard. Its body is very long, and the antennæ of the male
are doubly fringed for about half their length from the base.

[Illustration: FIG. 120.--THE LEOPARD MOTH.]

The caterpillar feeds on the wood of various trees--elm, apple, pear,
ash, alder, poplar, horse chestnut, birch, lilac, and several others. It
is yellowish, with black shiny spots, and a black plate on the second


The moth appears in July, and is widely distributed. It is attracted by
bright lights, but the best way to obtain it is to search the trunks and
branches of trees that are known to harbour the larvæ early in the
morning, and so obtain newly emerged specimens.


Passing over the two small species which are the only British
representatives of the family _Cochliopodidæ_, we come to the
interesting _Liparidæ_, the remarkable feature of which is that most of
the caterpillars are adorned with brush-like tufts of hair, and even the
chrysalides are hairy.

The perfect insects are not brilliantly coloured, but generally display
very pale tints; and the antennæ of the males are pectinated or

_The Brown Tail_ (_Porthesia chrysorrh[oe]a_)

The family contains two moths--the Brown Tail and the Yellow Tail--that
are very similar in appearance and habits. Both have white wings, and
their bodies also are white with the exception of the tuft of coloured
hair at the tip of the abdomen, which gives the names to the species.
Their larvæ may both be found feeding on the same trees (whitethorn),
and both change to a brown hairy chrysalis within a loose cocoon among
the leaves.

The larva of _Chrysorrh[oe]a_ is black, with four rows of little
wart-like projections on each side, from which proceed little tufts of
hairs. These hairs are reddish with the exception of one row on each
side, which is white. The tenth and eleventh segments have each a
scarlet tubercle, and there are also other small spots of the same
colour on some of the front segments.

[Illustration: FIG. 122.--THE BROWN TAIL.]

The larva feeds on the blackthorn in addition to the tree mentioned
above, and is full grown in June. The moth flies in August.

_The Gipsy_ (_Ocneria dispar_)

The fore wings of the male are smoky brown, with darker markings,
including a V-shaped black mark near the centre. The hind wings are
brown, darker near the margin. The female is dingy yellowish white, with
darker markings arranged as in the male. The male is much inferior in
size, and its antennæ are very strongly pectinated.

[Illustration: FIG. 123.--THE GIPSY--MALE.]

The larva is brownish black, finely dotted with yellowish grey. There is
a grey stripe down the middle of the back, and six tubercles on each
segment give rise to tufts of long hair. It feeds on the whitethorn
(_Cratægus oxyacantha_), blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), and various
fruit trees.

The caterpillar is full grown in June, and the moth appears in August.

_The Black Arches_ (_Psilura Monacha_)

The fore wings of the Black Arches are white, marked with zigzag black
lines as shown in our illustration. The hind wings are smoky grey. The
hinder segments of the abdomen are banded with black and rose-pink. The
male is much smaller than the female, and has the antennæ strongly

[Illustration: FIG. 124.--THE BLACK ARCHES--MALE.]

The caterpillar is hairy, and of a greyish-white colour. A brown stripe
runs down the back. On the top of the second segment are two blue
tubercles; and there is also a tubercle, of a reddish colour, on each of
the ninth, tenth, and eleventh segments. It feeds on the oak, birch,
fir, and the apple; and is full grown in June or July.

The moth flies during July and August.

_The Vapourer Moth_ (_Orgyia antiqua_)

During the hottest summer months, and particularly in August and
September, a rather small brown moth may be seen almost everywhere,
flying rapidly and in a very erratic manner in the bright rays of the
midday sun. This is the common Vapourer Moth, which may be known at once
by its bright chestnut colour, with darker transverse markings, and a
white crescent-shaped spot in the anal angle of the fore wings. It seems
somewhat partial to civilised life, for it frequents the streets of our
metropolis, even in the very densely populated parts; and the larva is
one of the commonest of the insect forms infesting our gardens and

[Illustration: FIG. 125.--THE VAPOURER MOTH--MALE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 126.--THE FEMALE VAPOURER.]

The caterpillar is variously coloured; but the prevailing tints are dark
brown, grey, and pink. On the second segment are two long tufts of hair
directed forward, and on the twelfth segment a similar tuft directed
backward. On each of the segments five to eight inclusive is a
brush-like tuft of yellowish hairs. It feeds on almost every tree
usually to be found in parks and gardens.

When fully grown it spins a web on the bark of a tree, or on a wall or
fence, and changes to a hairy chrysalis.

[Illustration: FIG. 127.--LARVA OF THE VAPOURER MOTH.]

The female of this species is wingless, and never moves away from the
cocoon out of which she has crawled, but lays her eggs on the outside of
the silken web, and there remains to die.

The clusters of eggs may be found in abundance throughout the winter


This family contains eleven thick-bodied moths, mostly of large size, in
which the predominating colours are greys and browns. Their hind wings
are generally paler than the front pair, and less distinctly marked; and
the antennæ of the males are pectinated.

The caterpillars are very hairy, but the hairs are uniformly
distributed, and not arranged in tufts as in the larvæ of the last

The chrysalides are inclosed in silken cocoons, but are not hairy.

We shall briefly examine three of the members of this family.

_The Oak Eggar_ (_Bombyx Quercus_)

The male of this species is shown on Plate X (fig. 5). The female is
much larger, and of a pale tawny colour.

The ground colour of the caterpillar is black; but it is so closely
covered with short yellowish brown hairs that the black is scarcely
visible, excepting when the creature rolls itself up into a ring, which
it does when alarmed. The spiracles are white, and there is a series of
white spots down the middle of the back and along each side. It feeds on
whitethorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_), heather (_Calluna_, _Erica_), poplar
(_Populus nigra_), and various other plants and trees.

As a rule the larva hybernates through the winter, is full grown in the
following May, and the moth appears in July; but in Scotland the
caterpillar does not spin its cocoon till September, hybernates in the
chrysalis state, and emerges in the following June. The same is true of
the Cornish Eggars; but along the coast of South Devon both varieties
are to be met with.

The male Eggar seems to enjoy the bright sunshine, for I have seen large
numbers flying over the rugged cliffs of the south-west throughout all
hours of the day.

_The Drinker_ (_Odonestis potatoria_)

The popular name of this species is applied on account of a peculiar
feature of the larva, which sucks up the dewdrop that lies on its food

The colour of the male is tawny and brown, with a reddish tinge; that of
the female is yellow. The front wing has an oblique dark bar passing
from the apex to the middle of the inner margin; also two white
spots--one in the middle of the wing, and the other between it and the
costal margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 128.--THE DRINKER--MALE.]

The caterpillar is dark bluish grey above, and has a line of orange
spots on each side. Along the spiracles are oblique orange streaks, and
a series of tufts of white hair. It feeds on the annual meadow-grass
(_Poa annua_), and several other grasses. It is a hybernator, commencing
its caterpillar state in the autumn, and reaching its full dimensions
about the end of the following May.

The moth flies during July and August.

_The Lappet_ (_Lasiocampa quercifolia_)

Our last example of the _Bombycidæ_ is the Lappet (Plate X, fig. 6), a
large moth, the female often measuring considerably over three inches
from tip to tip. The wings are of a rich reddish brown, and exhibit a
beautiful purplish bloom in a newly emerged insect. Scalloped black
lines pass transversely across each wing, and a small black dot lies
near the centre of the fore wings.

The caterpillar is very variable in colour, but is usually grey or
reddish brown. A deep purple band lies between the second and third
segments, and another between the third and fourth. On the twelfth there
is a small hump, and a pale stripe, more or less distinct, runs along
each side. It feeds on the blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), buckthorn
(_Rhamnus catharticus_), and the white willow (_Salix alba_).

The moth is not uncommon, and is on the wing in June.


_The Kentish Glory_ (_Endromis versicolor_)

The beautiful Kentish Glory is the only British representative of its
family. The male is shown in Plate X (fig. 7); the female is larger and
similarly marked, but its colours are not so bright.

This moth is not common, but may be seen occasionally in the birch woods
of the southern counties. The males fly rapidly in the bright sunshine,
but the females must be searched for on the bark and branches of the

The eggs are laid in April on the twigs of the birch (_Betula alba_),
and the young caterpillar emerges early in May. It is gregarious at
first, but loses its social tendencies as it gets older. When full
grown, it is of a pale green colour, with white spiracles, a dark green
line down the back, and an oblique white stripe on each side of each
segment. The sides are dotted with black and brown, and there is a
conspicuous hump on the top of the twelfth segment.

When fully grown it spins a cocoon among the dead leaves beneath the
tree, and in this it spends the winter months in the chrysalis state.


_The Emperor Moth_ (_Saturnia pavonia_)

Here is another family with but one British member; but in this, as in
the last case, the only representative is a really beautiful insect. The
male _Pavonia_ is shown on Plate X (fig. 8), and will need no written
description as an aid to its identification. The female is larger, and
similarly marked, but the ground colour of the wings is pale grey.

This moth is abundant almost everywhere, and may be looked for in the
neighbourhood of heaths and woods early in the month of May.

The larva feeds on a large number of plants and trees, among which may
be mentioned the willow (_Salix alba_), blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_),
elder (_Sambucus nigra_), whitethorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_), bramble
(_Rubus fruticosus_), heaths (_Erica tetralix_ and _E. cinerea_), and
the meadow-sweet (_Spiræa ulmaria_). Its colour is a lovely green; and
each segment has several pink tubercles, each surrounded by a black
ring, and giving rise to a tuft of short black hairs. The spiracles are

In the autumn it spins a pear-shaped cocoon of silk, open at the small
end (fig. 28).

It may here be mentioned in passing that, in the case of some of the
larger moths of the few preceding families, the young entomologist is
likely to meet with larvæ more frequently than the perfect insect. These
moths, however, are mostly very hardy and easily reared; and a beginner
cannot do better than endeavour to obtain either ova or larvæ, in order
that he may be able to watch the different species through their various


We now reach a family containing six small moths that differ in many
important particulars from those we have just been considering. They are
of such slender build that a beginner may easily mistake them for
Geometers. Their wings, though small, are broad, and well proportioned
to their bodies. In five cases out of the six the front wings are more
or less hooked at the tips, and on this account the moths in question
are called the Hook Tips.

The larvæ are not hairy, but they all have little fleshy projections on
their backs. Their bodies also taper to a point behind, and the last
pair of claspers are wanting, so that they have only fourteen walking
appendages. When at rest they usually fix themselves by their claspers
only, their pointed 'tails' being directed slightly upward, and all the
front segments being also elevated. When about to change, they descend
to the ground, and spin their cocoons among dead leaves.

Two only of this family can receive an individual notice.

_The Oak Hook Tip_ (_Drepana binaria_)

This can hardly be described as a very common moth, but it is fairly
plentiful in the woods of the southern counties of England.

Its wings are yellowish brown, marked with two lighter transverse lines.
There are two black spots between the lines of the fore wings. The
antennæ of the male are pectinated; those of the female simple. The
latter sex is further distinguished by the paler colour of the hind

[Illustration: FIG. 129.--THE OAK HOOK TIP.]

The larva is brown, with a broad stripe, edged with yellow, down the
back. There are two projections on the back of the fourth segment. It
feeds on oak (_Quercus Robur_) and birch (_Betula alba_).

This moth is double-brooded, and may be seen on the wing in June and
August. The larva may be beaten from the above-mentioned trees in June
and July, and again in September.

_The Chinese Character_ (_Cilix glaucata_)

The fore wings of this species are white, with a broad dark blotch from
the inner margin to near the costa. The central portion of this blotch
is marked with silvery spots which are said to resemble Chinese
characters. The hind margin is shaded with a dark grey border, inside
which is a row of dark spots. The hind wings are clouded with grey.

[Illustration: FIG. 130.--THE CHINESE CHARACTER.]

This moth is widely distributed, and seems to be common throughout
England. It is double brooded, the first brood appearing in May and
June, and the second in August.

The caterpillar, which is brown, with two prominent tubercles on each of
the third and fourth segments, feeds on the whitethorn (_Cratægus
oxyacantha_), and the blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_).


The five British species that represent this family are such interesting
insects that we should like to have given a detailed description of all
of them, but our limited space will allow of no more than an outline of
the general characteristics of the group and a selection of two for
individual mention.

They are thick-bodied moths, and the prevailing colours are white and
shades of grey. The antennæ are pectinated in the males, and, with the
exception of the Lobster Moth (_Fagi_), in the females also.

The larvæ, like those of the last family, have no anal claspers, and
stand, when at rest, with both ends of the body raised. They have two
'tails' projecting from the last segment. The largest of them (the
Puss), and three smaller species (Kittens) that closely resemble it in
habits, all construct hard cocoons to be presently described; but the
larva of the Lobster Moth spins a light cocoon among the leaves of

They all spend the winter in the chrysalis state.

_The Poplar Kitten_ (_Dicranura bifida_)

Our illustration shows the arrangement of the white and grey on the
wings of this moth, but the other Kittens (_Bicuspis_ and _Furcula_) so
closely resemble it that it is necessary to point out a mark of
distinction. It will be observed that the fore wings are crossed by a
broad grey band, edged with black. This band, in the present species, is
almost of the same width throughout, its interior margin being almost
straight, and the exterior one slightly concave. In _Furcula_, the outer
margin of the band is generally sharply bent inward just below the
costa. In _Bicuspis_ the grey band varies considerably in shape, but
both this and the dark blotch near the tip of the wing are more sharply
defined than in the other two species.

[Illustration: FIG. 131.--THE POPLAR KITTEN.]

The caterpillar is green, dotted with brown, and has a brown stripe on
the back. This stripe is broken on the third segment, and widens out on
the eighth and thirteenth segments. It feeds on the Poplar (_Populus
nigra_) and Aspen (_P. tremula_).

When full grown it descends to the trunk of the tree, and constructs a
very hard cocoon of a glutinous substance from its own body mingled with
little pieces of the bark that it removes for the purpose. Thus made,
the cocoon so closely resembles the surrounding bark that detection is
very difficult. I have frequently found these cocoons on the inner
surface of loose bark.

This moth is widely distributed, and may be searched for in June and
July. The larva feeds during August and September.

_The Puss_ (_Dicranura vinula_)

No written description is necessary in this case, the illustration
easily serving for identification. This beautiful moth flies in May and
June, and is common everywhere.

[Illustration: FIG. 132.--THE PUSS MOTH.]

The caterpillar is a very interesting creature. It is green, with a hump
on the fourth segment, and a patch of brown from the fourth segment to
the tail. This patch is very wide on the eighth segment, but tapers to a
point on the thirteenth. The two horns are rather long and rough, and
from each of them a very slender pink filament is protruded when the
caterpillar is irritated.

It constructs a cocoon very similar to that of _Bifida_, though of
course larger, on the bark of the tree on which it fed, generally three
or four feet from the ground. It feeds on sallows, willows, and poplars,
and may be found during July and August.


_The Coxcomb Prominent_ (_Lophopteryx camelina_)

The family _Notodontidæ_ contains several moths of somewhat varied
appearance, but foremost among them are the 'Prominents,' distinguished
by a conspicuous projection on the inner margin of the fore wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 133.--THE COXCOMB PROMINENT.]

Our example of this group is the Coxcomb Prominent.

Its fore wings are brown, with darker markings arranged as shown in the
illustration; and the hind margins are scalloped. The hind wings are
much paler, with a dark brown patch in the anal angle.

The caterpillar is green, with a yellowish line on each side. The
spiracles are black, and there are two small humps on the twelfth
segment. It feeds during August, September, and October, on various
trees, including the oak, birch, poplar, hazel, and alder.

The moth flies from June to August, and is moderately common and widely


_The Buff Tip_ (_Phalera bucephala_)

The first of our two examples of this small family is the common and
destructive Buff Tip. The perfect insect is represented on Plate X, fig.
9, and is too well known to require a lengthy description. During June
and July it may be seen resting on the bark of trees almost everywhere,
with its wings folded closely round its body, and its antennæ tucked
under the wings, looking just like a piece of stick, or a projection of
the bark on which it sits.

[Illustration: FIG. 134.--THE LARVA OF BUCEPHALA.]

The caterpillars appear towards the end of June, and may be seen in
dense clusters on lime and other trees, sometimes twenty or thirty
huddled together on a single leaf. As they grow larger they retain their
gregarious tendencies, and often completely strip the leaves from large
branches. They are of a dull yellow colour, hairy, and have seven broken
black lines, one along the middle of the back, and three on each side.
The head and legs are black.

When full grown, they descend to the root of the tree, burrow into the
soil, and there remain in the chrysalis state till the following June.
The chief food plants of this species are the lime (_Tilia vulgaris_),
elm (_Ulmus campestris_), and hazel (_Corylus Avellana_).

_The Chocolate Tip_ (_Pygæra curtula_)

This species is not nearly so common as the last, but is to be met with
more or less in most of the English counties in the month of May.

Its fore wings are light greyish brown, crossed with four transverse
paler streaks, and tipped with a patch of chocolate brown. The hind
wings are pale yellowish grey.

[Illustration: FIG. 135.--THE CHOCOLATE TIP.]

The young caterpillars feed in companies between leaves which they have
spun together, but when nearly full grown they cease to be gregarious.
They are also very different in appearance at different ages. When fully
fed, the larva is of a reddish-grey colour, spotted with black, with a
double row of orange-coloured warts on each side. There is also a little
black hump on each of the fifth and twelfth segments.

The food plants of this species are sallows (_Salix caprea_ and _S.
cinerea_), poplar (_Populus nigra_), and aspen (_P. tremula_).


This, the last family of the _Bombyces_, contains seven species of
moderate size, the larvæ of which are either quite smooth or have small
warty prominences. The seven species are grouped into three genera, from
two of which we shall select a representative.

_The Peach Blossom_ (_Thyatira Batis_)

The popular name of this pretty little moth is given on account of the
resemblance of the pink patches of its olive-brown fore wings to the
petals of the peach flower. It is a moderately common moth, widely
distributed in England and Ireland, and flies during June and July.

[Illustration: FIG. 136.--THE PEACH BLOSSOM.]

The caterpillar is marbled with reddish grey and brown, and has a hump
on the third segment, and a smaller prominence on each of the segments
six to ten inclusive. It feeds on the bramble (_Rubus fruticosus_)
during August and September, and spends the winter in the chrysalis
state, inclosed in a loose cocoon among the dead leaves at the root of
its food plant.

_The Yellow-horned_ (_Asphalia flavicornis_)

This is one of the earliest of our moths, appearing on the wing in
March, when it may be attracted by means of sugar placed on the bark of
the birch (_Betula alba_).

[Illustration: FIG. 137.--THE YELLOW-HORNED.]

The wings are grey, with a decidedly greenish tinge, crossed by three
dark lines near the base, and two others, which are zigzag, just outside
the centre. Between these two sets of lines is a conspicuous round pale
spot. The hind wings are greyish brown, darker along the hind margin.

The larva, which feeds on the above-named tree, is pale greenish, with
both white and black dots. It rolls itself up in a leaf, and seldom
ventures out of the retreat thus formed. It is fully fed in July or



We have already noticed that several of our moths fly by day; that some
come out of their hiding places at dusk, and settle down again to rest
before the deepest shadows of night fall; and that others prefer the
darkest hours of the night. The tribe of moths we are next to consider
includes the greater number (about three hundred) of our truly nocturnal
species, hence the name that heads this chapter.

They are generally of a somewhat dingy appearance, the prevailing
colours being dull shades of grey, drab, and brown. So closely, in fact,
do certain of them resemble each other, that the greatest care has to be
exercised in the identification of species--a task that is rendered
still more difficult by the variations that we observe in the tints and
markings of certain species.

These moths have generally rather stout bodies. Their fore wings are
somewhat narrow, and, when the insects are at rest, these are brought
close to the body, and the hind pair are folded up beneath them.


_The Marbled Beauty_ (_Bryophila Perla_)

Our first family--the _Bryophilidæ_--contains only four British species.
These are small and slender-bodied moths, whose larvæ feed in early
morning on the lichens that cover stones and old walls, and conceal
themselves by day in holes and chinks and under stones.

The Marbled Beauty is the only moth of this family that may be
described as common with us. It is abundant in nearly every English
county, as well as in parts of Scotland and Ireland.

[Illustration: FIG. 138.--THE MARBLED BEAUTY.]

Its wings are very pale grey, marked with a darker bluish grey, as shown
in the engraving. These markings are variable, but the bases of the fore
wings have always a dark blotch, followed by a patch of pale grey or
white, extending the whole width of the wing. The moth may be found from
the beginning of July to the middle of September.

The larva feeds from February to April. It is black above, with a broad
orange-bordered stripe down the back; and its body is covered with small
warts, each of which bears a single hair.


In this family there are sixteen British moths, several of which are
exceedingly common. They are much larger than the _Bryophilidæ_, and of
a much stouter build. The larvæ are covered with little hair-bearing
warts, and are, indeed, often so hairy that they may be mistaken for the
caterpillars of the _Bombyces_.

_The Grey Dagger_ (_Acronycta Psi_)

This is the commonest of all the _Bombycoidæ_. It may be found at rest
on tree trunks and palings during the daytime throughout the summer. Its
fore wings are pale grey, with four conspicuous black marks, one of
which--that in the anal angle--resembles the Greek letter _psi_ ([psi])
placed sideways.

[Illustration: FIG. 139.--THE GREY DAGGER.]

The larva is black or very dark grey, with a pale yellow line down the
back, and a black hump on each of the fifth and twelfth segments, that
on the fifth being much larger than the other. It feeds in the autumn on
lime (_Tilia vulgaris_), blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), whitethorn
(_Cratægus oxyacantha_), fruit trees, and various other trees, shrubs,
and herbs.

The moth called the Dark Dagger (_Tridens_) is hardly to be
distinguished from _Psi_. It is not really any darker, and its markings
are almost exactly similar; but the larva is very different.

_The Poplar Grey_ (_Acronycta megacephala_)

This is also a very common moth, to be found in all the southern and
midland counties, wherever poplars abound, during June and July.

[Illustration: FIG. 140.--THE POPLAR GREY.]

Its fore wings are grey, marbled with a very dark grey. A little inside
the middle of these wings, near the costa, is a round spot with a dark
centre. This spot is represented in a large number of the _Noctuæ_, and
is known as the _orbicular_. It will be observed that in the present
species it is very distinct.

The caterpillar is dark grey, with a line of black dots down the back;
and it has a number of little warts, bearing hairs. On the back of the
eleventh segment is a rather large pale spot. It feeds during August on
various species of poplar, and changes to a chrysalis in a crevice of
the bark.

_The Figure of Eight_ (_Diloba cæruleocephala_)

The fore wings are brownish grey. Near the middle of the wing, but
nearer the costa than the inner margin, are two whitish spots that
resemble the figure 8. The hind wings are dull brownish grey, with
darker wing rays, and a dark spot near the centre.

[Illustration: FIG. 141.--THE FIGURE OF EIGHT.]

This moth is common in all parts, and flies during September.

The caterpillar emerges from the egg in spring, and is fully grown in
May or June. It is of a very pale colour--yellowish or greenish--with a
broad and broken yellow stripe down the back, and a bluish or greenish
stripe on each side. Its head is blue (hence the specific name) with two
black spots. It feeds on the hawthorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_) and
various fruit trees; and on the twigs of these (especially the hawthorn)
the little clusters of eggs may be seen during the winter.


In this family we have a number of rather small moths, with, generally,
no markings on their wings, save, perhaps, a few dots or streaks.

Their larvæ feed principally on grasses and reeds, and change to the
chrysalis state either in a cocoon among the food plants, or under the
surface of the ground.

Several of these insects are very common, and most of them abound in
fens and marshes.

_The Brown-line Bright-eye_ (_Leucania conigera_)

The fore wings are yellowish brown. The 'brown line' is a transverse
line parallel with the hind margin, and distant from it about one-fourth
the length of the wing. Another dark brown line, describing a sharp
bend, passes across the wing near the base. The 'bright eye' is a light
spot just outside the centre of the wing, nearer the costa than the
inner margin. This is another of those marks that occur very constantly
in the wings of the _Noctuæ_. It lies beyond the _orbicular_ spot, and
is usually somewhat kidney-shaped, and is consequently named the

[Illustration: FIG. 142.--THE BROWN-LINE BRIGHT-EYE.]

The caterpillar is yellowish or greyish, with a pale dorsal line edged
with black. On each side of this is a broad black line, below which is a
yellow line edged with black, then a whitish stripe, next a yellow line
edged with black on the upper side, and lastly a broad brownish line,
just above the spiracles, edged with black on both sides. It feeds on
couch grass (_Agropyron repens_) and various other grasses, and is fully
grown in May.

The moth flies in July and August, and is common throughout the United

_The Smoky Wainscot_ (_Leucania impura_)

This same genus includes a number of moths, very similar in general
appearance, and popularly known as the 'Wainscots.' Of these we shall
take two examples.

The first is the Smoky Wainscot, so called from the dark smoky tint of
the hind wings. Its fore wings are wainscot brown, with lighter rays;
and they each have three black dots arranged in the form of a triangle,
one in the centre, and the other two between this and the hind margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 143.--THE SMOKY WAINSCOT.]

The caterpillar is yellowish, with a fine white line down the back. The
spiracles are red, and inclosed in black rings. It feeds on sedges
(_Carex_) from March to May.

The moth is on the wing from June to August.

_The Common Wainscot_ (_Leucania pallens_)

This moth is very much like the last. The fore wings exhibit the same
three dots, but it may be distinguished by the pale colour of the hind

[Illustration: FIG. 144.--THE COMMON WAINSCOT.]

The larva feeds on various grasses in March and April. It is of a
pinkish grey colour, with two rows of black dots on each side of the
dorsal line. There are also three stripes along the side, two of which
are brownish and the other grey.

The moth is common everywhere from June to August.

_The Bullrush_ (_Nonagria arundinis_)

Our last example of this family is the Bullrush, a moth that is common
in all parts where its food plant abounds.

It is much larger than the two preceding species. The fore wings are
yellowish brown, with three parallel transverse lines of black spots.
The hind wings are whitish, tinged with brown near the hind margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 145.--THE BULLRUSH.]

The caterpillar is of a dull pinkish colour, with a shining brownish
plate on the second segment. The spiracles are black. It feeds inside
the stems of the reed-mace (_Typha latifolia_), and changes to a
chrysalis within the gallery it has excavated, after making a hole
through which it can escape when it attains the perfect form.

The caterpillar may be found in May and June, the chrysalis in August,
and the moth in September.


This large family contains no less than forty-four British species, many
of which are exceedingly common; and of the others only about half a
dozen can be regarded as rare.

Most of them are of medium size, and with one or two exceptions are
dressed in rather dingy garbs; but, although the ground colours are
dull, the various markings of the wings are sharply defined. They may be
searched for on palings and the bark of trees by day, at which time they
repose with their wings sloping like the sides of the roof of a house.
Some are easily attracted by lights, and others partake freely of the
entomologist's 'sugar.'

The larvæ have small retractile heads, and feed on low-growing plants,
keeping themselves well concealed on the lower leaves close to the

_The Frosted Orange_ (_Gortyna Ochracea_)

We commence with one of the brightest members of the family, the Frosted
Orange. Its fore wings are dark yellow or ochreous, with distinct brown
markings, the chief of which are two broad transverse bands. The
orbicular spot is pale yellow and very distinct. The hind wings are
dingy yellow. This moth flies from July to September, and is easily
attracted by a light at night. It is common everywhere.

[Illustration: FIG. 146.--THE FROSTED ORANGE.]

The larva is yellow, dotted with black, with a brownish plate on the
second segment. It feeds inside the stems of a number of plants,
including the marsh thistle (_Cnicus palustris_), musk thistle (_Carduus
nutans_), burdock (_Arctium minus_), mullein (_Verbascum thapsus_),
foxglove (_Digitalis purpurea_), and elder (_Sambucus nigra_). When
about to change to the chrysalis it eats _nearly_ to the surface of the
stem, leaving only a very thin and transparent layer of the epidermis to
cover the hole through which it is to escape when it becomes a moth.

The caterpillars are to be found in June, and the chrysalides in July.

_The Flame_ (_Axylia putris_)

This also is a pretty insect, but much smaller than _Ochracea_. It is
common in most parts, and may be seen flying in weedy and waste grounds
at dusk during June and July.

[Illustration: FIG. 147.--THE FLAME.]

The fore wings are pale pinkish brown, with dark brown along the costa,
and two patches of the same colour on the hind margin. There is also a
double line of small brown dots parallel with the hind margin.

The larva is brown, with one yellow and two white dots on each segment.
There is also a triangular dark patch on each of the fifth and sixth
segments. It feeds during August on the stinging nettle (_Urtica
dioica_), and various other low herbs.

_The Light Arches_ (_Xylophasia lithoxylea_)

The fore wings of this species are very light ochreous, with a light
brown patch on the middle of the costa, and patches of the same colour
along the hind margin; also a row of small black dots parallel with the
same margin. The hind wings are pale ochreous: they are brownish along
the hind margin, and have a light fringe.

[Illustration: FIG. 148.--THE LIGHT ARCHES.]

The moth is very common in waste places, and flies in June and July.

The caterpillar is of a dirty white colour, dotted with black, and has a
black head. It feeds on the roots of grasses in May.

_The Flounced Rustic_ (_Luperina testacea_)

The fore wings are greyish brown, with darker umber-brown markings.
These latter are variable, but the most conspicuous is a series of dark
crescent-shaped spots almost parallel with the hind margin, and
immediately outside these is a series of paler crescents.

[Illustration: FIG. 149.--THE FLOUNCED RUSTIC.]

The caterpillar is dull flesh-colour, with a brown head, and a brownish
plate on the second segment. It feeds on the stems of grasses.

The moth is common throughout the British Isles, and flies in August and

_The Cabbage Moth_ (_Mamestra Brassicæ_)

Whatever be your methods of moth collecting, you are sure to meet with
_Brassicæ_ in abundance. They swarm round the insect hunter's sugar in
such numbers as to become a positive nuisance. They are also attracted
by light. During the day they may be seen at rest on palings. The
caterpillar is even better known, and with reason, for it is fearfully
destructive to our vegetables and even our flower beds. It burrows into
the hearts of cabbages, filling the galleries it makes with its
excrement, often leaving no very visible outward signs of its presence
within. But its ravages are by no means confined to cabbages. It eats
with more or less relish almost every vegetable and flowering plant of
our gardens, and is equally partial to the various herbs of the field.

[Illustration: FIG. 150.--THE CABBAGE MOTH.]

The fore wings of the moth are dingy brownish grey, marbled in a very
confused manner by darker markings. The _reniform_ spot is very
distinct, the orbicular less so. A light zigzag line runs parallel with
the hind margin. It flies in June and July.

The larva feeds later in the season, and changes to the chrysalis
beneath the soil in the autumn. It is of a dark grey colour, with a
darker line on the back, and a lighter one along the spiracles, which
are white.

_The Dot_ (_Mamestra Persicariæ_)

The conspicuous white reniform spot on the very dark marbled fore wings
is always sufficient for the identification of this species.

This moth is out in June and July; and during the latter month lays its
eggs on the elder (_Sambucus nigra_), and the various low plants that
supply the larva with food.

[Illustration: FIG. 151.--THE DOT.]

The larva is greenish or greyish, sometimes with a reddish tinge, with a
light line down the back. The twelfth segment is humped, and there are
dark V-shaped marks on the back of segments five to twelve inclusive. It
is full grown in September, and burrows into the ground to undergo its
change to the chrysalis, in which state it remains throughout the

_The Rustic Shoulder-knot_ (_Apamea basilinea_)

The fore wings of this species are pale ochreous grey, with light brown
markings; and there is a short dark streak in the middle of the base,
from which feature the specific name (_Basilinea_) is derived. The hind
wings are of a similar colour, but shading into a dark smoke colour at
the hind margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 152.--THE RUSTIC SHOULDER KNOT.]

The caterpillars feed at first on the grains of wheat, on the ears of
which the moth deposits the eggs in June. At harvest time they remain
hidden among the husks, and are often threshed out in large numbers by
the blows of the flail. The cold weather soon overtakes them, and they
then spin a cocoon in which to pass the winter. On the approach of
spring they come out again, and feed by night on various low plants,
hiding themselves among the roots by day. In March they are full grown,
and change to brown chrysalides beneath the surface of the ground.

The moth flies in June, and is one of the commonest and most destructive
of our _Noctuæ_.

_The Marbled Minor_ (_Miana strigilis_)

The next three genera (_Miana_, _Phothedes_, and _Celæna_) include seven
small moths known as the 'Minors.' The commonest of them is the Marbled
Minor, which is to be found in abundance everywhere during June and

[Illustration: FIG. 153.--THE MARBLED MINOR.]

This species is very variable, but the fore wings are usually dark
brown, marbled with a lighter colour--white or grey. There is generally
an irregular white or pale grey band crossing the wings parallel with
the hind margin, and two white marks on the inner margin, halfway
between this band and the base. There is also a deep black blotch across
the middle of the wing.

The caterpillar is greyish or greenish with paler lines and black
spiracles. It feeds on grasses in March and April, and changes to a
chrysalis under the ground in May.


There are only ten British species in this family, two of which are
rare; and most of the others are particularly dingy. The transverse
lines so often seen on the fore wings of Noctuæ are generally well
marked. The larvæ have short stiff bristles, and feed on low plants;
they undergo their changes in an earthen cocoon under the ground.

_The Mottled Rustic_ (_Caradrina Morpheus_)

We select as our type of this family the Mottled Rustic--a common moth
that may be procured from June to August. Its fore wings are brownish
grey, with darker lines and spots; the hind wings are almost white, but
darker at the tip.

[Illustration: FIG. 154.--THE MOTTLED RUSTIC.]

The caterpillar is brownish grey, with a row of triangular spots on each
side of the back. It is very sluggish, spending the greater part of its
existence among the roots of low plants. It feeds throughout the winter,
except during severe weather, and is full grown in April. The food
plants include teasels (_Dipsacus pilosus_ and _D. sylvestris_), hedge
bedstraw (_Galium Mollugo_), orpine (_Sedum Telephium_), sallows
(_Salix_), and various other plants.

The chrysalis may be dug out in May.


A glance at our list of British _Noctuæ_ (Appendix I) will show that
this family contains nearly fifty species and only three genera. It
includes several very common moths that frequent our gardens and are to
be met with during almost every summer evening ramble.

Most of the species are very dingy, but the half-dozen that comprise the
genus _Triphæna_ are characterised by the bright colouring of the hind
wings. The fore wings are narrow and more or less glossy, and overlap to
a greater or less extent when the insects are at rest; and the hind
wings are folded and completely hidden beneath them.

The larvæ are rather thick and smooth, and generally of very dingy
colours. They feed on low plants, often confining their ravages to the
roots, and generally lie well concealed close to the ground or under the

The pupæ are brown, smooth, and shining, and are usually inclosed in
earthen cocoons.

We shall briefly notice a few members of each of the three genera.

_The Turnip Moth_ (_Agrotis Segetum_)

This is another of those destructive insects that attack vegetable and
flower gardens, often doing so much damage to our crops as to become
quite a nuisance to cultivators.

The moth is decidedly dingy. Its fore wings are brown, clouded with a
darker tint. The hind wings are almost white, sometimes with a brown
hind margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 155.--THE TURNIP MOTH.]

In June it lays its eggs on the stems of young plants, generally very
close to the ground. As soon as the young caterpillars emerge they
commence feeding on the lower parts of the stems, or burrowing deeply
into the larger succulent roots. When the larvæ have completed their
work of destruction in this way, they change to brown chrysalides in the
ground. Some undergo this change in October, and shortly after give rise
to a second brood of moths; but most of them remain in the caterpillar
state throughout the winter, and, contrary to the general rule with
hybernating larvæ, continue to feed almost throughout the winter months,
and change to the chrysalis in the following May.

The caterpillar grows to a large size. It is of a greyish or greenish
colour, with a paler line on the back, a light brown line on each side
of this, black spots between these lines, and black spiracles.

_The Heart and Dart_ (_Agrotis Exclamationis_)

The destructive work of _Segetum_ is assisted by similar operations of
the Heart and Dart, the larva of which feeds voraciously on the roots of
several of our cultivated vegetables, though the present species does
not entirely confine its ravages to the farmer's crops, but attacks the
roots of many low-growing herbs.

The fore wings of the moth are light brown, generally with a reddish
tinge. The darker markings include a large and very distinct reniform
spot, a less distinct orbicular, and a conspicuous longitudinal blackish
streak near the base of the wing known as the _claviform_. Beyond the
reniform a curved and zigzag dark line crosses the wing. The hind wings
of the male are very pale, those of the female darker, with a whitish

[Illustration: FIG. 156.--THE HEART AND DART.]

The moth flies from June to August, and is common everywhere. The
caterpillar feeds in the autumn, and reaches its full size in October;
but it is said to feed at intervals throughout the winter. Its colour is
dingy brown or grey, with paler lines on the sides. The spiracles are
black, and there are black dots on the sides.

_The Garden Dart_ (_Agrotis nigricans_)

This is another dingy moth, whose general appearance is so unattractive
that the tyro might be inclined to neglect it. But it must not be
omitted from our selection on that score, for our main object here is to
give the beginner an acquaintance with those species that are most
likely to be captured in the earlier part of his career, and this moth
is certainly one of those that may be described as 'abundant

[Illustration: FIG. 157.--THE GARDEN DART.]

Its fore wings are dull dark brown, often tinged with red, and clouded
with black. The reniform spot is pale, the orbicular spot less distinct,
and between the two there is generally a rhomboidal dark spot. There is
also a short dark streak near the base of the wing, and a black spot
before the orbicular. The hind wings are pale, but smoky towards the
hind margin.

The caterpillar is brown and shining, with a fine pale line on the back,
and a double white stripe below the spiracles. It is also dotted with
black. It is exceedingly destructive, feeding on clovers (_Trifolium
pratense_ and _T. repens_) and various low plants in May and June.

The moth flies from June to August.

_The Flame Shoulder_ (_Noctua plecta_)

As our example of the next genus we take the Flame Shoulder, a rather
small moth, easily identified by the broad yellowish-white streak along
the costa of the reddish-brown fore wings. The orbicular and reniform
spots are margined with white, and a thin white streak runs from the
base of the wing to the former. The hind wings are white. This moth
flies in July, and is common throughout Great Britain.

[Illustration: FIG. 158.--THE FLAME SHOULDER.]

The caterpillar is reddish brown, with a slender line of white dots on
the back, and a similar line on each side. The body is smooth and
velvety, and is netted and dotted all over with dark brown. It feeds on
the lady's bedstraw (_Galium verum_), sweet woodruff (_Asperula
odorata_), and many other low plants; and is full fed early in July.

_The Lesser Broad Border_ (_Triphæna ianthina_)

We now come to the third and last genus (_Triphæna_) of this extensive
family, a genus which includes six interesting moths, with bright orange
or yellow hind wings. Of these we shall take three examples.

[Illustration: FIG. 159.--THE LESSER BROAD BORDER.]

The first of them--the Lesser Broad Border--has fore wings of a rich
reddish or violet brown, with paler markings. The hind wings are bright
orange, with a broad marginal band of black.

It is a common moth, particularly in the south-western counties, and
flies during July and August.

The caterpillar is of a dingy yellowish or greenish grey, with a light
line down the back, and two black spots on each side of segments nine to
twelve inclusive. It feeds throughout the winter by night on dead
nettles (_Lamium purpureum_ and _L. album_), primrose (_Primula
acaulis_), whitethorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_), blackthorn (_Prunus
spinosa_), and various low plants; and may sometimes be seen in flower
gardens. It is full grown in April.

_The Lesser Yellow Underwing_ (_Triphæna Comes_)

This insect is very similar to the last, but is larger. The fore wings
are also of a greyish or ochreous brown, and the black margin of the
hind wings is proportionately narrower.


It is more abundant than _Ianthina_; in fact it is to be found
everywhere in plenty during the month of July.

The caterpillar is yellowish brown. On the back of each of the eleventh
and twelfth segments are two conspicuous dark marks. The spiracles are
white, and below them is a pale brown stripe. It feeds on the foxglove
(_Digitalis purpurea_), chickweed (_Stellaria media_), thrift (_Armeria
maritima_), and other low plants in the autumn, hybernates during the
winter, and attacks sallows (_Salix Caprea_ and _S. cinerea_) and
whitethorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_) as soon as the buds appear in the
spring. It is full grown in April, and then changes to a chrysalis on
the surface of the earth.

_The Large Yellow Underwing_ (_Triphæna Pronuba_)

This is by far the commonest moth of the genus, and may be found
everywhere, in town and country, from June to August. It is represented
on Plate XI (fig. 1), but its fore wings are very variable, sometimes a
cold dingy grey, but often of an exceedingly rich and warm brown. On the
costal margin, not far from the tip, there is always a small black spot,
which will serve to distinguish it from _Comes_.

The caterpillar (fig. 21) feeds throughout the winter on the roots of
almost every plant in our gardens; and, during the warmer weather of the
autumn and spring, on stems and leaves. It is full grown early in the
summer, and then changes to a chrysalis in the ground. Its colour is
dirty yellowish or greenish grey, with a row of dark spots on each


_The Gothic_ (_Mania typica_)

The above family contains only four British species, two of which we
shall briefly consider.

[Illustration: FIG. 161.--THE GOTHIC.]

The first of these is the Gothic--a very common moth that may be seen
everywhere about midsummer. Its fore wings are brown with darker
marblings, and there are numerous lighter markings which may be easily
made out by reference to the accompanying woodcut.

The caterpillar is smooth and velvety, of a dull brown or greenish
colour, with darker dorsal and side stripes. The latter are crossed
obliquely by a series of whitish lines. It feeds on fruit and other
trees in clusters when very young in early autumn, and afterwards
descends and feeds on low plants. It hybernates in the winter, and feeds
again on low plants in the spring. When full grown it burrows into the
soil to undergo its changes.

_The Old Lady_ (_Mania Maura_)

This fine moth is so very different from the last in appearance that the
reason for placing the two in the same genus is not apparent till the
earlier stages and life history have been studied. All its wings are
very deep brown; the front pair has a darker band containing the
orbicular and reniform spots, and the hind pair a lighter band across
the middle.

[Illustration: FIG. 162.--THE OLD LADY.]

It is a common moth, often to be found at rest by day in outhouses and
sheds. It flies in July and August.

The caterpillar is dark purple or umber brown, with darker and lighter
markings. It feeds in the autumn on fruit trees, and hybernates during
the winter. In the spring it feeds again on low plants, and changes to a
chrysalis in May under the ground.


This is a large family of over thirty species, most of them of rather
small size, which make their appearance, with two exceptions, either in
early spring or in late autumn, often attracted in the former season by
the sallow blossom, and in the latter by ivy bloom.

Several of them are very common insects, that are almost sure to be
taken by a young collector during his first season.

The fore wings of these moths are more or less pointed at the tip, and
the usual lines and spots are generally distinct. The males may be
distinguished from the females by their antennæ, which are always more
or less ciliated.

The caterpillars are smooth and velvety, and feed by night; and the pupæ
are inclosed in cocoons constructed of earth and silk.

_The Common Quaker_ (_Tæniocampa stabilis_)

Several of the species of the family are known popularly as Quakers, the
commonest of which--_Stabilis_--is abundant in all parts.

Its fore wings are grey, with generally either an ochreous or reddish
tinge. The orbicular and reniform spots are outlined with a paler
colour, and there is a pale transverse line parallel with the hind
margin, outside which is a row of indistinct black spots. The hind wings
are greyish brown.

[Illustration: FIG. 163.--THE COMMON QUAKER.]

The caterpillar is green and velvety, with a yellowish line on the back
and on each side; and a yellow band crosses the back of the twelfth
segment transversely. It feeds during June and July on oak (_Quercus
Robur_) and elm (_Ulmus campestris_), and changes to a chrysalis in
August on the surface of the ground. In this state it remains throughout
the winter, and the moth emerges in March or April.

_The Chestnut_ (_Cerastis Vaccinii_)

Unfortunately our space will not allow us to notice the whole of even
the very common moths, so, passing over a few with great reluctance, we
come to the familiar Chestnut, which may be seen at large in October and
November, and sometimes even in December, and again appears, after a
rather short period of hybernation, in February and March.

[Illustration: FIG. 164.--THE CHESTNUT.]

The fore wings are reddish brown, with darker wavy lines. The orbicular
and reniform spots have pale outlines, and the lower half of the latter
is very dark grey. The hind wings are smoky grey, with generally a pale
band beyond the middle.

The caterpillar is dark brown, with very indistinct lighter lines. The
spiracles are black, and inclosed in a yellowish grey stripe. It feeds
during June and July on the elm (_Ulmus campestris_), oak (_Quercus
Robur_), and sallow (_Salix caprea_), and various low plants.

_The Pink-barred Sallow_ (_Xanthia Flavago_)

This moth is not nearly so common as the preceding species, but has been
taken more or less in all parts of England.

Its fore wings are orange yellow, with purplish markings arranged as
represented in fig. 165. The hind wings are yellowish white.

[Illustration: FIG. 165.--THE PINK-BARRED SALLOW.]

The caterpillar is brown, with a lateral stripe formed by numerous red,
yellow and white dots. It feeds on sallow (_Salix caprea_) and various
low plants.

It is full grown in June, and the moth appears in September.


_The Dun-bar_ (_Calymnia trapezina_)

Our example of this family is the Dun-bar, common everywhere during July
and August.

Its fore wings are greyish ochreous, with a darker band across the
middle. On each side of this band is a white line margined with dark
grey, and there is a row of black spots along the hind margin. The hind
wings are smoky brown, becoming paler towards the base.

[Illustration: FIG. 166.--THE DUN-BAR.]

The caterpillar feeds on oak (_Quercus Robur_), hornbeam (_Carpinus
Betulus_), and birch (_Betula alba_), and may be found in abundance
during May and June. It is green, with dark spots, and white lines on
the back and sides. Although it partakes of the leaves of the
above-named trees, yet its chief food seems to be other caterpillars,
for it devours these with a savage greediness that is simply
astonishing. It will chase an unfortunate caterpillar, seize it by the
neck with a fatal grip, and rapidly devour it. Its chief prey seems to
be the larva of the Winter Moth (_Brumata_).


Nearly fifty British _Noctuæ_ are included in the family _Hadenidæ_.
They are of variable dimensions, and differ much in the brightness of
their colours, some being very dingy, and others gaily tinted. Their
antennæ are rather long; and when at rest the wings slope from the back
like the sides of a roof.

The larvæ are smooth, and not very thick; and there is sometimes a hump
on the twelfth segment. The pupæ are brown and shiny, and are inclosed
in earthen cocoons beneath the surface of the soil.

_The Broad-barred White_ (_Hecatera serena_)

Although not gaily coloured, this is a pretty little moth, there being a
bright contrast between the white ground and the grey markings of the
wings. It is common in the south of England, and seems to be plentiful
in and around London.

[Illustration: FIG. 167.--THE BROAD-BARRED WHITE.]

The caterpillar is of a dingy greenish colour, with a yellowish stripe
on each side of the back; and there are two distinct dots on the back of
each segment. It feeds during July and August on sow-thistles (_Sonchus
oleraceus_ and _S. arvensis_), sleepwort (_Lactuca virosa_), and
hawkweeds (_Hieracia_).

The moth flies in June and July.

_The Marvel-du-jour_ (_Agriopis Aprilina_)

The Marvel-du-jour is decidedly a beautiful moth--quite an exception
among the _Noctuæ_ in this respect, and it is withal both common and
widely distributed. We need not describe it, since it is represented on
Plate XI (fig. 2), and can hardly be mistaken for any other species.

The caterpillar is dull green, often tinged with red. The dorsal line is
broad and dark, and interrupted by a series of very light lozenge-shaped
spots. It feeds on the oak in May and June, and is full grown in the
latter month. It then burrows into the earth at the foot of the tree,
and there constructs a fragile earthen cocoon previous to changing to a

From July to September the chrysalides may be obtained in plenty by
breaking up the sods at the roots of oaks, and the perfect insect may be
found toward the end of September and throughout October.

_The Small Angle Shades_ (_Euplexia lucipara_)

This pretty little moth is represented in fig. 3 of Plate XI. It is very
common throughout the country, and may be seen in June and July.

The caterpillar is thickest on the twelfth segment, and gradually tapers
from this towards the head. Its colour is pale green, with a white
stripe just below the spiracles, which are black. On each side of the
back are a number of oblique lines, which meet in the middle line, thus
forming a series of V-shaped marks pointing towards the tail. It feeds
on the common bracken fern (_Pteris aquilina_), foxglove (_Digitalis
purpurea_), and the male fern (_Lastræa Filix-mas_), in August and

_The Angle Shades_ (_Phlogophora Meticulosa_)

[Illustration: FIG. 168.--THE ANGLE SHADES.]

This moth is so common and so widely distributed that it is almost sure
to be taken by the young collector during his first season. Its wings
are scalloped on the hind margin, and their colour light ochreous, often
tinged with pink or olive green, and marked with dark brown as shown in
the illustration. It is double brooded, the first brood appearing in May
and June, and the second in September and October.

The caterpillar is green or olive brown, and thickly covered with white
spots. It feeds on groundsel (_Senecio vulgaris_) and many other low
plants, the first brood throughout the winter from November to April,
and the second in July and August.

_The Grey Arches_ (_Aplecta nebulosa_)

The fore wings of this moth vary from greyish white to a rather dark
smoky tint. The markings are of a darker colour, and are also subject to
considerable variation. The orbicular and reniform spots are large, and
paler than the ground colour; and several zigzag or scalloped lines,
more or less distinct, cross the wings transversely.

[Illustration: FIG. 169.--THE GREY ARCHES.]

The larva is brown, with a lighter line down the back. On each of the
segments five to eleven is a dark lozenge-shaped spot, bisected by the
dorsal line; and on the second segment is a shining plate and a
triangular mark. It feeds on the dock (_Rumex_), and various other low
plants during the autumn; and, after its hybernation, on the leaves of
the sallow (_Salix Caprea_), birch (_Betula alba_), and whitethorn
(_Cratægus oxyacantha_). It is full grown in May, when it burrows into
the ground to undergo its metamorphoses.

The moth flies during June and July, and is common in nearly every part
of Great Britain. Large numbers may be obtained by searching fences and
tree trunks about midsummer.

_The Shears_ (_Hadena dentina_)

The Shears is another very common moth of the same family. The ground
colour of the fore wings is very variable, but is generally a lighter or
darker shade of grey. Sometimes, however, it has a very decided brownish
tinge. Across the centre of the wing is a darker band, wider on the
costal side, containing the orbicular and reniform spots, as well as a
light patch beneath them, and bordered on each side by a pale zigzag
line. There is another similar line near to and parallel with the hind
margin. The hind wings are smoky grey or smoky brown, darker towards the
hind margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 170.--THE SHEARS.]

The caterpillar is greyish, and has a series of triangular black spots
along each side of the back. It feeds on the roots of the dandelion
(_Taraxacum officinale_), and changes to a peculiar spiny chrysalis.

The perfect insect appears to be abundant everywhere, and is on the wing
in June and July.

_The Bright-line Brown-eye_ (_Hadena oleracea_)

Every collector is sure to meet with this insect during his first
season. The moth is abundant everywhere in June, the caterpillar may be
found feeding in almost every waste and weedy spot in August and
September, and the chrysalis is certain to be turned over by the pupa

[Illustration: FIG. 171.--THE BRIGHT-LINE BROWN-EYE.]

The fore wings of the perfect insect are reddish brown. The orbicular
spot is usually very indistinct, being of almost exactly the same tint
as the ground colour, and surrounded by a very fine whitish line. The
reniform is generally more conspicuous, a portion of it being of a light
ochreous colour. Near the hind margin, and parallel with it, is a white
line, bent sharply into the form of a W, just on the anal side of the

The hind wings are greyish brown in the base, and dark smoke colour
towards the margin.

The caterpillar is pale green or brown, dotted with both black and
white, and adorned with a bright yellow line just below the spiracles.
It feeds on the nettle (_Urtica dioica_), dock (_Rumex_), and many other
low plants; and, according to some observers, on the elm (_Ulmus


The next family--_Xylinidæ_--contains twenty British species, several of
which are local, but two or three are abundant and widely distributed.

The transverse lines that so often cross the wings of the _Noctuæ_ are
nearly or entirely absent in this family, and longitudinal lines take
their place. When the insects are at rest the wings are folded rather
closely, the outer pair being arranged like a roof with a very gentle
slope. The bodies of the perfect insects are very stout, particularly in
the thorax, and thus present a rather powerful appearance.

The larvæ are smooth, and generally brightly coloured, and feed
principally on low plants. The chrysalides are generally inclosed in
cocoons on or beneath the ground, and are often provided with spines or
bristles on the under side.

We shall select two members of this family.

_The Early Grey_ (_Xylocampa Areola_)

One of the first of the _Noctuæ_ to greet us in the spring is the Early
Grey, which may be found resting on fences in April, and, if the season
is mild, in March.

[Illustration: FIG. 172.--THE EARLY GREY.]

Its fore wings are light grey, often tinged with rose pink, and marked
with dark grey. The orbicular and reniform spots are very distinct, and
surrounded by a pale line; they are both united at their lower edges.
Along the hind margin is a series of dark spots. The hind wings are pale
yellowish grey, with a darker central spot, a central transverse darker
line, and a darker line along the hind margin.

The caterpillar is yellowish grey. The dorsal line is lighter, and
passes through a brownish spot on the eighth segment. It feeds on the
honeysuckle (_Lonicera Periclymenum_) in July and August, being full
grown towards the end of the latter month.

_The Shark_ (_Cucullia umbratica_)

The Shark is a very common moth, to be found everywhere on palings in
June, but the colour of its wings so closely resembles that of oak and
other light-wood fences that detection is not so easy as with most other

[Illustration: FIG. 173.--THE SHARK.]

The fore wings are grey, and marked with longitudinal dark lines, the
principal of which is a line from the middle of the base to about the
centre of the wing. The wing rays are also darker than the ground
colour. The hind wings are greyish white or brownish grey.

The caterpillar is very dark brown, with orange spots on the back and
along the spiracles. It feeds on sow-thistles (_Sonchus oleraceus_, _S.
palustris_, and _S. arvensis_) and sleepwort (_Lactuca virosa_) at night
from July to September, and hides during the daytime among the leaves
that lie close against the ground. When disturbed it does not roll into
a ring or feign death like many others of its kind, but wriggles about
most vigorously as if to repel its foe.


_The Herald Moth_ (_Gonoptera Libatrix_)

The above-mentioned family is so called on account of the angular
margins of the wings, especially the fore pair. It contains only one
British species, the Herald (Plate XII, fig. 1), a moth that is common
everywhere in August and September. It hybernates in the perfect state,
and the hybernated specimens may be seen in the spring time, from March
up to the end of May or the beginning of June.

Its fore wings are reddish grey, thickly spotted and streaked with
brown. Transverse whitish lines divide the base into three parts of
nearly equal widths. The basal and central divisions are tinged with
orange; and there is a small white spot in the base close to the thorax,
also another near the centre of the wing. The hind wings are brownish

The caterpillar is green and velvety, with a whitish stripe on the side,
and yellow spiracles. It feeds on willow (_Salix alba_) and sallow
(_Salix caprea_); and when full grown, about the end of June, it spins a
white silken cocoon between leaves of its tree, and changes to a very
dark chrysalis.


The most peculiar feature of the moths of this family is the tufts of
hair that stand up perpendicularly on the top of the thorax. The abdomen
also is crested, and the fore wings of several species have smooth
patches that display a brilliant metallic lustre.

Most of the larvæ may be described as semi-loopers, for their claspers
number only three pairs, and when they walk their backs are considerably
humped, somewhat after the fashion of the _Geometræ_. Some of them
further imitate the _Geometræ_ in their position of rest, holding on by
their claspers only, with body straightened out at an angle with the
leaf or twig on which they support themselves.

Unlike the majority of the _Noctuæ_, they do not descend to the ground
when about to change, but spin a silken cocoon among the food plants.

_The Burnished Brass_ (_Plusia Chrysitis_)

One of the commonest of the _Plusiidæ_ is the Burnished Brass, so called
on account of the large patches of bright golden green on the fore
wings. The hind margin of these wings is very gracefully curved, and
bordered with brown. A brown blotch fills the base of the wing, and the
remaining area is of a beautiful metallic greenish yellow, broken by two
large brown blotches, one on the costal and the other on the inner
margin, which closely approach each other and sometimes meet.

[Illustration: FIG. 174.--THE BURNISHED BRASS.]

This moth is very common everywhere, and is one of the frequent visitors
to our flower gardens from June to August.

The caterpillar is thickest at the twelfth segment, and tapers from this
point. Its colour is pale green. It has no longitudinal stripes on the
back, but each segment is adorned with four or six oblique white marks.
Just above the spiracles is a white stripe. It feeds on the dead nettle
(_Lamium album_), stinging nettle (_Urtica dioica_), and burdock
(_Arctium minus_), and is full grown in June.

_The Silver_ Y (_Plusia Gamma_)

Our second example of this family is the Silver Y, which may be found in
abundance everywhere from June to October. Its fore wings are of a shiny
grey colour, beautifully marbled with a rich dark brown; and just below
the orbicular spot is a brilliant silvery spot, in form something like
the Greek letter [gamma] placed obliquely. The base of the hind wings is
grey; along the margin is a broad and dark smoky brown band, and the
fringe is very light grey, barred with the dark tint of the band. This
moth is commonly driven out of its hiding places among low plants as we
walk in waste places, and when thus disturbed it takes a short and rapid
flight, generally disappearing so suddenly among the herbage that it is
difficult to locate it correctly.

[Illustration: FIG. 175.--THE SILVER Y.]

The caterpillar is thickest at the twelfth segment, and tapers gradually
from this point towards the head. Its body is green, with several thin
longitudinal white stripes, and a thin yellow stripe along the
spiracles. It may be found from June to October, feeding on many kinds
of low plants.


_The Mother Shipton_ (_Euclidia Mi_)

Passing over a few small and less important families, we come to the
_Euclidiidæ_, which contains only two British moths. One of these is the
Mother Shipton, a very common insect that flies in June.

The fore wings of this species are very dark brown with whitish
markings. The latter include a peculiarly tortuous line, the character
of which will be made out more easily from our illustration (Plate XI,
fig. 4) than from a written description. The hind wings are also very
dark brown, and rather prettily spotted with an ochreous tint.

The caterpillar is pale grey, with four white stripes, and has only
three pairs of claspers. It feeds in May on clovers (_Trifolium
pratense_ and _T. repens_) and other plants.


This family contains only four British species, but these few are very
striking moths. They are of large size; and, unlike the _Noctuæ_
generally, the chief adornment is reserved for the under wings. When at
rest, the outer or fore wings completely hide the other pair, and then
their general appearance is dull, though if closely examined it will be
observed that these outer wings are really beautifully marbled with
shades of grey.

The caterpillars of this family are very peculiar creatures. Their
bodies are convex above and flattened beneath; and if disturbed as they
rest on the bark of a tree, instead of leaving their hold and rolling
into a ring like so many other larvæ of _Noctuæ_, they apply themselves
the closer, and hold on as if to defy our attempts to remove them.
Another peculiarity of these larvæ is the possession of fleshy
projections along the sides, just above the legs. They feed on the
leaves of trees, and when about to rest they descend to the trunk, and
there remain protected by their imitative colouring, detection being
rendered even more difficult by the close application of their flattened
under surface to the bark. Before changing to the chrysalis state, they
spin a light cocoon among the leaves or on the bark.

_The Clifden Nonpareil_ (_Catocala Fraxini_)

This is the largest of the family, and, indeed, of all British _Noctuæ_.
The fore wings and thorax are light grey, dotted and marbled with darker
grey (see fig. 5, Plate XI); and the thorax and abdomen are banded with
black and greyish blue.

The young entomologist can hardly expect to meet with this fine insect,
for it is very rare, and it is only occasionally that a specimen is seen
in Britain; but its characteristics are so striking that we have
endeavoured to find it a place here. Reputed British specimens of
_Fraxini_ command the price of a few pounds each, but specimens from the
other side of the Channel may be obtained for a few pence. With such
rarities we should advise a young entomologist to purchase the foreign
specimen rather than adopt the two other alternatives--give an
exorbitant price for a supposed Britisher, or else remain a stranger to
the gem, but all foreign specimens should be labelled according to their

_The Red Underwing_ (_Catocala Nupta_)

The other three members of the family are very similar in appearance,
the fore wings of all being marbled with shades of grey, relieved by
touches of black and brown; and the hind wings, red or crimson, give the
popular names to the species.

The Red Underwing flies in August and September, and is common in the
southern counties of England, as well as in some of the midland
counties; it may be often seen flying by day around willows.

[Illustration: FIG. 176.--THE RED UNDERWING.]

The caterpillar is similar in form to that of _Fraxini_, and when at
rest by day on the bark of its tree it is very difficult to detect, so
closely does it apply itself to the surface, and so perfectly does it
imitate the colour of its surroundings. It feeds on the crack willow
(_Salix fragilis_), sallow (_S. alba_), poplar (_Populus_), and plum
(_Prunus_), and is full grown in June.

_The Dark Crimson Underwing_ (_Catocala Sponsa_)

This beautiful insect is represented on Plate XI (fig. 6). It will be
observed that the black band crossing the centre of the hind wing is
rather broad and sharply bent--an important feature, since it is the
most serviceable distinguishing mark between this species and the Light
Crimson Underwing (_C. Promissa_).

The caterpillar is similar in form and habits to those of _Fraxini_ and
_Nupta_, and feeds on the oak. It is full fed about the beginning of
June, when it changes to a chrysalis between leaves which it has spun
together with silk.

The moth flies in July and August, and is common only in certain oak
woods of the southern counties. It is particularly abundant in the New
Forest, where scores may be taken in a single night by judicious

There yet remain a few small families of the _Noctuæ_, but we must leave
them in order that we may give a proportionate share of our space to the
other great division of the larger moths--the _Geometræ_.



We have already referred (page 28) to caterpillars that walk by a
series of strides, alternately looping and extending their long and
slender bodies. It is this peculiar characteristic of the larvæ of
the present division that suggested the name _Geometræ_--a term that
signifies 'earth-measurers,' for they appear to measure the ground
over which they travel in terms of their own length. We have also
dealt with the peculiarities of structure in the case of these
caterpillars--peculiarities which adapt them to this mode of
progression; and we have now to make a selection from the various
families of this important division for a more detailed description.

The _Geometræ_ include nearly three hundred species and sixteen
families. The moths have slender bodies and full wings, and generally
rest with the latter outspread. A few, however, repose with wings erect
like the butterflies, and a small number conceal their hind wings after
the manner of the _Noctuæ_.


_The Swallow Tail_ (_Uropteryx sambucaria_)

Our first family--_Uropterygidæ_--has only one British representative,
and that is the well-known Swallow Tail, so common in gardens and among
hedgerows in the south of England. This species is shown on Plate XII
(fig. 2), and the insect is so readily identified by the conspicuous
'tails' on the hind wings that no written description will be necessary.

The caterpillar is a most peculiar and interesting creature. Its colour
is very variable, being either brown, olive, ochreous, or reddish; and
it is notched or humped in such a manner that it exactly resembles a
twig. This strange imitation is rendered still more remarkable by the
attitude assumed by the caterpillar when at rest. It fixes itself to a
twig by means of its two pairs of claspers, with its body standing out
at an angle in a perfectly straight posture; but its head is always
supported by means of a very slender and almost invisible silk fibre. It
feeds on a number of plants and trees, including elder (_Sambucus
nigra_), blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), whitethorn (_Cratægus
oxyacantha_), bramble (_Rubus fruticosus_), honeysuckle (_Lonicera
Periclymenum_), and forget-me-not (_Myosotis arvensis_). It may be found
feeding in the autumn, or hybernating in the crevices of the bark of
trees in winter. In April or May it comes out again; and in June, in
which month it is full grown, it binds together some fragments of
leaves, and forms them into a little swinging hammock in which it
changes to a brown chrysalis spotted with black.

Just at this time it seems to be particularly sensitive. In the
caterpillar state it will strongly resent any kind of disturbance, and
will give a blow to an intruder by suddenly swaying its body right and
left; and while in its hammock a gentle irritation, such as a puff of
wind from the mouth, will set it wriggling in a furious manner.


This family contains about twenty species, several of which rank among
the commonest as well as the most beautiful of the _Geometræ_. Their
wings are more or less angulated; and the antennæ are generally
pectinated in the males.

The larvæ are generally humped and twig-like; and, as in the last
species, the semblance is increased by the position they assume when at
rest. The number of limbs varies from ten to fourteen, but where the
claspers exceed two pairs, the additional two or four, as the case may
be, are seldom used in walking.

_The Brimstone Moth_ (_Rumia luteolata_)

As soon as the warm evenings of May set in, this lively and bright
little moth may be seen flitting about among our hedges at sunset; and
it continues with us throughout the whole of the summer, but is
particularly plentiful during the month of June.

The moth itself need not be described, since it is shown on Plate XII
(fig. 3); but the caterpillar (fig. 25) must receive a passing notice.
It varies considerably in colour, being either green, brown, or marbled
with a mixture of shades of both these colours. It has a hump on the
back of the seventh segment, and two more on the ninth, and possesses
four pairs of claspers. It feeds on whitethorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_),
blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), and the apple (_Pyrus Malus_), and may be
found on these trees throughout the summer.

Some believe that there are three successive broods of this insect each
year, but it is doubtful whether this is invariably the rule, since both
the moth and its larva are to be found without intermission throughout
the season.

_The Light Emerald_ (_Metrocampa margaritaria_)

All the wings of this moth are very pale green, and crossed with a white
band which is bordered with a darker green on the inner side. The fore
wings have an additional transverse line just halfway between the former
and the base, but this one is not so distinct. It flies in July, and is
very widely distributed, and in some parts is very abundant.

[Illustration: FIG. 177.--THE LIGHT EMERALD.]

The caterpillar feeds in September, and again in May, after hybernation,
on several of our forest trees, including the oak (_Quercus Robur_), elm
(_Ulmus campestris_), birch (_Betula alba_), and beech (_Fagus
sylvatica_). It is of a dingy olive colour, with a dark dorsal line, on
each side of which is a row of white spots; and it has three pairs of

_The Scalloped Oak_ (_Crocallis elinguaria_)

This species is common and widely distributed, and may be seen flying at
dusk towards the end of July and throughout August. It is represented in
fig. 4 of Plate XII. The antennæ of the male are strongly pectinated;
those of the female are simple.

The caterpillar may be found in the autumn, and again in spring, feeding
on the honeysuckle (_Lonicera Periclymenum_), whitethorn (_Cratægus
oxyacantha_), blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), beech (_Fagus sylvatica_),
and various fruit trees. It is full grown in June, when it turns to a
chrysalis in a cocoon spun between leaves or moss on or near the ground.
It is of a greyish-brown or greyish-purple colour, and looks very like a
piece of twig.

_The August Thorn_ (_Eugonia quercinaria_)

Our last example of this family is the August Thorn, represented in the
accompanying woodcut. The fore wings are ochreous yellow, crossed by two
nearly parallel lines of dark brown. In order to distinguish between
this and one or two similar species it must be observed that both these
lines are angulated near the costa, the inner one very sharply so; and
between the two is a distinct brown spot near the costal margin. The
hind wings are paler, and are crossed by an indistinct darker line. The
antennæ of the male are strongly fringed; those of the female are

[Illustration: FIG. 178.--THE AUGUST THORN.]

The moth is very common in August and September, and is readily
attracted by lights in the evening.

The larva is grey, marbled with reddish brown. It has three small humps
on each of the sixth and seventh segments, two on the twelfth, and one
larger one on the ninth. It feeds on the oak and various other trees
during the month of June.


The seven British species of the family _Amphidasydæ_ are generally to
be distinguished by their rather stout abdomens, and the long shaggy
hair that covers their thoraces. The antennæ of the males are
pectinated, and those of the females simple; and in three cases the
latter sex is wingless.

The caterpillars have long and slender twig-like bodies, and are never
provided with more than two pairs of claspers. The chrysalides terminate
behind in a sharp spine, and are always to be found buried in the soil.

_The Brindled Beauty_ (_Biston hirtaria_)

Early in April, and sometimes in March, this moth may be seen in
abundance, resting on the lime trees in and around our towns. In fact,
so strongly marked is its partiality to the haunts of man in the
neighbourhood of our great metropolis that it has received the name of
the Cockney. The male is represented in fig. 5 of Plate XII, and the
female may be distinguished from it by her simple antennæ and larger

The caterpillar is coloured with alternate bands of dark purple brown
and reddish brown. There is a yellow band on the front of the second
segment, a row of yellow spots on each side, and two little bright
yellow warts on the back of each segment. It feeds by night on lime
(_Tilia vulgaris_), elm (_Ulmus campestris_), and various fruit trees,
and often appears in such numbers that the foliage is almost completely
devoured. During the daytime it may be seen resting on the bark, almost
invariably fixed longitudinally on the trunk, where it looks like a
natural ridge of the bark which it so closely resembles in colour. It
may be found in June and July, and in August it changes to a chrysalis
at the foot of its tree, just below the surface of the soil.

_The Peppered Moth_ (_Amphidasys betularia_)

Although this common species displays no bright tints, yet it is
prettily marked, its whitish wings being peppered and blotched all over
with black or very dark brown. It flies in May and June, later than any
other species of the family, and may generally be found on fences and
tree trunks during the day.

[Illustration: FIG. 179.--THE PEPPERED MOTH.]

The colour of the caterpillar is very variable--drab, grey, green, or
brown; but it may be known by the deep notch in the middle of the head,
and the arrangement of its 'humps.' These latter are only small reddish
or whitish projections, of which there is one on each side of the fifth,
sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth, and eleventh segments; also two on the
back of the ninth and twelfth. It feeds in August and September on a
large number of trees, including, in fact, nearly all our commonest
forest and fruit trees. In September it enters the soil to undergo its
change to the chrysalis.


In the next family--_Boarmiidæ_--there are about twenty British members,
most of which are very pretty moths. They differ generally from the last
family in that their bodies are more slender, and although some of them
bear a resemblance to species of the family _Ennomidæ_, their wings are
not angulated. In several cases the fore and hind wings are both
similarly marked, a feature very uncommon with moths.

The caterpillars of this family usually have humps on the sixth and
twelfth segments only, and have two pairs of claspers. The pupæ are to
be found either on the ground, among leaves or moss, or beneath the

_The Waved Umber_ (_Hemerophila abruptaria_)

The most gaily coloured member of this family is the Waved Umber, shown
in fig. 6 of Plate XII. Like many other _Geometræ_, it rests on fences
and tree trunks by day with wings expanded so that all four are
displayed. It is on the wing in May and early June, and again in August,
and often frequents our gardens at dusk.

The caterpillar is very dark brown, with a white collar on the front of
the second segment. It feeds in June and July on privet (_Ligustrum
vulgare_) and the cultivated rose trees of flower gardens, and probably
also on the dog rose (_Rosa canina_). When full grown it spins a silken
cocoon in a fork of one of the twigs, and there undergoes its

_The Willow Beauty_ (_Boarmia gemmaria_)

Our second example of the _Boarmiidæ_ is the Willow Beauty, the male of
which species is here illustrated. Its wings are brownish grey, marked
with dark brown lines and streaks. The female is generally larger than
the male, and has simple antennæ. The moth is abundant throughout
England, and may be seen generally resting on fences and trees in June
and July.

[Illustration: FIG. 180.--THE WILLOW BEAUTY.]

The ground colour of the caterpillar is much the same as that of the
moth, and is marked with a similar darker tint. It has a yellowish line
along the spiracles, and is much like a piece of brownish twig. It feeds
on the oak (_Quercus Robur_), Birch (_Betula alba_), ivy (_Hedera
Helix_), and other trees, and may be found in September and October.


The next family contains eight moths, mostly of small size, all of which
have green wings, and are popularly known as the 'Emeralds.' In most
cases the male may be distinguished by its pectinated antennæ.

There is no general characteristic by which we may know all the larvæ,
but some have the head deeply notched.

_The Large Emerald_ (_Geometra papilionaria_)

This species is the largest of the family, and measures over two inches
when its wings are expanded. The colour is dull green, with whitish
bands and spots, the arrangement of which may be seen in our engraving.

[Illustration: FIG. 181.--THE LARGE EMERALD.]

The moth is out in July, and is common in most parts of England.

The caterpillar feeds on birch (_Betula alba_), beech (_Fagus
sylvatica_) and hazel (_Corylus avellana_) in the autumn, and hybernates
while still young. In the spring it feeds again, and is full grown in
June, when it changes to a chrysalis in a cocoon spun between leaves.

_The Common Emerald_ (_Hemithea strigata_)

One of the commonest of the Emeralds is _Strigata_, which may be found
in June and July in all parts of England, as well as in some localities
in Scotland and Ireland. Its wings are of a dull green colour, the front
pair being slightly scalloped on the hind margin, and crossed by
indistinct pale lines; and the hind pair are both scalloped and angled
and crossed in the middle by a transverse pale line. The fringe is
white, dotted with dull reddish brown.

[Illustration: FIG. 182.--THE COMMON EMERALD.]

The caterpillar is yellowish green, except the second, third, and fourth
segments which are brownish. It feeds on oak (_Quercus Robur_) and
whitethorn (_Cratægus oxyacantha_), and may be found in June.


_The Maiden's Blush_ (_Zonosoma punctaria_)

The family _Ephyridæ_ contains only six British species, chiefly
remarkable for the fact that their pupæ generally resemble those of

We choose for our example the pretty little Maiden's Blush, so called on
account of the soft reddish patch on the middle of each fore wing. It is
represented in fig. 7 of Plate XII. It is moderately common, occurring
more or less in all parts of England, as well as certain localities in
the sister countries. It is a double-brooded moth, and may be caught in
May and August.

The caterpillar feeds on oak (_Quercus Robur_), from which it may be
obtained by beating both in June and September. It is either green or
tawny yellow, marked with yellow oblique lines on the sides.


The moths of this family, over thirty in number, are mostly of small
size, and have slender bodies. As a rule the wings are not in the least
angulated or scalloped, but in a few species the hind pair are slightly
angled on the hind margin; and both fore and hind wings are similarly
marked. The antennæ are simple in the females, and generally only
slightly ciliated in the males.

The caterpillars are long and slender, without projections, and feed
principally on low plants. The pupæ are to be found in loose cocoons
among the leaves of the food plants or under the soil.

We shall briefly notice three members of this rather extensive family.

_The Lace Border_ (_Acidalia ornata_)

The wings of this moth are silvery white, marked along the hind margin
with a beautiful lace-like border. This border consists of delicate
black and dark grey lines, and includes, in the fore wing, two light
brown blotches, one near the middle and the other in the anal angle. It
is abundant in England, particularly in chalky districts, but does not
seem to extend into Scotland. It may be seen on the wing from June to

[Illustration: FIG. 183.--THE LACE BORDER.]

The caterpillar feeds on thyme (_Thymus Serpyllum_) and marjoram
(_Origanum vulgare_).

_The Riband Wave_ (_A. aversata_)

All the wings of this species are of a pale yellowish or ochreous grey.
The fore wings are crossed by three transverse dark lines, and the hind
wings by two. The space between the two outer lines of the fore wing and
that between the lines of the hind wing are usually filled in with a
greyish brown, thus forming the 'riband' from which the popular name of
the insect is derived; and when this is the case the lines which border
the riband are scarcely distinguishable. Just inside the second line of
the fore wings, near the costa, is a small but conspicuous brown spot.

[Illustration: FIG. 184.--THE RIBAND WAVE.]

The moth flies in June and July, and is common in all parts.

The caterpillar is dark brown except segments ten to thirteen, which are
grey. The line along the spiracles is whitish, and the surface of the
body is roughened by a number of minute warts. It feeds on various low
plants, including the meadow sweet (_Spiræa ulmaria_), water avens
(_Geum rivale_), common avens (_G. urbanum_), and knot-grass (_Polygonum
aviculare_), during April and May.

_The Blood-vein_ (_Timandra amataria_)

Our last example of the _Acidaliidæ_ is the Blood-vein, which is common
in most parts of England in June and July.

[Illustration: FIG. 185.--THE BLOOD-VEIN.]

Its fore wings are pale grey, dusted with darker grey, and crossed by an
oblique red streak which runs from the tip of the fore wing to near the
inner margin of the hind wing. A slender dark and wavy line lies outside
this one, parallel with it in the hind wing, but meeting it near the tip
of the fore wing.

The caterpillar is grey, with three white longitudinal stripes. It feeds
in the autumn on dock (_Rumex_), sorrel (_R. acetosa_), and knot-grass
(_Polygonum aviculare_).


Six species, all of rather small size, constitute the British portion of
the above family. Their wings are mostly white or pale grey, with light
markings, and without angles. The moths are to be caught with the net
at dusk, or they may be seen on fences and tree trunks during the day,
with their wings fully extended and applied closely to the surface on
which they rest.

The larvæ, which have no humps, feed on trees, and change to the
chrysalis state in light silken cocoons.

_The Common Wave_ (_Cabera exanthemata_)

The first of our two examples of this small family is the Common Wave,
the wings of which are pale grey, almost white, dusted all over with
small dark dots. The fore wings are crossed by three parallel and
equidistant darker transverse lines, and the hind pair by two. The male
may be distinguished by its ciliated antennæ.

[Illustration: FIG. 186.--THE COMMON WAVE.]

The caterpillar is yellow or greenish yellow, with hinder segments
slightly swollen. It feeds during the latter part of the summer on
sallows (_Salix caprea_ and _S. cinerea_) and alder (_Alnus glutinosa_),
and changes to a chrysalis in a light cocoon among fallen leaves. In
this state it spends the winter, the perfect insect emerging in May or

This species is very abundant in most parts.

_The Clouded Silver_ (_Bapta temerata_)

The other example is the Clouded Silver, the wings of which are white,
and clouded along the hind margin with smoky grey. On the hind margin of
the fore wings, close to the fringe, is a row of black crescent-shaped
spots; and on the inner side of the cloudings is a waved transverse
band. In the centre of the same wings there is a very distinct dark

[Illustration: FIG. 187.--THE CLOUDED SILVER.]

This moth is not so common as the last, but is widely distributed. It
flies in May and June.

The caterpillar is bright green on the upper side, and has a row of
orange spots, bordered with brown, down the middle of the back. It feeds
in the autumn on the blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_) and the wild cherry
(_P. Avium_), and spends the winter in the chrysalis state, inclosed in
a light silken cocoon.


_The_ V _Moth_ (_Halia Vauaria_)

The family _Macariidæ_ contains only five British species, four of which
have the tip of the fore wings extended more or less into an angle, and
the hind wings are also angled to a greater or less extent.

[Illustration: FIG. 188.--THE V MOTH.]

Our only example is the V Moth, so called from the conspicuous V-shaped
blackish mark on the middle of the costa of the fore wings. The ground
colour of all the wings is grey, with a delicate violet tinge. There are
other dark markings in addition to the one mentioned above, and the
arrangement of these may be seen in the woodcut.

This species is very common in all parts, and flies at about midsummer.

The caterpillar is very variable in colour, but is generally green, and
is marked with longitudinal wavy lines. On each side is a series of
yellow blotches, forming a broken lateral stripe, and the body is
covered with minute black bristle-bearing warts. It feeds in May on
gooseberry and currant bushes, and changes to a chrysalis in a web
between the leaves.


We now come to a family of moths peculiar for their habit of flying more
or less by day. As is often the case with day-flying moths, these are
mostly prettily marked, and are consequently often mistaken by the
uninitiated for butterflies. Most of them are to be found on heaths,
downs, and open fields; but one--the Bordered White--is met with only in
fir woods.

The wings are not angulated, and the antennæ of the males are

The larvæ are generally to be distinguished by a couple of little horns
on one or more of the hindermost segments, and in most cases they pupate
beneath the surface of the soil.

_The Common Heath_ (_Ematurga atomaria_)

Of this family we shall select two examples, the first of which is the
Common Heath, often so abundant on heaths and downs that they are
disturbed at almost every footstep.

The ground colour of the wings of the male is a dull yellowish grey, and
that of the female greyish white. In both cases the wings are crossed by
irregular dark brown bands. The fringe is barred alternately with white
and dark brown, and the whole of the ground tint between the
above-mentioned bands is thickly dotted with dark brown. The female is
generally smaller than the male.

[Illustration: FIG. 189.--THE COMMON HEATH.]

The caterpillar is very variable in colour, but is generally reddish
brown, ochreous brown, or greenish, with a light line along the
spiracles, and a series of lozenge-shaped spots on the back. It feeds on
trefoils (_Lotus corniculatus_ and _L. pilosus_) and various other
plants that grow on heaths.

_The Bordered White_ (_Bupalus piniaria_)

The male of this species is boldly marked with yellowish white and dark
brown, the arrangement of the two colours being shown in fig. 190. The
female is very different in general appearance. Her wings are of an
almost uniform orange or yellowish-brown tint. The fore wings are darker
near the tip, and there is generally a darker transverse band across the

[Illustration: FIG. 190.--THE BORDERED WHITE--MALE.]

The male may often be seen flying in the sunshine among the branches of
fir trees during May and June, but his mate is rather less active, and
is generally to be secured by beating the branches.

The caterpillar is pale green, with whitish stripes and yellow
spiracles. It feeds during August and September on the leaves of the
Scotch fir (_Pinus sylvestris_).


_The Currant Moth_ (_Abraxas grossulariata_)

The family _Zerenidæ_ contains only four British moths, and of these we
select the Currant Moth or Magpie. This insect is exceedingly common
everywhere, and on account of its general brightness of appearance, and
also of its diurnal habits, it is often taken for a butterfly. The
ground colour of the wings is creamy white, with a yellow transverse
band, and a yellow blotch at the base; and the whole surface is more or
less blotched with black.

[Illustration: FIG. 191.--THE CURRANT MOTH.]

From the end of June to August this moth may be seen in abundance in our
gardens, wherever currant bushes exist, flying about both during the
sunshine and at dusk, with rather a heavy movement.

The caterpillar is white, with a yellow line along the spiracles, and
numerous black dots. There are, in addition to the dots, two large black
blotches on the back of each segment. It feeds during May on currant and
gooseberry bushes, also on the blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_). About the
end of May it spins a light silken cocoon, and changes to a short dumpy
chrysalis of a glossy black colour with bright yellow bands (fig. 34).


Passing over the family _Ligiidæ_, which contains only one British moth,
the Horse-chestnut, we come to the small but interesting family,

Of this we have six species, five of which favour us during the bleakest
months of the year. Two of them visit us in October and November, and
even remain with us up to Christmas. The others follow closely on them,
and may be seen from January to March.

The males have slender bodies, and their wings are full and without
angles; but the females are either perfectly or nearly wingless. In
three cases there is hardly a trace of wings in this sex, so that they
look more like spiders than moths.

The caterpillars are long and slender and without humps, and all feed on
the leaves of trees. They change to the chrysalis state under the

_The Spring Usher_ (_Hybernia leucophæaria_)

Early in February, and often even in January, this moth may be seen in
abundance in almost every oak wood, sitting on the bark of the trees,
or occasionally taking a short flight in the sunshine. In colour it is
very variable. The wings have always a whitish ground marbled and dotted
with dark brown, but in some the fore wings are almost entirely dark
brown with the exception of a transverse central bar. The female has
only the slightest rudiments of wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 192.--THE SPRING USHER.]

The caterpillar feeds on the young buds and leaves of the oak (_Quercus
Robur_) and sycamore (_Acer Pseudoplatanus_), concealing itself among
the small leaves which it has spun together. It is full grown in June,
when it changes to a chrysalis on the surface of the ground, and remains
here throughout the summer and part of the following winter.

The colour of the caterpillar is very variable, but is usually pale
green with white markings.

_The Mottled Umber_ (_Hybernia defoliaria_)

This very pretty moth is represented in fig. 8 of Plate XII. It is very
common in most parts, and visits us at the fall of the leaf, generally
appearing in October, and remaining on the wing till November. Our
illustration gives the usual appearance of the male, but in some
specimens the four wings are all of one uniform reddish-brown colour,
evenly dotted all over with a darker tint. The female is quite wingless.

The caterpillar is exceedingly pretty. Its head is large and brown. The
back is brown, bordered with a fine black line. Below this is a broad
and bright yellow line, with a red spot on each segment. The spiracles
are white. It feeds during spring on oak (_Quercus Robur_), whitethorn
(_Cratægus oxyacantha_), blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_), and other trees.
When disturbed it always allows itself to fall for a foot or two, and
then remains swinging at the end of a silken fibre till danger is over,
or hunger recalls it to its food. It changes to a chrysalis on the
ground about the middle of June.

_The March Moth_ (_Anisopteryx æscularia_)

This is another common moth, and should be looked for during March and
April on the barks of trees in oak and other woods. The fore wings are
of a dingy brown colour, paler near the base, and crossed by a pale wavy
line. The hind wings are lighter, with a central dark spot. But this
description applies to the male only, for the female is wingless, and
may be known by the tuft of hair that tips the abdomen.

[Illustration: FIG. 193.--THE MARCH MOTH.]

The caterpillar is pale green, clouded with a darker tint, and has a
white line on each side of the back. It feeds in May on the three trees
named for the last species, also on lime (_Tilia vulgaris_) and elm
(_Ulmus campestris_).


This is by far the most extensive family of the _Geometræ_, containing
as it does considerably over a hundred species, or well nigh a half of
the whole group.

The wings of the various species are smooth and more or less glossy, and
the front pair are generally crossed by several wavy lines. Many of the
moths, and particularly those known popularly as the Pugs, are very
small. Representatives of the family are to be met with almost
throughout the year--from early spring to the middle of the winter.

Most of the caterpillars are rather long and slender, and without humps;
and green is the prevailing colour. They feed either on trees or low
plants, often protecting themselves in folded leaves; and some of the
smaller species show a decided preference for flowers and seeds.

We shall select about a dozen of the commonest members for individual

_The November Moth_ (_Oporabia dilutata_)

Our first example is the November moth--a rather dingy and very variable
species that may be found almost everywhere in October and November. The
ground colour of the fore wings is dingy grey, crossed by several darker
lines, subject to considerable variations. The hind wings are paler,
with two slender darker lines parallel with the hind margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 194.--THE NOVEMBER MOTH.]

The caterpillar feeds on many trees, the principal of which are the oak,
whitethorn and blackthorn. Like the perfect insect, it is very variable
in colour, but is generally of a bright green, with reddish or purplish
spots on the back and sides. The spiracles are yellow or orange, and
below them is a white stripe. It is full fed in June.

_The Twin-spot Carpet_ (_Larentia didymata_)

The Twin-spot Carpet is common throughout Great Britain, and the
beginner is likely to meet with it in June and July during his first
season. Our illustration represents the male, the fore wings of which
are greyish brown, crossed by several dark lines, and with a double dark
and conspicuous spot near the middle of the hind margin. The female is
much lighter, and the markings are also lighter and less distinct.

[Illustration: FIG. 195.--THE TWIN-SPOT CARPET.]

The caterpillar is pale green, with a narrow whitish line along the
spiracles. It feeds in April and May on the leaves of the wood anemone
(_Anemone nemorosa_), chervil (_Chærophyllum temulum_), and other

_The Grass Rivulet_ (_Emmelesia albulata_)

We represent the genus _Emmelesia_ by the Grass Rivulet--a pretty little
moth that flies in June, and which is widely distributed though not

[Illustration: FIG. 196.--THE GRASS RIVULET.]

Its fore wings are pale grey, crossed by several white lines, the
arrangement of which may be seen in our engraving. The hind wings are of
the same ground colour, but have no markings except a white wavy line
near the hind margin.

The caterpillar feeds during July and August on the seeds of the yellow
rattle (_Rhinanthus Crista-galli_), protecting itself from its enemies
by spinning together the petals of the flowers; and when full grown it
changes to a chrysalis under the same cover.

_The Netted Pug_ (_Eupithecia venosata_)

We now come to the enormous genus _Eupithecia_, containing about fifty
small species, most of which are known as 'Pugs.' Many of these are
only imperfectly known, there being yet much to learn about their
earlier stages.

[Illustration: FIG. 197.--THE NETTED PUG.]

The Netted Pug flies in May and June, and is to be found in most parts
of Great Britain. Its fore wings are brownish grey, crossed by two
zigzag light bands, both of which are bordered with black, and divided
throughout by a fine dark line. There are also other dark lines, both
transverse and longitudinal, arranged as here represented.

The caterpillar feeds during July inside the seed capsules of campions
(_Silene Cucubalis_, _S. maritima_, _S. acaulis_, and _Lychnis diurna_)
and catchfly (_Silene gallica_ and _S. nutans_).

_The Narrow-winged Pug_ (_Eupithecia nanata_)

Early in May, and frequently in April, this pretty little moth may be
seen flying about at dusk among the heather on our moors. It is one of
the first Pugs of the season, and is widely distributed, and very common
in some localities.

[Illustration: FIG. 198.--THE NARROW-WINGED PUG.]

Its wings are dark grey, and marked with several transverse wavy light
lines. The fringe is dark grey, spotted with white.

The caterpillar feeds during August and September on the ling (_Calluna
vulgaris_) and heath (_Erica cinerea_ and _E. Tetralix_).

_The Brindled Pug_ (_Eupithecia abbreviata_)

Our last example of the Pugs is the Brindled Pug, another early species,
appearing on the wing in March and April. It is common in most parts,
and may generally be easily obtained by searching fences and tree

[Illustration: FIG. 199.--THE BRINDLED PUG.]

Its fore wings are very long in proportion. The colour is yellowish
brown, crossed by darker lines. The fore wings have a very broad band of
the ground colour, broken by two short lines, and crossed by a slender
angulated stripe.

The caterpillar feeds on the oak in June.

_The Small Seraphim_ (_Lobophora sexalisata_)

This moth is very much like the Pugs in general appearance, and is quite
as small and even smaller than some of them; but it and the other
members of its genus differ from the Pugs in that they cover their hind
wings when at rest.

[Illustration: FIG. 200.--THE SMALL SERAPHIM.]

The fore wings are yellowish or pale brownish grey with four paler
transverse lines, the two median ones of which are divided throughout by
a darker fine wavy line. The hind wings are grey, paler at the base, and
crossed centrally by a double darker line. This species flies in May and
June, and though apparently widely distributed, can hardly be described
as common.

The caterpillar feeds on the white willow (_Salix alba_) and sallow (_S.
caprea_) in August and September; and the chrysalis may be found in a
silken cocoon among the fallen leaves throughout the winter.

_The Blue-bordered Carpet_ (_Melanthia bicolorata_)

This same family (_Larentiidæ_) is remarkable for its large number of
pretty moths, popularly known as the 'Carpets,' many of which are
exceedingly common in our woods and gardens.

[Illustration: FIG. 201.--THE BLUE-BORDERED CARPET.]

Our first example of these is the Blue-bordered, which is pretty well
represented in several counties of Great Britain and Ireland. Its white
fore wings are boldly marked with a blotch of greyish brown at the base,
and another extending from the middle of the costal margin more than
halfway across. The hind margin is marked with two bluish grey bars,
separated by a white line. The hind wings are white, with a very small
dark spot, and a bluish grey margin something like that of the fore

The caterpillar is green, with longitudinal stripes of a darker and
lighter shade. It feeds in June on the alder (_Alnus glutinosa_) and
blackthorn (_Prunus spinosa_); and when full grown it changes to a brown
chrysalis within a light silken web.

The moth flies in July and August.

_The Beautiful Carpet_ (_Melanthia albicillata_)

The Beautiful Carpet belongs to the same genus as _Bicolorata_. Its
wings are of a rich creamy white, clouded with grey along the hind
margin. The basal blotches of the fore wings are large, of a dark brown
colour, and marbled with a light tint. Near the tips of these wings is
another conspicuous blotch of the same colour, from which a delicate
wavy dark line runs to the inner margin. A small dark spot also lies
near the middle of the costal margin of each of the four wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 202.--THE BEAUTIFUL CARPET.]

The caterpillar is green, with a white line along the spiracles, and a
triangular reddish spot on the back of segments four to ten inclusive.
It feeds on the bramble (_Rubus fruticosus_), raspberry (_R. Idæus_),
and wild strawberry (_Fragaria vesca_). It may be found in June and

The moth flies in June.

_The Common Carpet_ (_Melanippe sociata_)

The genus _Melanippe_ contains twelve species, some of which are
extremely common. One of these moths--the Common Carpet--is represented
in fig. 203. Its wings are all of a smoky-brown colour, crossed by
numerous white lines, the arrangement of which may be gathered from our
illustration better than from a written description. It is a
double-brooded insect, appearing first in May, and then again about the
end of July.

[Illustration: FIG. 203.--THE COMMON CARPET.]

The caterpillar is mottled with shades of brown and grey. On the back
are five or six greyish-white lozenge-shaped marks, and there are a few
white dots on the back of each segment. It feeds on the hedge bedstraw
(_Galium Mollugo_), and when full grown it changes to a chrysalis in a
light cocoon on the ground.

_The Silver Ground Carpet_ (_Melanippe montanata_)

In this species the ground colour is silvery white. The bases of the
fore wings are blotched with pale brown, and a dark brownish-grey bar,
containing a black spot, crosses the middle. The hind margins of the
fore wings are faintly marked with pale brown, and lines of the same
tint, more or less distinct, cross the hind wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 204.--THE SILVER GROUND CARPET.]

This moth is very common in all parts of the country, and may be seen on
the wing throughout the summer.

The caterpillar is light brown, with several longitudinal lines of
different colours. On the back of each of the segments seven, eight, and
nine is a distinct black V-shaped mark, terminating behind with a bright
red spot. It feeds on the primrose (_Primula acaulis_) in the autumn,
hybernates through the winter, and is full grown about the beginning of

_The Garden Carpet_ (_Melanippe fluctuata_)

Our third and last member of this genus is the Garden Carpet--a moth
that must be pretty well known to almost everybody, since it is the
commonest of all the _Geometræ_ that frequent our gardens.

[Illustration: FIG. 205.--THE GARDEN CARPET.]

The fore wings are pale grey or brownish, with a patch of dark greyish
brown at the base, another larger one on the middle of the costa, and a
third near the tip. The wing is usually clouded between the middle
blotch and the inner margin, and numerous fine wavy lines, more or less
distinct, cross the wing.

This moth may be seen throughout the summer, from May to September, but
is most abundant in June and July.

The caterpillar is extremely variable in colour, being either green,
brown, or grey, or some intermediate tint; and is marbled and dotted
with dark brown on the back. It feeds on the nasturtium (_Tropæolum
majus_), rape (_Brassica Napus_), and various other cruciferous plants;
and may be found from April to August.

_The Yellow Shell_ (_Camptogramma bilineata_)

Passing over two smaller genera, we come to the beautiful little Yellow
Shell. This moth is so abundant in most parts that we arouse it at
almost every stroke while beating low bushes.

All its wings are yellow, and crossed by numerous delicate white and
brown lines. The most conspicuous feature is the two white lines, with
dark brown edging, crossing the fore wings.

[Illustration: FIG. 206.--THE YELLOW SHELL.]

The caterpillar feeds by night, and is therefore seldom seen except by
those who make special nocturnal searches with the aid of a lantern or
sweep net. It devours various grasses, and hides itself among the roots
or under stones during the daytime. It is full grown in April or May.
The colour is dull pale green, with a dark green dorsal line, and two
white stripes on each side.

_The Small Ph[oe]nix_ (_Cidaria silaceata_)

Again passing over a few small and less important genera, we select the
small Ph[oe]nix as the last example of this very extensive family.

[Illustration: FIG. 207.--THE SMALL PH[OE]NIX.]

The fore wings of this species are dark brown, paler toward the hind
margin. Most of the wing rays are generally of a pale yellowish colour,
and a variable and complicated system of whitish lines crosses the wings
near the base, and another near the hind margin. Among the latter there
is always a series of dark triangular spots, with apices pointing
towards the hind margin.

This moth is moderately common throughout the British Isles, and is
double brooded, appearing in May and August.

The caterpillar is green, with a row of brown spots along the middle of
the back. When full grown it changes to a chrysalis in a light web.


This is the last family of the _Geometræ_ we shall notice, and contains
ten species. Most of these are rather pretty moths, and all have the
tips of the fore wings more or less pointed. As a rule, too, there is a
dark streak running from the very tip of the wing for a short distance
obliquely inward.

They are generally very light sleepers, and are easily beaten from their
hiding places during the day.

The larvæ are not humped, and may be found feeding on low plants.

We shall briefly examine two species.

_The Small Mallow_ (_Eubolia limitata_)

This moth is pretty abundant in waste places from June to August, and is
easily obtained by lightly beating the foliage of small bushes and low

[Illustration: FIG. 208.--THE SMALL MALLOW.]

Its fore wings are pale brown crossed by a broad central bar, the edges
of which are darker. The hind wings are of a paler brown, and are
crossed by two or three fine wavy lines.

Although the perfect insect is so common, the caterpillar seems to be
seldom met with. It is a grass feeder, and may be looked for in May and

_The Treble Bar_ (_Anaitis plagiata_)

Our last example of the _Geometræ_ is the Treble Bar, a very pretty
moth, which is illustrated in fig. 9 of Plate XII. It may be readily
identified by the aid of this coloured picture, and therefore need not
be described in words. It is pretty generally distributed throughout the
British Isles, and is in some parts a very abundant species,
particularly so in the neighbourhood of London.

The caterpillar is brown, with paler spaces between the segments. The
dorsal line is black and interrupted, and a yellow line runs along each
side. It feeds on the leaves and flowers of the perforated St. John's
wort (_Hypericum perforatum_).

This insect is double brooded, the moth appearing in May and August, and
remaining with us throughout the month following in each case.



The butterflies, and all the moths contained in the groups of the last
four chapters, are commonly spoken of as constituting the
_Macro-lepidoptera_; but in addition to these there are many hundreds of
small British moths that represent what is known as the

It is not usual for young entomologists to have much to do with the
'Micros' until they have had a little practical experience with the
larger species; in fact, a good number of them never seem to extend
their knowledge beyond the limits of the 'Macros' except that they may
make an occasional capture of a Micro that happens to fly across their

Now, since it would be practically impossible to deal fairly, even in
outline, with both these divisions of the _Lepidoptera_ in a work of the
present dimensions, I have devoted most space to the larger species so
as to meet the probable requirements of the majority of my readers. But
in order that the beginner may also have the means of introducing
himself intelligently to a study of the 'Micros,' I shall set apart this
chapter for a simple account of the broad principles of their
classification, illustrated by means of a few types, so that the
collector may at least know _something_ of the insects he captures, even
though he may not be able at once to fix on their names.

The young entomologist, thus provided with the broad features that
enable him to roughly classify the specimens which reach his cabinet,
may, as his store increases, pay an occasional visit to a public museum
or the private collection of an entomological friend, and so obtain the
names and other details he may require.

The _Micro-lepidoptera_ are divided into five main groups--_Pyralides_,
_Pterophori_, _Crambi_, _Tortrices_, and _Tineæ_, each of which is
divided into families and genera, as we have seen in the case of the


The _Pyralides_ may be easily distinguished by the proportionately long
fore wings, long legs, and elongated abdomen. Some of them have wings of
a pearly lustre, and are accordingly known popularly as the 'Pearls.'
Some species fly in bright sunshine, others appear on the wing before
sunset, and fly till dusk; others, again, are purely nocturnal in their
habits. All, however, are apparently light sleepers, and may be easily
beaten out of their resting places and netted by day. Some of these
moths are common everywhere, but the majority of them are very local,
though they may be extremely abundant where they occur.

The larvæ have a glossy and bristly appearance, and are generally
gregarious in their habits.

This group contains about eighty species, arranged in five families as

  1. _Pyralididæ_, including about forty species.
  2. _Botydæ_, about thirty species.
  3. _Steniiadæ_, containing only five species.
  4. _Hydrocampidæ_, four species.
  5. _Acentropodidæ_, containing only one.

_The Tabby_ (_Aglossa pinguinalis_)

The first of these families contains the Tabby or Grease Moth, commonly
met with both in the larval and perfect states in barns and stables.

[Illustration: FIG. 209.--THE TABBY OR GREASE MOTH.]

Its fore wings are brownish grey, crossed with zigzag darker lines, and
having a black spot near the centre of the costal margin. The term
'Tabby' has been applied on account of the fancied resemblance of the
transverse markings to the fur of a tabby cat, and the other popular
name was given under the belief that the caterpillar feeds on fatty
matter, but it is extremely doubtful whether this supposition is

The caterpillar probably feeds exclusively on the vegetable
accumulations that lie in the undisturbed corners and crevices of
outhouses and stables, and lives concealed in silken tubes, strengthened
outside by fragments of hay, chaff &c. that have been spun together. It
feeds from September to April, except during very severe weather, and
when full grown it leaves its tube, and changes to a chrysalis in a
light silken cocoon in some secluded corner.

The moth emerges in July.

_The Meal Moth_ (_Pyralis farinalis_)

The same family contains the common Meal Moth, so called because in the
larval state it feeds on meal and allied substances.

[Illustration: FIG. 210.--THE MEAL MOTH.]

The fore wings are yellowish grey, with reddish basal patches, a broad
reddish band along the hind margin, and two whitish indented transverse
lines. The hind wings are grey, and are crossed by two lines similar to
and continuous with those of the front pair.

This moth is to be found in abundance throughout the summer months in
places where corn, meal, and grain are stored in large quantities,
sitting on walls and rafters during the daytime, and taking to flight in
the evening.

The caterpillar feeds on corn, meal, grain, bran, &c., and lives
concealed in a silken tube covered outside with particles of its food
substance. It is not fully grown till nearly two years old, and then
changes to a chrysalis in a white silken cocoon.

_The Small Magpie_ (_Eurrhypara urticata_)

The family _Botydæ_ contains the moths that are popularly known as the
'Pearls' on account of the pearly lustre of the wings. One of its
species--the Small Magpie--is shown in the accompanying illustration.
Its fore wings are pearly white, with blackish hind margin, a yellow
streak at the base, and blackish markings, the arrangement of which may
be seen in the figure.

[Illustration: FIG. 211.--THE SMALL MAGPIE.]

It is a very common moth, flying at dusk during June and July in waste
places where the stinging nettle grows.

The caterpillar is whitish, with a dark dorsal line. It feeds on the
stinging nettle (_Urtica dioica_), always remaining concealed between
leaves which it has spun together with silken threads.

_The Mother-of-Pearl_ (_Botys ruralis_)

This is another very common species of the family _Botydæ_, abundant
almost everywhere, and to be found on the wing from June to August.

Its wings are whitish, and exhibit a very decided pearly lustre, and all
the markings are of a dull dark grey.

[Illustration: FIG. 212.--THE MOTHER-OF-PEARL.]

The caterpillar is glossy, and has a semi-transparent appearance. It is
greenish white above, with a darker line down the back; and the sides
are of a brighter green. It feeds on the stinging nettle (_Urtica
dioica_) during May.

_The Garden Pebble_ (_Pionea forficalis_)

The same family contains also the Garden Pebble, which is one of the
commonest frequenters of gardens, both in town and country.

The fore wings are pale yellowish grey with brown markings. The latter
include a fine line from the tip to the middle of the inner margin, and
another paler one inside and parallel with this, having a dark spot near
its centre. The hind wings are lighter, and have a pale and interrupted
line parallel with the hind margin.

[Illustration: FIG. 213.--THE GARDEN PEBBLE.]

The caterpillar is pale greenish, with a dark line along the back and on
each side. It feeds on the cabbage and other cruciferous plants.

The moth flies from May to the end of the summer, and the caterpillar
may be found about midsummer, and again in the autumn.

_The Beautiful China Mark_ (_Hydrocampa stagnata_)

Our last example of the _Pyralides_--the Beautiful China Mark--belongs
to the family _Hydrocampidæ_. This small family is remarkable for the
fact that its four species spend their larval state in the water,
feeding on the under surfaces of the leaves of water lilies and other
aquatic plants. These curious larvæ live either in cases which they
construct for their protection, something after the fashion of the larvæ
of caddis flies, or quite free in the water, and then they are supplied
with special breathing organs that enable them to absorb the oxygen held
in solution in the water.

[Illustration: FIG. 214.--THE BEAUTIFUL CHINA MARK.]

The moth we have selected for illustration is a very common species, and
may be seen flying in great numbers in the neighbourhood of ponds during
June and July.

_The Pterophori_

The members of this remarkable group are easily distinguishable from all
other moths by the feathery appearance of their wings, a feature that
has gained for them the popular name of _Plume Moths_. Their fore wings
are more or less divided or cleft, and their hind wings are generally
divided into three distinct feathery plumes.

The larvæ are hairy, and when full fed they suspend themselves by their
anal claspers, and change to the chrysalis state without any kind of
covering. They are generally to be found in spring and early summer, but
some of them feed in the autumn.

The chrysalides are often hairy, though some of them are perfectly

Plume moths are to be met with more or less throughout the year. Many of
the earlier species appear on the wing in spring and early summer; but
the late feeders emerge in the autumn, and hybernate through the winter,
often taking to the wing on the mild days of our coldest months.

The _Pterophori_ include only about forty British species, all of which,
with two exceptions, belong to the family _Pterophoridæ_. The two
exceptions represent as many families--one the _Chrysocorididæ_, and the
other the _Alucitidæ_.

_Platyptilia gonodactyla_

This is one of the commonest of the _Pterophoridæ_, generally appearing
in our gardens and in waste places towards the end of May, and
continuing with us for some time. It starts from its retreat at or
before sunset, and remains on the wing after dark.

[Illustration: FIG. 215.--GONODACTYLA.]

Its fore wings are ochreous grey, with a narrow brown costal margin, and
a triangular brown patch on the costa. Beyond this patch the wing is
cleft. The hind wings consist of three distinct brownish plumes, the
third of which has a small tuft of black scales projecting from the
middle of the inner margin.

The caterpillar feeds on the flower stalks of the coltsfoot during March
and April.

_Leioptilus osteodactylus_

This is another species of the same family. It is not uncommon, but is
more local than the last.

[Illustration: FIG. 216.--OSTEODACTYLUS.]

Its fore wings are pale yellow, with a small brown dot at the
commencement of the dividing fissure, and a brown blotch on the costal
margin nearer the tip. The hind wings are divided into three distinct
plumes like those of _Gonodactyla_.

This is a later species, appearing on the wing in July.

_Aciptilia pentadactyla_

The fore wings of this species are white, frequently with a few greyish
scales, and are deeply divided into two feathery plumes. The hind wings
are pure white, and consist of three plumes.

[Illustration: FIG. 217.--PENTADACTYLA.]

This pretty insect is common and widely distributed, and flies during
June and July.

The caterpillar feeds on the convolvulus in May.

_Alucita hexadactyla_

Our last example of the _Pterophori_ is the Twelve-plume Moth, the only
British representative of the family _Alucitidæ_.

This little insect is of a yellowish colour, with two dark bands across
the fore wings; and both fore and hind wings are divided into six
distinct feathers. It is a common moth, and frequents sheltered spots,
flying at dusk. It appears in August, remains on the wing till October,
and then hybernates till the following April. During the winter it is
commonly met with in outhouses and even in dwelling houses.

[Illustration: FIG. 218.--HEXADACTYLA--ENLARGED.]

The caterpillar feeds during June and July on the flower buds of the
honeysuckle (_Lonicera Periclymenum_). It is not hairy, like most of the
larvæ of the last family; and, unlike these, it changes to a chrysalis
in a silken cocoon.


The third group of the 'Micros' is the _Crambi_, and contains about
eighty species, arranged in four families.

Some of them are common moths with which all must be more or less
familiar, as they are roused from the grasses on which they repose at
almost every footstep as we walk through meadows in the summer. When at
rest, they present a very peculiar appearance. Their wings are wrapped
closely round their bodies in such a manner that they are hardly
distinguishable from the stems on which they repose.

The larvæ have sixteen limbs, and are very variable in their habits.
Some feed among moss or dry stems in silken tubes, some on the stems of
reeds, and others inhabit the hives of bees and feed on the wax of the

The four families are:

1. _Chilidæ_--five species.

2. _Crambidæ_--about thirty species.

3. _Phycidæ_--over forty species.

4. _Galleridæ_--five species.

_Chilo Phragmitellus_

This species is one of those moths known as the 'Veneers,' and is
popularly termed the Wainscot Veneer. It is one of the largest of the
family _Chilidæ_.

Its fore wings are long, narrow, and pointed at the tip. They are of a
pale ochreous brown colour, with a row of small black dots along the
hind margin.

The caterpillar is pale grey, with brown stripes; and the head and
second segment are yellowish brown. It feeds on the common reed
(_Phragmites_) in the autumn, and hybernates till the following spring,
when it resumes its feeding.


This insect is rather local, but may be searched for in all marshy
places where reeds abound.

_Crambus hamellus_

The family _Crambidæ_ is represented by the above-named species, which
has the popular title of Pearl-streak Veneer. It is not a common moth,
but is to be obtained in some localities by beating low herbage.


Its fore wings are ochreous and glossy, with a silvery streak from the
base, running almost parallel with the costal margin. The hind margin is
yellow, bordered inside by a wavy brown line. The hind wings are pale
greyish brown with a yellowish margin.

_Crambus tristellus_

The same family contains the species _Tristellus_, which, unlike the
preceding insect, is abundant everywhere.

[Illustration: FIG. 221.--TRISTELLUS.]

Its fore wings are generally yellowish brown, but exceedingly variable.
A pale streak runs from the base to just beyond the middle of the wing,
and is then forked. Near the hind margin is a very indistinct brown wavy
line. The hind wings are dull smoke colour with a light fringe. As with
the other moths of the family, its labial palpi are very long.

The moth flies from July to September.

_Crambus hortuellus_

This is also an abundant species, to be met with everywhere during June
and July.

Its fore wings are dull ochreous brown. The wing rays are whitish near
the inner margin, and a brown line with a silvery edging crosses near
the hind margin. The hind wings are dull smoky brown, with a shining
surface, and the fringe is light.

[Illustration: FIG. 222.--HORTUELLUS.]

The larva is pale grey with dark grey spots, and may be found among moss
in April and May.

_Galleria mellonella_

Our last example of the _Crambi_ is a moth that the young entomologist
is not likely to meet with unless he happens to be in the neighbourhood
of one of its haunts, but its habits are so peculiar that we are tempted
to introduce it on that account.

[Illustration: FIG. 223.--MELLONELLA.]

It belongs to the family _Galleridæ_, the larvæ of which feed on the wax
combs in the hives of bees and in the nests of wild bees. They are
protected from the stings of the inmates by silken tubes which they
construct, and by the hardened covering of their heads and front
segments--the only parts that remain exposed while they are feeding.

The fore wings of the moth are reddish-grey or brownish, sometimes with
a greenish tinge, and yellowish along the inner margin. The hind wings
are greyish brown.

It flies in July and August, and the caterpillar feeds in May and June.

_The Tortrices_

This is a large group of moths, deriving their name from the peculiar
habit of a number of the larvæ of twisting or rolling up leaves for
their protection. This habit, however, is not common to all, for some
feed on stems and flowers, and others devour seeds and fruits.

The perfect insects may easily be known by the shape of the wings. The
fore pair are gracefully curved on the costal margin in such a way that,
when the insect is at rest with its wings closed, its outline is much
the shape of a bell.

The identification of the various species of this extensive group is no
easy task, for many of them are so variable in their colouring that
insects of the same species are often very different from each other.
So puzzling indeed is this tendency to run into varieties that many
insects, once considered to belong to separate species, have been
reduced to one; and this has been the case in a number of instances.

There are so many of these little moths that we cannot even give a
representative of each family, but the following outline will serve to
show the extensiveness of the group.

  Family 1. _Tortricidæ_, about sixty species.
    "    2. _Penthinidæ_,   "  twenty    "
    "    3. _Spilonotidæ_,  "  twelve    "
    "    4. _Sericoridæ_,   "  twenty-seven species.
    "    5. _Sciaphilidæ_,  "  twenty-four     "
    "    6. _Grapholithidæ_, about one hundred and fifty species.
    "    7. _Pyraloididæ_, four species.
    "    8. _Conchylidæ_, about fifty species.
    "    9. _Apheliidæ_, three species.

We shall now briefly examine a few of the commonest insects of the

_Tortrix xylosteana_

This pretty moth is common in most parts, and may often be met with in
abundance in wooded localities during July. It belongs to the family

Its fore wings are ochreous brown. A very dark oblique streak, edged
with yellow, runs from the inner margin of the base. A reddish patch in
the centre of the wing, also edged with yellow, is narrow on the costa,
and expands as it approaches the inner margin. Beyond this are another
dark patch on the costa and two reddish-brown blotches on the hind


The larva is greenish brown, marked with white spots which have black
centres; and it feeds on oak (_Quercus Robur_), honeysuckle (_Lonicera
Periclymenum_), and other plants, in the month of May.

_Tortrix viridana_

In June and July this pretty but destructive little insect may be seen
flying in abundance in almost every oak wood. Its fore wings are one
uniform pale green with the exception of a streak of yellow along the
costal margin; and, when at rest, scores may exist on a single twig
without being seen unless closely examined. The hind wings are of a pale
smoky tint, and rather glossy.

The larva is green, with black spots, and feeds in May and June on the
oak and other trees, often almost completely devouring the foliage.

[Illustration: FIG. 225.--VIRIDANA.]

_Peronea cristana_

This moth is not so generally abundant, but is very common in many of
the woods of the south. It is remarkable for the large number of
varieties that have been observed, many of which have been regarded as
distinct species.

[Illustration: FIG. 226.--CRISTANA--ENLARGED.]

Its fore wings are of some shade of brown or grey, with a light streak
of variable colour along the inner margin, and a tuft of raised white
scales in the middle of the wing.

It flies during August and September.

_Ptycholoma lecheana_

Our last example of the family _Tortricidæ_ is _Lecheana_, a moth that
is common in most parts in June and July.

[Illustration: FIG. 227.--LECHEANA.]

Its fore wings are brown, lighter towards the base. There are no very
distinct markings, but there is generally a darker patch in the middle
of the wing, edged with a silvery streak on each side.

The larva feeds on several trees, including oaks and elms, in the month
of May.

_Penthina pruniana_

[Illustration: FIG. 228.--PRUNIANA.]

The next family--_Penthinidæ_--contains the common species _Pruniana_,
which may be readily known by its boldly marked wings. The basal portion
of the fore wings, to the extent of nearly two-thirds of the whole, is
very dark brown. The remaining third is almost white, and clouded with
grey. The hind wings are smoky brown with a paler fringe.

The caterpillar of this species feeds on the blackthorn (_Prunus
spinosa_) in May, and the moth flies in June and July.

_Antithesia salicella_

This moth is not nearly so common as the last species, but is fairly
plentiful in some localities in the south of England. It belongs to the
same family as _Pruniana_.

[Illustration: FIG. 229.--SALICELLA.]

The fore wings are whitish at the base and along the inner margin, but
the light tint is dotted and clouded with shades of brown. The remainder
of the wings is marbled with dark brown of different depths, relieved
near the hind margin with a little blue. The hind wings, as is usual
with the _Tortrices_, are dull smoky brown.

The caterpillar is reddish brown with black spots, and feeds during May
in rolled leaves of willows.

The moth flies in August and September.

_Sciaphila octomaculana_

Our single example of the family _Sciaphilidæ_ is the species
_Octomaculana_, which, though not very abundant, is widely distributed,
and moderately common in parts.

Its fore wings are white, dusted with grey, and each is marked with four
dark grey patches which have given rise to its specific name--a word
which signifies 'eight-spotted.' The hind wings are grey.

[Illustration: FIG. 230.--OCTOMACULANA--ENLARGED.]

The caterpillar feeds on thistles and other plants, and the moth flies
from August to October.

_Ephippiphora cirsiana_

This insect represents the family _Grapholithidæ_. It is a common moth,
and is widely distributed.

Its fore wings are greyish brown, with a large white patch on the middle
of the inner margin; and beyond this white, in the anal angle, is a
pale grey patch containing three or four black dots. The tips of the
wings are reddish brown.

The moth flies in June and July; and the larva, which feeds on thistles,
may be found in the stems from October to the following May.

[Illustration: FIG. 231.--CIRSIANA--ENLARGED.]

_Carpocapsa pomonella_

The same extensive family contains a few moths that are very destructive
to our fruits, the larvæ burrowing into and living entirely within their
substance. One of these--_Pomonella_--is popularly known as the Codlin,
as its larva is so often found in the interior of small apples of the
same name.

[Illustration: FIG. 232.--POMONELLA.]

The fore wings of this insect are grey, with a number of dark transverse
lines. The spot in the anal angle is edged with a coppery tint, and
inclosed by a curved black line.

This moth is common in all parts, flying during June and July; and the
larva may be looked for in apples and pears in August and September.

_Xanthosetia zoegana_

Our last example of the _Tortrices_ is _Zoegana_, which belongs to the
family _Conchylidæ_. Its fore wings are yellow, with a reddish streak
along the costa near the base, and a small reddish spot opposite this
near the inner margin. The tip of the wings is dark reddish brown, in
the middle of which is a large yellow spot.

[Illustration: FIG. 233.--ZOEGANA--ENLARGED.]

This moth is widely distributed, and in some parts common. It flies from
May to August, and the larva feeds on the small scabious (_Scabiosa

_The Tineæ_

We have noticed that the _Tortrices_ form a very extensive group of
moths, but they are far outnumbered by the _Tineæ_, for of these there
are over seven hundred known British species.

Of course, among so many species we are sure to find considerable
variety in form and structure; but notwithstanding this, the _Tineæ_
form a well-marked division, and the beginner will find but little
difficulty in distinguishing between these and the other Micros.

The wings are long and narrow, and are remarkable for the length of the
fringe, particularly that of the hind wings. The bodies, too, are long
and slender.

The larvæ are exceedingly variable. Some have the usual number of
sixteen limbs, and others have as many as eighteen. Again, the larvæ of
several genera have only fourteen legs, and some are absolutely legless.

With regard to their food and habits, they are equally variable, for
while some feed exposed, others are always protected in rolled leaves.
Some construct for themselves portable tubes, so that they always remain
under cover, and are at the same time perfectly free to ramble in search
for food. Some, also, are leaf miners; and the group includes the
so-called 'Clothes Moths,' whose larvæ devour our garments, furs, and
the upholstering of our furniture.

We shall now briefly notice a few species, in order that we may become
better acquainted with the general characters of the group.

_Diurnea fagella_

This moth represents the small family _Epigraphiidæ_, containing only
six species, all of which appear in the winter or early spring.

The present species is very common in most parts, and may be seen at
rest on the barks of trees in March and April.

[Illustration: FIG. 234.--FAGELLA.]

The fore wings are usually pale grey or yellowish grey, and dotted with
brown; but there is a great variety both in the depth of the ground
colour and the distinctness of the markings. Our illustration gives the
usual appearance of the insect.

The caterpillar feeds on various trees in September and October, always
protected between leaves that it has spun together.

_Adela cuprella_

The family _Adelidæ_ contains ten species, all remarkable for the great
length of their antennæ. The one selected for illustration is a
beautiful little moth with bright bronzy green fore wings, tinged with a
rich glossy violet. The hind wings are brown with a glossy surface.

[Illustration: FIG. 235.--CUPRELLA.]

This moth does not seem to be widely distributed, but is fairly
plentiful where it occurs. Wimbledon Common and Epping Forest are good
localities for it. It is on the wing in April and May.

_Hyponomeuta Padellus_

The family _Hyponomeutidæ_ contains about twenty insects, some of which
are very common and exceedingly destructive to our trees. In May and
June hawthorn and fruit trees may be seen swarming with the gregarious
larvæ of some of them, and almost entirely stripped of their leaves.

[Illustration: FIG. 236.--PADELLUS.]

The species here figured has grey or white fore wings with three rows of
black dots. The hind wings are darker grey without dots.

The larva feeds on hawthorn, apple, and other trees. The perfect insect
flies in July and August.

_Depressaria nervosa_

The next family--_Gelechiidæ_--is represented by the species Nervosa,
which is common in many localities.

[Illustration: FIG. 237.--NERVOSA--TWICE NATURAL SIZE.]

Its fore wings are reddish brown, and are marked by a number of short
longitudinal streaks of a darker colour. The hind wings are light grey.

The caterpillar is black, marked with black spots in white rings, and
having yellow side stripes. It feeds on the flowers of the hemlock
water dropwort (_[OE]nanthe crocata_) during June and July.

The moth flies in August and September.

_Harpella Geoffrella_

The same extensive family contains the moth Geoffrella, represented in
the accompanying cut. This is an exceedingly pretty insect. The basal
portion of its fore wings is yellow, with two longitudinal dark streaks,
the outer one of which is bent towards the inner margin near the middle
of the wing. The remaining portion of the wings is brown, with two
yellowish triangular spots, one on the costal and one on the inner
margin. On the middle of the costa is a short dark streak.

[Illustration: FIG. 238.--GEOFFRELLA.]

This moth appears in May and June, and is rather local, but very
abundant in some parts.

_Coleophora ibipennella_

The family _Coleophoridæ_ contains about seventy small moths,
characterised by their very narrow and pointed wings, with long fringes,
and also, generally, by a little tuft of hair on the first joint of the

[Illustration: FIG. 239.--IBIPENNELLA--ENLARGED.]

The larvæ live in little cases which they construct, and feed on various
leaves and seeds. They spend the winter within their cases, and change
to the chrysalis state in spring or early summer.

One of these moths--_Ibipennella_--is shown in fig. 239. Its fore wings
are white, with a satiny gloss, and brownish towards the tips. The
'nervures' are generally of a yellowish tinge. The hind wings are dark

The larva feeds on the birch (_Betula alba_), and may be seen walking on
the surface of the leaves, carrying, or rather dragging after it, the
pistol-shaped case in which it lives, nothing protruding save its head
and front legs. It is full fed in May, and the moth flies in July.

_Tischeria complanella_

This species represents the rather extensive family _Elachistidæ_, the
members of which have narrow and pointed wings. Many of them are adorned
with beautiful metallic tints, but are generally so small that a lens is
necessary to show up the splendour of their clothing. Most of the larvæ
are leaf miners, and are easily reared. All that is necessary is to
pluck a few twigs, the leaves of which, when held up to the light,
reveal the tiny larvæ in their burrows, and place them in a vessel of
water. They do not feed long, and it is probable that most of the larvæ
so treated will be ready to change before the leaves have become dry.
The present species has bright yellow fore wings, with pale grey
cloudings at the hind margins. It is very abundant in many parts, and
flies during the month of June.

[Illustration: FIG. 240.--COMPLANELLA--ENLARGED.]

The larva is one of the numerous leaf miners, and is of a yellowish
colour. It feeds in oak leaves during the autumn, and its presence is
indicated by light blotches on the foliage.

_Nepticula aurella_

The family _Nepticulidæ_--the last of the _Tineæ_--contains a number of
little moths, including the smallest of the _Lepidoptera_. Many of them
are exceedingly beautiful, being decorated with various tints of a
splendid metallic lustre, but their beauty is revealed only by the use
of a magnifying lens, and they are so small that very great care and
patience is required to set them properly.

They may be recognised by their short and thick antennæ, rather large
head, broad fore wings, and narrow pointed hind wings.

The larvæ have no true legs, but have nine pairs of very imperfectly
developed claspers. They are leaf miners, and are sometimes so abundant
that several may be found in a single leaf.

[Illustration: FIG. 241.--AURELLA--ENLARGED.]

The species we have selected has fore wings of a rich golden brown, with
deep violet tips, and a broad bar of pale golden yellow beyond the
middle. It may be found throughout the spring and summer. The larva
excavates long irregular burrows in the leaves of the bramble.



I have previously called the reader's attention to our classified list
of butterflies and moths, and have hinted at one or two of the objects
for which it is inserted. It contains the scientific and popular names
of all the British Butterflies, _Sphinges_, _Bombyces_, _Noctuæ_, and
_Geometræ_, arranged in their various families and genera; and in cases
where two specific names are commonly applied to the same insect, both
are given.

Its chief uses to the young entomologist are to show the relation which
the insects bear one to another, and to supply a guide for the proper
arrangement of the specimens in his cabinet.

The order adopted is that of South's 'Synonymic List of British
Lepidoptera,' and it has already been mentioned that similar lists,
printed on one side of the paper only, may be obtained from dealers in
naturalists' appliances. These, cut up as required, supply very neat
labels for cabinets or store boxes.



      _Machaon_--Swallow Tail

      _Cratægi_--Black-veined White
      _Brassicæ_--Large White
      _Rapæ_--Small White
      _Napi_--Green-veined White
      _Daplidice_--Bath White
      _Cardamines_--Orange Tip
      _Sinapis_--Wood White
      _Hyale_--Pale Clouded Yellow
      _Edusa_--Clouded Yellow

      _Selene_--Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
      _Euphrosyne_--Pearl-bordered Fritillary
      _Latona_--Queen of Spain
      _Aglaia_--Dark Green Fritillary
      _Adippe_--High Brown Fritillary
      _Paphia_--Silver-washed Fritillary
      _Aurinia_ (_Artemis_)--Greasy Fritillary
      _Cinxia_--Glanville Fritillary
      _Athalia_--Heath Fritillary
      _Polychloros_--Large Tortoiseshell
      _Urticæ_--Small Tortoiseshell
      _Antiopa_--Camberwell Beauty
      _Atalanta_--Red Admiral
      _Cardui_--Painted Lady
      _Sibylla_--White Admiral

      _Iris_--Purple Emperor

      _Galatea_--Marbled White
      _Epiphron_ (_Cassiope_)--Small Ringlet
      _Æthiops_ (_Blandina_)--Northern Brown (Scotch Argus)
      _Egeria_--Speckled Wood
      _Ianira_--Meadow Brown
      _Tithonus_--Large Heath (Small Meadow Brown)
      _Typhon_ (_Davus_)--Marsh Ringlet
      _Pamphilus_--Small Heath

      _Betulæ_--Brown Hairstreak
      _W-Album_--White-letter Hairstreak
      _Pruni_--Dark Hairstreak
      _Quercus_--Purple Hairstreak
      _Rubi_--Green Hairstreak
      _Dispar_--Large Copper
      _Phl[oe]as_--Small Copper
      _Bætica_--Tailed Blue
      _Ægon_--Silver-studded Blue
      _Astrarche_ (_Agestis_)--Brown Argus
      _Icarus_ (_Alexis_)--Common Blue
      _Bellargus_ (_Adonis_)--Clifden Blue
      _Corydon_--Chalk-hill Blue
      _Argiolus_--Azure or Holly Blue
      _Semiargus_ (_Acis_)--Mazarine Blue
      _Minima_ (_Alsus_)--Small Blue
      _Arion_--Large Blue

      _Lucina_--Duke of Burgundy

      _Malvæ_ (_Alveolus_)--Grizzled Skipper
      _Tages_--Dingy Skipper
      _Thaumas_ (_Linea_)--Small Skipper
      _Lineola_--New Small Skipper
      _Actæon_--Lulworth Skipper
      _Sylvanus_--Large Skipper
      _Comma_--Silver-spotted Skipper
      _Palæmon_ (_Paniscus_)--Chequered Skipper



      _Atropos_--Death's Head Hawk Moth
      _Convolvuli_--Convolvulus Hawk
      _Ligustri_--Privet Hawk
      _Pinastri_--Pine Hawk
      _Euphorbiæ_--Spurge Hawk
      _Galii_--Bedstraw Hawk
      _Livornica_--Striped Hawk
      _Celerio_--Silver-striped Hawk
      _Porcellus_--Small Elephant
      _Elpenor_--Large Elephant
      _Ocellatus_--Eyed Hawk
      _Populi_--Poplar Hawk
      _Tiliæ_--Lime Hawk
      _Stellatarum_--Humming-bird Hawk
      _Fuciformis_--Broad-bordered Bee Hawk
      _Bombyliformis_--Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk

      _Apiformis_--Hornet Clearwing of the Poplar
      _Crabroniformis_ (_Bembeciformis_)--Hornet Clearwing of Osier
      _Tabaniformis_ (_Vespiforme_)--Dusky Clearwing
      _Scoliiformis_--Welsh Clearwing
      _Sphegiformis_--White-barred Clearwing
      _Andreniformis_--Orange-tailed Clearwing
      _Tipuliformis_--Currant Clearwing
      _Asiliformis_ (_Cynipiformis_)--Yellow-legged Clearwing
      _Myopiformis_--Red-belted Clearwing
      _Culiciformis_--Large Red-belted Clearwing
      _Formiciformis_--Red-tipped Clearwing
      _Ichneumoniformis_--Six-belted Clearwing
      _Musciformis_ (_Philanthiformis_)--Thrift Clearwing
      _Chrysidiformis_--Fiery Clearwing

      _Globulariæ_--Scarce Forester
      _Geryon_--Cistus Forester
      _Pilosellæ_ (_Minos_)--Transparent Burnet
      _Exulans_--Scotch Burnet
      _Meliloti_--New Forest Burnet
      _Trifolii_--Broad-bordered Five-spotted Burnet
      _Loniceræ_--Narrow-bordered Five-spotted Burnet
      _Filipendulæ_--Six-spotted Burnet


      _Undulanus_--Tortrix Moth
      _Chlorana_--Cream-bordered Green
      _Prasinana_--Green Silver-lined
      _Bicolorana_ (_Quercana_)--Large Green Silver-lined

      _Strigula_--Small Black Arches
      _Confusalis_ (_Cristulalis_)--Least Black Arches
      _Albulalis_--Kent Arches
      _Centonalis_--Scarce Black Arches

      _Senex_--Round-winged Muslin
      _Mundana_--Muslin Moth
      _Irrorella_--Dew Moth
      _Miniata_--Rosy Footman (Red Arches)
      _Mesomella_--Four-dotted Footman
      _Muscerda_--Dotted Footman
      _Sororcula_ (_Aureola_)--Orange Footman
      _Lutarella_ (_Pygmæola_)--Pigmy Footman
      _Griseola_ (_Stramineola_)--Pale Footman
      _Deplana_ (_Helveola_)--Buff Footman
      _Lurideola_ (_Complanula_)--Common Footman
      _Complana_--Scarce Footman
      _Sericea_ (_Molybdeola_)--Leaden Footman
      _Caniola_--Hoary Footman
      _Quadra_--Four-spotted Footman
      _Rubricollis_--Red-necked Footman
      _Cribrum_--Speckled Footman

      _Pulchella_--Crimson Speckled
      _Dominula_--Scarlet Tiger
      _Hera_--Jersey Tiger

      _Russula_--Clouded Buff
      _Plantaginis_--Wood Tiger
      _Villica_--Cream-spot Tiger
      _Fuliginosa_--Ruby Tiger
      _Lubricipeda_--Buff Ermine
      _Menthastri_--White Ermine
      _Urticæ_--Water Ermine

      _Humuli_--Ghost Swift
      _Sylvanus_--Wood Swift
      _Velleda_--Northern Swift
      _Lupulinus_--Common Swift
      _Hectus_--Gold Swift

      _Pyrina_ (_Æsculi_)--Leopard
      _Castaneæ_ (_Arundinis_)--Reed Moth

      _Limacodes_ (_Testudo_)--Festoon Moth
      _Asella_ (_Asellus_)--Triangle Moth

    =Porthesia= (=Liparis=).
      _Chrysorrh[oe]a_--Brown Tail
      _Similis_ (_Auriflua_)--Yellow Tail (Gold Tail)
      _Salicis_--Satin Moth
      _C[oe]nosa_--Reed Tussock
      _Monacha_--Black Arches
      _Fascelina_--Dark Tussock
      _Pudibunda_--Pale Tussock
      _Gonostigma_--Scarce Vapourer

      _Cratægi_--Pale Oak Eggar
      _Populi_--December Moth
      _Lanestris_--Small Eggar
      _Castrensis_--Ground Lackey
      _Quercus_--Oak Eggar
      _Trifolii_--Grass Eggar
      _Ilicifolia_--Small Lappet

      _Versicolor_--Kentish Glory

      _Pavonia_ (_Carpini_)--Emperor

      _Lacertinaria_ (_Lacertula_)--Scalloped Hook Tip
      _Harpagula_ (_Sicula_)--Scarce Hook Tip
      _Falcataria_ (_Falcula_)--Pebble Hook Tip
      _Binaria_ (_Hamula_)--Oak Hook Tip
      _Cultraria_ (_Unguicula_)--Barred Hook Tip
      _Glaucata_ (_Spinula_)--Chinese Character

      _Bicuspis_--Alder Kitten
      _Furcula_--Sallow Kitten
      _Bifida_--Poplar Kitten

      _Crenata_--Dusky Marbled Brown
      _Plumigera_--Plumed Prominent
      _Palpina_--Pale Prominent
      _Camelina_--Coxcomb Prominent
      _Cuculla_ (_Cucullina_)--Maple Prominent
      _Carmelita_--Scarce Prominent
      _Bicolor_--White Prominent
      _Dictæa_--Swallow Prominent
      _Dictæoides_--Lesser Swallow Prominent
      _Dromedarius_--Iron Prominent
      _Trilophus_--Three-humped Prominent
      _Ziczac_--Pebble Prominent
      _Trepida_--Great Prominent
      _Trimacula_ (_Dodonea_)--Marbled Brown
      _Chaonia_--Lunar Marbled Brown

      _Bucephala_--Buff Tip
    =Pygæra= (=Clostera=).
      _Curtula_--Chocolate Tip
      _Anachoreta_--Scarce Chocolate Tip
      _Pigra_ (_Reclusa_)--Small Chocolate Tip

      _Derasa_--Buff Arches
      _Batis_--Peach Blossom
      _Octogesima_ (_Ocularis_)--Figure of Eighty
      _Or_--Poplar Lutestring
      _Duplaris_--Lesser Satin
      _Fluctuosa_--Satin Carpet
      _Diluta_--Lesser Lutestring
      _Ridens_--Frosted Green


      _Algæ_--Tree Lichen Beauty
      _Muralis_ (_Glandifera_)--Marbled (Mottled) Green
      _Par_--Scarce Marbled Green
      _Perla_--Marbled Beauty

    =Moma= (=Diphthera=).
      _Orion_--Scarce Marvel-du-jour
      _Coryli_--Nut-tree Tussock
      _Tridens_--Dark Dagger
      _Psi_--Grey Dagger
      _Megacephala_--Poplar Grey
      _Auricoma_--Scarce Dagger
      _Menyanthidis_--Light Knot-grass
      _Euphorbiæ_ (_Myricæ_)--Sweet Gale
      _Cæruleocephala_--Figure of Eight
      _Albovenosa_ (_Venosa_)--Powdered Wainscot

      _Musculosa_--Brighton Wainscot
      _Conigera_--Brown-line Bright-eye
      _Turca_--Double Line
      _Extranea_--American Wainscot
      _Obsoleta_--Obscure Wainscot
      _Putrescens_--Devonshire Wainscot
      _Littoralis_--Shore Wainscot
      _Impudens_ (_Pudorina_)--Striped Wainscot
      _Comma_--Shoulder-striped Wainscot
      _Straminea_--Southern Wainscot
      _Impura_--Smoky Wainscot
      _Pallens_--Common Wainscot
      _Phragmitidis_--Fen Wainscot
      _Flammea_--Flame Wainscot
      _Maritima_--Silky Wainscot
      _Rufa_--Small Rufous
      _Fulva_--Small Wainscot
      _Hellmanni_--Mere Wainscot
      _Extrema_ (_Concolor_)--Concolorous Wainscot
      _Bondii_--Bond's Wainscot
      _Elymi_--Lyme Wainscot
      _Cannæ_--Reed Wainscot
      _Sparganii_--Iris Wainscot
      _Arundinis_ (_Typhæ_)--Bullrush
      _Geminipuncta_--Twin-spotted Wainscot
      _Neurica_--Nerved Wainscot
      _Brevilinea_--Fenn's Nonagria
      _Lutosa_--Large Wainscot

      _Ochracea_ (_Flavago_)--Frosted Orange
      _Nictitans_--Golden Ear
      _Micacea_--Rosy Rustic
      _Rurea_--Clouded-border Brindle
      _Lithoxylea_--Light Arches
      _Sublustris_--Reddish Light Arches
      _Monoglypha_ (_Polyodon_)--Dark Arches
      _Hepatica_--Clouded Brindle
      _Scolopacina_--Slender Clouded Brindle
      _Scabriuscula_ (_Pinastri_)--Bird's Wing
      _Polyodon_ (_Perspicillaris_)--Purple Cloud
      _Australis_--Feathered Brindle
      _Exigua_--Small Mottled Willow
      _Reticulata_ (_Saponariæ_)--Bordered Gothic
      _Popularis_--Feathered Gothic
      _Hispidus_--Beautiful Gothic
      _Leucophæa_--Feathered Ear
      _Matura_ (_Cytherea_)--Straw Underwing
      _Testacea_--Flounced Rustic
      _Dumerili_--Dumeril's Luperina
      _Cespitis_--Hedge Rustic
      _Abjecta_--Crescent Striped
      _Sordida_ (_Anceps_)--Large Nutmeg
      _Albicolon_--White Colon
      _Basilinea_--Rustic Shoulder Knot
      _Connexa_--Union Rustic
      _Gemina_--Dusky Brocade
      _Unanimis_--Small Clouded Brindle
      _Ophiogramma_--Double Lobed
      _Leucostigma_ (_Fibrosa_)--Crescent
      _Didyma_ (_Oculea_)--Common Rustic
      _Strigilis_--Marbled Minor
      _Fasciuncula_--Middle-barred Minor
      _Literosa_--Rosy Minor
      _Bicoloria_ (_Furuncula_)--Cloaked Minor
      _Arcuosa_--Dotted Buff
      _Captiuncula_--Least Minor
      _Haworthii_--Haworth's Minor

      _Trigrammica_ (_Trilinea_)--Treble Lines
      _Morpheus_--Mottled Rustic
      _Taraxaci_ (_Blanda_)--Rustic
      _Quadripunctata_ (_Cubicularis_)--Pale Mottled Willow
      _Caliginosa_--Reddish Buff
      _Palustris_--Marsh Moth
      _Tenebrosa_--Brown Rustic

      _Vestigialis_ (_Valligera_)--Archer's Dart
      _Puta_--Shuttle-shaped Dart
      _Suffusa_--Dark Sword Grass
      _Saucia_--Pearly Underwing
      _Segetum_--Common Dart (Turnip Moth)
      _Lunigera_--Crescent Dart
      _Exclamationis_--Heart and Dart
      _Corticea_--Heart and Club
      _Cinerea_--Light Feathered Rustic
      _Ripæ_--Sand Dart
      _Cursoria_--Coast Dart
      _Nigricans_--Garden Dart
      _Tritici_--White-line Dart
      _Aquilina_--Streaked Dart
      _Obelisca_--Square-spot Dart
      _Agathina_--Heath Rustic
      _Strigula_ (_Porphyrea_)--True Lover's Knot
      _Obscura_ (_Ravida_)--Stout Dart
      _Simulans_ (_Pyrophila_)--Dotted Rustic
      _Lucernea_--Northern Rustic
      _Ashworthii_--Ashworth's Rustic
      _Glareosa_--Autumn Rustic
      _Depuncta_--Plain Clay
      _Augur_--Double Dot
      _Plecta_--Flame Shoulder
      _Flammatra_--Black Collar
      _C-Nigrum_--Setaceous Hebrew Character
      _Ditrapezium_--Triple-spotted Clay
      _Triangulum_--Double-spotted Square-spot
      _Stigmatica_ (_Rhomboidea_)--Square-spotted Clay
      _Brunnea_--Purple Clay
      _Festiva_ (_Conflua_)--Ingrailed Clay
      _Dahlii_--Barred Chestnut
      _Subrosea_--Rosy Marsh
      _Rubi_--Small Square-spot
      _Umbrosa_--Six-striped Rustic
      _Baia_--Dotted Clay
      _Sobrina_--Cousin German
      _Castanea_ (_Neglecta_)--Grey Rustic
      _Xanthographa_--Square-spot Rustic
      _Ianthina_--Lesser Broad Border
      _Fimbria_--Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
      _Interjecta_--Least Yellow Underwing
      _Orbona_ (_Subsequa_)--Lunar Yellow Underwing
      _Comes_ (_Orbona_)--Lesser Yellow Underwing
      _Pronuba_--Large Yellow Underwing

      _Pyramidea_--Copper Underwing
      _Maura_--Old Lady

      _Piniperda_--Pine Beauty
      _Rubricosa_--Red Chestnut
      _Hyperborea_ (_Carnica_)--Mountain Rustic
      _Gothica_--Hebrew Character
      _Incerta_ (_Instabilis_)--Clouded Drab
      _Opima_--Northern Drab
      _Populeti_--Lead-coloured Drab
      _Stabilis_--Common Quaker
      _Gracilis_--Powdered Quaker
      _Miniosa_--Blossom Underwing
      _Munda_--Twin-spotted Quaker
      _Pulverulenta_ (_Cruda_)--Small Quaker
      _Lota_--Red-lined Quaker
      _Macilenta_--Yellow-lined Quaker
      _Rufina_--Flounced Chestnut
      _Pistacina_--Beaded Chestnut
      _Lunosa_--Lunar Underwing
      _Litura_--Brown-spot Pinion
    =Cerastis= (=Glæa=).
      _Spadicea_--Dark Chestnut
      _Rubiginea_--Dotted Chestnut
      _Croceago_--Orange Upperwing
      _Citrago_--Orange Sallow
      _Fulvago_ (_Cerago_)--Sallow
      _Flavago_ (_Silago_)--Pink-barred Sallow
      _Aurago_--Barred Sallow
      _Gilvago_--Dusky Lemon Sallow
      _Circellaris_ (_Ferruginea_)--Brick
      _Xerampelina_--Centre-barred Sallow

      _Retusa_--Double Kidney
    =Cosmia= (=Euperia=).
      _Paleacea_ (_Fulvago_)--Angle-striped Sallow
      _Oo_--Heart Moth
      _Pyralina_--Lunar-spotted Pinion
      _Diffinis_--White-spotted Pinion
      _Affinis_--Lesser-spotted Pinion

      _Ochroleuca_--Dusky Sallow
      _Luteago_ (_Barretti_)--Barrett's Marbled Coronet
      _Cæsia_--Grey Marbled Coronet
      _Nana_ (_Conspersa_)--Marbled Coronet
      _Albimacula_--White Spot
      _Compta_--The Shears
      _Carpophaga_--Tawny Shears
      _Irregularis_ (_Echii_)--Viper's Bugloss
      _Chrysozona_ (_Dysodea_)--Small Ranunculus
      _Serena_--Broad-barred White
      _Chi_--Grey Chi
      _Flavicincta_--Large Ranunculus
      _Xanthomista_ (_Nigrocincta_)--Black-banded
      _Templi_--Brindled Ochre
      _Lichenea_--Feathered Ranunculus
      _Lutulenta_--Deep-brown Dart
      _Nigra_--Black Rustic
      _Viminalis_--Minor Shoulder-knot
      _Oleagina_--Green-brindled Dot
      _Oxyacanthæ_--Green-brindled Crescent
      _Lucipara_--Small Angle-shades
      _Flammea_ (_Empyrea_)--Flame Brocade
      _Prasina_ (_Herbida_)--Green Arches
      _Occulta_--Great Brocade
      _Nebulosa_--Grey Arches
      _Tincta_--Silvery Arches
      _Advena_--Pale Shining Brown
      _Exulis_ (_Assimilis_)--Northern Arches
      _Porphyrea_ (_Satura_)--Beautiful Brocade
      _Adusta_--Dark Brocade
      _Protea_--Brindled Green
      _Glauca_--Glaucous Shears
      _Dentina_--Grey Shears
      _Trifolii_ (_Chenopodii_)--Nutmeg
      _Dissimilis_ (_Suasa_)--Dog's Tooth
      _Oleracea_--Bright-line Brown-eye
      _Thalassina_--Pale-shouldered Brocade
      _Contigua_--Beautiful Brocade
      _Genistæ_--Light Brocade

      _Areola_ (_Lithoriza_)--Early Grey
      _Conspicillaris_--Silver Cloud
      _Vetusta_--Red Sword Grass
      _Exoleta_--Sword Grass
      _Solidaginis_--Golden-rod Brindled
      _Ornithopus_ (_Rhizolitha_)--Grey Shoulder Knot
      _Semibrunnea_--Tawny Pinion
      _Socia_ (_Petrificata_)--Pale Pinion
      _Furcifera_ (_Conformis_)--Conformist
      _Nubeculosa_--Rannoch Sprawler
      _Sphinx_ (_Cassinea_)--Sprawler
      _Verbasci_--Mullein Shark
      _Scrophulariæ_--Betony Shark
      _Lychnitis_--Lychnis Shark
      _Asteris_--Starwort Shark
      _Gnaphalii_--Cudweed Shark
      _Absinthii_--Wormwood Shark
      _Chamomillæ_--Chamomile Shark


      _Tripartita_ (_Urticæ_)--Light Spectacle
      _Triplasia_--Dark Spectacle
      _Chryson_ (_Orichalcea_)--Scarce Burnished Brass
      _Chrysitis_--Burnished Brass
      _Bractea_--Gold Spangled
      _Festucæ_--Gold Spot
      _Iota_--Plain Golden Y
      _Pulchrina_--Beautiful Golden Y
      _Gamma_--Silver Y
      _Interrogationis_--Scarce Silver Y

      _Melanopa_--Broad-bordered White Underwing
      _Cordigera_--Small Dark Yellow Underwing
      _Myrtilli_--Beautiful Yellow Underwing
    =Heliaca= (=Heliodes=).
      _Tenebrata_ (_Arbuti_)--Small Yellow Underwing
      _Dipsacea_--Marbled Clover
      _Scutosa_--Rare Marbled Clover
      _Peltigera_--Bordered Straw
      _Armigera_--Scarce Bordered Straw
      _Umbra_ (_Marginata_)--Bordered Sallow

      _Trabealis_ (_Sulphuralis_)--Spotted Sulphur

      _Fasciana_ (_Fuscula_)--Marbled White Spot
      _Venustula_--Rosy Marbled
      _Uncula_ (_Unca_)--Silver Hook

    =Thalpochares= (=Micra=).
      _Ostrina_--Purple Marbled
      _Parva_--Small Marbled
      _Paula_--Scarce Marbled

      _Viridaria_ (_Ænea_)--Small Purple-barred

      _Mi_--Mother Shipton
      _Glyphica_--Burnet Noctua

      _Lunaris_--Lunar Double Stripe


      _Fraxini_--Clifden Nonpareil
      _Nupta_--Red Underwing
      _Promissa_--Light Crimson Underwing
      _Sponsa_--Dark Crimson Underwing

      _Flexula_--Scallop Barred

      _Pastinum_--Black Neck
      _Craccæ_--New Black Neck

      _Fuliginaria_--Waved Black

      _Sericealis_--Straw Dot
      _Grisealis_--Lesser Fan-foot
      _Emortualis_--Olive Crescent
      _Cribralis_--Dotted Fan-foot
      _Derivalis_--Clay Fan-foot
      _Barbalis_--Common Fan-foot

      _Salicalis_--Lesser Belle
      _Fontis_ (_Crassalis_)--Beautiful Snout
      _Rostralis_--Lesser Snout
    =Tholomiges= (=Schrankia=).
      _Turfosalis_--Tiny Snout

      _Parthenias_--Orange Underwing
      _Notha_--Light Orange Underwing


      _Sambucaria_ (_Sambucata_)--Swallow Tail

      _Parallelaria_ (_Vespertaria_)--Dark-bordered Beauty
      _Apiciaria_--Bordered Beauty
      _Advenaria_--Little Thorn
      _Luteolata_ (_Cratægata_)--Brimstone
      _Macularia_--Speckled Yellow
      _Prunaria_--Orange Moth
      _Margaritaria_--Light Emerald
      _Prosapiaria_ (_Fasciaria_)--Barred Red
      _Dolobraria_--Scorched Wing
      _Syringaria_--Lilac Beauty
      _Bilunaria_ (_Illunaria_)--Early Thorn
      _Lunaria_--Lunar Thorn
      _Tetralunaria_ (_Illustraria_)--Purple Thorn
      _Bidentata_--Scalloped Hazel
      _Elinguaria_--Scalloped Oak
      _Autumnaria_ (_Alniaria_)--Large Thorn
      _Alniaria_ (_Tiliaria_)--Canary-shouldered Thorn
      _Fuscantaria_--Dusky Thorn
      _Erosaria_--September Thorn
      _Quercinaria_ (_Angularia_)--August Thorn
      _Pennaria_--Feathered Thorn

      _Pedaria_ (_Pilosaria_)--Pale Brindled Beauty
      _Zonaria_--Belted Beauty
      _Hispidaria_--Small Brindled Beauty
      _Lapponaria_--Rare Brindled Beauty
      _Hirtaria_--Brindled Beauty
      _Strataria_ (_Prodromaria_)--Oak Beauty
      _Betularia_--Peppered Moth

      _Abruptaria_--Waved Umber
      _Angularia_ (_Viduaria_)--Speckled Beauty
      _Glabraria_--Dotted Carpet
      _Lichenaria_--Brussels Lace
      _Repandata_--Mottled Beauty
      _Gemmaria_ (_Rhomboidaria_)--Willow Beauty
      _Abietaria_--Satin Carpet
      _Cinctaria_--Ringed Carpet
      _Roboraria_--Great Oak Beauty
      _Consortaria_--Pale Oak Beauty
      _Consonaria_--Square Spot
      _Crepuscularia_--Small Engrailed
      _Luridata_ (_Extersaria_)--Brindled White-spot
      _Punctularia_--Grey Birch
      _Obfuscaria_--Scotch Annulet
      _Coracina_ (_Trepidaria_)--Black Mountain Moth

      _Pruinata_ (_Cytisaria_)--Grass Emerald
      _Papilionaria_--Large Emerald
      _Vernaria_--Small Emerald
      _Pustulata_ (_Bajularia_)--Blotched Emerald
      _Smaragdaria_--Essex Emerald
      _Viridata_--Small Grass Emerald
      _Lactearia_--Little Emerald
      _Strigata_ (_Thymiaria_)--Common Emerald

      _Porata_--False Mocha
      _Punctaria_--Maiden's Blush
      _Linearia_ (_Trilinearia_)--Clay Triple-lines
      _Annulata_ (_Omicronaria_)--Mocha
      _Orbicularia_--Dingy Mocha
      _Pendularia_--Birch Mocha

      _Muricata_ (_Auroraria_)--Golden-bordered Purple
      _Luteata_--Small Yellow Wave
      _Candidata_--Small White Wave
      _Sylvata_--Waved Carpet
      _Blomeri_ (_Pulchraria_)--Blomer's Rivulet
      _Obliterata_ (_Heparata_)--Dingy Shell
      _Cambrica_ (_Cambricaria_)--Welsh Wave
      _Perochraria_--Ochraceous Wave
      _Ochrata_--Bright Wave
      _Rubiginata_ (_Rubricata_)--Tawny Wave
      _Dimidiata_ (_Scutulata_)--Single-dotted Wave
      _Bisetata_--Small Fan-footed Wave
      _Trigeminata_--Treble Brown-spot
      _Contiguaria_--Greening's Wave
      _Rusticata_--Least Carpet
      _Holosericata_--Silky Wave
      _Dilutaria_ (_Interjectaria_)--Dark Cream Wave
      _Virgularia_ (_Incanaria_)--Small Dusty Wave
      _Ornata_--Lace Border
      _Marginepunctata_ (_Promutata_)--Mullein Wave
      _Straminata_--Dotted-bordered Cream Wave
      _Subsericeata_--Satin Wave
      _Immutata_--Lesser Cream Wave
      _Strigaria_--Streaked Wave
      _Remutaria_--Cream Wave
      _Fumata_--Smoky Wave
      _Strigilaria_ (_Prataria_)--Sub-angled Wave
      _Imitaria_--Small Blood-vein
      _Emutaria_--Rosy Wave
      _Aversata_--Riband Wave
      _Inornata_--Plain Wave
      _Degeneraria_--Portland Riband Wave
      _Emarginata_--Small Scallop

      _Pusaria_--Common White Wave
      _Rotundaria_--Round-winged Wave
      _Exanthemata_--Common Wave
      _Temerata_--Clouded Silver
      _Bimaculata_ (_Taminata_)--White-pinion Spotted
      _Pictaria_--Sloe Carpet

      _Alternata_--Sharp-angled Peacock
      _Liturata_--Tawny-barred Angle
      _Vauaria_ (_Wavaria_)--V Moth
      _Brunneata_ (_Pinetaria_)--Rannoch Geometer

      _Clathrata_--Latticed Heath
      _Petraria_--Brown Silver-line
      _Pulveraria_--Barred Umber
      _Belgiaria_--Grey Scalloped Bar
      _Ericetaria_ (_Plumaria_)--Bordered Grey
      _Carbonaria_--Netted Mountain
      _Limbaria_ (_Conspicuata_)--Frosted Yellow
      _Atomaria_--Common Heath
      _Piniaria_--Bordered White
      _Murinata_ (_Euphorbiata_)--Drab Geometer
      _Lineata_ (_Dealbata_)--Black-veined
      _Purpuraria_--Purple-barred Yellow
      _Strigillaria_--Grass Wave
      _Ochrearia_ (_Citraria_)--Yellow Belle
      _Gilvaria_--Straw Belle

      _Grossulariata_--Currant Moth (Magpie)
      _Sylvata_ (_Ulmata_)--Clouded Magpie
      _Adustata_--Scorched Carpet
      _Marginata_--Clouded Border

      _Hippocastanaria_--Horse Chestnut

      _Rupicapraria_--Early Moth
      _Leucophæaria_--Spring Usher
      _Aurantiaria_--Scarce Umber
      _Marginaria_ (_Progemmaria_)--Dotted Border
      _Defoliaria_--Mottled Umber
      _Æscularia_--March Moth

      _Brumata_--Winter Moth
      _Boreata_--Northern Winter
      _Dilutata_--November Moth
      _Filigrammaria_--Autumnal Moth
      _Didymata_--Twin-spot Carpet
      _Multistrigaria_--Mottled Grey
      _Cæsiata_--Grey Mountain Carpet
      _Flavicinctata_ (_Ruficinctata_)--Yellow-ringed Carpet
      _Salicata_--Striped Twin-spot Carpet
      _Olivata_--Beech-green Carpet
      _Viridaria_ (_Pectinitaria_)--Green Carpet
      _Alchemillata_--Small Rivulet
      _Albulata_--Grass Rivulet
      _Decolorata_--Sandy Carpet
      _Tæniata_--Barred Carpet
      _Unifasciata_--Haworth's Carpet
      _Minorata_ (_Ericetata_)--Heath Rivulet
      _Adæquata_ (_Blandiata_)--Pretty Pinion
      _Venosata_--Netted Pug
      _Consignata_--Pinion-spotted Pug
      _Linariata_--Toadflax Pug
      _Pulchellata_--Foxglove Pug
      _Oblongata_ (_Centaureata_)--Lime-speck
      _Succenturiata_--Bordered Lime-speck
      _Subfulvata_--Tawny-speckled Pug
      _Scabiosata_ (_Subumbrata_)--Shaded Pug
      _Pernotata_--Guenée's Pug
      _Plumbeolata_--Lead-coloured Pug
      _Isogrammaria_--Haworth's Pug
      _Pygmæata_--Marsh Pug
      _Helveticaria_--Edinburgh Pug
      _Egenaria_--Pauper Pug
      _Satyrata_--Satyr Pug
      _Castigata_--Grey Pug
      _Jasioneata_--Jasione Pug
      _Trisignaria_--Triple-spotted Pug
      _Virgaureata_--Golden-rod Pug
      _Fraxinata_--Ash-tree Pug
      _Extensaria_--Scarce Pug
      _Pimpinellata_--Pimpinel Pug
      _Valerianata_--Valerian Pug
      _Pusillata_--Dwarf Pug
      _Irriguata_--Marbled Pug
      _Campanulata_--Campanula Pug
      _Innotata_--Long-winged Pug
      _Indigata_--Ochreous Pug
      _Constrictata_--Wild Thyme Pug
      _Nanata_--Narrow-winged Pug
      _Subnotata_--Plain Pug
      _Vulgata_--Common Pug
      _Albipunctata_--White-spotted Pug
      _Expallidata_--Bleached Pug
      _Absinthiata_--Wormwood Pug
      _Minutata_--Ling Pug
      _Assimilata_--Currant Pug
      _Tenuiata_--Slender Pug
      _Subciliata_--Maple Pug
      _Lariciata_--Larch Pug
      _Abbreviata_--Brindled Pug
      _Dodoneata_--Oak-tree Pug
      _Exiguata_--Mottled Pug
      _Ultimaria_--Tamarisk Pug
      _Sobrinata_--Juniper Pug
      _Togata_--Cloaked Pug
      _Pumilata_--Double-striped Pug
      _Coronata_--V Pug
      _Rectangulata_--Green Pug
      _Debiliata_--Bilberry Pug
      _Sparsata_--Dentated Pug
      _Sexalisata_ (_Sexalata_)--Small Seraphim
      _Halterata_ (_Hexapterata_)--Seraphim
      _Viretata_--Yellow-barred Brindle
      _Carpinata_ (_Lobulata_)--Early Tooth-striped
      _Polycommata_--Barred Tooth-striped
      _Juniperata_--Juniper Carpet
      _Simulata_--Chestnut-coloured Carpet
      _Variata_ (_Obeliscata_)--Shaded Broad-bar
      _Firmata_--Pine Carpet
      _Ruberata_--Ruddy High-flier
      _Trifasciata_ (_Impluviata_)--May High-flier
      _Sordidata_ (_Elutata_)--July High-flier
      _Bicolorata_ (_Rubiginata_)--Blue-bordered Carpet
      _Ocellata_--Purple Bar
      _Albicillata_--Beautiful Carpet
      _Hastata_--Argent and Sable
      _Tristata_--Small Argent and Sable
      _Procellata_--Chalk Carpet
      _Unangulata_--Sharp-angled Carpet
      _Rivata_--Wood Carpet
      _Sociata_ (_Subtristata_)--Common Carpet
      _Montanata_--Silver-ground Carpet
      _Galiata_--Galium Carpet
      _Fluctuata_--Garden Carpet
      _Cucullata_ (_Sinuata_)--Royal Mantle
      _Badiata_--Shoulder Stripe
      _Nigrofasciaria_ (_Derivata_)--Streamer
      _Berberata_--Barberry Carpet
      _Munitata_--Red Carpet
      _Designata_ (_Propugnata_)--Flame Carpet
      _Ferrugata_--Red Twin-spot Carpet
      _Unidentaria_--Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet
      _Quadrifasciaria_--Large Twin-spot Carpet
      _Bilineata_--Yellow Shell
      _Lapidata_--Slender-striped Rufous
      _Vittata_ (_Lignata_)--Oblique Carpet
      _Polygrammata_ (_Conjunctaria_)--Many-lined
      _Vitalbata_--Small Waved Umber
      _Certata_--Scarce Tissue
      _Undulata_--Scalloped Shell
      _Vetulata_--Brown Scallop
      _Rhamnata_--Dark Umber
      _Siterata_ (_Psittacata_)--Red-green Carpet
      _Miata_--Autumn Green Carpet
      _Picata_--Short-cloak Carpet
      _Corylata_--Broken-barred Carpet
      _Sagittata_--Marsh Carpet
      _Truncata_ (_Russata_)--Common Marbled Carpet
      _Immanata_--Dark Marbled Carpet
      _Suffumata_--Water Carpet
      _Reticulata_--Netted Carpet
      _Silaceata_--Small Ph[oe]nix
      _Prunata_ (_Ribesiaria_)--Ph[oe]nix
      _Populata_--Northern Spinach
      _Fulvata_--Barred Yellow
      _Dotata_ (_Pyraliata_)--Barred Straw
      _Associata_ (_Dotata_)--Spinach
      _Comitata_--Dark Spinach

      _Cervinata_ (_Cervinaria_)--Mallow
      _Limitata_ (_Mensuraria_)--Small Mallow
      _Plumbaria_ (_Palumbaria_)--Belle
      _Bipunctaria_--Chalk Carpet
      _Virgata_ (_Lineolata_)--Oblique-striped
      _Paludata_ (_Imbutata_)--Manchester Treble Bar
      _Plagiata_--Treble Bar
      _Griseata_--Pale Grey Carpet
      _Rufata_ (_Obliquaria_)--Broom Tip

      _Atrata_ (_Chærophyllata_)--Chimney Sweep



The success of the country rambles of an expert lepidopterist depends
greatly on his knowledge of the times at which the various butterflies
and moths generally appear, and of the localities which they are known
to frequent. The experiences he has gained in the past enable him to
calculate on the probabilities of the future, and he chooses both time
and locality according to his requirements.

As he makes his way to the hunting ground he counts over the chances of
meeting with a certain insect that is wanted to fill a long-standing
blank in his cabinet; and we hear him discussing the probabilities as to
whether this species is yet 'out,' or whether the larvæ of that species
are feeding.

How different it is with the young and unguided entomologist! He rambles
promiscuously here and there, having only the faintest idea as to what
he is likely to see, and perhaps meeting with only four or five species
when an experienced collector, without covering a larger area of ground,
would take scores in the same time.

In order to afford some little help to the beginner, I have thought it
advisable to introduce a calendar of operations to guide him in his
work. The space at our command would not allow this to be carried out in
detail, but the general instructions will undoubtedly assist most of my
readers until the practical experience gained by a few years' work has
enabled them to run on their own legs.

Of course, in making reference to the monthly lists of insects on the
wing, allowance must be made for the forwardness or backwardness of the
seasons. Thus, an insect entered in the April list _may_ appear in March
in an exceptionally warm season, but may not emerge till the early part
of May if the spring has been unusually severe.

It will be observed that in cases where all the species of a certain
genus or family appear on the wing in the same month, the name of that
genus or family is entered on the list instead of the names of the
individual species; but the latter can easily be obtained by reference
to Appendix I.


There is not much field work to be done during this month. If the
weather is very severe, hardly an insect will be found on the wing; but
a mild January will sometimes entice the Brimstone Butterfly (_Rhamni_)
and some of the hybernating Vanessas from their winter quarters.

Hybernating moths may also be met with, on the wing if the weather
is mild, or sleeping in their sheltered nooks during the frosts.
These include several _Noctuæ_--_Auricoma_, _Lithargyria_,
_Suffusa_, _Vaccinii_, _Spadicea_, _Erythrocephala_, _Satellitia_,
_Rubiginea_, _Croceago_, _Vetusta_, _Exoleta_, _Ornithopus_,
_Furcifera_, _Semibrunnea_, _Socia_, and _Libatrix_; and also a few
_Geometræ_--_Zonaria_, _Fluviata_, _Dubitata_, _Siterata_, and _Miata_.

In addition to these hybernating insects, the collector may examine tree
trunks and fences for the Early Moth (_Rupicapraria_), and late
specimens of the Winter Moth (_Brumata_); and towards the end of the
month he may expect to meet with fresh specimens of the Pale Brindled
Beauty (_Pedaria_) and the Spring Usher (_Leucophæaria_). A few of the
_Tineæ_ may also be seen.

The net need not be used at all during the colder months of the year, as
the moths are easily taken in pill boxes from the trunks and fences on
which they rest.

Pupa digging may be carried on throughout the month if the weather is
sufficiently mild, but it is of no use attempting this during a frost.
Hybernating larvæ may also be searched out of their winter quarters if
the collector does not mind giving them the attention they require; but,
as a rule, it is better to wait till they themselves start out to feed
in the spring, at which time all their food plants are showing leaf.


Our remarks under 'January' concerning pupa digging and other work apply
equally well to this month. The same hybernating butterflies and moths
may be looked for; and, in addition to _Pedaria_, _Leucophæaria_, and
_Rupicapraria_, which now appear more plentifully, the following species
will probably be seen:

  Small Eggar (_Lanestris_)
  Small Brindled Beauty (_Hispidaria_)
  Oak Beauty (_Strataria_)
  Dotted Border (_Marginaria_)
  March Moth (_Æscularia_)

About half a dozen species of the _Tineæ_ will also have made their
appearance before the end of the month.


Many of the hybernating larvæ will come out during March if the weather
is mild, and commence to feed; and the young caterpillars will begin to
appear from the eggs of the early moths already named. This is
consequently a good time to commence the search for larvæ if you intend
to go in for rearing. During the daytime some may be beaten from the
boughs of trees and shrubs; and those which feed on low plants, being
generally nocturnal in their habits, should be searched for in the
evening, after dark, with the aid of a lantern.

The hybernating butterflies are now flying more freely than before, and,
if the weather is bright and warm for the time of year, a few freshly
emerged species may be seen. These may possibly include:

  Large White (_Brassicæ_)
  Small White (_Rapæ_)
  Green-veined White (_Napi_)
  Holly Blue (_Argiolus_)

As regards moths, several fresh species may be expected to appear, while
those named as appearing in February are still to be found. The
new-comers may include:

    Kentish Glory (_Versicolor_)
    Yellow-horned (_Flavicornis_)

    Pine Beauty (_Piniperda_)
    White-marked Rustic (_Leucographa_)
    Red Chestnut (_Rubricosa_)
    All species of the genus _Tæniocampa_
    Early Grey (_Areola_)
    Green-brindled Dot (_Oleagina_)
    Orange Underwing (_Parthenias_)
    Light Orange Underwing (_Notha_)

    Early Thorn (_Bilunaria_)
    Engrailed (_Biundularia_)
    Mottled Grey (_Multistrigaria_)

Sugaring may be commenced towards the end of March, and sallow blossom
may be searched in the evening, but it is probable that only a few
species will be taken by these means.

A few more species of the _Tineæ_ appear in March, and four or five of
the _Tortrices_ are out before the end of the month.


This is really a busy month with the entomologist, and it will be
necessary to put all apparatus and appliances into perfect order early.
The cyanide bottle should be freshly charged, nets examined and repaired
if necessary, and all setting boards, breeding cages &c. put in perfect
trim for the new season's work.

Larvæ are now feeding freely, and a few hours spent in beating,
sweeping, and searching will enable you to stock your cages liberally.

Sugaring may be continued throughout the month, and the sallow blossom
may be searched as long as it proves attractive. Moths may also be
attracted by light at night.

The following butterflies are generally out during April, in addition to
the hybernated species already named:

  Large White (_Brassicæ_)
  Small White (_Rapæ_)
  Green-veined White (_Napi_)
  Orange Tip (_Cardamines_)
  Wood White (_Sinapis_)
  Pearl-bordered Fritillary (_Euphrosyne_)
  Speckled Wood (_Egeria_)
  Green Hairstreak (_Rubi_)
  Small Copper (_Phl[oe]as_)
  Holly Blue (_Argiolus_)
  Grizzled Skipper (_Malvæ_)
  Dingy Skipper (_Tages_)

The following is a list of the principal moths for April:

    Small Lappet (_Ilicifolia_)
    Kentish Glory (_Versicolor_)
    Yellow Horned (_Flavicornis_)
    Frosted Green (_Ridens_)

    Pine Beauty (_Piniperda_)
    White-marked Rustic (_Leucographa_)
    Red Chestnut (_Rubricosa_)
    All species of the genus _Tæniocampa_
    Early Grey (_Areola_)
    Mullein Shark (_Verbasci_)
    Orange Underwing (_Parthenias_)
    Light Orange Underwing (_Notha_)

    Brimstone (_Luteolata_)
    Early Thorn (_Bilunaria_)
    Belted Beauty (_Zonaria_)
    Brindled Beauty (_Hirtaria_)
    Waved Umber (_Abruptaria_)
    Small Engrailed (_Crepuscularia_)
    Engrailed (_Biundularia_)
    Sloe Carpet (_Pictaria_)
    Netted Mountain (_Carbonaria_)
    Mottled Grey (_Multistrigaria_)
    Satyr Pug (_Satyrata_)
    Marbled Pug (_Irriguata_)
    Campanula Pug (_Campanulata_)
    Brindled Pug (_Abbreviata_)
    Oak-tree Pug (_Dodoneata_)
    Double-striped Pug (_Pumilata_)
    Early Tooth-striped (_Carpinata_)
    Shoulder Stripe (_Badiata_)
    Many-lined (_Polygrammata_)
    Tissue (_Dubitata_)

In addition to the above, a few species of the _Tortrices_, several of
the _Tineæ_, and one or two of the Plume Moths (_Pterophori_) are out
during April.


Little or nothing will be obtained by digging during May, yet a number
of pupæ may be found among grass and leaves under trees, and also
attached to the leaves and stems of low plants. These pupæ include those
of several of the butterflies, among which may be mentioned _Machaon_,
_Selene_, _Euphrosyne_, _Aurinia_, _Megæra_, _Ianira_, _Rubi_,
_Astrarche_, _Icarus_, _Bellargus_, _Corydon_, _Lucina_, and _Sylvanus_.

Larvæ may now be taken in abundance by beating the boughs of oaks and
other trees, and also by examining low plants.

The hybernating butterflies are still on the wing, and the following are
also out:

  Swallow Tail (_Machaon_)
  Large White (_Brassicæ_)
  Small White (_Rapæ_)
  Green-veined White (_Napi_)
  Bath White (_Daplidice_)
  Orange Tip (_Cardamines_)
  Wood White (_Sinapis_)
  Small Pearl-bordered (_Selene_)
  Pearl-bordered (_Euphrosyne_)
  Greasy Fritillary (_Aurinia_)
  Glanville Fritillary (_Cinxia_)
  Speckled Wood (_Egeria_)
  Wall (_Megæra_)
  Marsh Ringlet (_Typhon_)
  Small Heath (_Pamphilus_)
  Green Hairstreak (_Rubi_)
  Small Copper (_Phl[oe]as_)
  Brown Argus (_Astrarche_)
  Common Blue (_Icarus_)
  Clifden Blue (_Bellargus_)
  Holly Blue (_Argiolus_)
  Mazarine Blue (_Semiargus_)
  Grizzled Skipper (_Malvæ_)
  Chequered Skipper (_Palæmon_)

There is a great increase in the number of moths this month, and much
good work may be done by means of light traps and by the examination of
fences. Many moths are driven from their resting places early in the
morning by the direct rays of the rising sun, and then seek out a spot
where they are better sheltered, and where they are consequently less
easily found. Hence the advantage of searching fences early in the

The May list includes:

    Small Elephant (_Porcellus_)
    All species of the genera _Smerinthus_ and _Macroglossa_
    Some of the Clearwings (_Apiformis_, _Sphegiformis_, and
    Cream-bordered Green (_Chlorana_)
    Green Silver-lined (_Prasinana_)

    Wood Tiger (_Plantaginis_)
    Muslin Moth (_Mendica_)
    Common Swift (_Lupulinus_)
    Pale Tussock (_Pudibunda_)
    Small Lappet (_Ilicifolia_)
    Emperor (_Pavonia_)
    All species of family _Drepanulidæ_
    Alder Kitten (_Bicuspis_)
    Puss (_Vinula_)
    Several of the 'Prominents' (_Cuculla_, _Carmelita_, _Dictæa_,
      _Dictæoides_, _Trilophus_, _Ziczac_, _Trepida_, _Chaonia_,
    Chocolate Tip (_Curtula_)
    Small Chocolate Tip (_Pigra_)

    Knot Grass (_Rumicis_)
    Sweet Gale (_Myricæ_)
    White Colon (_Albicolon_)
    Cabbage (_Brassicæ_)
    Treble Lines (_Trigrammica_)
    Marsh Moth (_Palustris_)
    Light Brocade (_Genistæ_)
    Mullein Shark (_Verbasci_)
    Betony Shark (_Scrophulariæ_)
    Starwort Shark (_Asteris_)
    Camomile Shark (_Chamomillæ_)
    Small Dark Yellow Underwing (_Cordigera_)
    Small Yellow Underwing (_Tenebrata_)
    Bordered Sallow (_Umbra_)
    Lunar Double Stripe (_Lunaris_)

    Brimstone (_Luteolata_)
    Speckled Yellow (_Macularia_)
    Purple Thorn (_Tetralunaria_)
    Scalloped Hazel (_Bidentata_)
    Brindled Beauty (_Hirtaria_)
    Peppered (_Betularia_)
    Waved Umber (_Abruptaria_)
    Ringed Carpet (_Cinctaria_)
    Square Spot (_Consonaria_)
    Small Engrailed (_Crepuscularia_)
    Engrailed (_Biundularia_)
    Grey Birch (_Punctularia_)
    Small Grass Emerald (_Viridata_)
    All species of family _Ephyridæ_
    Cream Wave (_Remutaria_)
    White Wave (_Pusaria_)
    Round-winged Wave (_Rotundaria_)
    Common Wave (_Exanthemata_)
    Clouded Silver (_Temerata_)
    White-pinion Spotted (_Bimaculata_)
    Latticed Heath (_Clathrata_)
    Brown Silver-line (_Petraria_)
    Barred Umber (_Pulveraria_)
    Netted Mountain (_Carbonaria_)
    Common Heath (_Atomaria_)
    Bordered White (_Piniaria_)
    Rest Harrow (_Ononaria_)
    Yellow Belle (_Ochrearia_)
    Clouded Border (_Marginata_)
    Horse Chestnut (_Hippocastanaria_)
    Pretty Pinion (_Adæquata_)
    Pugs (_Venosata_, _Consignata_, _Pulchellata_, _Plumbeolata_,
      _Satyrata_, _Castigata_, _Pusillata_, _Irriguata_, _Indigata_,
      _Nanata_, _Vulgata_, _Assimilata_, _Exiguata_, _Coronata_)
    Yellow-barred Brindle (_Viretata_)
    Ruddy High-flier (_Ruberata_)
    May High-flier (_Trifasciata_)
    Common Carpet (_Sociata_)
    Silver-ground Carpet (_Montanata_)
    Streamer (_Nigrofasciaria_)
    Barberry Carpet (_Berberata_)
    Flame Carpet (_Designata_)
    Twin-spot Carpets (_Ferrugata_ and _Unidentaria_)
    Scarce Tissue (_Certata_)
    Water Carpet (_Suffumata_)
    Small Ph[oe]nix (_Silaceata_)
    Oblique-striped (_Virgata_)
    Broom Tip (_Rufata_)

A number of the Micros are also out this month. About twenty species of
the _Pyralides_, one or two of the _Pterophori_, a few _Crambi_, about
fifty of the _Tortrices_, and no less than two hundred of the _Tineæ_.
The collector will do well to search fences and tree trunks for these
moths, whenever he has the opportunity; and also to use the net freely
in wooded country, waste places, and along hedgerows, _before_ and at


There is a marked increase in winged insect life during this month. The
early butterflies are disappearing, or perhaps have quite left us; but
new species are taking their place. The _Sphinges_ now reach their
maximum, as do also the _Bombyces_; and the other groups are almost if
not quite up to their highest total. The _Noctuæ_ and _Geometræ_ each
amount to over a hundred species. No less than a hundred and fifty
British _Tortrices_ are on the wing; the _Tineæ_ make a near approach to
three hundred, and the _Pyralides_ of the month are not far short of
numbering a hundred species. It will thus be seen that the net and pill
boxes, as well as the setting boards, are in constant demand.

Dull days may be well occupied in beating for moths, and in the
examination of fences and the bark of trees; and on bright days, as soon
as the butterflies have settled down to rest, the same work may be
carried on till dusk.

Micros and _Geometræ_ are out early in the evening, when they should be
taken with the net. Later on the _Noctuæ_ may be seen playing round
their favourite flowers.

Sugar and light traps are likely to do good service during June, and
decoy females of the _Bombyces_ group may be called to your aid.

Larvæ are also abundant during June, and those of most of the
butterflies may be taken by carefully searching their food plants.

The following is the list of imagines for the month:

    Swallow Tail (_Machaon_)
    Black-veined White (_Cratægi_)
    Large White (_Brassicæ_)
    Small White (_Rapæ_)
    Green-veined White (_Napi_)
    Small Pearl-bordered (_Selene_)
    Pearl-bordered (_Euphrosyne_)
    Silver-washed Fritillary (_Paphia_)
    Greasy Fritillary (_Aurinia_)
    Glanville Fritillary (_Cinxia_)
    Heath Fritillary (_Athalia_)
    Small Tortoiseshell (_Urticæ_)
    White Admiral (_Sibylla_)
    Small Ringlet (_Epiphron_)
    Meadow Brown (_Ianira_)
    Ringlet (_Hyperanthus_)
    Marsh Ringlet (_Typhon_)
    Small Heath (_Pamphilus_)
    Green Hairstreak (_Rubi_)
    Small Copper (_Phl[oe]as_)
    Common Blue (_Icarus_)
    Small Blue (_Minima_)
    Duke of Burgundy (_Lucina_)
    Grizzled Skipper (_Malvæ_)
    Dingy Skipper (_Tages_)
    Large Skipper (_Sylvanus_)
    Chequered Skipper (_Palæmon_)

    Privet Hawk (_Ligustri_)
    Spurge Hawk (_Euphorbiæ_)
    Small Elephant (_Porcellus_)
    Large Elephant (_Elpenor_)
    Eyed Hawk (_Ocellatus_)
    Poplar Hawk (_Populi_)
    Lime Hawk (_Tiliæ_)
    Humming Bird Hawk (_Stellatarum_)
    All the Clearwings (Sesiidæ)
    The Burnets (Fam. _Zygænidæ_)

    Family _Nolidæ_
    Dew Moth (_Irrorella_)
    Cinnabar (_Jacobææ_)
    Scarlet Tiger (_Dominula_)
    Family _Cheloniidæ_
    Family _Hepialidæ_
    Family _Cossidæ_
    Family _Cochliopodidæ_
    Dark Tussock (_Fascelina_)
    Pale Tussock (_Pudibunda_)
    Scarce Vapourer (_Gonostigma_)
    Fox (_Rubi_)
    Lappet (_Quercifolia_)
    Family _Drepanulidæ_
    Family _Dicranuridæ_
    Pale Prominent (_Palpina_)
    Coxcomb Prominent (_Camelina_)
    Swallow Prominent (_Dictæa_)
    Lesser Swallow Prominent (_Dictæoides_)
    Iron Prominent (_Dromedarius_)
    Pebble Prominent (_Ziczac_)
    Great Prominent (_Trepida_)
    Marbled Brown (_Trimacula_)
    Buff Tip (_Bucephala_)
    Peach Blossom (_Batis_)
    Genus _Cymatophora_

    Scarce Marvel-du-jour (_Orion_)
    Genus _Acronycta_
    Powdered Wainscot (_Albovenosa_)
    Most of the species of genus _Leucania_
    Flame Wainscot (_Flammea_)
    Silky Wainscot (_Maritima_)
    Small Rufous (_Rufa_)
    Mere Wainscot (_Hellmanni_)
    Concolorous (_Extrema_)
    Flame (_Putris_)
    Genus _Xylophasia_
    Bird's Wing (_Scabriuscula_)
    Small Mottled Willow (_Exigua_)
    Bordered Gothic (_Reticulata_)
    Feathered Ear (_Leucophæa_)
    Large Nutmeg (_Sordida_)
    White Colon (_Albicolon_)
    Cabbage (_Brassicæ_)
    Dot (_Persicariæ_)
    Rustic Shoulder Knot (_Basilinea_)
    Union Rustic (_Connexa_)
    Dusky Brocade (_Gemina_)
    Double Lobed (_Ophiogramma_)
    Genus _Miana_
    Treble Lines (_Trigrammica_)
    Mottled Rustic (_Morpheus_)
    Rustic (_Taraxaci_)
    Pale Mottled Willow (_Quadripunctata_)
    Reddish Buff (_Caliginosa_)
    Marsh Moth (_Palustris_)
    Brown Rustic (_Tenebrosa_)
    Turnip (_Segetum_)
    Heart and Dart (_Exclamationis_)
    Light-feathered Rustic (_Cinerea_)
    Sand Dart (_Ripæ_)
    Garden Dart (_Nigricans_)
    Lover's Knot (_Strigula_)
    Double Dot (_Augur_)
    Flame Shoulder (_Plecta_)
    Double-spotted Square-spot (_Triangulum_)
    Ingrailed Clay (_Festiva_)
    Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (_Fimbria_)
    Large Yellow Underwing (_Pronuba_)
    Gothic (_Typica_)
    Heart Moth (_Oo_)
    Genus _Dianth[oe]cia_
    Broad-barred White (_Serena_)
    Small Angle Shades (_Lucipara_)
    Angle Shades (_Meticulosa_)
    Green Arches (_Prasina_)
    Grey Arches (_Nebulosa_)
    Silvery Arches (_Tincta_)
    Pale Shining Brown (_Advena_)
    Northern Arches (_Exulis_)
    Genus Hadena (nearly all)
    Lychnis Shark (_Lychnitis_)
    Starwort Shark (_Asteris_)
    Cudweed Shark (_Gnaphalii_)
    Camomile Shark (_Chamomillæ_)
    Shark (_Umbratica_)
    Genus _Habrostola_
    Burnished Brass (_Chrysitis_)
    Plain Golden Y (_Iota_)
    Beautiful Golden Y (_Pulchrina_)
    Silver Y (_Gamma_)
    Scarce Silver Y (_Interrogationis_)
    Genus _Anarta_
    Small Yellow Underwing (_Tenebrata_)
    Bordered Straw (_Peltigera_)
    Bordered Sallow (_Umbra_)
    Spotted Sulphur (_Trabealis_)
    Four-spotted (_Luctuosa_)
    Family _Erastriidæ_
    Purple Marbled (_Ostrina_)
    Small Marbled (_Parva_)
    Small Purple-barred (_Viridaria_)
    Mother Shipton (_Mi_)
    Burnet Noctua (_Glyphica_)
    Black Neck (_Pastinum_)
    Family _Herminiidæ_
    Family _Hypenidæ_

    Little Thorn (_Advenaria_)
    Brimstone (_Luteolata_)
    Speckled Yellow (_Macularia_)
    Orange (_Prunaria_)
    Barred Red (_Prosapiaria_)
    Scorched Wing (_Dolobraria_)
    Lunar Thorn (_Lunaria_)
    Peppered (_Betularia_)
    Speckled Beauty (_Angularia_)
    Genus _Boarmia_
    Square Spot (_Consonaria_)
    Brindled White-spot (_Luridata_)
    Grey Birch (_Punctularia_)
    Blotched Emerald (_Pustulata_)
    Small Grass Emerald (_Viridata_)
    Common Emerald (_Strigata_)
    Nearly all the family _Acidaliidæ_
    Genus _Bapta_
    Peacock (_Notata_)
    Rannoch Geometer (_Brunneata_)
    Brown Silver-line (_Petraria_)
    Barred Umber (_Pulveraria_)
    Grey Scalloped Bar (_Belgiaria_)
    Frosted Yellow (_Limbaria_)
    Bordered White (_Piniaria_)
    Drab Geometer (_Murinata_)
    Black-veined (_Lineata_)
    Grass Wave (_Strigillaria_)
    Clouded Magpie (_Sylvata_)
    Scorched Carpet (_Adustata_)
    Clouded Border (_Marginata_)
    Twin-spot Carpet (_Didymata_)
    Grey Mountain Carpet (_Cæsiata_)
    Striped Twin-spot Carpet (_Salicata_)
    Green Carpet (_Viridaria_)
    Genus _Emmelesia_
    Most of the Pugs (_Eupithecia_)
    Small Seraphim (_Sexalisata_)
    Seraphim (_Halterata_)
    Yellow-barred Brindle (_Viretata_)
    Shaded Broad-bar (_Variata_)
    Ruddy High-flier (_Ruberata_)
    Purple Bar (_Ocellata_)
    Beautiful Carpet (_Albicillata_)
    Genus _Melanippe_
    Royal Mantle (_Cucullata_)
    Flame (_Rubidata_)
    Genus _Coremia_
    Yellow Shell (_Bilineata_)
    Fern (_Tersata_)
    Oblique Carpet (_Vittata_)
    Small Waved Umber (_Vitalbata_)
    Scalloped Shell (_Undulata_)
    Brown Scallop (_Vetulata_)
    Short-cloak Carpet (_Picata_)
    Broken-barred Carpet (_Corylata_)
    Common Marbled Carpet (_Truncata_)
    Small Ph[oe]nix (_Silaceata_)
    Small Mallow (_Limitata_)
    Belle (_Plumbaria_)
    Oblique-striped (_Virgata_)
    Treble Bar (_Plagiata_)
    Pale Grey Carpet (_Griseata_)
    Chimney Sweep (_Atrata_)


The number of species on the wing in July is even greater than in June.
Butterflies are very numerous, some being second broods of
double-brooded species, and others late single-brooded insects.

_Sphinges_ are beginning to fall off, and so are the _Bombyces_, but the
_Noctuæ_ and _Geometræ_ are slightly on the increase.

As regards the Micros, a good number of fresh species may be expected,
all the groups exhibiting a marked increase in the total number on the
wing with the exception of the _Tineæ_.

Sugaring is likely to pay well this month, and many moths may be
attracted by light. Tree trunks and fences should be well examined.

Pupæ may certainly be taken, but unless the collector is particularly
desirous of obtaining the pupæ of insects known to be now passing
through that stage, he will probably do better by looking after

Larvæ, however, may well receive a little attention, providing the
setting of butterflies and moths leave a little leisure for other
employments. Beating by day, and searching by both day and night, even
if carried on only occasionally, will probably supply you with as many
species as you can accommodate in your glasses and cages.

The butterflies of the month are:

  Swallow Tail (_Machaon_)
  Black-veined White (_Cratægi_)
  Large White (_Brassicæ_)
  Small White (_Rapæ_)
  Green-veined White (_Napi_)
  Wood White (_Sinapis_)
  Brimstone (_Rhamni_)
  Dark Green Fritillary (_Aglaia_)
  High Brown Fritillary (_Adippe_)
  Silver-washed Fritillary (_Paphia_)
  Heath Fritillary (_Athalia_)
  Comma (_C-Album_)
  Large Tortoiseshell (_Polychloros_)
  Small Tortoiseshell (_Urticæ_)
  Peacock (_Io_)
  Painted Lady (_Cardui_)
  White Admiral (_Sibylla_)
  Purple Emperor (_Iris_)
  Marbled White (_Galatea_)
  Northern Brown (_Æthiops_)
  Speckled Wood (_Egeria_)
  Grayling (_Semele_)
  Meadow Brown (_Ianira_)
  Large Heath (_Tithonus_)
  Ringlet (_Hyperanthes_)
  Marsh Ringlet (_Typhon_)
  Small Heath (_Pamphilus_)
  Brown Hairstreak (_Betulæ_)
  White-letter Hairstreak (_W-Album_)
  Dark Hairstreak (_Pruni_)
  Purple Hairstreak (_Quercus_)
  Green Hairstreak (_Rubi_)
  Small Copper (_Phl[oe]as_)
  Silver-studded Blue (_Ægon_)
  Common Blue (_Icarus_)
  Chalk-hill Blue (_Corydon_)
  Holly Blue (_Argiolus_)
  Mazarine Blue (_Semiargus_)
  Small Blue (_Minima_)
  Large Blue (_Arion_)
  Small Skipper (_Thaumas_)
  New Small Skipper (_Lineola_)

The moths of July include the following species:

    Privet Hawk (_Ligustri_)
    Bedstraw Hawk (_Galii_)
    Eyed Hawk (_Ocellatus_)
    Poplar Hawk (_Populi_)
    Humming Bird Hawk (_Stellatarum_)
    Hornet Clearwing of Poplar (_Apiformis_)
    Hornet Clearwing of Osier (_Crabroniformis_)
    Welsh Clearwing (_Scoliiformis_)
    Red-belted Clearwing (_Myopiformis_)
    Red-tipped Clearwing (_Formiciformis_)
    Six-belted Clearwing (_Ichneumoniformis_)
    Genus _Ino_
    Burnets (_Trifolii_, _Loniceræ_ and _Filipendulæ_)

    Tortrix (_Undulanus_)
    Large Green Silver-lined (_Bicolorana_)
    Short-cloaked (_Cucullatella_)
    Most of the family _Lithosiidæ_
    Tiger (_Caia_)
    Ruby Tiger (_Fuliginosa_)
    Buff Ermine (_Lubricipeda_)
    White Ermine (_Menthastri_)
    Wood Swift (_Sylvanus_)
    Northern Swift (_Velleda_)
    Goat Moth (_Ligniperda_)
    Leopard (_Pyrina_)
    Brown Tail (_Chrysorrh[oe]a_)
    Yellow Tail (_Similis_)
    Satin (_Salicis_)
    Reed Tussock (_C[oe]nosa_)
    Black Arches (_Monacha_)
    Vapourer (_Antiqua_)
    Lackey (_Neustria_)
    Ground Lackey (_Castrensis_)
    Oak Eggar (_Quercus_)
    Drinker (_Potatoria_)
    Sallow Kitten (_Furcula_)
    Poplar Kitten (_Bifida_)
    Lobster (_Fagi_)
    Pale Prominent (_Palpina_)
    Coxcomb Prominent (_Camelina_)
    Buff Tip (_Bucephala_)
    Buff Arches (_Derasa_)
    Peach Blossom (_Batis_)
    Figure of Eighty (_Octogesima_)
    Poplar Lutestring (_Or_)
    Lesser Satin (_Duplaris_)

    Marbled Green (_Muralis_)
    Marbled Beauty (_Perla_)
    Grey Dagger (_Psi_)
    Miller (_Leporina_)
    Poplar Grey (_Megacephala_)
    Grisette (_Strigosa_)
    Coronet (_Ligustri_)
    Knot Grass (_Rumicis_)
    Scarce Dagger (_Auricoma_)
    Light Knot Grass (_Menyanthidis_)
    Brown Line Bright Eye (_Conigera_)
    Double Line (_Turca_)
    Clay (_Lithargyria_)
    Wainscots (_Littoralis_, _Impudens_, _Comma_, _Impura_, _Pallens_,
      _Phragmitidis_, _Maritima_, _Rufa_, _Bondii_, _Neurica_)
    Ear Moth (_Nictitans_)
    Flame (_Putris_)
    Genus _Xylophasia_
    Antler (_Graminis_)
    Straw Underwing (_Matura_)
    Most of Genus _Mamestra_
    Genus _Miana_
    Haworth's Minor (_Haworthii_)
    Treble Lines (_Trigrammica_)
    Genus _Caradrina_
    Brown Rustic (_Tenebrosa_)
    Archer's Dart (_Vestigialis_)
    Pearly Underwing (_Saucia_)
    Heart and Dart (_Exclamationis_)
    Heart and Club (_Corticea_)
    Sand Dart (_Ripæ_)
    Coast Dart (_Cursoria_)
    Garden Dart (_Nigricans_)
    Streaked Dart (_Aquilina_)
    True Lover's Knot (_Strigula_)
    Stout Dart (_Obscura_)
    Dotted Rustic (_Simulans_)
    Northern Rustic (_Lucernea_)
    Ashworth's Rustic (_Ashworthii_)
    Most of Genus _Noctua_
    Genus _Triphæna_
    Copper Underwing (_Pyramidea_)
    Mouse (_Tragopogonis_)
    Old Lady (_Maura_)
    Suspected (_Suspecta_)
    Dismal (_Upsilon_)
    Olive (_Subtusa_)
    Genus _Calymnia_
    Dusky Sallow (_Ochroleuca_)
    Marbled Coronet (_Nana_)
    Genus _Hecatera_
    Minor Shoulder Knot (_Viminalis_)
    Small Angle Shades (_Lucipara_)
    Genus _Aplecta_
    Dark Brocade (_Adusta_)
    Shears (_Dentina_)
    Nutmeg (_Trifolii_)
    Pale-shouldered Brocade (_Thalassina_)
    Silver Cloud (_Conspicillaris_)
    Lychnis Shark (_Lychnitis_)
    Wormwood Shark (_Absinthii_)
    Family _Plusiidæ_
    Beautiful Yellow Underwing (_Myrtilli_)
    Marbled Clover (_Dipsacea_)
    Four-spotted (_Luctuosa_)
    Rosy Marbled (_Venustula_)
    Marbled White-spot (_Fasciana_)
    Small Purple-barred (_Viridaria_)
    Red Underwing (_Nupta_)
    Light Crimson Underwing (_Promissa_)
    Dark Crimson Underwing(_Sponsa_)
    New Black-neck (_Craccæ_)
    Family _Herminiidæ_
    Family _Hypenidæ_

    Swallow-tail (_Sambucaria_)
    Dark-bordered Beauty (_Parallelaria_)
    Bordered Beauty (_Apiciaria_)
    Orange (_Prunaria_)
    Light Emerald (_Margaritaria_)
    Barred Red (_Prosapiaria_)
    Lilac Beauty (_Syringaria_)
    Early Thorn (_Bilunaria_)
    Scalloped Oak (_Elinguaria_)
    Genus _Cleora_
    Genus _Boarmia_
    Annulet (_Obscuraria_)
    Scotch Annulet (_Obfuscaria_)
    Black Mountain Moth (_Coracina_)
    Family _Geometridæ_
    Golden-bordered Purple (_Muricata_)
    Waved Carpet (_Sylvata_)
    Dingy Shell (_Obliterata_)
    Welsh Wave (_Cambrica_)
    Most of the _Acidaliæ_
    Blood Vein (_Amataria_)
    Family _Macariidæ_
    Latticed Heath (_Clathrata_)
    Bordered Grey (_Ericetaria_)
    Common Heath (_Atomaria_)
    Rest Harrow (_Ononaria_)
    Vestal (_Sacraria_)
    Grass Wave (_Strigillaria_)
    Family _Zerenidæ_
    Twin-spot Carpet (_Didymata_)
    Grey Mountain Carpet (_Cæsiata_)
    Yellow-ringed Carpet (_Flavicinctata_)
    Beech-green Carpet (_Olivata_)
    Green Carpet (_Viridaria_)
    Genus _Emmelesia_
    Pugs (_Linariata_, _Oblongata_, _Succenturiata_, _Pernotata_,
      _Isogrammaria_, _Virgaureata_, _Innotata_, _Subnotata_,
      _Absinthiata_, _Tenuiata_, _Subciliata_, _Rectangulata_)
    Chestnut-coloured Carpet (_Simulata_)
    Shaded Broad Bar (_Variata_)
    Pine Carpet (_Firmata_)
    July High-flier (_Sordidata_)
    Genus _Melanthia_
    Genus _Melanippe_
    Flame (_Rubidata_)
    Red Carpet (_Munitata_)
    Large Twin-spot Carpet (_Quadrifasciaria_)
    Yellow Shell (_Bilineata_)
    Fern (_Tersata_)
    Oblique Carpet (_Vittata_)
    Many-lined (_Polygrammata_)
    Dark Umber (_Rhamnata_)
    Short-cloak Carpet (_Picata_)
    Marsh Carpet (_Sagittata_)
    Common Marbled Carpet (_Truncata_)
    Dark Marbled Carpet (_Immanata_)
    Netted Carpet (_Reticulata_)
    Ph[oe]nix (_Prunata_)
    Chevron (_Testata_)
    Northern Spinach (_Populata_)
    Barred Yellow (_Fulvata_)
    Barred Straw (_Dotata_)
    Spinach (_Associata_)
    Dark Spinach (_Comitata_)
    Small Mallow (_Limitata_)
    Belle (_Plumbaria_)
    Chalk Carpet (_Bipunctaria_)
    Oblique-striped (_Virgata_)
    Manchester Treble Bar (_Paludata_)
    Treble Bar (_Plagiata_)
    Pale Grey Carpet (_Griseata_)
    Chimney Sweep (Atrata)


Although there is a very appreciable falling off in the number of
species on the wing during August, yet there remains plenty of work for
the lepidopterist.

Many of the butterflies of July continue to fly during the whole or part
of this month, and several fresh species commence their flight. August,
too, may be looked upon as _the_ month for second broods, and an
opportunity now arises for searching for some of the species that were
missed at the time of their early appearance in May. Clover and lucerne
fields should be well worked.

A few _Sphinges_ and a number of the _Bombyces_ are still on the wing.
The _Noctuæ_ are on the decrease, but there are yet nearly a hundred
species (including the rarer ones) at large.

These last may be taken at sugar in considerable numbers, and it is
interesting to note that two of the Vanessas (_Atalanta_ and _Cardui_)
may be caught sipping on your baited trees during the daytime.

_Geometræ_ and Micros fall off very considerably this month, but these,
as well as moths of the other groups, may be taken from tree trunks and
palings. Light traps may also be used with much success during August.

Fallen fruits should be examined for the larvæ that feed within them;
and late in the month ripe fruit will supply food to the lovers of

Ivy blossom should be well worked at night; and clover and lucerne
fields form admirable hunting grounds for moths at night, especially
just after rain.

Larvæ are to be obtained in abundance by beating and searching, the
latter process being conducted by night as well as by day.

The following is the list of imagines for August:

    Swallow Tail (_Machaon_)
    Large White (_Brassicæ_)
    Small White (_Rapæ_)
    Green-veined White (_Napi_)
    Bath White (_Daplidice_)
    Wood White (_Sinapis_)
    Pale Clouded Yellow (_Hyale_)
    Clouded Yellow (_Edusa_)
    Brimstone (_Rhamni_)
    Queen of Spain (_Latona_)
    Dark Green Fritillary (_Aglaia_)
    High Brown Fritillary (_Adippe_)
    Silver-washed Fritillary (_Paphia_)
    Genus _Vanessa_
    White Admiral (_Sibylla_)
    Purple Emperor (_Iris_)
    Marbled White (_Galatea_)
    Northern Brown (_Æthiops_)
    Speckled Wood (_Egeria_)
    Wall (_Megæra_)
    Grayling (_Semele_)
    Meadow Brown (_Ianira_)
    Large Heath (_Tithonus_)
    Small Heath (_Pamphilus_)
    Brown Hairstreak (_Betulæ_)
    Purple Hairstreak (_Quercus_)
    Small Copper (_Phl[oe]as_)
    Tailed Blue (_Bætica_)
    Silver-studded Blue (_Ægon_)
    Brown Argus (_Astrarche_)
    Common Blue (_Icarus_)
    Clifden Blue (_Bellargus_)
    Chalk-hill Blue (_Corydon_)
    Holly Blue (_Argiolus_)
    Mazarine Blue (_Semiargus_)
    Dingy Skipper (_Tages_)
    New Small Skipper (_Lineola_)
    Lulworth Skipper (_Actæon_)
    Large Skipper (_Sylvanus_)
    Silver-spotted Skipper (_Comma_)

    Death's-head Hawk (_Atropos_)
    Convolvulus Hawk (_Convolvuli_)
    Bedstraw Hawk (_Galii_)
    Striped Hawk (_Livornica_)
    Humming Bird Hawk (_Stellatarum_)
    Red-tipped Clearwing (_Formiciformis_)
    Six-belted Clearwing (_Ichneumoniformis_)

    Round-winged Muslin (_Senex_)
    Muslin (_Mundana_)
    Footmen (_Muscerda_, _Lutarella_, _Griseola_)
    Wood Swift (_Sylvanus_)
    Brown Tail (_Chrysorrh[oe]a_)
    Yellow Tail (_Similis_)
    Satin (_Salicis_)
    Gipsy (_Dispar_)
    Black Arches (_Monacha_)
    Vapourer (_Antiqua_)
    Lackey (_Neustria_)
    Ground Lackey (_Castrensis_)
    Oak Eggar (_Quercus_)
    Grass Eggar (_Trifolii_)
    Drinker (_Potatoria_)
    Hook Tips (_Lacertinaria_, _Falcataria_, _Binaria_, _Cultraria_)
    Chinese Character (_Glaucata_)
    Sallow Kitten (_Furcula_)
    Poplar Kitten (_Bifida_)
    Prominents (_Camelina_, _Trilophus_, _Ziczac_)
    Lesser Lutestring (_Diluta_)

    Marbled Green (_Muralis_)
    Marbled Beauty (_Perla_)
    Grey Dagger (_Psi_)
    Scarce Dagger (_Auricoma_)
    Wainscots (_Musculosa_, _Albipuncta_, _Impura_, _Pallens_,
      _Fulva_, _Cannæ_, _Arundinis_, _Geminipuncta_, _Neurica_,
    Frosted Orange (_Ochracea_)
    Genus _Hydr[oe]cia_
    Slender Clouded Brindle (_Scolopacina_)
    Feathered Brindle (_Australis_)
    Feathered Gothic (_Popularis_)
    Antler (_Graminis_)
    Straw Underwing (_Matura_)
    Genus _Luperina_
    Confused (_Furva_)
    Small Clouded Brindle (_Unanimis_)
    Crescent (_Leucostigma_)
    Common Rustic (_Didyma_)
    Anomalous (_Anomala_)
    Mottled Rustic (_Morpheus_)
    Pale Mottled Willow (_Quadripunctata_)
    Archer's Dart (_Vestigialis_)
    Shuttle-shaped Dart (_Puta_)
    Pearly Underwing (_Saucia_)
    Crescent Dart (_Lunigera_)
    Heart and Dart (_Exclamationis_)
    Coast Dart (_Cursoria_)
    Garden Dart (_Nigricans_)
    White-line Dart (_Tritici_)
    Streaked Dart (_Aquilina_)
    Square-spot Dart (_Obelisca_)
    Heath Rustic (_Agathina_)
    Portland (_Præcox_)
    Stout Dart (_Obscura_)
    Dotted Rustic (_Simulans_)
    Plain Clay (_Depuncta_)
    Setaceous Hebrew Character (_C-Nigrum_)
    Barred Chestnut (_Dahlii_)
    Small Square-spot (_Rubi_)
    Six-striped Rustic (_Umbrosa_)
    Grey Rustic (_Castanea_)
    Square-spot Rustic (_Xanthographa_)
    Genus _Triphæna_
    Mouse (_Tragopogonis_)
    Old Lady (_Maura_)
    Mountain Rustic (_Hyperborea_)
    Suspected (_Suspecta_)
    Olive (_Subtusa_)
    Double Kidney (_Retusa_)
    Angle-striped Sallow (_Paleacea_)
    Genus _Calymnia_
    Dusky Sallow (_Ochroleuca_)
    Grey Chi (_Chi_)
    Large Ranunculus (_Flavicincta_)
    Feathered Ranunculus (_Lichenea_)
    Crescent (_Bimaculosa_)
    Great Brocade (_Occulta_)
    Beautiful Brocade (_Porphyrea_)
    Golden-rod Brindled (_Solidaginis_)
    Herald (_Libatrix_)
    Scarce Burnished Brass (_Chryson_)
    Burnished Brass (_Chrysitis_)
    Gold Spot (_Festucæ_)
    Scarce Bordered Straw (_Armigera_)
    Four-spotted (_Luctuosa_)
    Clifden Nonpareil (_Fraxini_)
    Red Underwing (_Nupta_)
    Dark Crimson Underwing (_Sponsa_)

    Dark-bordered Beauty (_Parallelaria_)
    Bordered Beauty (_Apiciaria_)
    Purple Thorn (_Tetralunaria_)
    Scalloped Oak (_Elinguaria_)
    Canary-shouldered Thorn (_Alniaria_)
    Dusky Thorn (_Fuscantaria_)
    September Thorn (_Erosaria_)
    August Thorn (_Quercinaria_)
    Dotted Carpet (_Glabraria_)
    Annulet (_Obscuraria_)
    Scotch Annulet (_Obfuscaria_)
    Family _Ephyridæ_
    Small Dusty Wave (_Virgularia_)
    Mullein Wave (_Marginepunctata_)
    Small Blood Vein (_Imitaria_)
    Common White Wave (_Pusaria_)
    Vestal (_Sacraria_)
    Yellow Belle (_Ochrearia_)
    Straw Belle (_Gilvaria_)
    Currant (_Grossulariata_)
    Haworth's Carpet (_Unifasciata_)
    Bordered Lime Speck (_Succenturiata_)
    Pugs (_Virgaureata_, _Campanulata_, _Indigata_, _Constrictata_,
      _Expallidata_, _Sobrinata_, _Variata_)
    July High Flier (_Sordidata_)
    Carpets (_Bicolorata_, _Montanata_, _Fluctuata_, _Berberata_)
    Yellow Shell (_Bilineata_)
    Gem (_Fluviata_)
    Oblique Carpet (_Vittata_)
    Many-lined (_Polygrammata_)
    Tissue (_Dubitata_)
    Common Marbled Carpet (_Truncata_)
    Ph[oe]nix (_Prunata_)
    Chevron (_Testata_)
    Northern Spinach (_Populata_)
    Barred Yellow (_Fulvata_)
    Barred Straw (_Dotata_)
    Small Mallow (_Limitata_)
    Chalk Carpet (_Bipunctaria_)
    Treble Bar (_Plagiata_)
    Broom Tip (_Rufata_)


The number of species on the wing is now considerably lower, yet there
is a good deal to be done both with butterflies and moths.

Many of the former are worn and ragged, but good fresh specimens of some
species may be taken. Clover and lucerne fields and the flowery borders
of corn fields remain very attractive.

Tree trunks and palings should be searched as before. Sugar still
attracts numbers of the _Noctuæ_; and ivy blossom should be examined at
night whenever an opportunity offers itself.

September is a good month for larva hunting. Most of the species that
pupate in the autumn are now full fed, and will undergo the change to
the chrysalis state shortly after they have been housed, thus giving but
little trouble to the entomologist. The day feeders may be beaten or
swept from their food plants, but, of course, the nocturnal species are
best discovered by searching at night.

Some have already 'gone down' for the winter, and, consequently, pupa
hunting may be started. However, as there is yet much to be done with
imagines and larvæ, it may, perhaps, be better to leave the pupæ alone
till about the end of the month, especially as many of the larvæ have
not yet had time to complete their transformation.

The list of imagines for September includes:

    Clouded Yellow (_Edusa_)
    Brimstone (_Rhamni_)
    Queen of Spain (_Latona_)
    Comma (_C-Album_)
    Large Tortoiseshell (_Polychloros_)
    Small Tortoiseshell (_Urticæ_)
    Peacock (_Io_)
    Camberwell Beauty (_Antiopa_)
    Red Admiral (_Atalanta_)
    Painted Lady (_Cardui_)
    Speckled Wood (_Egeria_)
    Wall (_Megæra_)
    Grayling (_Semele_)
    Large Heath (_Tithonus_)
    Small Heath (_Pamphilus_)
    Small Copper (_Phl[oe]as_)
    Common Blue (_Icarus_)
    Clifden Blue (_Bellargus_)
    Chalk-hill Blue (_Corydon_)
    Holly Blue (_Argiolus_)

    Death's-head Hawk (_Atropos_)
    Convolvulus Hawk (_Convolvuli_)
    Humming Bird Hawk (_Stellatarum_)

    Tortrix (_Undulanus_)
    Crimson Speckled (_Pulchella_)
    Vapourer (_Antiqua_)
    Pale Oak Eggar (_Cratægi_)
    Lesser Lutestring (_Diluta_)

    Figure of Eight (_Cæruleocephala_)
    Small Wainscot (_Fulva_)
    Bullrush (_Arundinis_)
    Large Wainscot (_Lutosa_)
    Frosted Orange (_Ochracea_)
    Rosy Rustic (_Micacea_)
    Feathered Brindle (_Australis_)
    Beautiful Gothic (_Hispidus_)
    Antler (_Graminis_)
    Flounced Rustic (_Testacea_)
    Hedge Rustic (_Cespitis_)
    Haworth's Minor (_Haworthii_)
    Anomalous (_Anomala_)
    Shuttle-shaped Dart (_Puta_)
    Dark Sword Grass (_Suffusa_)
    Pearly Underwing (_Saucia_)
    Turnip (_Segetum_)
    Heart and Dart (_Exclamationis_)
    Autumn Rustic (_Glareosa_)
    Mouse (_Tragopogonis_)
    Red-lined Quaker (_Lota_)
    Yellow-lined Quaker (_Macilenta_)
    Genus _Anchocelis_
    Genus _Xanthia_
    Centre-barred Sallow (_Xerampelina_)
    Double Kidney (_Retusa_)
    Genus _Polia_
    Black Rustic (_Nigra_)
    Green-brindled Crescent (_Oxyacanthæ_)
    Marvel-du-jour (_Aprilina_)
    Angle Shades (_Meticulosa_)
    Flame Brocade (_Flammea_)
    Brindled Green (_Protea_)
    Genus _Calocampa_
    Genus _Xylina_
    Herald (_Libatrix_)
    Gold Spot (_Festucæ_)
    Silver Y (_Gamma_)
    Scarce Bordered Straw (_Armigera_)
    Clifden Nonpareil (_Fraxini_)
    Buttoned Snout (_Rostralis_)

    Bordered Beauty (_Apiciaria_)
    Brimstone (_Luteolata_)
    Genus _Eugonia_
    November (_Dilutata_)
    Autumnal (_Filigrammaria_)
    Juniper Pug (_Sobrinata_)
    Shaded Broad Bar (_Variata_)
    Slender-striped Rufous (_Lapidata_)
    Tissue (_Dubitata_)
    Carpets (_Siderata_, _Miata_, _Immanata_)
    Chevron (_Testata_)
    Mallow (_Cervinata_)
    Streak (_Spartiata_)


As there is very little winged life this month, and the larvæ have
nearly all sought out their winter quarters, special attention may be
given to pupæ. The earlier this work is started after the insects have
completed their change the better. If left late, many pupæ will have
been destroyed by floods, moles, &c., and a prolonged series of frosty
days may render digging unproductive if not impossible. Again, it must
be remembered that some larvæ are not yet down, and by digging at the
roots of the trees on which they are feeding, you are preparing an
acceptable bed for the late species, for the pupæ of which you may call
again in about a month.

Larvæ may be obtained by beating and searching as before, but this work
should be done as early in the month as possible, since but few are
feeding after the first week or so.

Butterfly catching is now practically over, only a few of the late
species and the hybernators being on the wing, and these only on mild

_Noctuæ_ are still attracted by sugar and ivy blossom, and a few may be
found at rest. _Geometræ_ and Micros may be taken from palings and tree
trunks by day, or caught flying at dusk.

The imagines of October may include the following butterflies:

  Brimstone (_Rhamni_)
  Pale Clouded Yellow (_Hyale_)
  Clouded Yellow (_Edusa_)
  Comma (_C-Album_)
  Large Tortoiseshell (_Polychloros_)
  Small Tortoiseshell (_Urticæ_)
  Peacock (_Io_)
  Camberwell Beauty (_Antiopa_)
  Red Admiral (_Atalanta_)
  Painted Lady (_Cardui_)
  Small Copper (_Phl[oe]as_)

And a few late 'Blues.'

The principal moths of the month are:

    Death's-head Hawk (_Atropos_)

    Plumed Prominent (_Plumigera_)

    Large Wainscot (_Lutosa_)
    Red-lined Quaker (_Lota_)
    Yellow-lined Quaker (_Macilenta_)
    Beaded Chestnut (_Pistacina_)
    Brown-spot Pinion (_Litura_)
    Chestnut (_Vaccinii_)
    Dark Chestnut (_Spadicea_)
    Red-headed Chestnut (_Erythrocephala_)
    Satellite (_Satellitia_)
    Dotted Chestnut (_Rubiginea_)
    Orange Upperwing (_Croceago_)
    Brick (_Circellaris_)
    Brindled Ochre (_Templi_)
    Green Brindled Crescent (_Oxyacanthæ_)
    Marvel-du-jour (_Aprilina_)
    Angle Shades (_Meticulosa_)
    Flame Brocade (_Flammea_)
    Red Sword-grass (_Vetusta_)
    Sword-grass (_Exolita_)
    Genus _Xylina_
    Sprawler (_Sphinx_)
    Silver Y (_Gamma_)

    Feathered Thorn (_Pennaria_)
    Vestal (_Sacraria_)
    Scarce Umber (_Aurantiaria_)
    Mottled Umber (_Defoliaria_)
    Winter (_Brumata_)
    Northern Winter (_Boreata_)
    November (_Dilutata_)
    Juniper Carpet (_Juniperata_)
    Gem (_Fluviata_)
    Carpets (_Siderata_, _Miata_)
    Mallow (_Cervinata_)
    Streak (_Spartiata_)


No butterflies are to be seen this month with the exception of the
hybernating species, and even these will not venture on the wing unless
the weather is mild and bright for the season.

Most of the moths met with are also hybernators, but a few species are
to be found only at this season, and these should be looked for on
fences and tree trunks. A few _Noctuæ_ may be taken at sugar, and the
_Geometræ_ attracted by lights.

The only larvæ now existing are hybernators, and many of these may be
met with during your pupa-digging operations; but they are best left
alone till the spring, as a rule.

The chief work of the entomologist in November is certainly pupa
hunting, and this may be carried on in real earnest whenever the weather
is favourable, following the instructions given in Chapter VII.

It will be remembered, also, that many of the _Lepidoptera_ pass the
winter in the egg state, and search may be made for ova when time

The November list, besides some of the hybernating species previously
mentioned, include:

    December (_Populi_)

    Genus _Cerastis_
    Satellite (_Satellitia_)
    Dotted Chestnut (_Rubiginea_)
    Orange Upperwing (_Croceago_)
    Brindled Ochre (_Exempli_)

    Feathered Thorn (_Pennaria_)
    Scarce Umber (_Aurantiaria_)
    Mottled Umber (_Defoliaria_)
    Winter (_Brumata_)
    Northern Winter (_Boreata_)


Outdoor work is now at a minimum. The weather is too severe, as a rule,
to allow pupa digging to be carried on with either success or comfort,
but favourable opportunities should be seized for this employment as
well as for ova collecting.

Now and again we may meet with _P. Populi_ at rest by day, or fluttering
round a light at night. _Brumata_ and _Defoliaria_ may also be seen, and
the Early Moth (_Rupicapraria_) may appear on the wing before the new
year; but nothing is likely to be met with beyond these save the
hybernators, already named in other lists, and some of the _Tineæ_.

It is a good plan to utilise your spare time during the dreary months of
winter by attending to your cabinet. Rearrange your specimens where
necessary, and see that all are properly labelled; remove all greasy
specimens, and deal with them as recommended on page 127; also renew the
supply of camphor or naphthaline in your drawers and store boxes. Time
may also be found for the construction of apparatus that is likely to be
required next season, and for repairing any that has been damaged during
the work of the last.


PLATE I (_Frontispiece_)

  1. SWALLOW-TAIL (_Papilio Machaon_).
  2. BLACK-VEINED WHITE (_Aporia Cratægi_).
  3. LARGE WHITE (_Pieris Brassicæ_). Female.
  4. SMALL WHITE (_Pieris Rapæ_). Male.
  5. GREEN-VEINED WHITE (_Pieris Napi_). Under side.
  6. BATH WHITE (_Pieris Daplidice_). Female.
  7. ORANGE TIP (_Euchloë Cardamines_). Male.
  8. ORANGE TIP (_Euchloë Cardamines_). Male. Under side.


  1. WOOD WHITE (_Leucophasia Sinapis_).
  2. PALE CLOUDED YELLOW (_Colias Hyale_).
  3. CLOUDED YELLOW (_Colias Edusa_). Male.
  4. BRIMSTONE (_Gonopteryx Rhamni_). Male.
  6. PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARY (_Argynnis Euphrosyne_).
  7. QUEEN OF SPAIN FRITILLARY (_Argynnis Latona_).
  8. DARK-GREEN FRITILLARY (_Argynnis Aglaia_).


  1. HIGH BROWN FRITILLARY (_Argynnis Adippe_). Under side.
  2. SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARY (_Argynnis Paphia_).
  3. GREASY FRITILLARY (_Melitæa Aurinia_).
  4. GLANVILLE FRITILLARY (_Melitæa Cinxia_).
  5. HEATH FRITILLARY (_Melitæa Athalia_).
  6. HEATH FRITILLARY (_Melitæa Athalia_). Under side.
  7. COMMA (_Vanessa C-Album_).
  8. LARGE TORTOISESHELL (_Vanessa Polychloros_).
  9. SMALL TORTOISESHELL (_Vanessa Urticæ_).


  1. PEACOCK (_Vanessa Io_).
  2. CAMBERWELL BEAUTY (_Vanessa Antiopa_).
  3. RED ADMIRAL (_Vanessa Atalanta_).
  4. PAINTED LADY (_Vanessa Cardui_).
  5. WHITE ADMIRAL (_Limenitis Sibylla_).


  1. PURPLE EMPEROR (_Apatura Iris_). Male.
  2. MARBLED WHITE (_Melanargia Galatea_).
  3. SMALL RINGLET (_Erebia Epiphron_).
  4. NORTHERN BROWN (_Erebia Æthiops_).
  5. WOOD ARGUS (_Pararge Egeria_).
  6. WALL BUTTERFLY (_Pararge Megæra_).
  7. GRAYLING (_Satyrus Semele_). Female.
  8. MEADOW BROWN (_Epinephele Ianira_). Female.
  9. LARGE HEATH (_Epinephele Tithonus_). Male.
  10. RINGLET (_Epinephele Hyperanthus_).


  1. MARSH RINGLET (_Cænonympha Typhon_).
  2. SMALL HEATH (_Cænonympha Pamphilus_).
  3. BROWN HAIRSTREAK (_Thecla Betulæ_). Under side.
  4. WHITE-LETTER HAIRSTREAK (_Thecla W-album_). Under side.
  5. DARK HAIRSTREAK (_Thecla Pruni_). Under side.
  6. PURPLE HAIRSTREAK (_Thecla Quercus_). Under side.
  7. GREEN HAIRSTREAK(_Thecla Rubi_). Under side.
  8. LARGE COPPER (_Polyommatus Dispar_). Male.
  9. SMALL COPPER (_Polyommatus Phlæas_).
  10. TAILED BLUE (_Lycæna Bætica_).
  11. SILVER-STUDDED BLUE (_Lycæna Ægon_). Male.
  12. SILVER-STUDDED BLUE (_Lycæna Ægon_). Female.
  13. BROWN ARGUS (_Lycæna Astrarche_).
  14. BROWN ARGUS (_Lycæna Astrarche_). Under side.
  15. COMMON BLUE (_Lycæna Icarus_). Male.
  16. COMMON BLUE (_Lycæna Icarus_). Female.
  17. CLIFDEN BLUE (_Lycæna Bellargus_). Male.
  18. CLIFDEN BLUE (_Lycæna Bellargus_). Female.


   1. CHALK-HILL BLUE (_Lycæna Corydon_). Male.
   2. CHALK-HILL BLUE (_Lycæna Corydon_). Female.
   3. HOLLY BLUE (_Lycæna Argiolus_). Male.
   4. HOLLY BLUE (_Lycæna Argiolus_). Female.
   5. MAZARINE BLUE (_Lycæna Semiargus_). Male.
   6. MAZARINE BLUE (_Lycæna Semiargus_). Female.
   7. SMALL BLUE (_Lycæna Minima_).
   8. LARGE BLUE (_Lycæna Arion_).
   9. DUKE OF BURGUNDY FRITILLARY (_Nemeobius Lucina_).
  10. DUKE OF BURGUNDY FRITILLARY (_Nemeobius Lucina_). Under side.
  11. GRIZZLED SKIPPER (_Syrichthus Malvæ_).
  12. DINGY SKIPPER (_Nisoniades Tages_).
  13. SMALL SKIPPER (_Hesperia Thaumas_).
  14. LULWORTH SKIPPER (_Hesperia Actæon_). Male.
  15. LARGE SKIPPER (_Hesperia Sylvanus_). Male.
  16. SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPER (_Hesperia Comma_).
  17. CHEQUERED SKIPPER (_Carterocephalus Palæmon_).
  18. NEW SMALL SKIPPER (_Hesperia Lineola_).


   1. LARVA OF SWALLOW-TAIL BUTTERFLY (_Papilio Machaon_).
   2. LARVA OF ORANGE TIP (_Euchloë Cardamines_).
   5. LARVA OF PURPLE EMPEROR (_Apatura Iris_).
   7. PUPA OF SWALLOW-TAIL BUTTERFLY (_Papilio Machaon_).
   8. PUPA OF ORANGE TIP (_Euchloë Cardamines_).
  10. PUPA OF PURPLE EMPEROR (_Apatura Iris_).
  12. PUPA OF DINGY SKIPPER (_Nisoniades Tages_).


  1. PRIVET HAWK MOTH (_Sphinx Ligustri_).
  2. SPURGE HAWK (_Deilephila Euphorbiæ_).
  3. LARGE ELEPHANT HAWK (_Ch[oe]rocampa Elpenor_).
  4. EYED HAWK (_Smerinthus Ocellatus_).
  5. LIME HAWK (_Smerinthus Tiliæ_).
  6. HUMMING-BIRD HAWK (_Macroglossa Stellatarum_).


  1. CINNABAR MOTH (_Euchelia Jacobææ_).
  2. WOOD TIGER (_Nemeophila Plantaginis_).
  3. TIGER (_Arctia Caia_).
  4. CREAM-SPOT TIGER (_Arctia Villica_).
  5. OAK EGGAR (_Bombyx Quercus_). Male.
  6. LAPPET (_Lasiocampa Quercifolia_).
  7. KENTISH GLORY (_Endromis Versicolor_). Male.
  8. EMPEROR MOTH (_Saturnia Pavonia_). Male.
  9. BUFF TIP (_Phalera Bucephala_).


  1. LARGE YELLOW UNDERWING (_Triphæna Pronuba_).
  2. MARVEL-DU-JOUR (_Agriopis Aprilina_).
  3. SMALL ANGLE SHADES (_Euplexia Lucipara_).
  4. MOTHER SHIPTON (_Euclidia Mi_).
  5. CLIFDEN NONPAREIL (_Catocala Fraxini_).
  6. DARK CRIMSON UNDERWING (_Catocala Sponsa_).


  1. HERALD (_Gonoptera Libatrix_).
  2. SWALLOW-TAIL MOTH (_Uropteryx Sambucaria_).
  3. BRIMSTONE MOTH (_Rumia Luteolata_).
  4. SCALLOPED OAK (_Crocallis Elinguaria_).
  5. BRINDLED BEAUTY (_Biston Hirtaria_).
  6. WAVED UMBER (_Hemerophila Abruptaria_).
  7. MAIDEN'S BLUSH (_Zonosoma Punctaria_).
  8. MOTTLED UMBER (_Hybernia Defoliaria_).
  9. TREBLE BAR (_Anaitis Plagiata_).

[Illustration: Plate II.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate III.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate IV.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate V.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate VI.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate VII.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate VIII.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate IX.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate X.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate XI.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]

[Illustration: Plate XII.

_Danielsson & Co., del. ad. Nat. et Chromolith._]


  Abbreviata, 284

  Abraxas, 279

  Abruptaria, 273

  Acherontia, 204

  Acidalia, 275

  Acidaliidæ, 275

  Aciptilia, 295

  Acronycta, 240

  Actæon, 199

  Adela, 304

  Adippe, 159

  Admiral, Red, 168

  Admiral, White, 170

  Ægon, 189

  Æscularia, 281

  Æthiops, 175

  Aglaia, 158

  Aglossa, 291

  Agriopis, 258

  Agrotis, 250

  Albulata, 283

  Alucita, 295

  Amataria, 276

  Amphidasydæ, 271

  Amphidasys, 272

  Amphipyridæ, 254

  Anaitis, 289

  Angle Shades, 258

  Anisopteryx, 281

  Antennæ, 5

  Antiopa, 167

  Antiqua, 228

  Antithesia, 301

  Apamea, 247

  Apameidæ, 244

  Apatura, 171

  Apiformis, 213

  Aplecta, 259

  Aporia, 141

  Aprilina, 258

  Arctia, 221

  Areola, 261

  Argiolus, 193

  Argus, Brown, 189

  Argus, Wood, 175

  Argynnis, 154

  Arion, 194

  Arrangement of specimens, 136

  Arundinis, 243

  Asphalia, 238

  Astrarche, 189

  Atalanta, 168

  Athalia, 163

  Atomaria, 278

  Atropos, 204

  August Thorn, 271

  Aurella, 306

  Aurinia, 161

  Aversata, 276

  Axylia, 245

  Bætica, 188

  Bapta, 277

  Basilinea, 247

  Bath White, 146

  Batis, 237

  Beating for moths, 83

  Beautiful Carpet, 286

  Beautiful China Mark, 293

  Bellargus, 191

  Betulæ, 183

  Betularia, 272

  Bicolorata, 285

  Bifida, 234

  Bilineata, 287

  Binaria, 232

  Biston, 271

  Black Arches, 227

  Black Hairstreak, 184

  Black-veined White, 141

  Blood Vein, 276

  Blue-bordered Carpet, 285

  Blue Chalk Hill, 192

  ---- Clifden, 191

  ---- Common, 190

  ---- Holly, 193

  ---- Large, 194

  ---- Mazarine, 193

  ---- Silver-studded, 189

  ---- Small, 194

  ---- Tailed, 188

  Boarmia, 273

  Boarmiidæ, 272

  Bombyces, 217

  Bombycidæ, 229

  Bombycoidæ, 240

  Bombyx, 229

  Bordered White, 279

  Botys, 293

  Brassicæ (_Pieris_), 142

  Brassicæ (_Mamestra_), 246

  Bright-line Brown-eye, 260

  Brimstone Butterfly, 152

  Brimstone Moth, 269

  Brindled Beauty, 271

  Brindled Pug, 284

  Broad-barred White, 257

  ---- bordered Bee Hawk, 211

  ---- ---- Five spotted Burnet, 215

  Brown Argus, 189

  ---- Hairstreak, 183

  ---- line Bright-eye, 242

  ---- Meadow, 178

  ---- Northern, 175

  ---- Tail, 226

  Bryophila, 239

  Bryophilidæ, 239

  Bucephala, 236

  Buff Ermine, 222

  ---- Tip, 236

  Bullrush, 243

  Bupalus, 279

  Burnets, 215

  Burnished Brass, 263

  Butterflies--British, 139

  ---- antennæ of, 5

  ---- body, 3

  ---- catching, 64

  ---- eye, 3

  ---- legs, 8, 10

  ---- proboscis, 6

  ---- wings, 2, 8

  Cabbage Moth, 246

  Cabera, 277

  Caberidæ, 276

  Cabinets, 134

  Caia, 221

  Callimorpha, 220

  C-Album, 164

  Calymnia, 256

  Camberwell Beauty, 167

  Camelina, 235

  Camptogramma, 287

  Caradrina, 249

  Caradrinidæ, 248

  Cardamines, 148

  Cardui, 169

  Carpocapsa, 302

  Carterocephalus, 201

  Catching Butterflies, 64

  ---- moths, 82, 85

  Caterpillar state, 22

  Catocala, 265

  Catocalidæ, 265

  Cerastis, 256

  Chalk-hill Blue, 192

  Cheloniidæ, 220

  Chequered Skipper, 201

  Chestnut, 256

  Chilo, 296

  Chinese Character, 233

  Chloroform bottle, 72

  Chocolate Tip, 237

  Ch[oe]rocampa, 207

  Chrysalis state, 44

  Chrysitis, 263

  Chrysorrh[oe]a, 226

  Cidaria, 288

  Cilix, 233

  Cinnabar, 219

  Cinxia, 162

  Cirsiana, 301

  Classification of Lepidoptera, 55

  Clearwings, 212

  Clifden Blue, 191

  Clifden Nonpareil, 265

  Clouded Silver, 277

  Clouded Yellow, 151

  C[oe]nonympha, 181

  Coleophora, 305

  Colias, 149

  Collecting box, 73

  Collecting larvæ, 101

  ---- ova, 99

  ---- pupæ, 108

  Comes, 253

  Comma, 164, 200

  Common Blue, 190

  ---- Carpet, 286

  Common Emerald, 274

  ---- Footman, 219

  ---- Heath, 278

  ---- Quaker, 255

  ---- Swift, 223

  ---- Wainscot, 243

  ---- Wave, 277

  Complanella, 306

  Conigera, 242

  Copper--Large, 187

  ---- Small, 188

  Corydon, 192

  Cosmiidæ, 256

  Cossidæ, 224

  Cossus, 224

  Coxcomb Prominent, 235

  Crambi, 296

  Crambus, 297

  Cratægi, 141

  Cream-spot Tiger, 221

  Cristana, 300

  Crocallis, 270

  Cucullatella, 218

  Cucullia, 261

  Cuprella, 304

  Currant Clearwing, 213

  Currant Moth, 279

  Curtula, 237

  Cyanide bottle, 68

  Cymatophoridæ, 237

  Daplidice, 146

  Dark Crimson Underwing, 266

  Dark Dagger, 241

  Dark Green Fritillary, 158

  Dark Hairstreak, 185

  Death's-head Hawk, 204

  Decoys, 96

  Defoliaria, 281

  Deilephila, 207

  Dentina, 259

  Depressaria, 304

  Dicranura, 234

  Dicranuridæ, 233

  Didymata, 283

  Diloba, 241

  Dilutata, 282

  Dingy Skipper, 198

  Dispar, 187, 227

  Diurnea, 303

  Dominula, 220

  Dot, 247

  Drepana, 232

  Drepanulidæ, 232

  Drinker, 230

  Duke of Burgundy, 196

  Dun-bar, 256

  Early Grey, 261

  Edusa, 151

  Egeria, 175

  Eggs, 16

  Elephant Hawk, 207

  Elinguaria, 270

  Elpenor, 208

  Ematurga, 278

  Emmelesia, 283

  Emperor Moth, 231

  Emperor, Purple, 171

  Endromidæ, 231

  Endromis, 231

  Ennomidæ, 269

  Entomological pins, 76

  Ephippiphora, 301

  Ephyridæ, 275

  Epinephele, 178

  Epiphron, 174

  Erebia, 174

  Erycinidæ, 196

  Eubolia, 289

  Euboliidæ, 288

  Euchelia, 219

  Eucheliidæ, 219

  Euchloë, 148

  Euclidia, 264

  Euclidiidæ, 264

  Eugonia, 271

  Euphorbiæ, 207

  Euphrosyne, 156

  Eupithecia, 283

  Euplexia, 258

  Eurrhypara, 292

  Exanthemata, 277

  Exclamationis, 250

  Eyed Hawk, 208

  Fagella, 303

  Farinalis, 292

  Fidoniidæ, 278

  Figure of Eight, 241

  Filipendulæ, 215

  Flame, 245

  Flame Shoulder, 252

  Flavago, 256

  Flavicornis, 238

  Flounced Rustic, 246

  Fluctuata, 287

  Forester, 214

  Forficalis, 293

  Fraxini, 265

  Fritillaries, 154

  Fritillary, Dark Green, 158

  ---- Glanville, 162

  ---- Greasy, 161

  ---- Heath, 163

  ---- High Brown, 159

  ---- Pearl-bordered, 156

  ---- Queen of Spain, 156

  ---- Silver-washed, 159

  ---- Small Pearl-bordered, 154

  Galatea, 173

  Galleria, 298

  Gamma, 264

  Garden Carpet, 287

  Garden Dart, 251

  Garden Pebble, 293

  Gemmaria, 273

  Geoffrella, 305

  Geometra, 274

  Geometræ, 268

  Geometridæ, 274

  Ghost Swift, 223

  Gipsy, 227

  Glaucata, 233

  Goat Moth, 224

  Gonodactyla, 294

  Gonoptera, 264

  Gonopteridæ, 262

  Gonopteryx, 152

  Gortyna, 244

  Gothic, 254

  Grass Rivulet, 283

  Grayling, 177

  Grease, 127

  Greasy Fritillary, 161

  Green Hairstreak, 186

  Green-chequered White, 146

  Green Silver-lined, 217

  Grizzled Skipper, 197

  Grey Arches, 259

  Grey Dagger, 240

  Grossulariata, 279

  Hadena, 259

  Hadenidæ, 257

  Hairstreak, Black, 184

  ---- Brown, 183

  ---- Dark, 185

  ---- Green, 186

  ---- Purple, 185

  ---- White-letter, 184

  Halia, 278

  Hamellus, 297

  Harpella, 305

  Hawk Moths, 204

  Heart and Dart, 250

  Heath, Large, 179

  ---- Moth, 278

  Heath, Small, 181

  ---- Fritillary, 163

  Hecatera, 257

  Helice, 151

  Hemerophila, 273

  Hemithea, 274

  Hepialidæ, 223

  Hepialus, 223

  Herald Moth, 262

  Hesperia, 198

  Hesperiidæ, 197

  Hexadactyla, 295

  High Brown Fritillary, 159

  Hirtaria, 271

  Holly Blue, 193

  Hornet Clearwing of Osier, 213

  Hornet Clearwing of Poplar, 213

  Hortuellus, 297

  Humming-bird Hawk, 210

  Humuli, 223

  Hyale, 149

  Hybernia, 280

  Hyberniidæ, 280

  Hydrocampa, 293

  Hylophila, 217

  Hyperanthus, 180

  Hyponomeuta, 304

  Ianira, 178

  Ianthina, 252

  Ibipennella, 305

  Icarus, 190

  Ichneumon flies, 25

  Impura, 243

  Ino, 214

  Io, 167

  Iris, 171

  Jacobææ, 219

  Kentish Glory, 231

  Killing bottle, 68

  Killing box, 70

  Labial palpi, 6

  Lace Border, 275

  Lappet, 230

  Larentia, 283

  Larentiidæ, 282

  Large Blue, 194

  Large Copper, 187

  Large Elephant, 208

  Large Emerald, 274

  Large Heath, 179

  Large Skipper, 200

  Large Tortoiseshell, 165

  Large White, 142

  Large Yellow Underwing, 253

  Larvæ, 22

  Larvæ Beating, 107

  Larvæ, blowpipe for, 131

  Larva boxes, 101

  Larva cage, 115

  Larvæ collecting, 101

  Larvæ, glass for, 114

  Larvæ rearing, 113

  Lasiocampa, 230

  Latona, 156

  Laurel box, 70

  Leaf Miners, 33, 303

  Leaf Rollers, 33, 303

  Lecheana, 300

  Legs of Lepidoptera, 8, 10

  Leioptilus, 295

  Leopard Moth, 225

  Lepidoptera--antennæ, 5

  ---- body, 3

  ---- classification of, 55

  ---- eggs of, 16

  ---- general characteristics, 1

  ---- legs of, 8, 10

  ---- metamorphoses, 14

  ---- proboscis, 6

  ---- wings, 2, 8

  Lesser Broad Border, 252

  Lesser Yellow Underwing, 253

  Leucania, 242

  Leucaniidæ, 242

  Leucophasia, 149

  Leucophæaria, 280

  Libatrix, 262

  Light Arches, 245

  Light Emerald, 270

  Light Traps, 87

  Ligniperda, 224

  Ligustri, 206

  Lime Hawk, 210

  Limenitis, 170

  Limitata, 289

  Lineola, 199

  Liparidæ, 226

  Lithosia, 218

  Lithosiidæ, 219

  Lithoxylea, 245

  Lobophora, 285

  Lobster Moth, 28

  Lophopteryx, 235

  Lubricipeda, 222

  Lucina, 196

  Lucipara, 258

  Lulworth Skipper, 199

  Luperina, 246

  Lupulinus, 223

  Luteolata, 269

  Lycæna, 183, 188

  Lycænidæ, 183

  Macariidæ, 278

  Machaon, 139

  Macroglossa, 210

  Maiden's Blush, 275

  Malvæ, 197

  Mamestra, 246

  Mania, 254

  Marbled Beauty, 239

  Marbled Minor, 248

  Margaritaria, 270

  Marsh Moth, 281

  Marsh Ringlet, 181

  Marvel-du-jour, 258

  Maura, 254

  Mazarine Blue, 193

  Meadow Brown, 178

  Meal Moth, 292

  Megacephala, 241

  Megæra, 177

  Melanargia, 173

  Melanthia, 285

  Melitæa, 161

  Mellonella, 298

  Menthastri, 222

  Meticulosa, 258

  Metrocampa, 270

  Mi, 264

  Miana, 248

  Micro-lepidoptera, 290

  Minima, 194

  Monacha, 227

  Montanata, 286

  Morpheus, 249

  Mother-of-pearl, 293

  Mother Shipton, 264

  Moths, 203

  ---- antennæ of, 5

  ---- catching, 82

  ---- traps, 87

  Mottled Rustic, 249

  Mottled Umber, 281

  Mundana, 218

  Muslin Moth, 218

  Nanata, 284

  Napi, 145

  Narrow-winged Pug, 284

  Nebulosa, 259

  Nemeobius, 196

  Nemeophila, 220

  Nepticula, 306

  Nervosa, 304

  Nets, 65, 87, 91

  Netted Pug, 283

  New Small Skipper, 199

  Nigricans, 251

  Nisoniades, 198

  Noctua, 252

  Noctuæ, 239

  Noctuidæ, 249

  Nola, 218

  Nolidæ, 218

  Nonagria, 243

  Northern Brown, 175

  Notodontidæ, 235

  November Moth, 282

  Nudaria, 218

  Nupta, 266

  Nycteolidæ, 217

  Nymphalidæ, 154

  Oak Eggar, 229

  Oak Hook Tip, 232

  Ocellatus, 208

  Ochracea, 244

  Ocneria, 227

  Octomaculana, 301

  Odonestis, 230

  Old Lady, 254

  Oleracea, 260

  Oporabia, 282

  Orange Tip, 148

  Orgyia, 228

  Ornata, 275

  Orthosiidæ, 255

  Osteodactylus, 295

  Ova collecting, 99

  Ova preserving, 130

  Padellus, 304

  Painted Lady, 169

  Palæmon, 201

  Pale Clouded Yellow, 149

  Pallens, 243

  Palpi, 6

  Pamphilus, 181

  Paphia, 159

  Papilio, 139

  Papilionaria, 274

  Papilionidæ, 139

  Pararge, 175

  Pavonia, 231

  Peach Blossom, 237

  Peacock, 167

  Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 156

  Pentadactyla, 295

  Penthina, 300

  Peppered Moth, 272

  Perla, 239

  Peronea, 300

  Persicariæ, 247

  Phalera, 236

  Phlæas, 188

  Phlogophora, 258

  Phragmitellus, 296

  Pieridæ, 141

  Pinguinalis, 291

  Piniaria, 279

  Pink-barred Sallow, 256

  Pins, 76

  Pionea, 293

  Plagiata, 289

  Plantaginis, 220

  Platyptilia, 294

  Plecta, 252

  Plusia, 263

  Plusiidæ, 263

  Polychloros, 165

  Polyommatus, 187

  Poplar Grey, 241

  Poplar Hawk, 209

  Poplar Kitten, 234

  Populi, 209

  Porcellus, 207

  Porthesia, 226

  Potatoria, 230

  Prasinana, 217

  Preserving larvæ, 131

  ---- ova, 130

  ---- pupæ, 133

  Privet Hawk, 206

  Proboscis, 6

  Pronuba, 253

  Pruni, 185

  Pruniana, 300

  Psi, 240

  Psilura, 227

  Pterophori, 294

  Ptycholoma, 300

  Punctaria, 275

  Pupa state, 44

  Pupæ collecting, 108

  ---- digging, 111

  ---- management of, 118

  ---- preserving, 133

  Purple Emperor, 171

  Purple Hairstreak, 185

  Puss Moth, 235

  Putris, 245

  Pygæra, 237

  Pygæridæ, 236

  Pyralides, 291

  Pyralis, 292

  Pyrina, 225

  Queen of Spain, 156

  Quercifolia, 230

  Quercinaria, 271

  Quercus (_Bombyx_), 229

  Quercus (_Thecla_), 185

  Rapæ, 144

  Rearing larvæ, 113

  Red Admiral, 168

  Red Underwing, 266

  Relaxing, 125

  Rhamni, 152

  Riband Wave, 276

  Ringlet, 180

  ---- Marsh, 181

  ---- Small, 174

  Rubi, 186

  Rumia, 269

  Ruralis, 293

  Rustic Shoulder-knot, 247

  Salicella, 301

  Sambucaria, 268

  Saturnia, 231

  Saturniidæ, 231

  Satyridæ, 173

  Satyrus, 177

  Scalloped Oak, 270

  Scarlet Tiger, 220

  Sciaphila, 301

  Segetum, 250

  Selene, 154

  Semele, 177

  Semiargus, 193

  Serena, 257

  Sesia, 213

  Sesiidæ, 212

  Setting boards, 122

  Shark, 261

  Shears, 259

  Short-cloaked, 218

  Sibylla, 170

  Silaceata, 288

  Silver-ground Carpet, 286

  Silver-spotted Skipper, 200

  Silver-studded Blue, 189

  Silver-washed Fritillary, 159

  Silver Y, 264

  Sinapis, 149

  Six-spot Burnet, 215

  Skippers, 196

  Skipper, Chequered, 201

  ---- Dingy, 198

  ---- Grizzled, 197

  ---- Lulworth, 199

  ---- New Small, 199

  ---- Silver-spotted, 200

  ---- Small, 198

  Sleeving, 116

  Small Angle Shades, 258

  ---- Blue, 194

  ---- Copper, 188

  ---- Elephant, 207

  ---- Heath, 181

  ---- Magpie, 292

  ---- Mallow, 289

  ---- Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 154

  ---- Ph[oe]nix, 288

  ---- Ringlet, 174

  ---- Seraphim, 285

  ---- Skipper, 198

  ---- Tortoiseshell, 166

  ---- White, 144

  Smerinthus, 208

  Smoky Wainscot, 243

  Sociata, 286

  Speckled Wood, 175

  Sphinges, 203

  Sphingidæ, 204

  Sphinx, 206

  Spilosoma, 222

  Sponsa, 266

  Spring Usher, 280

  Spurge Hawk, 207

  Stabilis, 255

  Stagnata, 293

  Statices, 214

  Stellatarum, 210

  Store boxes, 135

  Strigata, 274

  Strigilis, 248

  Stuffing insects, 126

  Sugaring, 92

  Sugaring net, 94

  Sugar traps, 96

  Swallow-tail Butterfly, 139

  Swallow-tail Moth, 268

  Swifts, 223

  Sylvanus, 200

  Syrichthus, 197

  Tabby, 291

  Tæniocampa, 255

  Tages, 198

  Tailed Blue, 188

  Temerata, 277

  Testacea, 246

  Thaumas, 198

  Thecla, 183

  Thyatira, 237

  Tiger, Common, 221

  ---- Cream-spot, 221

  ---- Scarlet, 220

  ---- Wood, 220

  Tiliæ, 210

  Timandra, 276

  Tineæ, 303

  Tipuliformis, 213

  Tithonus, 179

  Tortoiseshell, Large, 165

  Tortoiseshell, Small, 166

  Tortrices, 298

  Treble Bar, 289

  Trifolii, 215

  Triphæna, 252

  Tristellus, 297

  Trochilium, 213

  Turnip Moth, 250

  Twin-spot Carpet, 283

  Typhon, 181

  Typica, 254

  Umbratica, 261

  Uropterygidæ, 268

  Uropteryx, 268

  Urticæ, 166

  Urticata, 292

  Vaccinii, 256

  Vanessa, 164

  Vapourer Moth, 228

  Vauaria, 278

  Venosata, 283

  Versicolor, 231

  Villica, 221

  Vinula, 235

  Viridana, 299

  V moth, 278

  W album, 184

  Wainscots, 243

  Wall Butterfly, 177

  Waved Umber, 273

  White Admiral, 170

  ---- Bath, 146

  ---- Black-veined, 141

  ---- Ermine, 222

  ---- Green-chequered, 146

  ---- Green-veined, 145

  ---- Large, 142

  White-letter Hairstreak, 184

  ---- Marbled, 173

  ---- Small, 144

  ---- Wood, 149

  Willow Beauty, 273

  Wings, 2, 8

  Wood Argus, 175

  Wood Tiger, 220

  Wood White, 149

  Xanthia, 256

  Xanthosetia, 302

  Xylinidæ, 261

  Xylocampa, 261

  Xylophasia, 245

  Xylosteana, 299

  Yellow-horned, 238

  Yellow Shell, 287

  Zerenidæ, 279

  Zeuzera, 225

  Zoegana, 302

  Zonosoma, 275

  Zygæna, 215

  Zygænidæ, 214


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Some minor changes have been made to obvious format and punctuation
inconsistencies. Other inconsistent usages have been retained except
where obvious typographical errors have been corrected as follows:

Page 97 'dicover' changed to 'discover' (... not being able to discover
the 'entrance out,' ...)

Page 188 'Polyommatas' changed to 'Polyommatus' (_The Small Copper_
(_Polyommatas Phlæas_))

Page 219 'Jacobæa' changed to 'Jacobææ' (FIG. 112.--THE LARVA OF

Page 263 'rested' changed to 'crested' (The abdomen also is crested)

Page 334 'Rannock' changed to 'Rannoch' (Rannoch Geometer (_Brunneata_))

Page 354 'Ibipenella' change to 'Ibipennella' (Ibipennella, 305)

Page 354 missing page reference added (Ichneumon flies, 25)

Page 355 'Leucophearia' changed to 'Leucophæaria' (Leucophæaria, 280)

Page 356 'Octomacularia' changed to 'Octomaculana' (Octomaculana, 301)

Page 358 'Tryphæna' changed to 'Triphæna' and moved to its alphabetical
position in the index (Triphæna, 252)

Page 358 'Umbricata' changed to 'Umbratica' (Umbratica, 261)

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