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Fnnn a dnniiiKj by S. Shimotori 


See page IM) 




By clarence M. WEED, D. Sc. 


Seeing Nature First, Nature Biographies, Ten New 
England Blossoms, The Flower Beautiful, etc. 

Illustrated by Forty-eight Plnf ^ - , _ 
Thirty-two in Colo^o^^^' 

JUN2 71987 


Garden City New York 



Copyright, 1917, by 


All rights reserved, including thai of 

translation into foreign languages, 

including the Scandinavian 


In this little book an attempt has been made to discuss 
the more abundant and widely distributed butterflies of 
eastern North America from the point of view of their 
life histories and their relations to their surroundings. In 
so doing I have of course availed myself of the written 
records of a host of students of butterflies, without whose 
labors no such volume would be possible. Among these 
two names stand out preeminent — William H. Edwards 
and Samuel H. Scudder. Each was the author of a 
sumptuous work on American butterflies to which all later 
students must refer, both for information and for inspira- 
tion. Many others, however, have made notable contri- 
butions to our literature of these ethereal creatures . Every 
seeker after a knowledge of butterflies will soon find 
himself indebted to the writings of such investigators 
as the Comstocks, Denton, Dickerson, Dyar, Fernald, 
Fiske, Fletcher, French, Hancock, Holland, Howard, 
Longstaff, Newcomb, Riley, Skinner, Wright, and many 
others. I am glad to express my obligations to all of these 
for the assistance their records have given in the prepara- 
tion of this book. 

While a vast amount of knowledge of butterflies has 
already been discovered there is still more to be learned 
concerning them, and throughout these pages I have 
attempted to indicate the more important opportunities 
awaiting investigation. The day of the field naturalist has 


come again and the butterflies are well worthy of careful 
observations by many interested students. 

The illustrations in the book require a word of credit. 
The eleven color plates of adult butterflies with wings 
spread have been made direct from a set of the remarkable 
transfers which Mr. Sherman F. Denton has been pre- 
paring for the last quarter-century, this particular set 
having been prepared especially for this book. Transfers 
of this sort were used as insets in Mr. Denton's work on 
the "Moths and Butterflies of the United States," pub- 
lished in a limited edition by J. B. Millet Company, 
Boston. The other plates not reproduced from photo- 
graphs are from drawings by Miss Mary E. Walker or 
Mr. W. I. Beecroft. In case the photographs are not of 
my own taking, credit is given beneath each. Two of my 
photographs have already appeared in "Seeing Nature 
First" and are here used by permission of its publishers, 
J. B. Lippincott Company. 

C. M. W. 
State Normal School, 

Lowell, Mass. 



Preface v 

List of Colored Illustrations xi 

List of Other Illustrations xiii 



Butterfly Transformations 5 

Butterflies AND Moths 13 

The Scents OF Butterflies 15 

Butterfly Migrations 16 

Hibernation OR Winter Lethargy 17 

Aestivation OR Summer Lethargy 21 

Feigning Death IN Butterflies 22 

Coloration OF Butterflies 24 

Selectfve Color Sense IN Butterflies ... 32 

Warning Coloration AND Mimicry .... 33 

Heliotropism IN Butterflies 35 

Parasitic Enemies OF Butterflies .... 40 

Rex\ring Butterflies from Caterpillars ... 43 

Photographing Butterflies 47 

Butterfly Collections 49 





The True Butterflies — Superfamily Papilion- 
oidea 55 

Parnassians {Parnassiinae) 5Q 

Swallowtails (Papilionidae) 57 

Black Swallowtail; Giant Swallowtail; Blue Swal- 
lowtail ; Green-clouded Swallowtail ; Tiger Swallow- 
tail; Palamedes Swallowtail; Short-tailed Papilio; 
Zebra Swallowtail; Synopsis of the Swallowtails 

Whites, Orange-tips, and Yellows (Pieridae) . . 82 

The Tribe of the Whites: White or Imported 
Cabbage Butterfly; Gray-veined White; Checkered 
White; Great Southern White; Synopsis of the 
Whites 83 

The Tribe of the Orange-tips: Falcate Orange- 
tip; Olympian Orange-tip; Synopsis of the Orange- 
tips 92 

The Tribe of the Yellows : Brimstone or Cloud- 
less Sulphur; Dog's-head; CloudedSulphur; Orange 
Sulphur; Pink-edged Sulphur; Black-bordered Yel- 
low; Little Sulphur; Dainty Sulphur; Synopsis 

of the Yellows 97 

Nymphs {Nymphalidae) Ill 

The Tribe of the Fritillaries : Gulf Fritillary; 
Variegated Fritillary; Diana Fritillary; Regal 
Fritillary; Great Spangled Fritillary; Silver-spot 
Fritillary; Mountain Silver-spot; White Mountain 
Fritillary ; Meadow Fritillary ; Silver-bordered Frit- 
illary ; Synopsis of the Fritillaries 115 

The Tribe of the Crescent-spots: Baltimore 



Checker-spot; Harris's Checker-spot; Silver 
Crescent; Pearl Crescent; Synopsis of the Crescent- 
spots 135 

The Tribe of the Angle- wings: Violet-tip; Hop- 
merchant or Comma; Gray Comma; Green 
Comma; Red Admiral or Nettle Butterfly; Painted 
Beauty; Painted Lady or Cosmopolite; Mourning- 
cloak; American tortoise-shell; White J Butter- 
fly or Compton Tortoise; Buckeye; Synopsis of the 
Angle-wings (I. Polygonias— II. Vanessids) . . 150 

The Tribe of the Sovereigns: Viceroy; Banded 
Purple; Red-spotted Purple; Vicereine; Synopsis 
of the Sovereigns 192 

The Tribe of the Emperors: Goatweed Emperor; 
Gray Emperor; Tawny Emperor; Synopsis of 
the Emperors 207 

Meadow-browns or Satyrs {Agapetidae) . . . 214 
Common Wood Nymph or Grayling; Southern 
Wood Nymph; Pearly Eye; Eyed Brown; "White 
Mountain Butterfly; Arctic Satyr; Little Wood 
Satyr; Other Meadow-browns; Synopsis of 

Heliconians {Heliconidae) 229 

Zebra Butterfly 

Milkweed Butterflies {Lymnadidae) .... 232 
Monarch; Queen 

Snout Butterflies or Long-beaks {Lihytheidae) . 236 
Snout Butterfly 

Metal-marks (Riodinidae) 239 

Small Metal-mark; Large Metal-mark 



Gossamer-wings (Lycaenidae) 240 

The Tribe of the Hairstreaks: Great Purple 

Hairstreak; Gray Hairstreak; Banded Hairstreak; 

Striped Hairstreak; Acadian Hairstreak; Olive 

Hairstreak; Synopsis of the Hairstreaks . . . 242 

The Tribe of the Coppers: Wanderer; American 

Copper; Synopsis of the Coppers 252 

The Tribe of the Blues: Spring Azure; Scudder's 
Blue; Tailed Blue; Silvery Blue: Synopsis of the 
Blues 258 


The Skipper Butterflies — Superfamily Hes- 
perioidea 266 

Giant Skippers {Megathymidae) 267 

Yucca-borer Skipper 

Common Skippers (Hesperiidae) 268 

The Tribe of the Larger Skippers : Silver-spotted 
Skipper; Long-tailed Skipper; Juvenal's Dusky- 
wing; Sleepy Dusky- wing; Persius's Dusky- wing; 

Sooty Wing 269 

The Tribe of the Smaller Skippers : Tawny-edged 
Skipper; Roadside Skipper; Least Skipper . . 278 



Viceroy Butterflies Visiting Strawberries {On Cover) 

The Regal Fritill.\ry Frontispiece 

The Carolina Locust 33 

The Black Swallowtail 48 

The Cynthia Moth 49 

Giant Swallowtails 64 

The Blue Swallowtail 65 

Two OF the Swallowtails: Palamedes and 

Giant 66 

The Green-clouded Swallowtail ... 67 
Caterpillars of the Green-clouded Swal- 
lowtail 80 

The Tiger Swallowtail 96 

Imported Cabbage Butterfly .... 97 

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly 112 

The Zebra Swallowtail: Summer Form . 112-113 
The Zebra Swallowtail Visiting Papaw 

Blossoms 112-113 

Some of the Tribe of Yellows .... 113 
Silver-spot Fritillary and Gulf Fritillary 128 
Gulf Fritillary, Silver-bordered Fritil- 
lary, and Baltimore Checker-spot . . 129 
The Hop Merchant 144 




Three Angle- wings (American Tortoise- 
shell, Red Admiral, Violet-tip): Upper 

Surface 160-161 

Three Angle-wings (American Tortoise- 
shell, Red Admiral, Violet-tip): Lower 

Surface 160-161 

The Painted Beauty 161 

Three More Angle- wings: Buckeye, 
Painted Beauty, Cosmopolite .... 176 

The Mourning-cloak 177 

Some Common Skippers 192 

The Stages of the Viceroy 193 

Banded Purple, Red-spotted Purple, and 

Blue-eyed Grayling 208 

Three Emperor Butterflies 209 

The Zebra Butterfly 224 

Monarch Butterfly, Chrysalis and Cater- 
pillar 241 

Spring Azure, Falcate Orange-tip, Bronze 

Copper, and Great Purple Hair-streak . 256 

Silver-spotted Skipper 273 



Swallowtail Butterfly Just out of Chrysalis 16 
Tiger Swallowtail; Hammock Caterpillar . 17 
Butterfly Feigning Death; Butterfly in Hi- 
bernating Position 32 

Monarch Butterfly: Change from Cater- 
pillar to Chrysalis 32-33 

Monarch Butterfly: Change from Chrysalis 

to Adult 32-33 

Migration of Monarch Butterflies . . . 48-49 

The Improved Open Vivarium 48-49 

Black Swallowtail Visiting Thistle . . . 64-65 

Imported Cabbage Butterfly, Magnified . . 64-65 
Imported Cabbage Butterfly; Blue-eyed 

Grayling 81 

Four-footed Butterflies: Viceroy and 

Mourning-cloak 145 

Monarch Butterfly Resting; Flashlight 

Photograph OF MoNARCHS IN Migration . . 160 

Photographs of a Pet Monarch Butterfly . 225 

The Snout Butterfly; the Giant Swallowtail 240 

Stages of the Gray Hair-streak 257 

The Silver-spotted Skipper 272 




In popular esteem the butterflies among the insects are 
what the birds are among the higher animals — the most 
attractive and beautiful members of the great group to 
which they belong. They are primarily day fliers and are 
remarkable for the delicacy and beauty of their membran- 
ous wings, covered with myriads of tiny scales that overlap 
one another like the shingles on a house and show an in- 
finite variety of hue through the coloring of the scales and 
their arrangement upon the translucent membrane run- 
ning between the wing veins. It is this characteristic 
structure of the wings that gives to the great order of 
butterflies and moths its name Lepidoptera, meaning scale- 

In the general structure of the body, the butterflies re- 
semble other insects. There are three chief divisions: 
head, thorax, and abdomen. The head bears the principal 
sense organs; the thorax, the organs of locomotion; and the 
abdomen, the organs of reproduction. 

By examining a butterfly's head through a lens it is easy 
to see the principal appendages which it bears. Projecting 
forward from the middle of the top is a pair of long feelers 
or antennae. Each of these consists of short joints which 



in general may be divided into three groups: first, a few 
large joints at the base connecting the feeler with the head; 
second, many rather small joints which make up the prin- 
cipal length; third, several larger joints which make up the 
outer part or "club" of the antennse. In the case of the 
Skippers, there are in addition a number of small joints 
coming to a sharp point at the end of the club. Just be- 
low the insertion of the antennae on each side of the head 

are the large com- 
pound eyes, which are 
almost hemispherical. 
With a powerful glass, 
one can see the honey- 
comb-like facets, of 
which there are thou- 
sands, making up 

Butterfly Antennae, magnified. (From Holland) ■• t ■ i i 

each eye. J ust below 
the eyes there are two hairy projections, called the palpi, 
between which is the coiled tongue or sucking tube. {See 
plate, page 64-65.) 

Anatomically the thorax is divided into three parts — 
the prothorax, the mesathorax, and the metathorax; but 
the lines of division between these parts are not easily 
seen without denuding the skin of its hairy covering. The 
prothorax bears the first pair of legs. The mesathorax 
bears the front pair of wings and the second pair of legs. 
The metathorax bears the hind pair of wings and the 
third pair of legs. In many butterflies, the first pair of legs 
are so reduced in size that they are not used in walking. 

The abdomen is composed of eight or nine distinct rings 
or segments, most of which have two spiracles or breathing 
pores, one on each side. It also bears upon the end of the 


body the ovipositor of the female or the clasping organs of 
the male. 

Butterfly Transformations 

The butterflies furnish the best known examples of in- 
sect transformations. The change from the egg to the 
caterpillar or larva, from the caterpillar to the pupa or 
chrysalis, and from the chrysalis to the butterfly or imago 
is doubtless the most generally known fact 
concerning the life histories of insects. It 
is a typical example of what are called com- 
plete transformations as distinguished from 
the manner of growth of grasshoppers, 
crickets, and many other insects in which 
the young that hatches from the egg bears Egg of Baltimore 
a general resemblance to the adult and in magnffLd.^cFrom 

, . , , . . , ,. Holland) 

wnicn there is no quiet chrysalis stage 

when the little creature is unable to eat or to move 


The Growth of the Caterpillars 

Caterpillars are like snakes in at least one respect: in 
order to provide for their increase in size they shed their 
skins. When a caterpillar hatches from the egg it is a 
tiny creature with a soft skin over most of its body but 
with rather a firm covering for its head. While we might 
fancy that there could be a considerable increase in size 
provided for by the stretching of the soft skin it is easy to 
see that the hard covering of the head will not admit of 
this. So the story of the growth of a caterpillar may be 
told in this way: 


A butterfly lays an egg upon a leaf. Some days later 
the egg hatches into a larva, which is the technical 
name for the second stage of an insect's life. In the case 
of the butterfly we call this larva a caterpillar. The little 
caterpillar is likely to take its first meal by eating the 
empty egg shell. This is a curious habit, and a really 
satisfactory explanation of it seems not to have been made. 
Its next meal is likely to be taken from the green tissues of 
the leaf, commonly the green outer surface only being 
eaten at this time. The future meals are also taken from 
the leaf, more and more being eaten as the larva gets 

After a few days of this feeding upon the leaf tissues the 
little caterpillar becomes so crowded within the skin with 
which it was born that it is necessary to have a larger one. 
So a new skin begins to form beneath the first one. Con- 
sequently the latter splits open in a straight line part way 
down the middle of the back just behind the head. Then 
the new head covering is withdrawn from the old one and 
the caterpillar wriggles its way out of the split skin and 
finds itself clothed in a new one. At first all of the tissues 
of the new skin are soft and pliable and they easily take on 
a larger size as the body of the caterpillar expands. A 
little later these tissues become hardened and no further 
expansion is possible. 

This process of skin-shedding is called moulting. The 
cast skin is often called the exuviae. The period of the 
caterpillar's life between the hatching from the egg and 
this moult is often called a stage or instar — that is, the 
caterpillar up to the time of this moult is living in the first 
caterpillar stage or instar. 

During the actual moulting the caterpillar is quite 


active in freeing itself from the exuviae. But as soon as it 
is free it is likely to rest quietly for some hours while the 
tissues of the new skin are hardening. Then it begins 
feeding upon the leaf again and continues taking its meals 
at more or less regular intervals for several days. By that 
time it will again have reached its limit of growth within 
this second skin and the process of moulting must be re- 
peated. It takes place in the same way as before and the 
caterpillar enters upon the third instar of its larval life. 

This process of feeding and moulting is continued for 
several weeks, the number of moults being usually four. 
During the later stages the increase in size is more marked 
each time the skin is shed, until the caterpillar finally 
reaches its full growth as a larva and is ready for the won- 
derful change to the quiet chrysalis in which all its cater- 
pillar organs are to be transformed into the very different 
organs of the butterfly. , 

In the case of butterfly larvae one of the most interesting 
features of the growth of the caterpillar is that of the re- 
markable changes in colors and patterns of marking which 
the caterpillar undergoes. One who had not followed 
these changes would often be at a loss to recognize cater- 
pillars of slightly differing sizes as belonging to the same 
species. These changes commonly show a remarkable 
adaptation to the conditions of life, and generally tend to 
the concealment of the caterpillar upon its food plant. 
The stages of growth of the green-clouded swallowtail cater- 
pillar are illustrated on plate opposite page 80. 

Before each moult the caterpillar is likely to spin a 
silken web upon the leaf surface. It then entangles its 
claws in the web to hold itself in place while the skin is 
cast. (See plate, page 17.) 


The Change to the Chrysalis 

{See plate, pages S2-33.) 

A week or ten days after the last moult of its caterpillar 
growth the larva commonly becomes full fed and ready to 
change to the chrysalis state. The details of the way in 
which this is accomplished vary greatly with different 
butterflies, as will be noted in the stories of many species 
later in this book. In general, however, the caterpillar 
provides a web of silk which it spins against some surface 
where the chrysalis will be secure and in this web it en- 
tangles its hind legs. 
Sometimes there is the 
additional protection 
of a loop of silk over 
the front end of the 
body. After the legs 
have become entangled 
the caterpillar hangs 
downward until the 
skin splits open along 
the median line of the back and gradually shrinks upward 
until it is almost free, showing as it comes off a curious 
creature which has some of the characteristic features of a 
chrysalis. It is seldom at this stage of the same shape 
as the chrysalis. When the caterpillar's skin is nearly 
off this chrysalis-like object usually wriggles its body 
quickly in a manner to entangle a curious set of hooks 
attached to the upper end in the web of silken thread. 
This hook-like projection is called the cremaster, and it 
serves a very important purpose in holding the chrysalis 
in position. 

Swallowtail Chrysalis, showing (b) the 
loop of silk over thorax. (After Riley) 


As soon as the cremaster is entangled in the web the cast 
skin usually falls off and for a very short period the creat- 
ure hanging seems to be neither caterpillar nor chrysalis. 
It is in fact in a transition stage between the two, and it 
very soon shortens up and takes on the definite form of the 
chrysalis, the outer tissues hardening into the characteris- 
tic chrysalis skin. 

From the fact that this chrysalis skin shows man}'^ of the 
cliaracteristic featiu'es of the future butterfly it is evident 
that the change from the caterpillar to the butterfly really 
began during the life of the larva. The nature of the 
process by which this change takes place has long been a 
puzzle to scientists. For the making of a butterfly is one 
of the most wonderful phenomena in the outer world, and 
it has challenged the attention of many acute observers. 
Some two centuries ago the great Dutch naturalist, Swam- 
merdam, studied very carefully the development of many 
insects, especially the butterfly. He found that if he 
placed in boiling water a caterpillar that was ready to 
pupate or become a chrysalis, the outer skin could easily be 
removed, revealing beneath the immature butterfly with 
well-developed legs and antennae. From these observa- 
tions he was led to believe that the process of growth was 
simply a process of unfolding; that is, as Professor Packard 
has expressed it, "That the form of the larva, pupa, and 
imago preexisted in the egg and even in the ovary; and that 
the insects in these stages were distinct animals, contained 
one inside the other, like a nest of boxes or a series of en- 
velopes one within the other." This was called the in- 
casement theory and it was held to be correct by naturalists 
for nearly a century. It was discredited, however, 
about a hundred years ago, but not until another fifty 


years had passed was it definitely replaced by another and 
much more convincing theory propounded by Weismann. 
According to Weismann's theory, which is now well- 
estabhshed, the process of development internally is a 
much more continuous one than the external changes 
would indicate. So far as the latter are concerned we 
simply say that a caterpillar changes to a chrysalis and a 
chrysalis to a butterfly, the transition in each case requir- 
ing but a very short time. Internally, however, it has 
been going on almost continuously from the early life of 
the caterpillar. The various organs of the butterfly arise 
from certain germinal disks or "imaginal" buds, the word 
"imaginal" in this case being an adjective form of imago, 
so that the imaginal buds are really simply buds for the 
starting of growth of the various organs of the imago or 
adult. As the caterpillars approach the chrysalis period 
these imaginal buds rapidly develop into the various organs 
of the butterfly. This process is helped along by the 
breaking down of many of the tissues of the larva, this 
broken-down tissue being then utilized for the production 
of the new organs. About the time the chrysalis is formed 
this breaking-down process becomes very general, so that 
the newly formed chrysalis seems largely a mass of creamy 
material which is soon used to build up the various parts 
of the butterfly through the growth of the imaginal buds. 

The Change to the Butterfly 

{See plate, pages 32-33.) 

There is probably no phenomenon in the world of living 
creatures which has attracted more attention than the 
change of the chrysahs into the butterfly. It is not 
strange that this is so. We see upon a tree or shrub or wall 


an inert, apparently lifeless object, having no definite form 
with which we can compare it with other things, having 
neither eyes nor ears nor wings nor legs — an object ap- 
parently of as little interest as a lifeless piece of rock. A 
few minutes later we behold it again and note with as- 
tonishment that this apparently inanimate being has been 
suddenly transformed into the most ethereal of the creat- 
ures of earth, with an exquisite beauty that cannot fail 
to attract admiration, with \^^ngs of most delicate struc- 
ture for flying through the air, with eyes of a thousand 
facets, with organs of smell that baflBe the ingenuity of man 
to explain, with vibrant antennae, and a slender tongue 
adapted to feeding upon the nectar of flowers — the most 
ambrosial of natural food. So it is not strange that this 
emergence of a butterfly has long been the theme both of 
poets and theologians and that it attracts the admiring 
attention of childhood, youth, and age. 

Fortunately, this change from chrysalis to butterfly may 
readily be observed by any one who will take a little 
trouble to rear the caterpillars or to watch chrysalids 
found outdoors. The precise method of eclosion, as we 
call this new kind of "hatching," varies somewhat with 
different species but in general the process is similar 
in all. 

Those chrysalids which have a light colored outer skin 
are especially desirable if we would watch this process. 
One can see through the semi-transparent membrane the 
developing butterfly within, until finally, just before it is 
ready to break out, the markings of the wings and body 
show distinctly. If at this time the chrysalis is placed in 
the sunshine it is likely to come out at once, so that you can 
observe it readily. It usually breaks apart over the head 


and the newly released legs quickly grasp hold of the empty 
skin as well as of the support to which it is attached. It 
then hangs downward with a very large abdomen and 
with the wings more or less crumpled up, but decidedly 
larger than when they were confined within the chrysalis. 
The wings, however, soon begin to lengthen as they are 
stretched out, probably through the filling of the space by 
the body juices. Commonly, the hind pair of wings be- 
come full size before the front ones. In a short time the 
wings attain their full size, the abdomen becomes smaller, 
through the discharge of a liquid called meconium, and the 
butterfly is likely to walk a few steps to a better position 
where it will rest quietly for an hour or two while body and 
wing tissues harden. After this it is likely to fly away to 
lead the free life of a butterfly. {See plate, page 16.) 

These changes from larva to chrysalis and from chrysalis 
to adult in the case of the Monarch Butterfly are illus- 
trated on the plates opposite pages 32-33. A Kttle 
study of these photographs from life will help greatly to an 
understanding of the process. 

Some very interesting observations have been made by 
Mr. J. Alston Moffat upon the method of the expansion 
of the wings. In summarizing his investigations he 
writes : 

" Wlien a wing is fully expanded, and for an hour or two 
after, the membranes can be easily separated. Entrance 
for a pin-point between them is to be found at the base of 
the wing where the subcostal and median nervures come 
close together. The membranes are imited at the costal 
and inner edges, which have to be cut to get them apart; 
but they are free at the outer angle. At that time the 
nervures are in two parts, half in one membrane and half 



in the other, and open in the centre. The fluid which has 
been stored up in the pupa enters the winglet at the open- 
ing referred to, expanding the membranes as it passes along 
between them, and the nervures at the same time, and when 
it has extended to every portion of the wdng, then it is fully 
expanded. The expanding fluid is of a gummy consistency, 
and as it dries, cements the membranes together, also the 
edges of the half-nervures, and produces the hollow tubes 
with which we are so familiar." 

Butterflies and Moths 

The butterflies and moths both belong to the great order 
of scale-winged insects — the Lepidoptera. They are dis- 
tinguished, however, by certain general characteristics, 
which hold true for the most part in both groups. The 
butterflies fly by day; the 
moths fly by night. i\.ll of 
the higher butterflies go into 
the chrysalis state without 
making a silken cocoon, 
while most of the higher 
moths make such a cocoon. 
The bodies of the butterflies 
are usually slender, wliile 
those of the larger moths are 
stout. The antennae of the 
butterflies are generally 
slender and commonly en- 
larged at the tip into a miniature club. The antennae of 
the larger moths are commonly feathery or are long and 
slender, tapering gradually toward the tip. 

Butterfly wing scales, magnified. 



The characteristic features that distinguish a moth from 
a butterfly are well illustrated in the plate opposite page 
49, which shows one of the largest and most beautiful 
moths in the world. It is the Cynthia moth. As may 
be seen, the newly emerged moth is resting upon the silken 
cocoon in which it spent its period as a pupa or chrysalis. 
This cocoon was attached by the caterpillar to the twig 
from which it hangs at the time it spun the cocoon. The 
feathered antennae, the hairy legs, the thick thorax, and 
large abdomen — all show very clearly in this side view of 
the moth. As will be seen, the wings are large and very 
suggestive of those of a butterfly and have the characteris- 
tic eye-spots toward the tip and the crescent marks in the 
middle, which are so often found on the wings of the larger 

Some of these large moths on cloudy days occasionally 
fly during daylight and, by the uninitiated, they are often 
mistaken for large butterflies. One who will notice their 
structure, however, will readily see the characteristic 
features of the moth. 

In the caterpillar stage, there are no hard and fast differ- 
ences between the larvae of butterflies and those of the 
higher moths. In each case, the insect consists of a worm- 
like body, having a small head provided with biting jaws 
and simple eyes or ocelli. Back of the head are the three 
rings of the thorax, each of which bears a pair of jointed 
legs. Back of these three rings there are a considerable 
number of other body rings making up the abdomen, on 
the middle of wliich there are commonly four or five pairs 
of fleshy prolegs, not jointed but furnished at the tip with 
fine claws. At the hind end of the body there is another 
pair of prolegs similar in structure. 



The Scents of Butterflies 

Many students of American butterflies have occasionally 
mentioned the fact that certain species seem to give off a 
distinct scent which has frequently been spoken of as a 
pleasing fragrance, suggesting sandalwood or some other 
aromatic odor. The general subject as exemplified by 
butterflies of other lands has been studied for many years 
by Fritz Miiller; and certain English entomologists have 
paid considerable attention to it. A translation of the 
Miiller publications and an excellent summary of our pres- 
ent knowledge of the subject is published in Dr. Longstaff's 
book on butterfly hunting. 

The odors given off by butterflies are divided into two 
principal kinds, namely: first, those which are repulsive to 
the senses of man, and evidently for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the butterflies from birds and other vertebrate 
enemies — these are found in both 
sexes; second, those which are 
evidently for the purpose of sexual 
attraction and confined to the male 
butterflies — these scents are usually 
attractive to the senses of man. 

The aromatic scents of the second 
group are generally produced by 
means of certain scales or hairs of 
many curious forms, which are 
scattered over the surface of the 
wings or are placed within certain 
special pockets, generally near the borders of the wings. 
These scales or hairs are called androconia. Some of them 
much magnified are represented in the picture above. 

Andrcxronia from wings of male 


Oiir knowledge of the scents given off by American 
butterflies is very fragmentary, and it is highly desirable 
that many more observations should be made upon the 
subject. If collectors generally would make careful notes, 
both in the field and upon the freshly killed butterflies at 
home, we ought soon to be able greatly to extend our 
knowledge. By holding the butterfly with a pair of for- 
ceps, one can often determine whether the fragrance is 
emitted. It is often helpful also to brush the hairs or 
tufts where the androconia are attached, using a small, dry 
camel's hair brush for the purpose. 

Butterfly Migrations 

Migration seems to be a general instinct in the animal 
world, developed when a species becomes enormously 
abundant. At such times this instinct apparently over- 
comes all others and the creatures move on regardless of 
obstacles and conditions that may mean certain death to 
the vast majority. Such migrations among mammals 
have often been recorded, one of the most notable ex- 
amples being that of the little lemmings which migrate at 
periodical intervals in a way which has often been de- 
scribed. Among the insects such migrations have been 
frequently noticed, and the phenomenon has apparently 
been observed oftener among the butterflies than in any 
other group. Entomological literature during the last 
hundred years contains a great many records of enormous 
flights of butterflies over long distances, extending even 
from Africa into Europe or from one part of America to 
another far remote. As such migration is likely to happen 
whenever a species becomes extremely abundant it prob- 

Photographed from life by A. H. Verrill See page 12 



See page 72 

Photographed from life 

See page 7 



ably is Nature's way of providing for an extended food 
supply for the succeeding generations. That it results in 
the death of the great majority of the migrants is doubtless 
true, but it must lead to vast experiments in extending 
the geographic area inhabited by these species. Numer- 
ous examples of such migrating swarms will be found in the 
pages of this little book. (See plates, pages 1 7, 4^-49, 1 60.) 

The migrations thus considered are only exceptional 
occurrences. There is, however, a regularly recurring 
annual migration on the part of some butterflies which is 
also a phenomenon of extraordinary interest. The most 
notable example is that of the Monarch which apparently 
follows the birds southward every autumn and comes north- 
ward again in spring. There is much evidence to indi- 
cate that in some slight degree other butterflies have a 
similar habit, although the present observations are in- 
adequate to determine to what extent this habit has be- 
come fixed in most of these species. 

Hibernation or Winter Lethargy 

The ways in which butterflies spend the winter are al- 
ways of peculiar interest to the naturalist. Here are 
creatures with four distinct stages of existence, each of 
which has the possibility of carrying the species through 
the season of cold. It is necessary to learn for each in- 
sect which stage has been chosen for the purpose, and if 
possible to find the reasons for the choice. 

As a rule the related members of a group are likely to 
hibernate in a similar stage. Thus most of the Swallow- 
tails pass the winter as chrysalids while practically all the 
Angle-wings pass the winter as adults. This rule, how- 


ever, has many exceptions, for one will often find closely 
related species which dififer in the stage of hibernation. 

As one would expect, the conditions of hibernation vary 
greatly with the latitude. In the severe climate of the far 
north the conditions are likely to be more uniform than 
in the South where the milder climate permits greater va- 
riation to the insect. In some cases where a butterfly 
hibernates in only one stage in Canada it may pass the 
winter in two or more stages in Alabama or Florida. 

In many other orders of insects the egg is a favorite stage 
for hibernation. Even in the closely related moths it is 
often chosen by many species, but comparatively few butter- 
flies pass the winter in the egg stage. The little Bronze 
Copper may serve as one example of this limited group. 

The conditions as to hibernation by the larvae of butter- 
flies are very different from those of the egg. It has been 
estimated that probably half of all our species pass the 
winter in some stage of caterpillar growth. This varies all 
the way from the newly hatched caterpillar which hiber- 
nates without tasting food to the fully grown caterpillar 
which hibernates full fed and changes to a chrysalis in 
spring without eating anything at that time. A large pro- 
portion, however, feed both in fall and spring, going 
through the winter when approximately half grown. 

The Graylings and the Fritillaries are typical examples 
of butterflies which hibernate as newly hatched larvae. 
The eggs are laid in autumn upon or near the food plants 
and the caterpillars gnaw their way out of the shells and 
seek seclusion at once, finding such shelter as they may 
in the materials on the soil surface. In spring they begin 
to feed as soon as the weather permits and complete their 
growth from then on. 


The half -grown caterpillars may hibernate either as free 
creatures under boards, stones, or in the turfy grass, or 
they may be protected by special shelters which they have 
provided for themselves in their earlier life. In the case 
of the latter each may have a shelter of its own or there 
may be a common shelter for a colony of caterpillars. 
Among the examples of those hibernating in miscellan- 
eous situations without special protection the caterpillars 
of the Tawny Emperor, the Gray Emperor, the Pearl 
Crescent, and some of the Graylings are examples. Among 
those which hibernate in individual shelters the Sovereigns, 
among which our common Viceroy is most familiar, are 
good examples. Among those which hibernate in a tent 
woven by the whole colony for the whole colony the Balti- 
more or Phaeton butterfly is perhaps the best example. 
{See plate, page 129.) 

The caterpillars that hibernate when full grown may be 
grouped in a way somewhat similar to those which are half 
grown. Many species simply find such shelter as they 
may at or near the soil surface. The Clouded Sulphur is a 
good example of these. Others pass the winter in in- 
dividual shelters made from a leaf or blade. Several of 
the larger Skippers are good examples of this condition. 
So far as I know none of our species pass the winter in 
colonial shelters when full grown. 

It would be natural to suppose that the great majority 
of butterflies would be likely to hibernate in the chrysalis 
state. Here is a quiet stage in which the insect is unable 
to move about or to take any food, in which it seems en- 
tirely dormant and as a rule is fairly well hidden from the 
view of enemies. We find, however, that only a rather 
small proportion of our butterflies has chosen this stage 


for survival through the winter. The most conspicuous 
examples are the Swallowtails, nearly all of which hiber- 
nate in the chrysalis stage. Other examples are the va- 
rious Whites, the Orange-tips, and isolated species like 
the Wanderer, and the Spring Azure and the American 
Copper. Practically all the butterflies that pass the 
winter as chrysalids have a silken loop running around near 
the middle of the body which helps to hold them securely 
through the long winter months. Apparently none of 
those chrysalids which hang straight downward are able to 
survive the winter. 

An adult butterfly seems a fragile creature to endure the 
long cold months of arctic regions. Yet many of our most 
beautiful species habitually hibernate as adults, finding 
shelter in such situations as hollow trees, the crevices in 
rocks, the openings beneath loose bark or even the outer 
bark on the under side of a large branch. It is significant 
that most of the adult- wintering Angle- wings are northern 
rather than southern species, some of them being found in 
arctic regions practically around the world. One of the 
few southern forms that hibernates as an adult is the Goat- 
weed Emperor. (See plate, page 209.) 

These examples are all cases of true hibernation in a 
lethargic condition. There are certain butterflies, how- 
ever, which pass the winter as adults that remain active 
during this period. Obviously this is impossible in lati- 
tudes where the winter is severe, and it involves migration 
to a warmer climate. The one notable illustration of this 
is the Monarch butterfly which apparently flies southward 
to the Gulf states at least and there remains until spring, 
when individuals come north again. The southward mi- 
gration may be begun in Canada when the butterflies 


gather together in enormous flocks that remind one of the 
gathering of the elans with the migrating birds. This is 
one of the least understood of insect activities but it has 
been observed so often and over so long a period of years 
that there seems to be no questioning the general habit. 

Like everything else in relation to living things there are 
numerous variations in the prevailing modes of hiberna- 
tion. In the case of many species one can find combina- 
tions of two or more stages in which the winter is passed. 
Probably if we could observe with sufficient care we might 
be able to find somewhere examples of almost any con- 
ceivable double combination — as egg with larva or chrys- 
alis or adult — the insect hibernating in two of these stages. 
Many examples are known in which both chrysalis and 
adult of the same species pass the winter and also of those 
in which young and well-grown larvae pass the winter. 
As one would expect, the conditions as to such combina- 
tions are likely to be more variable in southern than in 
northern regions. 

Notwithstanding all the attention which has been paid 
to butterfly life-histories there is still some uncertainty in 
regard to the hibernation of many of our species. One of 
the most interesting series of observations which a young 
naturali^* could undertake would be to learn positively 
how each species of butterfly in his locality passes the 

Aestivation or Summer Lethargy 

In some species of butterflies there is a special adaptation 
to passing through the hottest part of the summer season 
in a state of lethargy which is suggestive of the torpor of 


the hibernating period. This phase of butterfly existence 
has not been extensively studied and there are indications 
that it exists more generally than has been commonly sup- 
posed. It has been noticed even in northern New England 
that some of the Angle-wings seek shelter and become 
lethargic during August. Apparently this is an adaptation 
to single broodedness, helping to carry the species through 
the year without the exhaustion incident to the con- 
tinued activity of the butterfly. 

In more southern regions, especially In the hot, dry 
climates where vegetation withers in midsummer, it is well 
known that some caterpillars become lethargic, remain- 
ing inactive until the fall rains start vegetation into 
growth. The Orange-sulphur butterfly is a good example 
of this. 

This summer lethargy offers excellent opportunity for 
careful study. Any observer who finds a butterfly hidden 
away in summer under boards, the bark of a tree, or in a 
stone pile should look carefully to see what species it is and 
how the butterfly behaves. Such observations should be 
sent to the entomological journals in order that our knowl- 
edge of the subject may be increased. 

Feigning Death 

The fact has long been noticed that various butterflies 
have the habit at times of feigning death and dropping to 
the ground where they may lie motionless for a consider- 
able period. This habit is most easily observed in some of 
the Angle-wings, especially those which hibernate as 
adults. Those species have the under surfaces of their 
wings colored in various bark-picturing patterns and ap- 


parently live through the winter to some extent, resting 
beneath the bark of large branches or upon the trunks of 
trees. Many of them also secrete themselves in hollow 
trees or beneath loose bark or in board piles or stone walls. 
It is probable, however, that during the long ages when 
these insects were adapting themselves to their life con- 
ditions, before man interfered with the natural order and 
furnished various more or less artificial places for hiberna- 
tion, these butterflies rested more generally upon the un- 
der side of branches than they do now. 

Even in warm weather when one of these butterflies is 
suddenly disturbed it is likely to fold its legs upon its body 
and drop to the ground, allowing itself to be handled with- 
out showing any signs of life. This habit is doubtless of 
value, especially during hibernation or possibly during the 
summer lethargy or aestivation, the latter a habit which 
may be more general among these butterflies than is now 
supposed. As the insect lies motionless upon the ground 
it is very likely to blend so thoroughly with its surround- 
ings that it becomes concealed, and any bird which had 
startled it from the branch above would have difficulty in 
finding it. 

Some very interesting observations have been made 
upon the death-feigning instincts of various other insects, 
especially the beetles. But no one so far as I know has yet 
made an extended study of the subject in relation to our 
American butterflies. It is an excellent field for investiga- 
tion and oflFers unusual opportunities for photographic 
records. One of the pictures opposite page 32 shows a 
photograph which I took of a Mourning Cloak as it was 
thus playing 'possum. This species exhibits the instinct 
to a marked degree. 



The caterpillars of butterflies and moths form a large 
part of the food of insect-eating birds. These caterpillars 
are especially adapted for such a purpose and in the econ- 
omy of nature they play a very important part in keeping 
alive the feathered tribes. During the long ages through 
which both birds and insects have been developing side by 
side, there have been many remarkable inter-relations es- 
tablished which tend on the one hand to prevent the birds 
from exterminating the insects and on the other to prevent 
the insects from causing the birds to starve. The most 
important of these, so far as the caterpillars are concerned, 
are the various devices by which these insects protect 
themselves from attack, by hiding away where birds are 
not likely to find them, by clothing their bodies with 
spiny hairs, by other methods of rendering themselves dis- 
tasteful, or by various phases of concealing coloration. 
On the whole, the examples of the latter are not so numer- 
ous or so easily found in the case of the larvae of butter- 
flies as in those of moths. 

Perhaps the basal principle of concealing coloration is 
the law of counter-shading, first partially announced by 
Prof. E. B. Poulton, and later much more elaborately 
worked out by Mr. Abbott H. Thayer, and discussed at 
length by Mr. Gerald H. Thayer in his remarkable volume, 
" Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom." The 
law of counter-shading is tersely stated in these words: 
"Animals are painted by nature darkest on those parts 
which tend to be most lighted by the sky's light and vice 
versa.'* As this law works out on most animals that live 


on or near the ground, the upper part of the body exposed 
to the direct light from above is dark; and the under part, 
shut off from the upper Hght and receiving only the small 
reflection from below, is enough lighter to make the ap- 
pearance of the creature in its natural environment of a 
uniform tone from back to breast. 

Nearly all caterpillars illustrate this law of counter- 
shading. If they are in the habit of feeding or resting with 
their feet downward the back will be darker and the un- 
der side lighter, but if they are in the habit of feeding or 
resting in the opposite position these color tones will be 
reversed. One can find examples of such conditions al- 
most any summer's day by a httle searching of trees or 

This law of counter-shading, however, is really only the 
basis for the coloration of caterpillars or other animals. It 
tends, chiefly, to make the creature appear as a flat plane 
when seen from the side, and may be said in a way to pre- 
pare the canvas upon which Nature paints her more dis- 
tinctive pictures. A great many examples of color mark- 
ings that tend to conceal the caterpillar amid its natural 
surroundings may be found by any one who will study the 
subject and it offers one of the most interesting fields for 
investigation. The chapter on caterpillars in the above- 
mentioned book by Mr. Thayer should serve as a starting 
point for any one taking up the subject. 

Butterflies differ from caterpillars and from most other 
animals in the fact that their coloring is chiefly shown upon 
the flat surfaces of the wings. Consequently, there is less 
opportunity for the various phases of counter-shading 
which is so commonly shown in the larger caterpillars. 
The bodies of nearly all butterflies do exhibit this phenom- 


enon, but these bodies are relatively so small that counter- 
shading plays but a little part in the general display. 

Upon the outstretched membranes of the butterflies' 
wings Nature through the long ages of development has 
painted a great variety of pictures. Those which tend to 
protect the insect by concealment amid its surroundings are 
most commonly spread on the under surface of the wings. 
Especially is this true in the case of those species which 
pass the winter as adults or which have the habit of resting 
upon the bark of trees, the sides of rocks, or the surface of 
the ground. We here find some of the most interesting 
examples of obliterative coloring that occur in nature. 
Some butterflies have taken on the look of tree bark, 
others the sombre appearance of weathered rocks, while 
still others are painted with the images of flowerets and 
their stems. 

Dazzling and Eclipsing Colors 

Many of the butterflies, especially the Angle-wings, 
which are marked on the under surface in various pro- 
tective colors, are admirable examples of that phase of 
animal coloring which is spoken of as dazzling coloration. 
This is apparently one of the most important protective 
devices to be found in Nature and the vahdity of it is now 
generally conceded by naturalists. One phase of it, which 
may be called eclipsing coloration, seems to have been first 
definitely formulated by the late Lord Walsingham, a 
famous English entomologist who enunciated it in an ad- 
dress as president of the Entomological Society of London. 
The most significant paragraphs in that address were these: 

" My attention was lately drawn to a passage in Herbert 
Spencer's 'Essay on the Morals of Trade.' He writes: 


* As when tasting different foods or wines the palate is dis- 
abled by something strongly flavored from appreciating 
the more delicate flavor of another thing afterward taken, 
so with the other organs of sense a temporary disability 
follows an excessive stimulation. This holds not only 
with the eyes in judging of colors, but also with the fingers 
in judging of texture.' 

"Here, I think, we have an explanation of the principle 
on which protection is undoubtedly afforded to certain in- 
sects by the possession of bright coloring on such parts of 
their wings or bodies as can be instantly covered and con- 
cealed at will. It is an undoubted fact, and one which 
must have been observed by nearly all collectors of in- 
sects abroad, and perhaps also in our own country, that it 
is more easy to follow with the eye the rapid movements of 
a more conspicuous insect soberly and uniformly colored 
than those of an insect capable of changing in an instant the 
appearance it presents. The eye, having once fixed itself 
upon an object of a certain form and color, conveys to the 
mind a corresponding impression, and, if that impression 
is suddenly found to be unreliable, the instruction which 
the mind conveys to the eye becomes also unreliable, and 
the rapidity with which the impression and consequent 
instruction can be changed cannot always compete suc- 
cessfully with the rapid transformation effected by the in- 
sect in its effort to escape." 

Lord Walsingham then goes on to suggest that this in- 
termittent play of bright colors probably has as confusing 
effect upon birds and other predaceous vertebrates as upon 
man; and that on this hypothesis such colors can be 
accounted for more satisfactorily than upon any other yet 
suggested. Since then the significance of this theory has 


been repeatedly pointed out by Professor Poulton, Mr. 
Abbott H. Thayer, and various other authorities upon 
animal coloring. The terms dazzling and eclipsing have 
been applied to the phenomenon. 

Shortly after Lord Walsingham propounded this theory 
I called attention* to its fitness in explaining some of the 
most interesting color phases shown by American insects, 
notably the moths and locusts which have brilliantly 
colored under wings and protectively colored upper wings. 

The animals of the north show numberless color phases 
of interest. One of the most curious of these is exhibited 
by several families of insects in which the outer wings are 
protectively colored in dull hues and the under wings 
brightly colored. For example, there are many species of 
moths belonging to the genus Catocala found through- 
out the United States. These are insects of good size, 
the larger ones measuring three inches in expanse of 
wings, and the majority of them being at least two thirds 
that size. Most of them live during the day on the bark of 
trees, with their front wings folded together over the back. 
The colors and markings of these wings, as well as of the 
rest of the exposed portions of the body, are such as to 
assimilate closely with the bark of the tree upon which the 
insect rests. In such a situation it requires a sharp eye to 
detect the presence of the moth, which, unless disturbed, 
flies only at night, remaining all day exposed to the attacks 
of many enemies. Probably the most important of these 
are the birds, especially species like the woodpeckers, 
which are constantly exploring all portions of the trunks of 

*Popular Science Monthly, 1898, "A Game of Hide and Seek." Reprinted 
m the Insect World, 1899. 


The chief beauty of these Catoealas, as they are seen 
spread out in the museum cabinet, Hes in the fact that the 
hind wings, which, when the moth is at rest in hfe, are con- 
cealed by the front ones, are brightly colored in contrasting 
hues of black, red, and white in various brilliant combina- 
tions. These colors, in connection with the soft and 
blended tones of the front wings, make a very handsome 

It is easy to see that when one of these Underwing 
Moths is driven to flight by a woodpecker or other bark- 
searching bird it would show during its rapid, irregular 
flight the bright colors of the under wings which would be 
instantly hidden upon alighting and the very different 
coloring of the upper wings blending with the bark would 
be substituted. Consequently, the bird would be very 
likely to be baflSed in its pursuit. 

Coloration of Locusts 

On the rocky hills and sandy plains of New England 
there are several species of grasshoppers or locusts that 
also illustrate these principles. If you walk along a strip 
of sandy land in summer, you start to flight certain locusts 
which soon alight, and when searched for will be found 
closely to assimilate in color the sand upon which they 
rest. On a neighboring granite-ribbed hill you will find 
few if any of this species of locust, but instead there occur 
two or three quite different species, which when at rest 
closely, resemble the lichen-covered rocks. This resem- 
blance is very striking, and is found in all stages of the in- 
sect's existence. If now you go to a lowland meadow, still 
another color phase will be found to prevail — the green 
grass is swarming with the so-called "long-horned" grass- 


hoppers, which are green throughout with hnear bodies, 
and long, slender legs and antennae. 

Each of these three groups of insects is adapted to its 
particular habitat. All are constantly persecuted by 
birds, and have been so persecuted for unnumbered ages in 
the past. In every generation the individuals have 
varied, some toward closer resemblance to environment, 
others in an opposite direction. The more conspicuous 
insects have been constantly taken, and the least con- 
spicuous as constantly left to reproduce. Were the three 
groups to change places to-day, the green grasshoppers 
from the meadows going to sandy surfaces, the sand- 
colored locusts going to rocky hills, and the "mossbacks" 
from the hills to the lowland meadows, each would be- 
come conspicuous, and the birds would have such a feast 
as is seldom spread before them. 

The species living on sand and rocks are often "flushed" 
by birds. Those which flew but a few feet would be 
likely to be captured by the pursuing bird; those which 
flew farther would stand a better chance of escaping. 
Similarly, those which flew slowly and in a straight line 
would be more likely to be caught than those which flew 
rapidly and took a zigzag course. As a consequence of the 
selection thus brought about through the elimination of 
those which flew slowly along the straight and narrow way 
that led to death, you will find that most locusts living in 
exposed situations when startled fly some distance in a 
rapid, zigzag manner. 

But still another element of safety has been introduced 
by some species of these locusts through the adoption of 
the color tactics of the Catocala moths. The under wings 
of the common Carolina locust — the species most abund- 


ant along the highway — are black, bordered with yellowish 
white. The base of the hind wings of a related species 
living on the Western plains is bluish, while in the large 
coral-winged locust of the Eastern states the hind wings 
are red, bordered with black. In nearly all of the species 
of these locusts frequenting open localities where they are 
liable to disturbance by birds or other animals, the hind 
wings exhibit contrasting colors in flight. Most of them 
also fly in a zigzag line, and alight in a most erratic man- 
ner. Many times I have had difficulty in determining the 
exact landfall of one of these peculiar creatures, and I be- 
lieve Lord Walsingham's suggestion is well exemplified in 
them. (See page 33.) 

The most famous example of a combination of this 
dazzling coloring of the upper wing surface with a definite 
protective coloring of the under wing surface is the Kallima 
butterfly which is illustrated in almost every book dealing 
with animal coloration. The under wing surface bears a 
striking resemblance to a leaf and the hind wings project 
to form a tail which looks like the petiole of the leaf, and 
there is also a mark running across the wings which 
mimics the midrib. When the butterfly is flying the 
brilliant colors of the upper surface are visible, but when it 
alights these are instantly replaced by the sombre tone 
of the under surface, so that apparently the insect com- 
pletely disappears and in its place there is only a leaf 
attached to a branch in a most natural position. In Dr. 
Longstaff's book there is an illustration of another tropical 
butterfly, Eronia cleodora, which resembles on its under 
surface a yellow disease-stricken leaf but on its upper 
surface gives a brilliant combination of black and white. 
This insect alights upon the leaves which it resembles 


and is a striking example of both dazzling and mimicking 

Many of our own butterflies, notably the Angle-wings, 
are excellent examples of a similar combination. In flight 
they reveal conspicuous colors which are instantly hidden 
upon alighting and then one only sees the bark-like or dead 
leaf -like under surface as may be seen in the plate opposite 
pages 160-161. The iridescence upon the upper wing surface 
of many butterflies, whose under wing surface is colored in 
concealing tones, is doubtless also of great use to the insect 
in a similar way. There is a splendid opportunity here for 
some observer to study this phase of butterfly activity and 
to get photographs of the insects amid their natural sur- 

In their book upon " Concealing Coloration" the Messrs. 
Thayer have called attention to many interesting phases 
of dazzling coloration. They show that bright marks like 
the eye-spots or ocelli, which form so prominent a feature 
on the wing surfaces of many butterflies, really helped to 
conceal the insect amid its natural surroundings, by draw- 
ing the eye away from the outlines of wings and body so 
that the latter tend to disappear. Their discussion of this 
subject opens up another vast field for outdoor observa- 
tions of absorbing interest, in which there is great need for 
many active workers. 

Selective Color Sense 

One who collects the Underwing moths soon discovers 
that the light colored species which resemble the bark of 
birch trees are likely to be found upon the trunks of those 
trees, and that the dark colored kinds which resemble the 

Sec piiyc 2-j 


>(< piKJC 17 


Caterpillar feeding upon leaf of 

Caterpillar hung up for the change 
to the chrysalis 

The transition stage The chrysalis 


CHRYSALIS. Photographs from life (See pages 8-10, 233) 

Chrysalis showing butterfly 
ready to emerge 

e empty chrvsalis 

Butterfly just out of chrysalis Side view a little later 


ADUT.T. PhotoiiTn])hs from life {^cefagcs 10-13. '23'>) 

See page SO 


Above, with wings expaiulod as in flight 


bark of maple trees are likely to be found upon the trunks 
of these. Obviously, were this not true the protective 
coloring would avail but little and it is evident that these 
moths are able to select a background which is of advant- 
age in helping to conceal them. 

There is much evidence to show that in a similar way the 
butterflies are able by means of a well-developed color 
sense to select the places where they alight. One of the 
most notable examples is that of a South American species, 
Peridromia feronia. This is a silvery gray butterfly which 
alights head downward upon the bark of certain palm trees 
that have silvery gray stems and remains there 'with its 
wings fully expanded so that it utilizes the background in 
much the same way that the Underwing moths do. 
"When disturbed they will return to the same tree again 
and again." 

One who will observe the habits of our Angle- wings and 
other butterflies which have obliterative coloring of the 
under wing surface can easily learn that these insects 
select rather carefully the places where they alight. It 
will be found that as a rule each species utilizes a back- 
ground that blends with its own coloring. It is probable 
that this habit is much more common in other groups of but- 
terflies than has been realized. Much evidence of this sort 
has been collected regarding the butterflies of Europe and 
other countries, as well as near our own borders in America. 

Warning Coloration and Mimicry 

The colors of a great many animals, including a con- 
siderable percentage of American butterflies and their 
larvae, have been commonly explained by the theory of 


warning colors. According to this theory animals which 
were for any reason not edible by birds and mammals have 
developed various striking combinations of color such as 
black and yellow, red and black, or black and white, in 
order to advertise to their foes their inedible qualities. 
This theory has been very generally accepted by naturalists 
and will be found expounded at length in many books pub- 
lished during the last quarter century. 

The whole subject of the validity of warning coloration 
has recently been brought up for reconsideration by the il- 
luminating investigations of Mr. Abbott H. Thayer and 
discussed at length in the book upon " Concealing Colora- 
tion" already mentioned. In an appendix to this book 
dated 1908 Mr. Thayer states that he no longer holds the 
belief that "there must somewhere be warning colors." 
He has convincingly shown that a large proportion of the 
animals which were supposed to be examples of this theory 
are really illustrations of concealing coloration. But there 
yet remain various facts which have been conclusively 
proven that apparently require the theory of warning 
colors to explain them. Here is another field in which 
there is a real need for much careful investigation under 
conditions that are rigidly scientific. 

Along with the theory of warning coloration the theory 
of mimicry has been propounded. According to this if a 
butterfly in a given region shows warning coloration, 
having developed such coloration because it is distasteful 
to birds and mammals, it may be mimicked by another 
butterfly in the same region belonging to another group, 
the latter butterfly being edible, but benefiting by its re- 
semblance to the distasteful species, because birds or 
mammals mistake it for the latter and do not attempt to 


catch it. The most notable example of such mimicry in 
North America is that of the Monarch butterfly, which is 
supposed to be the distasteful species, and the Viceroy 
butterfly, which is supposed to mimic it. Several other 
instances of mimicry are found among our own butterflies, 
while in South America, Africa, and Asia there are number- 
less examples. 


It has long been known that the green surfaces of plants 
respond to the stimulus of the sun's rays in a most remark- 
able manner. This response has commonly been called 
heliotropism and it has been carefully studied by botanists 
all over the habitable world. More recently, the fact has 
been observed that many animals respond in certain defi- 
nite ways to the stimulus of direct sunshine and the same 
term has been applied in this case. Very little attention 
has been given to the subject of heliotropism until within a 
few recent years. But the observations which have been 
made by Parker, Longstaff, Dixey, and others open up a 
most interesting field for further observation. An ad- 
mirable summary of our present knowledge of the subject 
has been published by Dr. Longstaff in his book "Butterfly 
Hunting in Many Lands." 

One of the earliest observations upon this subject was 
that published in my book "Nature Biographies" which ap- 
peared in June, 1901, concerning the habit in the Mourning 
Cloak: "On a spring-like day early in November (the 8th) 
I came across one of these butterflies basking in the sun- 
shine upon the ties of a railway track. It rested with its 
wings wide open. On being disturbed, it would fly a short 


distance and then alight, and I was interested to notice 
that after alighting it would always turn about until the 
hind end of its body pointed in the direction of the sun, so 
that the sun's rays struck its wings and body nearly at 
right angles. I repeatedly observed this habit of getting 
into the position in which the most benefit from the sun- 
shine was received, and it is of interest as showing the ex- 
treme delicacy of perception toward the warmth of sun- 
sliine which these creatures possess." 

A httle later, some very elaborate observations were 
made upon this habit of the Mourning Cloak by Prof. 
G. H. Parker of Harvard University. Professor Parker 
noticed that during the warm spells in winter the butter- 
flies came out of their hiding places and after alighting, al- 
ways placed themselves with their heads away from the di- 
rection of the sun and their bodies lying nearly at right 
angles to the sun's rays. By experiment, he found that 
they adjusted themselves to this position as soon as they 
were fully exposed to direct sunshine, even if at the time of 
alighting they were in a shadow. He found that this 
movement was a reflex action through the eyes, for when 
the eyes were blinded no such adjustment took place. He 
called it negative heliotropism. 

Dr. Longstaff uses the term orientation for this adjust- 
ment of the butterfly to the sun's rays and he finds it is a 
very general habit, especially with the Angle- wings, for the 
butterfly thus to orient itself after alighting, in such a way 
that the hind end of the body points toward the sun. This 
occurs not only with those species which keep their wings 
spread open when they alight but also with those in which 
the wings are closed together and held in a vertical po- 
sition on alighting. 


Various explanations of this phenomenon have been 
ofifered but apparently none of them are yet generally 
accepted. Were the habit confined to butterflies like the 
Mourning Cloak, it would seem easy to prove that a main 
advantage was found in the benefit derived from the heat 
rays of the sun. Were it confined to those species which 
always fold their wings on alighting, it would seem easy to 
believe that it was a device for reducing the shadow cast by 
the insect to its lowest terms. It has also been suggested 
that the habit is for the purpose of revealing to the fullest 
extent the markings of the butterfly. Evidently there is 
here an ample field for further investigation before definite 
conclusions are reached. 

List and Shadow Observations 

Another field for most interesting studies upon the 
habits of living butterflies has been opened up by the very 
interesting discussion of list and shadow in Colonel G. B. 
Longstaff's fascinating book, "Butterfly Hunting in Many 
Lands." He there summarizes his numerous observations 
upon butterflies in various localities which he has seen to 
lean over at a decided angle when they alight. He de- 
fines ^^ List" as "an attitude resulting from the rotation 
of the insect about its longitudinal axis, as heliotropism re- 
sults from a rotation about an imaginary vertical axis at 
right angles to this." The name is adapted from the 
sailors' term applied to a vessel leaning to one side or an- 
other in a storm. 

Apparently this interesting habit was first called to the 
attention of European entomologists by an observation of 


Colonel C. T. Bingham made in 1878, but not published 
until long afterward. The observation was this: 

" The Melanitis was there among dead leaves, its wings 
folded and looking for all the world a dead, dry leaf itself. 
With regard to Melanitis, I have not seen it recorded any- 
where that the species of this genus when disturbed fly 
a little way, drop suddenly into the undergrowth with 
closed wings, and invariably lie a little askew and slanting, 
which still more increases their likeness to a dead leaf cas- 
ually fallen to the ground." 

Long before this was printed, however, a similar habit 
had been observed by Scudder in the case of our White 
Mountain butterfly {Oenis semidea). But this species is 
so exceptional in its habitat that the habit seems to have 
been considered a special adaptation to the wind-swept 
mountain top. The possibility of its being at all general 
among the butterflies in lowlands seems to have been over- 

The observations recorded by Longstaff relate chiefly to 
various members of the Satyrid group. For example, a 
common Grayling, Satyrus semele, was watched many 
times as it settled on the ground. As a rule three motions 
are gone through in regular sequence: the wings are 
brought together over the back; the fore wings are drawn 
between the hind wings; the whole is thrown over to right 
or left to the extent of thirty, forty, or even fifty degrees. 

This habit, of course, is of advantage to the insect. It 
seems possible that the advantage might be explained in 
either of two ways: first, the leaning over on the ground 
among grasses and fallen leaves might help to render 
the disguising coloration of the insect more effective, the 
large ocelli serving to draw the eye away from the outline 


of body and wing; second, the listing of the butterfly to- 
ward the sun tends to reduce the shadow and to hide it be- 
neath the wings. There is no doubt that when a Grayhng 
butterfly lights upon the ground in strong sunshine the 
shadow it casts is more conspicuous than the insect itself 
and the hiding of this might be of distinct advantage in 
helping it to escape observation. It is significant that in 
England the butterflies observed appear to lean over more 
frequently in sunshine than in shade. An observation of 
Mr. E. G. Waddilove, reported by Colonel Longstaff, is 
insteresting in this connection: 

*' A Grayling settled on a patch of bare black peat earth, 
shut up its wings vertically, and crawled at once some two 
yards to the edge of the patch to where some fir-needles, a 
cone or two, and a few brittle twigs were lying, and then be- 
coming stationary threw itself over at an angle of some 
forty-five degrees square to the sun. It thus became quite 
indistinguishable from its surroundings." 

Apparently, some of the Angle-wings may have the same 
habit, for in Barrett's " Lepidoptera of the British Islands," 
there is a note in regard to Grapta C-album to the effect 
that it is fond of sunning itself in roads, on warm walls, or 
on the ground upon dead leaves in sheltered valleys. 
"Here, if the sun becomes overclouded, it will sometimes 
close its wings and almost lie down, in such a manner that 
to distinguish its brown and green marbled under side from 
the dead leaves is almost impossible." 

Here is a most fascinating opportunity for American 
observers to determine definitely the facts in regard to our 
numerous species of butterflies that may show this habit. 
An observer with a reflex type of camera might easily be 
able to get pictures that would be of great value in helping 


to determine the principal facts in regard to the subject. 
Our common Graylings and numerous species of Angle- 
wings are so abundant and easily observed that they offer 
splendid opportunities to any one who will undertake a 
serious study of the subject. 

Parasitic Enemies 

All three of the earlier stages of butterflies — egg, larva, 
and chrysalis — are subject to attack by various parasitic 
insects which develop at the expense of the host. Such 
parasites are probably the most important check upon the 
increase of butterflies, and along with birds, mammals, 
and bacterial diseases, they help to keep up that balance of 
nature which in the long run maintains a surprising uni- 
formity in the numbers of each kind of butterfly. 

For the most part these insect parasites are small four- 
winged flies, although many of them are two-winged flies. 
In either case the life stages show a series of changes much 
like those of the butterflies themselves. Each parasite 
exists first as an egg, second as a larva, third as a pupa, and 
fourth as an adult fly. The larval stage, however, is 
simply that of a footless grub which Hves within the body 
of its victim absorbing its life blood and gradually kilhng it. 

The parasites of butterfly eggs are legion. They are 
tiny flies whose life-story in briefest summary is this : The 
butterfly lays an egg. The parasite fly finds this egg soon 
after it is laid, and pierces the shell with her tiny, sharply 
pointed ovipositor and deposits inside of the shell her own 
microscopic egg. This egg within the egg soon hatches 
into a curious little larva that develops at the expense of 
the contents of the butterfly egg shell, and soon absorbs 


the whole of them. The parasite larva now changes to a 
pupa which a httle later changes again to an adult fly like 
the one that laid the parasite egg in the beginning. Of 
course the butterfly egg never hatches into a caterpillar. 

One of the most interesting questions in regard to these 
egg parasites is this: How does the tiny parasitic fly find 
the newly laid egg.^^ One would think that the proverbial 
search for a needle in a haymow would be an easy task 
compared with that of a fly about as large as the head of a 
pin finding a butterfly egg of similar size upon some part of 
one of the millions of leaves upon the trees and shrubs in 
field and forest. Yet the search is successful, as every one 
who has tried to get caterpillars from eggs found out of 
doors will testify. On a later page in this book, in con- 
nection with the story of the life of the Mourning Cloak 
butterfly, I have recorded some observations upon the little 
parasite which seemed to have been riding around upon the 
body of the butterfly waiting for her to lay her eggs. 

For one parasite upon the eggs of butterflies, there 
probably are dozens that attack the caterpillars. A large 
proportion of the butterfly larvae brought in from out- 
doors, especially those which are half-grown or more, will 
yield not butterflies but parasites. This is the experience 
of practically every one who attempts to rear these in- 
sects, and it emphasizes the value of the advice that in 
order to get fine specimens, it is desirable to rear them 
from eggs laid by butterflies beneath netting or in cages. 

The life-histories of the parasites that attack cater- 
pillars vary greatly. The simplest are those of the large 
Ichneumon flies : The mother fly lays an egg beneath the 
skin of the caterpillar. The egg hatches into a larva that 
absorbs the fatty parts of the body of the caterpillar. 


gradually growing larger and larger until at last it reaches 
a length of possibly an inch. By this time it is likely to 
have absorbed so large a part of the inside of the cater- 
pillar that the latter dies. The parasite larva now changes 
to a pupa, either inside or outside the skin of the cater- 
pillar, and a little later changes again to an adult Ichneu- 
mon fly. 

In the case just given, one egg only was deposited within 
the skin of the caterpillar. In many others, however, a 
large number of eggs may be so deposited by a single fly. 
A special group of Ichneumon flies, called the Microgast- 

ers, contains many parasites 
that have this peculiarity. 
The Microgaster larvae on 
coming forth from the cater- 
pillar have the habit of spin- 
ning tiny cocoons within 

Tachlnid ParasUe; ^^fly; b. pupartum, which they chaUgC tO pupaC. 

By collecting some cabbage 
worms which are nearly full grown, and keeping them in 
a glass jar one can generally get a considerable number 
of these Microgaster cocoons and rear the flies from 

Another group of caterpillar parasites is still more mi- 
nute. They are called the Chalcid flies. Their life-his- 
tories are full of interest, and might easily furnish oppor- 
tunity for a long lifetime of study and experiment. One is 
likely to get hundreds of these Chalcid flies from a single 

Another interesting group of parasites is that of the 
two- winged Tachina flies (see cut on this page). The life- 
story of some of these is comparatively simple: a buzzing 


fly, looking much like a large housefly, lays a small whitish 
egg upon the skin of a caterpillar. This egg is glued 
tightly and is large enough to be readily seen by the un- 
aided eye. It hatches into a tiny larva that eats its way 
through the part of the shell glued to the caterpillar's skin, 
and through the latter at the same time. So the newly 
hatched Tachina larva finds itself in the body of its cater- 
pillar host. It lives there, absorbing the fatty juices 
around it until at last it either kills or stupefies its un- 
fortunate victim. It has then become full grown as a 
larva, and its last larval skin hardens into a brown pupa- 
case within which the little creature changes into a pupa. 
It may or may not have burrowed through the skin of the 
caterpillar before this happened. A little later the pupa 
changes to a Tacliina fly which breaks apart the pupa case 
and flies out into the world. 

It has lately been found, however, that many Tachinids 
have much more complicated life-histories than this. I 
have already discussed some of the more important of these 
in my book entitled, "Seeing Nature First" (pages 

One can frequently rear parasites from the chrysalids of 
butterflies, but in many cases it is probable that these be- 
gan their parasitic development in the caterpillars, which 
were able to change to chrysalids before being killed. 
In some cases, however, the chrysalids seem to be attacked, 
especially by certain Ichneumon flies. 

Rearing Butterflies From Caterpillars 

There are few tilings in the world more interesting to 
watch than the wonderful changes which a moth or butter- 


fly goes through in the course of its life. You find on a 
tree or shrub a wormlike caterpillar. You take it in 
charge, placing it in a box or jar where you can provide 
leaves for its food and soon it either spins around itself a 
silken shroud, thus hiding from your sight, or else it simply 
seems to change to a lifeless object without eyes or wings 
or legs, unable to move about and motionless, save for a 
slight wriggle when you touch it. Yet if you keep the 
shroud or the mummy-like object for two or three weeks you 
are likely to see a beautiful moth come from the shroud 
or a glorious butterfly break out of the mummy case. 
{See plate, page 4-9.) So you can get the realest kind of 
moving pictures by simply bringing in the caterpillars that 
are easily found in garden, field, and wood. 

To collect these caterpillars it is only necessary to be 
provided with a pair of sharp eyes and an empty coffee can 
or some other form of tin box. Go out into the garden or 
along the borders of the woods. Look carefully. If you 
see places where leaves have been eaten, search the leaves 
near by and you are likely to find one or more of the cater- 
pillars that caused the injury. Transfer them to the box 
and take them home with a few leaves of the food plant. 
There place them in some form of vivarium, which simply 
means a box or cage in which you can keep living creatures. 

The most satisfactory cages for rearing caterpillars are 
those which are open above so that there is not even a 
glass plate between the observer and the insect. This 
kind of vivarium is easily made by using a band of some 
sticky substance like the tree tanglefoot with which trees 
are commonly banded, or a strip of sticky fly paper. Any 
wide shallow box may be used by simply placing an inch- 
wide band of the sticky material around the vertical sides 


near the top. The caterpillars will be free to move all over 
the open box but they cannot cross the band to escape. 
Fresh leaves are easily placed in the open box and the 
withered ones removed. 

The same plan may be adopted with wide glass jars, like 
the ordinary battery jar. Choose a rather large one and 
smear the inner side near the top with a band of sticky ma- 
terial. The caterpillars are thus prevented from crawling 
out, but they are open to observation at ^all times. {See 
plate, pages 1^8-1^9.) 

In the case of the caterpillars that change to butterflies 
no soil need be placed in the bottom of the jar as these will 
attach their chrysahds to the sides or to a stick or board 
which may easily be put in. In the case of many cater- 
pillars that change to moths, however, it is desirable to 
place about two inches of soil in the bottom of the jar. 
Then if the caterpillars are not cocoon spinners they can 
burrow into the soil when they are ready to change to 

Instead of applying the sticky material directly to the 
glass a strip of sticky fly paper may be glued to it. 

As a rule the buttei-fly caterpillar easiest to find lives 
upon cabbages. Go into the garden and you are likely to 
see a dozen green caterpillars upon as many cabbage 
plants. Bring in several of the larger ones and place them 
in a vivarium with some fresh cabbage leaves. In a few 
days some of them will be likely to fasten themselves to 
the vertical sides of the vivarium and shed the caterpillar 
skin. Each thus becomes a chrysalis. About ten days 
later this chrysalis skin will break open and a white 
Cabbage butterfly will come out. 

So your caterpillar goes through the four different 


stages of insect life. It was first an egg laid upon the leaf 
by a butterfly; the egg hatched into the caterpillar or 
larva; the larva changed to the chrysalis; the chrysalis 
changed to the butterfly or adult insect. 

One of the most satisfactory ways to rear the caterpillars 
of butterflies is to get the females to lay their eggs upon the 
food plant. In the case of many species this is not diffi- 
cult. The simplest way is to enclose the mother butterfly 
in a small gauze bag tied over the branch of the food 
plant. If she has eggs ready to deposit she is very likely 
to lay them under these conditions. After they are laid 
the mother butterfly may be allowed to escape, but it is well 
to replace the gauze protection as a safeguard against 
many sorts of enemies which may destroy the eggs or the 
young caterpillars that hatch from them. Another way is 
to enclose the butterflies with a twig of the food plant in a 
glass jar, sealing it tight to prevent the leaves from wilt- 
ing. The butterfly is likely after she has quieted down to 
lay her eggs upon the leaves. According to William G. 
Wright, who speaks from his long experience with the but- 
terflies of the West Coast, these genera will lay their eggs on 
anything: Parnassius, Argynnis, Euptoieta, Neonympha, 
and all members of the family Satyridae. In these cases 
one can get the eggs by simply enclosing the butterflies 
in glass jars or gauze nets without even the leaves of the 
food plant. William H. Edwards found in his long ex- 
perience that one can get the eggs of practically all butter- 
flies in confinement, provided only the insects are suf- 
ficiently mature so that the eggs are ready to be laid. He 
found that the cause of failure to get eggs from many of the 
Fritillaries early in the season was that the eggs were not 
matm-e and that from the same kinds of butterflies with 


which he failed early in the summer he got plenty of eggs 
in September. 

There is here a rich field for observation and experiment 
for every natm-alist who wishes to take up the study of 
butterflies. He can be sure of the parentage of the cater- 
pillars and can trace them from the very moment of egg- 
laying through all their wonderful changes until they be- 
come butterflies again. 

Photographing Butterflies 

There is a famous old saying that to make hare stew it is 
first necessary to catch your hare. So if one wishes to 
make perfect pictures of butterflies it is first necessary to 
get the caterpillars. For though caterpillars are not 
butterflies they are butterflies in the making and they will 
show you most interesting stages in nature's manufacture 
of these dainty and exquisite creatures. Tliis is not, how- 
ever, the chief reason why the photographer should get 
them. He will wish to make perfect pictures and in order 
to do this he must have not only perfect specimens but 
living butterflies which are willing to look pleasant while 
he makes comparatively long exposures under conditions of 
light that he can control. If you catch a butterfly out- 
doors and bring it in you will be likely to find that it is by 
no means a docile subject. The sunlight shining through 
the nearest window will be a call which you cannot counter- 
act and your butterfly will constantly respond to it in a 
most vexing manner. So you must catch the butterfly 
young and take advantage of a brief but docile period in 
their lives when they are willing to pose before your camera 
in quite a remarkable manner. This is the period just 


after the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis when its 
wings are fully developed but before the tissues have 
hardened and the muscles in the thorax are strong enough 
for flight. At this time the butterfly is perfect, every 
scale is in its place and every spot of color is at its best, and 
it will rest quietly upon a flower, leaf, or twig while you 
adjust the camera and expose the plate. From one 
such specimen one can get many pictures upon different 
flowers and with different angles of view. {See plates, 
pages 160, 225.) 

In order to make admirable photographs of living butter- 
flies it is by no means necessary to have a regular photo- 
graphic studio. If one has a room lighted from the north 
or east one can arrange for exposure near the window, 
using cardboard reflectors to make the light more even 
from both sides. In such a situation one soon learns the 
exposure periods required and can easily get many beauti- 
ful photographs. 

A collection of prints of the butterflies of one's locality 
would be one of th« most interesting photographic exhibits 
that an amateur could select. It is comparatively easy to 
get rather full sets showing the life-histories of several of 
our larger species and such sets are of course of especial in- 
terest. In the case of those caterpillars which make 
nests upon the food plant, like the Painted Beauty larva 
which remains for weeks feeding upon the leaves of the 
common wild everlasting, the taking of the pictures of 
the different stages is comparatively easy. One can 
keep the plant with the stem in water, and get the 
caterpillar to change to the chrysalis, and emerge as the 
butterfly, in the nest made from the flower heads and the 
upper leaves. 

From (I (Irdu-iiKj hy W . I. Ihccroft 

Caterpillar, clirysalis and Initterfly 

Src p(i(J(' ■'>'■> 

'I'wD liiinilriMl Mniiarclis rcsliiiu on one driid liiiih 





w^: W^Mim^^ 



Pli()lflf/r(ij)li('(l 1)1/ Cnt'nj .S. Thomas Sec pp. IH. 2-1') 

"When a stick was thrown into the tree the air was ftill of Monarchs" 

Sri' i)(i(/r 'i-'i 

From a photograph from lije by A. H. Verrill. See page U 



Butterfly Collections 

There are few groups in Nature which offer such ad- 
vantages to the collector as that of the butterflies. They 
are easily obtained, easily preserved, and retain their 
beauty for a long period even under exposure to strong 
light. They offer opportunities for serious study in 
which one cannot only review the facts which others have 
already discovered, but also hope to contribute something 
of value to the sum of human knowledge. 

The mistake most commonly made by beginners with 
butterflies, as with other coUections, is to undertake too 
much. Instead of starting on the hopeless task of making 
a collection of the butterflies of the world, it is much better 
to start with the intention of making a collection of those 
of one's own town. In the latter case one can hope soon 
to attain the desired end and then, if one wishes, it is a 
simple matter to reach out and make a collection of the 
butterflies of the state or even of the particular region in 
which the state is located. The natural limitations for a 
collection in New England is to make a collection of New 
England butterfhes. There is a splendid example of such 
a collection on exhibition in the museum of the Boston 
Society of Natural History. This contains representa- 
tives of practically every kind that has been collected 
in New England, and yet there are less than a hundred 
species in all. So it is apparent that a local collection 
should be attainable by any enthusiastic student and 
the very fact that the number of species is limited adds 
interest and satisfaction to the pursuit. 

The main value of any collection of objects lies in the 


point of view of the collector. The most natural point of 
view for a beginner is that of the local fauna, as indicated 
in the previous paragraph. Such a collection best serves 
as a basis for a study of the subject but it may well lead 
to a broader field through some special phase of scientific 
interest. Thus while it would be hopeless for most per- 
sons to attempt a collection of the butterflies of the world 
it would be entirely reasonable for one to start a collection 
of all the species in the world of any given genus or tribe, 
and such a set of specimens would soon come to possess 
decided scientific value. Or, instead of the point of 
view of generic or family relationship, one could take 
the point of view of special geographical distribution. 
Thus a collection of all the butterflies found within 
a certain number of degrees of the North Pole showing 
the circumpolar butterfly fauna would have great scientific 

There are also various other points of view which could 
be followed in making a collection. There are already 
in many of the museums of the world collections of butter- 
flies which illustrate the various phases of true mimicry — 
the resemblance of one species to another in the same re- 
gion. This is a field in which one could spend a lifetime of 
endeavor, and secure results of great value to the world 
of science. An easier problem for most collectors in the 
United States would be a collection made from the point 
of view of resemblance to environment, including such 
examples as the Angle-wings that show a bark-like set of 
marks on the under surface. Yet another point of view 
would be that of hibernation, the making of a collection 
of all butterflies that hibernate as adults. 

These are only a few suggestions. There are many 


other phases of butterfly life which could be utilized as the 
basis for interesting collections. The important thing is 
to have a definite object in view and to make the collection 
a basis for a real study of the subject, so that the collector 
will not only be growing intellectually but will also be 
making a real contribution to our scientific knowledge. 

Collecting Apparatus 

To collect and preserve butterflies in proper condition 
for study, certain apparatus is necessary. Perhaps the 
first essential is the collecting net for catching butterflies 
in the field. The simplest way to obtain this is to buy 
it of the dealers in entomological supplies. Nets in con- 
siderable variety and at various prices are offered in the 
catalogues of these firms. One can make, however, a net 
at home with httle difficulty. One need only obtain an 
iron wire about one fifth of an inch in diameter and bend 
it into a circular ring a foot or fifteen inches wide, leaving 
the ends projecting at right angles to the circle and hav- 
ing a blacksmith weld them together so as to form a spur 
about four inches long. Now thrust this spur into some 
convenient handle, such as a broomstick, and sew over the 
wire circle a bag of mosquito netting, Swiss muslin, or some 
similar fabric. It is better that this material be green or 
black rather than white. 

After the butterflies are caught, they must be killed, 
so some form of killing bottle is necessary. Most collec- 
tors use a cyanide bottle, in which the fumes of cyanide of 
potassium kill the insects. One of the best ways to make 
this is to place in a wide-mouthed bottle two or three 
lumps of cyanide of potassium, approximately an inch 
across. Over this place some fine sawdust and on top of 



the sawdust, pour liquid plaster of paris carefully so that 
it will harden into a layer about half an inch thick. 
Allow the plaster to become thoroughly dry, then insert 
the stopper into the bottle and it will be ready for use. 
It is better to use a ground glass stopper so that the bot- 

Butterfly Envelopes. Fold first on line AB; then on AD and CB; then 
on BF and EA. (From Holland) 

tie will always be air tight. The sawdust is often omitted, 
the plaster of paris being poured directly over the cyanide. 
The special advantage of the sawdust is that it tends to 
absorb the cyanide in case it liquefies, as it often does in 
damp weather. As this cyanide is a deadly poison, it 

is better to let a druggist 
prepare the bottle or else 
to buy it already pre- 
pared of the dealers in 
such supplies. 

After the specimens 
have been killed in the 
cyanide bottle, some 
method of keeping them 
is necessary. The 
simplest way is to pre- 
serve them with their wings closed together in pieces 
of paper folded over into triangles as indicated on the 

Setting Board with Butterfly in place. (From 


accompanying diagrams. Such specimens may be kept 
for an indefinite time and if one wishes to mount them 
later, it is only necessary to place them for a few 
hours in a relaxing jar, which is simply a closed ves- 
sel with enough water in the bottom to saturate the 
air with moisture. A great advantage of keeping the 
specimens in these paper covers is that they require 
so little room and are easily stored away in tin cans 
or boxes where they are safe from dust and destroying 

Those butterflies which are to be preserved in the ordi- 
nary way, in drawers or cabinets, must be spread out and 
held in position while the body is drying so that the wings 
will remain expanded. For this pm-pose, some form of a 
setting board is necessary. These may be bought of deal- 
ers or made at home. One of the simplest kinds consists 
of two thin strips of pine board, a foot or more long, 
nailed to end pieces with a space between the two boards 
wide enough to accommodate the bodies of the butter- 
flies. Beneath this open space, a piece of thin cork is 
tacked. The pin on which the butterfly is fastened is 
pushed through the cork until the wings of the insect 
are level with the boards. The wings are then brought 
forward with a needle point until they are in the desired 
position and they are then held in place by pieces of glass 
or by bits of cardboard fastened down by pins. The 
butterflies must be left in this position until thoroughly 

Special insect pins should be used for butterflies. 
These are longer than common pins and have rounded 
heads. They are offered for sale by entomological deal- 
ers. Instead of pinning the insects and preserving them 


in cabinets, one may keep them in the Riker mounts, 
which have the advantage of being sealed so that there is 
no chance for dust or museum pests to reach the speci- 
mens. If one wishes to collect extensively, one will need 

Drying Box for Setting Boards. (After Riley) 

a considerable number of setting boards and it will be 
worth while to prepare for them a special drying box like 
that shown in the picture above. 


SuPERFAMiLY PapUionoidea 

The great suborder of butterflies is commonly sepa- 
rated into two principal groups called superfamilies. One 
of these includes all of the higher butterflies and is named 
Papilionoidea. The other includes the lower Skipper 
butterflies and is named the Hesperioidea. The former 
are characterized by small bodies and relatively large 
wings, straight clubbed antennae, and the fact that the 
caterpillars do not make cocoons when preparing for the 
chrysalis state. 

The most authoritative classifications of butterfly 
families are based upon the peculiarities of wing venation 
and are admirably discussed in such books as Holland's 
"Butterfly Book" and Comstock's "How to Know the 
Butterflies." Without attempting to go into the tech- 
nical details of structure it will suffice here to give the list 
of families which compose the superfamily Papilionoidea: 

The Parnassians. Parnassiidae. 

The Swallowtails. Papilionidae. 

The Whites, Orange-tips, and Yellows. Pieridae. 

The Nymphs. Nymphalidae. 

The Satyrs or Meadow-browns. Agapetidae. 

The Heliconians. Heliconidae. 

The Milkweed Butterflies. Lymnadidae. 



The Long-beaks. Lihytheidae. 
The Metal-marks. Riodinidae. 
The Gossamer-wings. Lycaenidae. 

It must not be thought that such a list necessarily indi- 
cates the degrees of development of the respective families, 
for this is not true. It is simply a linear arrangement 
adopted for convenience by leading authorities, notably 
Dr. Harrison G. Dyar in his standard "Catalog of Ameri- 
can Lepidoptera." 


Family Parnassiidae 

It is perhaps a bit unfortunate that the group of but- 
terflies, which is commonly chosen to head the list of 
families, is one that is rarely seen by most collectors. The 
Parnassians are butterflies of the far north or of high ele- 
vations in the mountains. The four species credited 
to North America have been collected in Alaska and the 
higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains, so there is very 
little probability of any of them being found in the Eastern 

While, structurally, these butterflies have a close affin- 
ity with the Swallowtails, one would never suspect it 
from their general appearance. Their bodies are large 
and all of the wings well rounded, so that there is more of 
the suggestion of a large moth than of the Swallowtail. 
The coloring is also more moth-like than with most but- 
terflies, the wings being very light colored and nearly 
transparent, with markings of gray and brown, arranged 
in dots and splashes. 


All our species belong to the genus Parnassius. The 
caterpillars show their affinity with those of the Swallow- 
tails by having the curious scent organs or osmateria just 
back of the head. They feed upon such alpine plants as 
stonecrop and saxifrage and are well adapted by their 
structure and habits to the bleak surroundings of the 
mountain tops. 

As a typical example of the environment in which these 
butterflies live, we may take the alpine valleys of such 
mountain regions as Pike's Peak. Prof. M. J. Elrod has 
described a visit where, at an altitude of 11,500 feet in the 
month of August, Parnassius smintheus was flying by 
thousands, and the earlier stages were so abundant that 
a water ditch had the surface covered as far as one could 
see with the dead or dying caterpillars. In such situa- 
tions, where ice forms at night, and snow frequently falls 
by day, these butterflies develop apparently in greater 
numbers than almost any of our other species are known to 
do in warmer regions. 


Family Papilionidae 

This is probably the most distinctive family of all our 
familiar butterffies. Its members are characterized by 
being on the whole the largest butterflies in our region and 
by having the hind wings prolonged into curious tail-like 
projections, suggestive of those of a swallow. In general, 
the basal color of the wings is blackish though this is com- 
monly marked in various striking ways with yellow, green, 
or blue, while the margins of the wings are commonly 


adorned with red or orange spots. These butterflies are 
also characterized by certain pecuharities in the brandling 
of the wing veins which will be found pictured in more 
technical works. 

The caterpillars of these butterflies have the character- 
istic form pictured on the plate of the Swallowtails op- 
posite page 80. When full grown they are large, fairly 
smooth-bodied worms, showing at most on the surface 
sparse fine hairs or fleshy threadlike projections. Their 
most characteristic feature is found in the scent organs 
called osmateria situated in the back just behind the head. 
These are thrust out, generally, when the caterpillar is 
disturbed and appear as orange Y- or V-shaped organs 
from which an offensive odor is commonly given off. 
They are supposed to serve the purpose of preventing in- 
jury by enemies, possibly birds, monkeys, and other 
vertebrates. Structurally, they are like long tubular 
pockets that can be turned inside out. When the pocket 
is in place it is getting a pocketful of odors. When it is in- 
verted it lets these odors free. On this account Professor 
Comstock has aptly called these caterpillars "the polecats 
of the insect world." 

When ready to pupate, these Papilio caterpillars spin a 
web of silk upon some more or less flattened surface and a 
loop of silk near by. They entangle their hind legs in the 
former and keep their heads through the latter so the loop 
supports the body a little behind the head. Then they 
change to chrysalids which are held in place by these sets 
of silken threads. 

The chrysalids are rather large and angular and gen- 
erally take on colors approximating their surroundings. 
They vary so much in different species that one familiar 


with them can recognize the chrysalis and know the kind 
of butterfly it will produce. 

The Black Swallowtail 

Papilio polyxenes 

While the Black Swallowtail is not so large as some other 
members of the group, it is probably the best known to 
most people. It is found throughout many months of the 
year in practically all parts of North America south of 
Canada, and has the habit of flying freely about fields and 
gardens in search of flowers from which to suck its nectar 
food, and of plants on which to deposit its eggs. The fe- 
male butterflies have a remarkable abihty in selecting only 
members of the great family Umbelliferae for this purpose. 
In consequence the caterpillars are generally to be found 
feeding upon carrots, parsnips, parsley, and various wild spe- 
cies belonging to this order. (See plates, pages 48 and 6J^-65.) 

The eggs of the Black Swallowtail are laid one in a 
place upon the leaves of the food plant. Each egg is a 
small, yellowish, smooth, and ovoid object. It may 
often be found by watching the butterflies as they fly low 
in search of umbelliferous plants, and seeing one stop for a 
minute or so while she lays the egg. 

About ten days after the egg is laid it hatches into a 
small black caterpillar marked in a characteristicjfashion 
with a blotch of wliite in the middle of the body which is 
suggestive of a saddle. The caterpillar immediately be- 
gins to feed upon the green substance of the leaf, continu- 
ing thus about a week before the first moult. At this 
time it does not change much in appearance, still being a 


spiny creature blackish in color and marked by the curious 
white saddle. A little later it moults again, retaining its 
original coloring. At each moult, of course, it gets larger 
and feeds moie freely upon the celery or other plant on 
which it may happen to be. 

When the caterpillar becomes about half grown it takes 
on a very different appearance from that of its early life. 
The skin is smooth rather than spiny, and the general 
colors are green, black, and yellow. The ground color of 
the skin is green, which is marked with black cross- 
bands along the middle of each body ring. On these 
bands there are many large dots of orange yellow, the 
whole coloring giving the insect a very striking appear- 
ance, especially when it is placed by itself against a 
plain background. When they finally become full grown 
in this larva state, these caterpillars are almost two inches 

The larvae of the Black Swallowtail have certain char- 
acteristics in which they differ from many other cater- 
pillars. After each moult they do not devour their cast 
skins, which happens in the case of many of their relatives. 
When feeding, as well as when resting, they remain ex- 
posed upon the leaf and seem never to attempt to conceal 
themselves, as is the habit with a large proportion of cater- 
pillars. It is probable that this instinct for remaining ex- 
posed to view bears some relation to the curious means of 
protection possessed by this as well as other Swallowtail 
caterpillars. When disturbed one of these larvae will push 
out from just back of the head the strange-looking, orange- 
yellow Y-shaped organ which gives off a very disagreeable 
odor. These osmateria organs are generally believed to 
be defensive against the attack of birds and various other 


enemies, although they seem not to be effective against in- 
sect parasites. 

The full-grown caterpillars are likely to leave their food 
plants when ready to change to the chrysalis state. They 
wander in various directions until suitable shelter is found. 
A piece of board, a fence post, or possibly the bark of a 
tree will answer for this purpose. Here the caterpillar 
spins a mat of silk in which to entangle its hind legs and a 
short distance away near the front end of the body it 
spins a loop of silk attaching the ends to the support. 
These serve to hold the chrysalis in place during this help- 
less period. After the loop is made the caterpillar keeps 
its head through it so that the loop holds the insect in po- 
sition a short distance back of the head. It is now ready 
to moult its last caterpillar skin and become a chrysalis. 

One who has watched hundreds of these caterpillars go 
through this change. Miss Mary C. Dickerson, describes 
the process in these words: "In this final moult the chrys- 
alis has to work very hard. The bulk of the body is 
again slipped forward in the loosened caterpillar skin, so 
that this becomes tensely stretched over the anterior end, 
and very much wrinkled at the posterior end. The skin 
splits back of the head and is forced back by its own taut 
condition and by the efforts of the chrysalis, until only the 
extreme posterior end of the chrysalis is within it. Then 
the chrysalis withdraws this posterior end with its many 
very tiny hooks, from the skin on the dorsal side, and, 
reaching around, securely fastens the hooks into the button 
of silk. Then the old skin is removed both from its fasten- 
ing to the chrysalis and from its attachment in the button 
of silk." 

A short time after the caterpillar's skin has thus been 


cast off the chrysalis takes on a brownish color which as is 
so often the case is likely to vary somewhat according to 
the tint of the surrounding surfaces. This is doubtless a 
protective device and helps the insect to escape attack by 
birds during the long period of exposure. For this butter- 
fly passes through the winter only in the chrysahs con- 
dition, and the larva which went into the chrysalis in 
September does not come out as a butterfly until the fol- 
lowing May or June. There are, however, two broods of 
the butterflies in the North and at least three in the South. 
As the adults live for about two months and there is con- 
siderable variation in the periods of their development it 
happens that one can find these Black Swallowtail butter- 
flies upon the wing almost any time in warm weather, 
either North or South. 

The Giant Swallowtail 

Papilio thoas 

The largest of our North American butterflies is a mag- 
nificent insect with a wing expanse of some four inches and 
with a rich coloring of black and yellow more or less suf- 
fused with greenish or bluish iridescence that gives it a 
striking beauty as it flies leisurely about from flower to 
flower or stops to lay an egg upon some bush or tree. The 
tails are long and expanded toward the tip, their prevailing 
color being black with a broad splash of yellow near the 
end. In a general way we may say that the upper wing 
surface is black marked with two bands of orange-yellow, 
while the under surface is yellow marked with two bands of 
black. {See jplate^ page 64-.) 


The Giant Swallowtail is a tropical species which is 
abundant throughout the Southern states and during re- 
cent years seems to have been gradually extending its 
northern range. It is now commonly found as far north 
as forty- two degrees latitude, from Nebraska eastward. 
In New England it is occasionally taken in Connecticut, 
Massachusetts, and even in Maine, but its appearance in 
this region is exceptional. 

In the orange-growing regions of the Southern states the 
caterpillars of this butterfly feed freely upon the leaves of 
citrus fruits and they are often called "orange puppies" or 
"orange dogs." Probably their curious appearance and 
their habit of resting for long periods upon leaf or twig 
gave rise to this name. In the region indicated the life- 
history of the insect may be summarized thus: 

The mother butterfly deposits the eggs singly upon the 
young growth of orange or other citrus fruit trees, generally 
near the tips of leaves or branches. About a week later 
each egg hatches into a caterpillar that feeds upon the 
young leaves, resting upon the lower surface when not eat- 
ing. After a few days of this feeding the caterpillar be- 
comes too large for the skin with which it was born and it 
moults, coming forth with a new skin which soon hardens 
so that it can begin feeding again. A week or so later it 
moults for the second time, and continues these processes of 
feeding and moulting until full grown, which is perhaps a 
month from the time of hatching from the egg. At first 
the caterpillars eat only the succulent young leaves and 
branches, but as they grow larger they feed more freely 
upon the older foliage. They are very voracious and when 
abundant may often do much damage especially to young 
trees. When ready to change to the chrysalis each cater- 


pillar attaches itself by silken threads to the bark of the 
trunk or branch of the tree. Here it changes to a chrysalis 
which takes on a color so similar to that of the bark that 
the insect is surprisingly difficult to discover. A fort- 
night or so later it changes again into a fully developed 
butterfly that sallies forth in search of the nectar of 
flowers. {See plates, pages 67 and 24-0.) 

These "orange dogs," like the caterpillars of other Swal- 
lowtail butterflies, have curious yellow scent organs which, 
when the caterpillar is disturbed, protrude from the upper 
surface just behind the head. These give forth a very dis- 
agreeable odor which is believed to serve the purpose of re- 
pelling birds and possibly other enemies. It has been 
noticed that these caterpillars are not molested by birds al- 
though they are attacked by various insect enemies. Each 
mother butterfly is known to be able to deposit four or five 
hundred eggs and it has been suggested that the injuries of 
the caterpillars may be checked by shooting the butterfly 
upon the wing with cartridges loaded with small bird shot. 
In the South there are several broods in a season. 

The life-history of this species in more northern regions 
differs in the choice of the food plant and the number of 
broods. It feeds upon various members of the rue family, 
including common rue and prickly ash, as well as upon 
certain poplars and probably other trees. It is two 
brooded and apparently winters as a chrysalis. The but- 
terflies of the first brood come from the chrysalis about the 
last of May and are found on the wing during June. Those 
of the second brood come from the chrysalis about the last 
of July and are found on the wing during August and Sep- 
tember. The length of time required from the laying of the 
egg to the emergence of the butterfly varies greatly with 

From a drairing hi/ Mart/ E. Walker See page 62 

Msitiiif,' blossuining brandies of tlie orange In'i-. (Reduced) 

Sec page .'>'.) 

J'ltoloi/riijilicd J'ruiti lij'c 


(\ li'ood (l(Nil magnified) 

Src pagt; 80 

See page 65 

Upper surface above; lower surface below 


the locality and the temperature. It commonly extends 
over a period of four or five weeks. 

The Blue Swallowtail 

Laertias philenor 

The Blue Swallowtail is said to have closer affinity with 
the splendid butterflies of the tropics than most of our 
other Papilios. The sheen of metallic color upon its wings 
is certainly suggestive of the broad expanse of similar color- 
ings in the gorgeous butterflies from South America. This 
species is easily recognized by the general blackness of the 
front wings and the basal parts of the hind ones as seen 
from above, about two thirds of the area of the latter being 
overlaid with blue-green scales that give the metallic lustre 
characteristic of the species. Near the outer border of the 
basal half of the front wings there is a row of about five 
rather indistinct whitish spots, this row being continued 
more distinctly on the hind wings. On the under surface 
the white spots of the front wings are more pronounced 
than on the upper, while each hind wing is brilliantly 
marked with about seven large orange spots, part of them 
fringed on one or both sides with a distinct margin of white. 
The extreme side borders of all four wings are distinctly 
marked with white crescents and the fringes on the tails 
as well as more or less of the darker fringes of the hind 
wings are of a beautiful purple color. In the males each 
hind wing has along the inner border a slender, pocket- 
like depression which is said to be the seat of the scent 
organs. (See plate, page 65.) 

This splendid butterfly is a southern species. It is 



found from the Carolinas to California, being at times ex- 
tremely abundant in certain localities over this great 
region. It seldom occurs as far north as New England 
and in a general way east of the Rocky Mountains its 
northern limit approximates that of forty-three degrees of 
latitude. It varies considerably in size and differs greatly 
in abundance in different localities and different seasons. 
Probably the commonest food plant of the caterpillars 
is the Dutchman's Pipe or Aristolochia, which is fre- 

Caterpillar of the Blue Swallowtail. (After Riley) 

quently planted as an ornamental vine for porch aaorn- 
ment. It also feeds upon wild ginger or Asarum and 
probably upon other plants. A dozen or more eggs are 
laid upon a leaf by the mother butterfly, usually in a clus- 
ter or grouped near together. They hatch a week or so 
later into small brownish caterpillars which remain to- 
gether for awhile in little groups that feed side by side 
upon the leaf, beginning at the margin and working toward 
the centre. As they become larger they feed more freely 
and gradually disperse so that each forages for himself. 
As they approach maturity their appetites become vora- 
cious and their presence is often shown by the defoliated 
condition of the branches. They have back of the head 
the osmateria or scent organs which are commonly found 

(Three fourths natural size) 
The Palauiedes {see page 76) 
The Giant {■tee page 6,2) 

Scr j)(l(/r I'l 

tTppor surface alxivc; Imvcr surface l>el(>\v 


in the other caterpillars of this genus, but the odor emitted 
by them is likely to be less pronounced than usual. 

When full grown the caterpillars find such shelter as 
they may and each spins a bit of silken web and a silken 
loop which hold it while it changes to the chrysalis. This 
chrysalis is very likely to take on the colors of the immedi- 
ate surroundings and thus be rather difficult to see. If the 
egg was laid by one of the spring or early summer butter- 
flies, the chrysalis will soon change to a butterfly which 
will appear toward midsummer and which may lay eggs 
for another brood of caterpillars. These caterpillars 
mature to chrysaUds the same season and some of them 
are believed to change into butterflies in autumn, these 
butterflies hibernating through the winter; while others 
are believed to remain unchanged through the winter 
and disclose the butterfly the following spring. This is an 
exceptional condition for the Swallowtails and it is worth 
while to make careful observations along its northern 
limits to learn more definitely the facts as to the winter 

The Green-clouded Swallowtail 

Papilio troilus 

This beautiful butterfly is essentially a southern species 
and is found over a wide range of territory from the Mis- 
sissippi River to the Atlantic Ocean. It occurs as far north 
as New Hampshire and Vermont and has even been re- 
ported from Alberta, Canada. It is easily recognized by 
the blue-green clouding of the upper surface of the wings, 
the general color being velvety black with distinctive 


rows of yellow spots along the margins of the front wing. 
These spots are present also on the hind wing where they 
are almost changed to blue because overlaid with a gen- 
eral cloudiness of this color. On the under surface of the 
hind wings there are two rows of orange-brown spots, the 
inner row being nearly crescent-shaped and the outer row 
oblong. In the living insect the tail projections on the 
hind wings are usually twisted into a vertical plane at 
right angles to the plane of the wings. {See plate, page 67.) 

The caterpillars of this species feed upon the leaves of 
sassafras and spice bush. The distribution of the but- 
terfly appears to be closely related to the distribution of 
these plants. 

As is the case with so many of our Swallowtail butter- 
flies, the Green-clouded Swallowtail passes through the 
winter in the chrysalis stage. Late in spring the butter- 
flies emerge and soon afterward lay their eggs singly upon 
the leaves of sassafras or spice bush. The eggs soon hatch 
into lead-colored caterpillars, largely covered with spiny 
warts. Each caterpillar cleverly makes a protecting 
nest by eating out a narrow strip in the leaf which frees a 
flap along the margin that is turned back upon the leaf, 
making a case in which the larva lives. It spins a silken 
carpet on one side of the case and rests upon this car- 
pet when at home. During its feeding periods it goes 
outside and eats the tissues of the other parts of the same 
leaf. It continues to occupy this first nest for a week or 
more by which time the rest of the leaf is likely to be 
pretty well consumed. 

Having passed the first moult and thus become larger 
and having practically eaten itself out of its first house 
and home the caterpillar now crawls to a larger leaf where 


it proceeds to make a more enduring structure. In this 
case it does not need to bite a channel along one side of the 
midrib as it did before, but instead it begins to spin silken 
threads transversely across the upper surface in such a way 
as to fold over the border of the leaf and make a tubular 
chamber in which it has plenty of room to move about. 
It uses this as its home for some time thereafter, wander- 
ing out at evening to feed upon neighboring leaves as its 
hunger necessitates. In this way it continues to feed and 
grow for a week or two. Then it finds it necessary to 
construct still another home, which it does by bringing 
together the opposite sides of a leaf, taking care to have a 
door-like opening at the base of the blade next the leaf 
stalk. This third home serves it to the end of its larval 
existence. It goes in and out as necessary, remaining con- 
cealed when it casts its skin and until the body tissues 
harden afterward. Apparently it devours the cast skin 
and thrusts the hard covering of the head out of the nest. 
Consequently these little homes are clean and sanitary and 
serve admirably their protecting purpose. 

The full-grown caterpillars have the curious appearance 
of those of the other Swallowtails. The third ring behind 
the head is greatly swollen, making, with the rings di- 
rectly in front of it, a characteristic picture suggesting a 
grotesque face with large eye-like spots at the top. The 
general color is green, darker above than below, and there 
are six rows of blue dots along the body. {See plate, page 80.) 

When ready to change to the chrysalis, the caterpillars 
desert their leafy homes and on a twig or board or stone 
each spins a bit of silken webbing and a silken loop. They 
now change to chrysalids which are likely to resemble the 
color of the background and which are somewhat smoother 


than many of the Swallowtail chrysalids. About two 
weeks later the butterflies emerge. 

The Eclosion of the Butterfly 

The transformation of a chrysalis into a butterfly is 
always one of extraordinary interest. Comparatively 
few definite descriptions of this process have been given 
by careful observers. One of the best of these is that 
written by Mr. Scudder in connection with the emergence 
of this butterfly, and it is so accurate and complete that 
it seems worth while to quote it at length: 

"The butterfly generally emerges from the chrysalis 
early in the day," writes Mr. Scudder, "and the first signs 
of the immediate change are strong forward and back- 
ward movements of the chrysalis at intervals of a few 
seconds; perhaps the third or fourth attempt will be suc- 
cessful, when a click may be heard at the distance of 
several feet; but all the subsequent movements are abso- 
lutely noiseless, though rapid; at intervals of three or four 
seconds, spasmodic movements similar to the first carry 
on the process; first the split continues along the thorax; 
then it runs down either side between the legs and wings, 
ultimately to the tips of the antennae. As this progresses, 
the actions become more strenuous and more frequently 
repeated; with eager efforts the butterfly pushes forward 
its half -detached head; now an antenna springs from its 
case, at once assuming its natural attitude; the other soon 
follows, and then the wings are partially drawn from their 
sheaths, and while in this position seem to be used as 
levers or arms to aid in withdrawing the rest of the body; 
next the legs appear, seize the upper part of the chrysalis 
skin, and speedily withdraw the whole body. It is now a 


curious-looking object, the wings wrinkled and bloated, 
and, although the whole process of escape lasts little more 
than half a minute, already twice the size of the sheaths 
they lately occupied. The insect crawls upward until it 
finds a secure resting place, and there remains until ready 
for flight; each half of the tongue, drawn independently 
from its receptacle, is rolled in a separate spiral, and now 
while the wings are gradually expanding the insect applies 
all its energies to uniting their two parts, incessantly rolls 
and unrolls them, and beginning simultaneously at the 
base, gradually fits them together by their interlocking 
joints; in about fifteen minutes all but the tips are per- 
fectly united; these require nearly fifteen minutes more, 
and are not fairly interlocked until the wings are fully 
expanded, nearly a full half hour after the escape from the 
chrysalis; the wings, however, are still tender, and gener- 
ally require two hours to stiffen. When at last the insect 
ventures upon flight, it is not with an uncertain flutter, 
but boldly and steadily, as if long accustomed to the 

The butterflies of this second brood of the season are 
likely to begin to appear early in August, continuing to be- 
come more abundant throughout that month. These lay 
eggs upon the same food plant and the caterpillars grow 
to maturity in the same way as those of the first brood. 
They become full grown during September or October, 
and then change to chrysalids which remain dormant 
until the following spring. The species thus has two 
broods each year and passes the winter only in the chrys- 
alis state. 

These beautiful butterflies are likely to be found in the 
sort of situations where the food plants of the larvae are 


growing. Open groves, the borders of woods, and the 
margins of streams or marshes are the places where one is 
most likely to find spice bush and sassafras. These are 
the places to look for these butterflies which one may often 
see in graceful flight near the ground, pausing now and 
then to seek a sassafras leaf or to sip the nectar from a 

The Tiger Swallowtail 

Papilio glaucus 

One of the many things that make a study of the life- 
histories of butterflies of great interest is the variations in 
the development of many of the species. One who follows 
the simplest life-story of a butterfly and sees the egg 
change to larva and the larva change in size and form and 
color with each successive moult and then change again 
into the seemingly inert chrysalis, from which there finally 
comes the winged butterfly — unlike the egg, unlike the 
larva, unlike the chrysalis — a creature of perfect beauty, 
wonderfully adapted to living freely in the air and sipping 
ambrosial nectar from the flowers — one who follows these 
changes with awakened vision can scarcely fail to have a 
sense of wonder as to the laws that govern such intricate 
phenomena. But the marvel is still more pronounced in 
the case of those butterflies which have two or more forms 
arising from the same lot of eggs in a way which science 
has as yet not adequately explained. 

The splendid Tiger Swallowtail is an example of this 
dimorphism which is of especial interest because of the 
fact that the extra form is confined to one sex and to only 
a part of the geographical area over which the butterfly is 


found. The species occurs over a very large part of the 
North American continent, being found from ocean to 
ocean and from Canada to Florida. In the region north of 
approximately the fortieth degree of latitude there is but 
one form of the insect — the familiar yellow-and-black 
striped butterfly which every one has seen visiting the hlac 
blossoms in May or June. South of this, however, part 
of the females take on an entirely different appearance, 
being almost wholly black with the hind wings touched 
with Hues of blue and bordered with crescents of yellow 
and orange. The curious thing about it is that a certain 
mother butterfly may lay a dozen eggs part of which will 
develop into the usual yellow form and the rest into the 
black form, both lots being of the same sex. This black 
form is so entirely distinct in appearance that the two were 
originally described as separate species, and they were 
long considered such, until breeding experiments deter- 
mined the precise condition. (See plates , pages 17 and 96.) 
This species is of interest also for another reason. The 
caterpillars during their later life are remarkable examples 
of that curious resemblance to the head of a serpent which 
is thought to have a real protective value in frightening 
away attacking birds and possibly other enemies. The 
rings of the body just back of the head are much swollen 
and on the top of the swollen part there are two large 
circular marks which bear a striking resemblance to eyes. 
When the insect is at rest it withdraws its head and holds 
up the front of the body in such a way as certainly to sug- 
gest at the first glance that one is looking at the head of a 
small snake, an impression which is likely to be enhanced 
when the caterpillar pushes out the curious yellow scent 
organs from the ring near the top of the head, these 


organs taking on the forked appearance of a snake*s 

Obviously it is exceedingly difficult to get definite ob- 
servations under natural conditions to determine whether 
these seeming resemblances are really of value to the cater- 
pillar in frightening away birds or other enemies. About 
the only direct evidence which I have come across upon 
this point is found in this paragraph by Dr. J. L. Hancock: 

"When I recall the first sight of this larva, the impres- 
sion gained of it was a most curious one. The forwg^rd 
mask-like face was remarkably startling. This mask, 
bearing eye-like spots and the light transverse ridge, gave 
it an aspect which might easily be mistaken for real eyes 
and a mouth. This contrivance is only a false face in no 
way connected with the real eyes and mouth. One might 
imagine the shock that a bird, or other predaceous enemy, 
would experience when looking upon this grinning mask. 
This is in reality the effect produced, for I have seen small 
birds so alarmed that they lost their appetite and curiosity 
for these larvae after a brief glance at them. It is certain 
that these singular markings have the effect of terrifying 
their bird enemies."* 

The yearly cycle of the Tiger Swallowtail is much Eke 
that of the related species. It passes the winter as a 
chrysahs, the butterflies coming forth just about the time 
that the lilacs bloom. They remain upon the wing for a 
few weeks and deposit theu: eggs upon a great variety of 
trees and shrubs, for the food plants of the larvae are tm- 
usually varied and include tulip trees, birches, wild cher- 
ries, apples, poplars, ash, and several other common trees or 

*"Nature Sketches in Temperate America," p. 146. 


shrubs. These eggs soon hatch into caterpillars that feed 
upon the leaves and make for themselves resting places by 
spinning a web of silk transversely across the surface of the 
leaf. They remain upon these silken webs when not feed- 
ing and in later life are likely to cause the leaf on which the 
web is made to curl into a partial tube. When fully de- 
veloped they change to chrysalids which give forth the 
summer brood of butterflies in July and August. These in 
turn lay eggs for the caterpillars which change to chrysalids 
in autumn and remain in that condition until the following 

The Short-tailed Papilio 

Papilio brevicauda 

Were one enough of a magician to make one butterfly 
over into another it would be comparatively easy to take a 
Black Swallowtail and transform it into this species. One 
would only need to trim off the long tails so that they 
project very slightly from the angles of the hind wings and 
to change the yellow spots to orange. He would thus 
accompHsh what Nature through the long ages seems to 
have accomplished in a limited northern area in New- 
foundland and around the Gulf of St. Lawrence, for the 
Short-tailed Papilio is confined chiefly to this region, where 
it lives a life very similar to that of the Black Swallowtail. 
The caterpillar feeds upon the leaves of various members 
of the parsley family and is said to have learned to warm 
itseK during the middle of the day by resting upon stones 
and gravel which have absorbed the sun's heat rays. 
Presumably there is but one brood a year and the insect 
hibernates as a chrysalis. 


The Palamedes Swallowtail 

Papilio palamedes 

If the magician who had succeeded in converting a Black 
Swallowtail into the Short-tailed Papilio wished to try his 
hand on making a Palamedes Swallowtail he could not do 
better than to use again the same black butterfly. He 
would only need to make it about one half larger, retaining 
practically all its color markings and the outline of its 
wings and tail. For this species bears a remarkable re- 
semblance to the Black Swallowtail, seeming to be a giant 
variety induced by the warmth of the southern chmate 
where it lives, and possibly by the more generous supply 
of the magnolia and sassafras leaves upon which the cater- 
pillars feed. {See plate, page 66.) 

This species is distinctly a southern form occurring as 
far west as the Mississippi River throughout the more 
Southern states. As one would expect in the long seasons 
and warm climate of this region there are several broods 
each year and the caterpillars often hibernate as well as the 
chrysalids. The adult butterflies are lovers of the sun and 
are said to roost at night upon the tops of hve oak and 
palmetto trees. 

The Zebra Swallowtail 

Iphiclides ajax 

Most of our Swallowtail butterflies are so distinctive in 
form and colors that they are easily distinguished from one 
another, but the Zebra species Is so different from all the 


rest that when it is once seen it is Hkely always to be re- 
membered. The striking combination of green and black 
stripes with very long tails, set off by beautiful crescents of 
blue and of red, at once distinguishes this fine butterfly in 
any of its varying forms. (See plates, pages 112-113.) 

Three distinct forms of this species occur, namely: 

Marcellus, the early spring form, small in size with short 
tails, that show white only on the tips; 

Telamonides, the late spring form, somewhat larger, 
with tails a little longer and showing more white on the 
outer half; 

Ajax, the summer form, decidedly larger with tails very 

It would be a comparatively simple matter to under- 
stand these forms if they were simply seasonal variations, 
with three broods, each form succeeding the other as the 
season advances. But this is far from being the case. 
We have instead the most complicated and confusing 
series of conditions imaginable — conditions for which no 
one has yet given satisfactory explanations. 

To make a fairly clear statement of what happens, sup- 
pose we assume that we start with twenty over-wintering 
chrysalids. In April ten of these disclose their butterflies 
which are Marcellus, the early spring form. In May the 
other ten disclose their butterflies which are Telamonides, 
the late spring form. We thus have these two forms ap- 
pearing successively in spring from the same set of over- 
wintering chrysalids. 

After flying about for a short time the Marcellus or 
early spring Swallowtails lay eggs upon the leaves of pa- 
paw trees or bushes. These eggs soon hatch into cater- 
pillars that feed upon the leaves and grow rather rapidly. 


A little more than a month later they matm*e into butter- 
flies which are Ajax, the summer form. 

In a similar way the Telamonides or late spring butter- 
flies lay eggs soon after they appear, also upon papaw 
leaves, and these eggs in about a month mature into Ajax, 
the summer form. 

So we have Ajax, the summer form, developing directly 
from both the early spring or Marcellus and the late spring 
or Telamonides butterflies. 

These Ajax butterflies in their turn lay eggs for cater- 
pillar young. These soon mature into a brood of butter- 
flies which are of this same Ajax form. There may be 
successive broods through the summer, practically all of 
them being this same Ajax summer form. 

The last brood of caterpillars, however, change to 
chrysalids which do not disclose the butterflies until the 
following spring. And then the first that come out are the 
Marcellus form and the last the Telamonides form. So we 
may have these two forms maturing from the same brood 
of autumn caterpillars. 

This seems a sufficiently complicated life-history to suit 
the most persistent solver of puzzle problems, but there is 
an additional factor which adds much to the possible con- 
fusion of the broods. In each brood of caterpillars from 
the earliest to the latest there are a certain number of 
chrysalids which remain dormant through the remainder 
of the season and the following winter, maturing into 
butterflies the next spring. Consequently at the end of 
every winter there are a miscellaneous lot of chrysahds 
which represent every brood of caterpillars that lived the 
previous season, and all of these develop into either Mar- 
cellus or Telamonides butterflies. 


Such a condition of affairs certainly represents what an 
old New Englander would be likely to call a "mixed-up 
mess," and it is difficult for science to find rhyme or reason 
to explain it. It speaks eloquently for the perseverance of 
W. H. Edwards that he was able with infinite patience 
through years of study and experiment to untangle this in- 
tricate web of butterfly existence. 

While the preferred food plant of this species is papaw, 
the caterpillars are also known to feed upon the spice bush 
and upland huckleberry. When full grown these cater- 
pillars are about two inches long and of a general pea-green 
color, banded transversely with yellow and black, and hav- 
ing an especially conspicuous band of this sort on the third 
ring behind the head. The scent organs are protruded 
when the larva is disturbed and emit an offensive odor. 
The chrysalids are green or brown according to the sur- 

The Zebra Swallowtail is a southern butterfly found as 
far west as Texas and the Rocky Mountains and having its 
northern limits in a zone ranging approximately from 
Massachusetts to Nebraska. It is especially abundant in 
the Southern states east of the Mississippi River. 

Mr. S. F. Denton found this species abundant in south- 
ern Ohio where the females laid their eggs upon the small 
papaw bushes. They selected the leaves of these bushes 
for sleeping quarters, "clinging to the under side of the 
leaves where early in the morning they might be taken 
with the fingers." 

Other Swallowtails 

Several other Swallowtail butterflies are found within 
the limits of the United States, especially in the Far West 


and along the southern boundaries. Some of these occa- 
sionally migrate east or north so that they are collected in 
the Central states. Thus Papilio daunus, P. oregonia, 
and P. zolicoan are aU found in the "List of Nebraska 
Butterflies," published by Mr. H. G. Barber, and the same 
species have been taken in other states in or near the 
Mississippi Valley. These and various others are described 
and pictured in Dr. Holland's excellent "Butterfly Book." 

Synopsis of the Swallowtails 

Tiger Swallowtail: Yellow form {Papilio glaucus turnus) . 
Expanse 3| to 5 inches. Upper surface of wings bright 
yellow with each black margin marked with a row of yellow 
spots. Both sexes throughout its range. Black form 
{Papilio glaucus glaucus) . Black all over with blue mark- 
ings on outer half of hind wings and row of straw-yellow 
crescents on borders of same. Females only, and only 
south of about latitude 40 degTces. 

Giant Swallowtail {Papilio thoas or Papilio cresphontes) . 
Expanse 4 to 5| inches. Upper surface black with two 
bands of yellow starting at the inner margin of the hind 
wings and coming together as a row of yellow spots at the 
outer angles of each front wing. A yellow spot on each 
black tail. Under surface yellow. 

Zehra Swallowtail. Expanse 3 to 3| inches. Easily 
known by the stripes of green upon black and the long, 
slender tails. The different forms vary in size and in the 
length of the tails. Scientific names are: Early Spring 
Form, Iphiclides ajax marcellus; Late Spring Form, 7. 
ajax telamonides; Summer Form, I. ajax ajax. 

Green-clouded Swallowtail {Papilio troilus). Expanse 
3j to 4 inches. Black with about seven yellowish spots 

I- mm a photograph from life h>j A. II. I err ill See page, 7, 07 


In various stages of growth 


" 3|j 





I'l/dlof/rdjiliiil from life Sec JXH/c .V- 

i.MP()irri:i) cabbaci: bv 'nM-:HFi>y 

I'holitiiniplifil from lij'f 'Sec Jidi/r 'l- 




on outer margin of each front wing and eight marginal 
spots on each hind wing, those at the ends of row orange, 
the rest yellowish or bluish. Outer half of hind wings 
clouded with greenish blue. Under surface black with 
two distinct rows of yellowish spots on front wings and 
two rows of orange spots on hind wings. 

Blue Swallowtail (Laertias philenor, often called Papilio 
philenor). Expanse about 4 inches. Black or brownish 
black with most of hind wings showing a bluish green ir- 
idescence. A row of marginal spots on each hind wing, 
more or less distinct on the front wings. Outer fringe with 
broad white markings interrupted by black ones. Under 
surface of each hind wing with seven large orange spots, 
some with partial borders of white. 

Black Swallowtail {Papilio polyxenes or Papilio asterias) . 
Expanse about 3 inches. Black with two conspicuous 
rows of yellow spots on outer half of wings, more dis- 
tinct in males. On hind wings rows of blue spots or 
splashes between the yellow ones. Orange-red circle with 
black centre at inner angle of each hind wing. Under 
surface with markings more distinct and more orange^ 

Short-tailed Sioallowtail {Papilio hrevicaudd) . Mucb 
like the Black Swallowtail but generally smaller, with very 
short tails, and with the yellow markings more or less 
changed to orange. Confined to the limited region of 
Newfoundland and the lands bordering the Gulf of the St. 

Palamedes Swallowtail {Papilio palamedes). Expanse 
4 to 4| inches. Much like the Black Swallowtail but con- 
siderably larger. A curved yellow line on the head back of 
each eye. Found only in the South. 



Family Pieridae 

The most familiar and abundant American butterflies 
are classified together under the family name Pieridae, 
or the Pierids. Three groups or tribes of them are popu- 
larly known as the Whites, the Orange-tips, and the 
Yellows. Our two commonest butterflies, the White or 
Imported Cabbage Butterfly and the Sulphur Yellow 
Butterfly, are typical representatives of this family. 
Most of the rest, like these, are of moderate size with 
rounded wings which are more or less marked with 
black. There are six well-developed legs and the cater- 
pillars of practically all the species are cylindrical 
greenish worms which under a lens are seen to be 
covered with short hairs. When the caterpillars are 
ready to change to chrysalids they spin a web of silk 
upon the supporting surface and just back of it, a loop 
of silk that serves to hold the chrysalis in place and 
keep it from swaying back and forth. The chrysahds are 
characterized by having a pointed projection on the front 
of the head, the rest of the body being more or less 

Notwithstanding their close general resemblance to 
their food plants, the caterpillars of this family suffer from 
attack by various enemies. Birds find many of them, not 
only eating them themselves but also using them freely 
for feeding the nestlings. Parasitic insects also take a 
heavy toll from these caterpillars. This attack of enemies 
is doubtless a chief reason why many of the common spe- 
cies are not much more destructive. 



Three white butterflies of approximately the same size 
are found widely distributed over the United States. 
The most abundant species is the White or Imported Cab- 
bage butterfly. The next in abundance is probably the 
Checkered White, and the rarest in most localities is the 
Gray -veined White which is a northern form. 

The White or Imported Cabbage Butterfly 

Pieris rapae 

There is probably no butterfly which one can generally 
find so easily in its early stages as the White or Imported 
Cabbage butterfly which is found practically wherever 
cabbages are grown and is generally so abundant that 
caterpillars and chrysalids are readily discovered. In the 
Northern states the insect passes through the winter 
within the chrysalis, coming forth rather early in spring 
as the familiar white butterfly with black dots upon the 
wings and blackish front angles of the fore wings. (See 
plates t pages 61^-65 and 81.) 

The butterflies that thus appear in spring flit freely 
about over fields, meadows, and gardens, sipping the nec- 
tar of various early flowers through their long, coiled 
tongues and stopping occasionally to alight upon the leaf 
of a cabbage or other plant of the mustard family to de- 
posit the small, pale yellow eggs which remain attached 
by a sort of glue. The adult butterflies continue their 


leisurely life for a fortnight or more, thus extending the 
laying of the eggs over a considerable period. 

About a week after being deposited the egg hatches into 
a tiny green caterpillar that begins feeding upon the ten- 
der surface of the cabbage leaf. It is commonly called 
the cabbage worm and it is doubtless the most generally 
destructive insect affecting this crop. It continues to 
feed for several days before the first moult, after which it 
becomes decidedly larger and begins to eat again more 
voraciously than before. It undergoes several successive 
moults during the next two or three weeks before it be- 
comes full grown as a caterpillar. Unlike most butterfly 
larvae it has changed very little in its general appear- 
ance during its growth. It is always of a pale green color, 
strikingly like the glaucous green of the cabbage leaf, a 
fact which doubtless helps to conceal it from the eager 
eyes of birds and other animals. 

When the caterpillar is thus full fed it is likely to leave 
its food plant and find shelter elsewhere. Sometimes it 
will stop on the lower surface of the outer leaves, but more 
commonly it will find a piece of board, an overhanging 
stone, a fence-post, or the side of a building, where it will 
prepare for the change to the chrysalis. It will do this 
by spinning a silken thread upon the surface in which to 
entangle its hind legs and a loop of silk near by with which 
to hold its body. When these preparations are com- 
pleted the insect will cast its last caterpillar skin, emerg- 
ing as a grayish or brownish chrysalis, the color usually 
varying with the color of the surrounding surface. The 
general shape of the chrysalis is shown in plate opposite 
page 97. 

A week or more later the chrysalis skin bursts open and 


the white butterfly emerges to expand and dry its wings 
before it flies away for its leisurely life. There are two 
or more broods each season, the number varying with the 
latitude. There is a decided variation in the length of 
time required for the completion of the cycle from egg to 
butterfly. In hot weather the insect may mature in 
about three weeks while in cooler weather it may require 
as much as five weeks. 

Its Introduction and Dispersal 

While it is well known that a large proportion of our 
most destructive insects have been imported from Europe, 
it is only in comparatively few cases that man has been 
able to make careful records of the times and places where 
the insects were introduced and to follow the spread of the 
pest from these original centres. The Imported Cabbage 
butterfly is one of the few species of which this is true. 
This insect has been known for centuries in Europe, where 
it feeds freely upon the leaves of cabbages and turnips. 
So far as known it was first introduced into North Amer- 
ica about 1860, when it appeared in Quebec. Eight years 
later it was again introduced into the region of New York 
City. From these two points the insect spread gradually 
in various directions until in 1871 it covered the whole of 
New England and various parts of New York and New 
Jersey. From then on it spread even more rapidly and 
was evidently accidentally introduced into various parts 
of the country which became new centres of distribution. 
Of course it would be very easy for this to happen through 
the shipment of cabbages from one part of the country to 
another. Within thirty years of the time of its first in- 


troduction it had become a serious pest over practically 
all the United States and Canada. 

The introduction and spread of such a pest is of inter- 
est in itself, but in this case there is to be noted the addi- 
tional fact that the presence of this foreigner has prac- 
tically led to the extinction of two native species of but- 
terflies, both closely related to each other and to the in- 
vader and both feeding upon the same plants. An almost 
pure white butterfly — the Gray-veined White — was form- 
erly exceedingly abundant in many of the Northern states, 
while farther south there was another species, the Check- 
ered White, which was also abundant. Both of these 
have now so completely disappeared that in some localities 
they are almost never seen, while their imported relative 
has become perhaps the most abundant of all American 

The Gray-veined White 

Pieris napi 

One would naturally suppose that when a butterfly 
was reduced to the greatest possible simplicity in its color- 
ing there would be little chance for the development of 
geographical or seasonal varieties. But he would only 
have to study a large collection of specimens of this species > 
taken at different seasons and in different regions, to 
find his supposition at fault. Here is a butterfly which 
is essentially a slender black-bodied creature with four 
white wings scarcely touched with color, and yet we are 
told that there are eleven varieties in the United States so 
distinct that they have received scientific names, not to 


mention various others which have been found in Europe. 
This is indeed a remarkable showing and it is a striking 
illustration of the infinite variations which Nature can 
produce with the most limited materials. 

To me the seasonal variations of a butterfly are always 
of greater interest than those which are geographical. 
We know that in the case of a great many animals, from 
insects to mammals, the different conditions of climate 
and physical environment found in different regions pro- 
duce variations of many sorts. So it does not seem es- 
pecially strange that in Alaska there should be a different 
form of a certain butterfly than is found in Virginia. But 
that in the same locality there should be two or more 
forms of a butterfly existing under identical conditions as 
to climate and environment is not so easily explained. In 
the case of the Gray-veined White we collect in early 
spring in New England, or other Northern states, a lot of 
chrysalids. We keep them until the butterflies come 
forth and we find even here two distinct forms, one smaller 
and more delicate than the other, with both surfaces of 
the wings pure white : scientists call this form, virginiensis; 
the other larger with the under surface of the wings slightly 
tinted with yellow: scientists call this form oleracea. 
The first named has but one brood a year while the 
second lays eggs which develop into caterpillars that 
produce butterflies of still a third form, in which the 
upper surface of the wings is pure white with a slightly 
greater expanse: scientists call this form cruciferarum. 
These three varieties occur in Eastern regions and may 
be found in the same localities, and differ considerably 
from various geographical varieties found in the Far 


The caterpillar of the Gray-veined White is a bit smaller 
than those of the nearly related forms, and in color is 
green with no distinct longitudinal markings, but with 
many fine dots of black over the surface. The cylindrical 
body is covered with a fine down. When feeding upon 
cabbage it is more likely to attack the outer than the inner 
leaves, and so even when abundant it is less troublesome 
to gardeners than the imported species. It is now, how- 
ever, so rare that it seems to feed chiefly upon wild cruci- 
ferous plants and is more likely to be found along the 
borders of open woods than in gardens and fields. The 
winter is passed in the chrysalis state. 

The Checkered White 

Pontia protodice 

Some years ago the Checkered White was commonly 
called the Southern Cabbage Butterfly but the general 
distribution of the imported species has had the same ef- 
fect upon its abundance in the South that it has had upon 
the Gray-veined White in the North. Consequently, it 
is now much less abundant than formerly, even in the 
Southern states where it is most at home. There are two 
fairly distinct forms: the spring form and the summer form. 
The latter is practically of the same size as the Imported 
Cabbage Butterfly: the males have the hind wings nearly 
white above and the fore wings with a few black dots or 
spots upon their outer halves. The females are much 
more definitely marked, having the upper surface of both 
pairs of wings marked in black or brownish black in such a 
way as to enclose a large number of white diamonds. The 


spring form is decidedly smaller and the markings are 
much less distinct than in the summer form. 

The seasonal liistory of this species is comparatively 
simple. In winter the chrysalids are found. From these 
chrysalids in early spring the small butterflies of the spring 
form come forth. These lay eggs upon various crucifer- 
ous plants which hatch into greenish caterpillars that eat 
the leaves and soon mature so far as their caterpillar stage 
is concerned. They are then about an inch long, with 
downy cyhndric bodies more or less marked with rather 
pale yellow stripes, touched here and there with purplish 
green or dotted slightly with fine black dots. These cater- 
pillars now attach themselves by means of a button of silk 
and a silken loop to some support like a piece of board, the 
side of a stone, or almost any available shelter. Each 
casts its larval skin and appears as a grayish chrysalis 
from which probably a fortnight later the summer form 
of the butterfly emerges. There are commonly two 
broods of this summer form, making three sets of butter- 
flies for the entire season. The caterpillars of the second 
summer brood of butterflies go into the chrysalis stage in 
autumn to remain throughout the winter. 

Some very interesting observations upon the sleeping 
habits of this butterfly have been made in St. Louis by 
Mr. and Mrs. Phil Rau. The insects were found abund- 
antly resting upon the seed heads of white snakeroot. 
Early in October, when a warm south wind was blowing, 
the great majority of the butterflies slept horizontally 
with their heads toward the wind. At other seasons and 
in other places, many of them were found in a vertical 
position but practically all had their bodies toward the 
wind prevailing at the time. The observers were unable 


to ascertain definitely whether the insects thus oriented 
themselves at the time of alighting, so that their wings 
presented the least resistance to the force of the wind, or 
whether this was a mechanical result of the breezes. 

The Great Southern White 

Pontia monuste 

There used to be in the Northern states before the ad- 
vent of the Imported Cabbage butterfly a familiar white 
butterfly which then laid its eggs upon cabbages in much 
the same way that the imported pest now does. One who 
has seen this northern Gray-veined White and then sees 
the Great Southern White will be likely to think of the 
latter as a larger edition of the former, for in the males of 
the southern species the wings are practically white save 
for a narrow dusky border at the outer angle of the front 
pair, although in the female this dusky margin is wider 
and the hind wings show a series of dusky triangles near 
the margin. There is also a curious black marking 
suggestive of a crescent on each front wing near the 
middle of the front border, which helps to make the 
appearance of this butterfly very distinct from that of any 

Although this species is at times so abundant that it 
swarms in great flocks and although it has been known for 
many years, its life-history seems not to have been care- 
fully worked out since it was first described by Abbott 
more than a century ago. The caterpillars feed upon 
cruciferous plants and when full grown are about an inch 
and a half long, of a general yellow color, more or less 


striped with purple lines. The species is distinctly trop- 
ical extending northward into our Southern states. 

Dr. G. B. Longstaff reports this species as abundant in 
Jamaica where he found that the clubs of the antennae of 
the living insects showed a beautiful turquoise blue color, 
although another observer described them as bright green 
with a tinge of blue. This is an interesting color variation 
for a member of this group. In the tropics also there are 
two forms, one belonging to the dry season and one to the 
wet season. 

Synopsis of the Whites 

Imported Cabbage Butterfly {Pieris rapae). Expanse 2 
inches. Upper surface white with a black marginal dash 
on the front outer angle of the front wing. One round 
black spot on each of the four wings in the male. Two 
round spots on each of the front wings in the female and 
one round spot on each of the hind wings. Under surface 
of hind wings yellowish white; spots on front wings in same 
position as on upper surface. A spring form (immaculata) 
is smaller and the black spots are almost obsolete. 

Gray-veined White (Pieris napi). Expanse 2 inches. 
Upper surface white with only a darker marginal splash 
next the body. Under surface white with gray veins. 

Checkered White {Pontia protodice or Pieris protodice). 
Expanse 2 inches. Upper surface white, strongly marked 
especially in the female with dark grayish brown on both 
pairs of wings. Along the outer margins these marks are 
so arranged as to enclose white diamond spots. Male 
with front wings only lightly marked and hind wings 
scarcely marked at all. Under surface much like upper, 
with a slight yellowish tinge in female. 


Great Southern White (Pontia monuste or Pieris phileta.) 
Expanse 2| inches. General color white with a nar- 
row black margin around apical angle of front wings. 
These margins are wider in the female, in which sex there 
is a series of marginal spots on the hind wings. Easily 
known by its large size. 


When one sees a gossamer- winged butterfly flitting from 
flower to flower on a bright June day it seems one of the 
most ethereal of earth's visions. One could readily fancy 
that the whole sight — flowers, butterflies, and all — might 
easily vanish into thin air. So it is something of a shock 
to hear scientists talk about fossil butterflies and to realize 
that these fragile creatures have been living generation 
after generation for untold millions of years. A realiza- 
tion of this fact, however, helps us to understand the 
many wonderful ways in which butterflies in all stages of 
their existence have become adapted to the conditions of 
their lives. 

There is perhaps no group of butterflies whose beauty 
seems more fragile than that of the Orange-tips. These 
are delicate creatures, with slender bodies and almost 
gauzy wings, of a size somewhat smaller than our common 
white and yellow butterflies. Perhaps the most remark- 
able feature is the marking of the wings, the upper sides of 
the front pair having an orange patch near the apex and 
the under sides having a background of delicate whitish or 
yellowish green, lined and spotted with darker coloring 
in a very characteristic way. This peculiar marking is so 


significant that it has been called "flower picturing." 
To understand the reason for its existence one has only to 
watch the butterflies in their native haunts. He will 
find them flitting from blossom to blossom among the 
plants of the mustard family — the Cruciferae. This is 
one of the most characteristic families in the plant world : 
the foliage for the most part is small and delicate and the 
flowers have a characteristic four-petaled structure, being 
practically always of small size and generally toned in 
whites or yellows. When an Orange-tip is at rest upon 
these blossoms it merges so completely into the back- 
ground that it disappears from view. Should a bird chase 
one of these insects through the air it would see chiefly 
the orange tips which are so marked upon the upper 
side of the wing, and when the butterfly closed its 
wings and lighted among the flowers the orange color 
would instantly disappear and there would be only an 
almost invisible surface against the background of flower 
and leaf. 

The adaptations of these Orange-tips to the conditions of 
their fives are by no means confined to this remarkable re- 
semblance to the flowery background. In the case of some 
species the whole yearly cycle has been adapted to cor- 
respond to the yearly history of the cruciferous food plant. 
As is well known many species of the mustard family spring 
up early in the season, put forth their blossoms which 
quickly develop into fruits and then die down, the species 
being carried through until the next year by the dormant 
seeds. In a similar way the Orange-tips feed as cater- 
pillars upon the host plant through the spring, completing 
their growth before the plant dies and then -changing 
to chrysafids which remain dormant through summer. 


fall, and winter and come forth as butterflies early the fol- 
lowing spring. The insect has thus adapted itself in a 
most remarkable manner to the yearly history of its plant 

The Falcate Orange-tip 

Synchloe genutia 

The Falcate Orange-tip is about the only member of 
this tribe generally distributed east of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. This is a beautiful insect which is sparingly found 
even as far north as New England. It is more abundant 
throughout the Southern states, occurring south at least as 
far as Texas. It appears to be a good illustration of the 
adaptation of its development to that of its food plants. 
The eggs are laid upon leaves or stems of such spring- 
flowering Cruciferae as rock cress (Arabis), and hedge 
mustard (Sisymbrium) . On hatching the caterpillars feed 
upon stems, leaves, flowers, and even seed pods of these 
plants, becoming mature in a few weeks and 
changing to chrysalids under the protection 
of such shelter as they can find. In the 
Northern states these chrysalids remain un- 
changed until the following spring when the 
butterflies emerge and are found upon the 
Egg of synckjoe wiug for a fcw wccks in May and early June. 

genutta, magnified ^ . 

?From^iS)fiand)^" ^^ somc southcm Tcgious at Icast the species 
is evidently double-brooded, as Dr. Holland 
reports that he has taken the butterflies in late autumn in 
the western portion of North Carolina. 

This Falcate Orange-tip is one of the daintiest and most 
exquisite of northern butterflies. It is a prize which any 


collector will find joy in possessing. It is easily recognized 
by its general white color, which in the female is relieved 
only by a distinct black mark on the upper surface of the 
front wings and a row of marginal markings upon all the 
wings. The male is slightly smaller and is at once known 
by the orange blotch on the outer angle of the upper 
surface of the front wing. This outer angle projects 
into a distinct point which gives the species its name 
Falcate. {See plate, page 256.) 

Dr. J. L. Hancock has described in a most interesting 
manner the way in which this Orange-tip loses itself among 
the flowers of rock cress. In northern Indiana he found 
this butterfly abundant in April at the time of the blossom- 
ing of Arahis lyrata. The butterflies would be flying 
about, easily seen in the air. Then they would suddenly 
disappear and could be found only after the most carefiJ 
search. They had simply lit upon the flower heads, when 
the flower picturing of the under surface of the wings 
blended perfectly with the appearance of the clustered 

"The green markings of the under side of the wing," 
writes Dr. Hancock, "are so arranged as to divide the 
ground color into patches of white, which blend with or 
simulate perfectly the petals of the clustered flowers. 
The eyes of the butterfly are delicate pale green and the 
antennae are whitish, all of which adds to the effectiveness 
of the blend. The flowers of Arahis have white petals 
with the centre yellowish green, as is also the calyx. There 
is a shade of pink outside the base of the petals. All in all, 
the adaptation of insect to flower here displayed is one of 
rare exquisiteness."* 

*"Nature Sketches in Temperate America", p. 83. 


Dr. Hancock found that the butterflies were able to 
cling on the flowers during strong winds very persistently, 
so that even when a storm blew across the sand dunes they 
were likely to remain in position. They also have the in- 
stinct to rest very quietly after they have lit upon the 
clustered flower heads. 

The Olympian Orange-tip 

Synchloe olympia 

In various parts of the Southern states there is at least 
one other Orange-tip butterfly which is found occasionally 
in connection with the Falcate Orange-tip. It was named 
Olympia many years ago by William H. Edwards. It is a 
delicate white species marked with black and yellow very 
lightly both above and below, the yellow showing only on 
the under side of the hind wings and that part of the front 
wing which is exposed when the insect is at rest. Strictly 
speaking, this is not an Orange-tip because the orange 
color is lacking in both sexes. 

This is rather a rare species which occurs occasionally 
from the Atlantic states to the Great Plains south of a 
line drawn from northern Maryland to northern Missouri. 
Like its allies the larvae feed upon various cruciferous plants, 
the hedge mustard being one of these and the adults visit the 
flowers of the same family. They doubtless have habits 
similar to those of the Falcate Orange-tip, and the extreme 
delicacy of color must render them practically invisible 
when resting upon the small white flowers of most cruci- 

Most of the Orange-tip butterflies are found on the 


From a draiviny by Mary E. Walker 


See page 72 

Fidiii II ilniirini/ hi/ IT. /. Brcornft 

Sec jxii/r S. 

Cat('r]iillar, dirysalis, mid liutterflies 


Pacific Slope, ranging from Alaska southward, several of 
them being especially abundant in the western mountain 
regions. About eight species are recognized as belonging 
to our fauna, some of which have several well-marked 

Synopsis of the Orange-tips 

Falcate Orange-tip (Synchloe genutia^ Anthocaris genutia 
or Euchloe geyiutia). Expanse If inches. Tips of 
front wings projecting in a hooked angle. Orange 
blotch on upper surface near tip in male, absent in 

Olympian Orange-tip {Synchloe olympian Euchloe olympia 
or Anthocaris olympia) . Expanse 1| inches. Wings white 
above in both sexes with greenish black markings at base 
of all wings and along front margin of front wings, especially 
at apex. No orange patch. 


A large proportion of our most abundant and conspicu- 
ous butterflies belong to the Tribe of the Yellows. Some- 
times it is called the Tribe of the Red-horns because the 
antennae of the living insects are so often red. These in- 
sects vary in size from the large Brimstones or Cloudless 
Sulphurs, expanding three inches, to the delicate little 
Dainty Sulphur, expanding scarcely an inch. The dis- 
tinctive characteristics of the tribe are found in the very 
gradual enlargement of the joints of the antennae that 
form the club, and the stout palpi, the last joints of each of 
the latter being short. {See plate, page 113.) 


The Brimstone or Cloudless Sulphur 

Callidrayas euhule 

Practically all northern butterflies are variously marked 
in different colors, while the butterflies of tropical regions 
are commonly tinted in monotone, though often showing a 
splendid iridescence. One with very little experience can 
tell the look of a tropical butterfly and would be likely to 
say at once that the Cloudless Sulphur is one of these. 
The upper surface of the wings of the male is a clear plain 
sulphur with merely the narrowest possible fringe of brown 
around the margin made only by the colored marginal 
scales. The under surface is lighter and sparsely dotted 
in brown. In the females the marginal brown takes on the 
shape of a series of small crescents and there is a single 
round brown eye-spot just in front of the middle of each 
front wing. 

While the Cloudless Sulphur is without doubt essentially 
a tropical species it has an extraordinary geographical 
range. It is extremely abundant in Mexico, Cuba, and the 
tropical zone in South America. It extends south even to 
northern Patagonia and north to New England, Wisconsin, 
and Nebraska. 

Presumably in the tropics this species breeds continu- 
ously, one generation following another in regular succes- 
sion unless interrupted by drought or other natural 
phenomena. In our Southern states there is more or less 
Interruption by the winter season, so that it is commonly 
considered to have only two broods, the butterflies hiber- 
nating. Farther north there is probably only one brood in 
summer, and perhaps not even that in the extreme limit 


of its range. For there is pretty good evidence that the 
specimens seen in the Northern states are migrants from 
the south, coming singly or in scattered flocks in early 
summer, and if they lay eggs the butterflies of the new 
generation return south in autumn. But the precise con- 
ditions are not well known and need careful observations 
in various localities. 

The life-story of a generation of these butterflies is much 
like that of the other Yellows. The eggs are laid, one in a 
place, on the leaflets of various species of wild senna 
(Cassia) and soon hatch into cylindrical caterpillars that 
devour the tender leaflets. In a few weeks the cater- 
pillars mature and change to curious and characteristic 
chrysalids. The head projects in the shape of a cone and 
the back is so concave as to give the side view of the chrys- 
alis a very striking appearance. 

Like so many of the Yellows this butterfly is sun-loving 
and social in its habits. Great numbers flock together, 
their large size and bright coloring rendering them very 
conspicuous. They often alight on the ground to sip 
moisture when they have been likened to beds of yellow 
crocuses. They also fly long distances in flocks that at- 
tract much attention. It is likely that the northward dis- 
tribution takes place in summer through such migrating 

Other Sulphur Butterflies 

The Large Orange Sulphur is a closely related butter- 
fly of about the same size, in which the coloring is uni- 
formly orange-yellow instead of lemon-yellow. It also be- 
longs to the tropics, occurring in our extreme Southern 
states and ranging occasionally as far north as Nebraska. 


The Red-barred Sulphur is another splendid butterfly, 
somewhat larger than the Brimstone, which is easily dis- 
tinguished by the broad reddish bar across the upper sur- 
face of the front wings. It is tropical but migrates rarely 
even as far north as Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. 

The Dog's-head Butterfly 

Meganostoma caesonia 

The Dog's-head butterfly furnishes one of the most re- 
markable examples of accidental resemblance in wing 
markings that can be found in the whole order of scale- 
winged insects. It is comparable with the skull and cross- 
bones on the back of the death's-head moth. In the 
butterfly the middle of the front wings has a broad band of 
yellow against a black margin on each side and the yellow 
outlines make an excellent silhouette of the profile of a 
poodle with a large black eye-spot in exactly the proper 
place. The females are less brightly colored than the 
males but they still show the dog's-head silhouette. 

This is a southern species, which occasionally strays 
as far north as New York City, New Hampshire, Wiscon- 
sin, and Iowa. The larvae feed on species of Amorpha 
and are believed to be three-brooded in southern regions 
where the butterfly occurs. {See platCy page 113.) 

The California Dog's-head is even more beautiful 
than the southern species. It is remarkable for its pink 
and purple iridescence — a characteristic which is not com- 
mon in the butterflies of the Yellow and the White Tribes. 
The silhouette of the Dog's head is less perfect than in 
the more eastern species, and the yellow color tones are 


more tinged with orange. The female is strikingly dif- 
ferent, the wings being plain pale yellowish buff marked 
only with a round blackish eye-spot near the middle of 
each front wing and the barest suggestion of a dark line 
around the extreme margin. 

The Clouded Sulphur 

Eurymus philodice 

It is an interesting fact that the butterfly which one is 
most likely to find in fields and along roadsides during 
practically all the weeks of summer has seldom if ever been 
noted as a destructive insect. The Clouded Sulphur 
is probably the commonest species in its group. There 
may be times when the White Cabbage butterfly or other 
forms are more abundant, but the Clouded Sulphur re- 
tains its place season after season, with comparatively 
little noticeable variation in its numbers. This is doubt- 
less an illustration of an insect which has established such 
relations with its food plants and its various insect and 
other enemies that it remains in a fairly stable equih- 
brium — an example of what is often called the balance of 

The Clouded Sulphur is about the only medium-sized 
yellow butterfly generally found in the Northeastern 
states. It will easily be recognized from the accompany- 
ing pictures, opposite pages 112, 113. The adults may be 
seen from spring until autumn. They lay eggs upon clover 
and other plants. These eggs hatch into small green 
caterpillars that feed upon the leaves and are protectively 
colored so they are comparatively seldom seen. When 


the food plant is disturbed they drop to the ground, crawl- 
ing up again upon stems and leaves when the distiu-bance 
is over. 

These caterpillars moult several times during their 
growth. When full grown they find such shelter as they 
are able and each spins a silken web over part of the sur- 
face. It then fastens its hind legs into this web and later 
spins a loop near the front end of the body. It pushes itself 
beneath this loop and waits for several hours before the 
skin breaks open along the back and is gradually shuflOled 
off reveahng the chrysalis in position. A week or two later 
the fully developed butterfly emerges from the chrysalis. 

These yellow butterflies lend a distinctive charm to our 
summer landscapes. They are constantly to be seen 
fluttering from place to place, lightly visiting flowers of 
many kinds from which they suck the nectar, and gather- 
ing in great colonies by roadside pools where they seem to 
sip the moisture. There are many references to this insect 
in the writings of New England authors. It evidently 
was an especial favorite of James Russell Lowell who has 
often referred to it in passages like this: 

" Those old days when the balancing of a yellow butter- 
fly over a thistle bloom was spiritual food and lodging for a 
whole forenoon." 

The Orange Sulphur 

Eurymus eurytheme 

Were one able to take a Clouded Sulphur butterfly 
and change the yellow to a deep orange color he could 
easily make a specimen that would pass for the present 


species. The resemblance is very remarkable and shows 
the close affinity between these two beautiful insects. 

Like so many others of this group the Orange Sulphur 
is essentially a tropical species. In the eastern United 
States it is rarely found north of latitude forty degrees, 
but south of that it becomes increasingly abundant as 
one approaches the tropics. It occurs from the Carolinas 
to Texas, and over the great range in which it Hves it takes 
on many different forms and habits. It is one of the most 
remarkable examples of variation in coloring exhibited by 
any of the butterflies. Nearly a dozen species names have 
been given to its various disguises, all of which are now 
recognized as synonyms. In the more northern regions 
where it is found, only one of these forms usually occurs, 
but in other places bright yellow and pale white varieties 
are found. (See plate, page 113). 

The life-history of this butterfly along latitude forty 
degrees is very similar to that of the Clouded Sulphur. 
There seem to be usually two broods and the caterpillars 
live upon leguminous plants, especially alfalfa, buffalo 
clovers, wild senna, and other species of Trifolium and 
Cassia. Apparently also it hibernates in both the cater- 
pillar and the butterfly stages. 

In the extreme Southwest — as on the plains of Texas — 
the vegetation dries up completely in summer so that 
there is no succulent leafage for the caterpillars to live 
upon. In such cases the insect must aestivate rather than 
hibernate. This species apparently succeeds in doing this 
by having the caterpillars go into a more or less lethargic 
condition in which they pass the summer. The adult 
butterflies utterly disappear in June and are not seen 
again until early in autumn when the autumn rains have 


started the growth of vegetation anew. The insects then 
make up for lost time and produce several broods in rapid 

In the Imperial Valley of California this butterfly is a 
serious pest to alfalfa growers. It continues to reproduce 
throughout a very long season, one brood following another 
from March until December, and in mild winters there 
seems sometimes to be practically no cessation of its 
activities. Mr. V. L. Wildermuth found that the devel- 
opment of a generation in breeding cages in this valley 
varied from twenty-two to forty-four days, the latter in 
cool, the former in hot weather. The stages in the first 
and the third broods in spring varied thus: Egg, first six 
days, third four days; larva, first thirty days, third twelve 
days; chrysalis, first eight days, third five days. In this 
case the first generation extended from March 15 to April 
30 and the third from May 28 to June 20. After the 
fourth brood of butterflies there was such an overlapping 
of the various stages that it was impossible to distinguish 
the broods. 

The Pink-edged Sulphur 

Eurymus interior 

This beautiful butterfly was first made known to the 
world of science by Louis Agassiz, the great naturalist 
who did so much to arouse a scientific interest among 
Americans. He found it on a famous expedition to the 
northern shores of Lake Superior, which not only served 
to bring to light many interesting phases of geological 
history but also laid the foundation for the copper mining 


industry which has since become so important in that 
region. The butterfly thus brought to hght has been 
found to be a characteristic northern species, occupying 
a rather narrow belt nearly along the fiftieth degree of 
latitude and extending west almost to the Pacific Coast. 
The species is occasionally taken as far south as the White 
Mountains and there are indications that in this region 
there are two broods a year. The male butterflies are 
known at once by a beautiful pink edge on all the margins; 
they bear otherwise a close resemblance to our common 
Sulphur Yellow. The females are much lighter in color, 
often having no black markings on the upper surface of 
the hind wings. 

The Black-bordered Yellow 

Eurema nicippe 

This is essentially a tropical butterfly which has spread 
out over most of our Southern states where it is abundant 
and widely distributed » It adds a distinct touch of color 
and life to many landscapes when the butterflies swarm 
by thousands upon clover blossoms and other low vege- 
tation. The eggs are laid upon the leaves of clover and 
more especially upon some common species of Cassia, 
such as wild senna. Each egg soon hatches into a small 
greenish cylindrical worm, colored and striped in such a 
way that as it rests upon the leaf it is easily overlooked. 
This larva develops rapidly and soon becomes about an 
inch and a quarter long, being rather slender and fairly 
smooth. It now spins a bit of silk upon a twig or some 
similar support and also the frailest sort of a silken loop 


to pass around its back. It now entangles its hind feet 
in the bit of silk and soon casts off its last caterpillar skin, 
emerging as a curious looking chrysalis about three 
quarters of an inch long with a remarkable pointed pro- 
jection on the front of the head. When seen through a 
hand lens this pointed projection and the well-developed 
characteristic wing sheaths give the chrysalis a remarkable 
resemblance to some of the twig hoppers or Membracids. 
The colors vary considerably with the surroundings but 
are commonly toned in various shades of green and yellow 

A little later each chrysalis breaks open to disclose one 
of the beautiful butterflies. {See plate, page 113.) 

The conditions under which this butterfly lives at the 
limit of its northern range are not well determined. It is 
probable that many of those seen here have flown from 
considerably farther south, and that these migrants lay 
eggs from which a brood of butterflies develops, these 
native born appearing late in summer. Presumably the 
latter hibernate, but whether they can do this successfully 
under the rigorous conditions of our northern winters has 
never been determined. In fact, Scudder wrote some years 
ago that no caterpillars had ever been found in New Eng- 
land. Here is an interesting opportunity for some young 
observer to make a real contribution to science. 

The Little Sulphur 

Eurema lisa 

Were one to imagine a Clouded Sulphur butterfly re- 
duced to half its usual size and built with a corresponding 


delicacy of structure, one would have a pretty good idea 
of the beautiful little creature called by the above name. 
I well remember in my college days taking what was prob- 
ably the first of these butterflies ever collected in the re- 
gion of our Michigan college. It was a prize that very 
likely had wandered north from Indiana but which served 
to add much glory to the little collection in which I took 
such pride, for this is essentially a southern species 
In many regions of the South it is so abundant that it 
can be taken by any one. It ranges from coast to coast 
and extends south into the tropics. In the eastern region 
it is found from southern Wisconsin to southern New 
England, occurring sparingly and locally in various places 
along the line thus indicated. 

The food plant of the species is chiefly wild senna or 
other kinds of Cassia. The mother butterflies deposit 
the eggs singly on leaves or stems, generally on the small 
leaflets of the compound leaf. Less than a week later 
each egg hatches into a cylindrical greenish caterpillar 
that feeds upon the leaflets in a characteristic fashion. 
Instead of devouring the blade from the margin inward it 
gnaws narrow strips between the smaller veins. When not 
feeding, the caterpillars protect themselves from observa- 
tion by birds or other enemies by resting motionless along 
the stem of the leaflet or else along the midrib on the under 
side. As is well known the leaflets of Cassia, like other 
leguminous plants, close at night. It is probably on this 
account that these caterpillars feed chiefly by day. The 
general green color of the skin and the straight stripe along 
the side help to make this caterpillar very inconspicuous 
when it is at rest. 

When full grown the caterpillar reaches a length of three 


quarters of an inch. It now finds some bit of shelter on 
which it spins a bit of flat web and a silken loop to hold it 
in place as it becomes a chrysalis. It then changes and 
remains quiescent for ten days or more when it emerges 
as the dainty butterfly. 

Notwithstanding its abundance and its successive 
broods its life-history is none too completely worked out. 
There is still opportunity for careful observations upon 
the way in which it passes the winter in various parts of 
its range. While in the South it apparently hibernates 
as an adult, this fact is not certain in the more northern 

Notwithstanding its diminutive size this butterfly has 
been known to swarm in such enormous numbers as to 
seem a veritable cloud. The most notable record of this 
has been quoted by Scudder in connection with a swarm 
that invaded the Bermuda Islands, in 1874, on the first 
day of October. It was described in these words: 

"Early in the morning several persons living on the 
north side of the main island perceived, as they thought, 
a cloud coming over from the northwest, which drew 
nearer and nearer to the shore, on reaching which it 
divided into two parts, one of which went eastward and the 
other westward, gradually falling upon the land. They 
were not long in ascertaining that what they had taken for 
a cloud was an immense concourse of small yellow butter- 
flies, which flitted about all the open grassy patches in a 
lazy manner, as if fatigued after their long voyage over the 
deep. Fishermen out near the reefs, some few miles to the 
north of the islands very early that morning, stated that 
numbers of these insects fell upon their boats, literally 
covering them." 


As is the case with so many of the related yellow butter- 
flies there is an albino variety of this species. It has been 
given the variety name alba although it is really a pale 
yellow rather than a true albino form. 

The Dainty Sulphur 

Nathalis iole 

While the Little Sulphur butterfly seems about as 
delicate a creature as one could ask to see, it loses that dis- 
tinction when it is compared with the still smaller Dainty 
Sulphur. The latter expands scarcely an inch when its 
wings are stretched apart, and its slender body and an- 
tennae help to give the suggestion of extreme delicacy. 
There is more marking of black upon the sulphur-yellow 
wings than is the case with the larger form, the upper por- 
tion of the front wings showing only a broad yellow band 
upon a background of darker color. The under wings are 
nearly all yellow. 

Synopsis of the Yellows 

Brimstone or Cloudless Sulphur {Callidryas euhule or 
Catopsilia euhule) . Expanse 2| inches. Upper surface of 
male clear, light, sulphur yellow. Female with a brown 
spot in front of middle of each front wing and a narrow 
brown margin on all the wings. Under surface deeper 
yellow with sparsely scattered brownish dots. 

Red-barred Sulphur {Callidryas philea or Catopsilia 
philea). Expanse 3 inches. Easily known by the reddish 
orange bars on the sulphur-yellow wings. 

Large Orange Sulphur {Callidryas agarithe or Catopsilia 


agarithe). Expanse 2| inches. Distinguished at once by 
its uniform orange-yellow color. 

Dog's-head Butterfly {Zerene caesonia, Colias caesonia or 
Meganostoma caesonia). Expanse 2| inches. Upper sur- 
face yellow with black inner and outer borders on front 
wings and black outer border on hind wings. The black 
and yellow of each front wing so combined as to make a 
distinct dog's head with black eye. 

Clouded Sulphur {Eurymus philodice or Colias philodice) . 
Expanse 2 inches. Upper surface sulphur yellow with 
blackish borders, the yellow brighter in the male than in 
the female. Male with line between yellow and black 
distinct, a black spot just in front of the middle of each 
front wing and an orange spot near the middle of each hind 
wing. Under surface of male deeper yellow, with spots as 
on the upper surface but without black margin, and with a 
row of sub-marginal brownish dots on each wing. Female 
with upper surface more generally suffused between mar- 
ginal mark and the yellow part with more or less duskiness 
both above and below. Spots on each wing much as in 
male. In the white form of the female (pallidice) the 
yellow is replaced by white. 

Pink-edged Sulphur {Eurymus interior). At once dis- 
tinguishable from philodice by the narrow pink edge of all 
the wings, showing both from above and from below, 
slightly smaller as a rule. 

Orange Sulphur {Eurymus eurytheme or Colias eury- 
theme). Expanse 2 j inches. Much like Clouded Sulphur 
in markings except that prevailing color-tone is orange 

Black-bordered Sulphur {Eurema nicippe, Xanthidia 
nicippe or Terias nicippe). Expanse 2 inches. Upper 


surface of wings bright orange with a small black dash in 
front of the middle of each front wing and a broad black 
border on all the wings. In the females the borders are in- 
terrupted at the rear. Under surface slightly brownish 
yellow, minutely striated and clouded when exposed when 
the butterfly alights. 

Little Sulphur {Eurema euterpe, Eurema lisa, Xanthidia 
lisa or Terias lisa) . Expanse 1 inch. Easily known by its 
small size and delicate structure. Upper surface of wings 
yellow with distinct black borders. Under surface yellow 
with indistinct spots. 

Dainty Sulphur {Nathalis iole). Expanse 1 inch. 
Easily known by its small size and narrow yellow wings 
with black bars across the outer angles and black bands 
across the back border of the front wings and the front 
border of the hind wings. 

The Nymphs 

Family Nymphalidae 

A large proportion of our most familiar butterflies 
belongs to this family. The Fritillaries, the Angle-wings, 
the Sovereigns, and the Emperors are tribes in which 
practically all the species are of medium or large size. 
The Crescent-spots include a few which are rather 

The combinations of characters by which the Nymph 
family is distinguished are these: Front legs dwarfed into 
lappets; scaly antennae; veins of fore wings not swollen at 
base; wings of normal shape, not much longer than 
wide. Larvae cylindrical, but varying greatly in form, 


color, and skin coverings. Chrysalids angular in most 
species, in others rounded. 

The stories of the lives of the many members of this 
family vary considerably, as one would expect from their 
variety and numbers. We may take, however, the life of 
the familiar Antiopa or Mourning Cloak as typical of the 
group. Briefly summarized, its story may thus be told: 

During sunny days in spring one may often see a beauti- 
ful purple-back butterfly, having a cream-colored border 
along the outer margin of its wings, flying leisurely about, 
in the vicinity of woods and in the open fields. This in- 
sect is called the Antiopa or Mourning Cloak; it is repre- 
sented natural size in plate opposite page 145. It has 
passed the winter in this adult condition, having found 
shelter in some retreat where it is not directly exposed to 
the storm and stress of the weather. 

When the leaves of the elm, willow, and poplar trees are 
nearly expanded, these butterflies deposit their eggs upon 
the twigs. These eggs are laid in clusters encircling the 
twigs, there being twenty or more in each cluster (see pic- 
ture on page 113). In the act of oviposition, the butter- 
fly keeps her wings spread out, moving the body and abdo- 
men about as the placing of the eggs necessitates. 

About two weeks after the clusters of eggs are thus laid 
upon the twigs of the food plant, they hatch into small 
blackish caterpillars, each emerging from the egg shell 
through a small hole that it eats out of the upper surface. 
They thus enter upon the second stage in their life-his- 
tory — the larva or caterpillar stage. As soon as hatched, 
they crawl to the nearest leaf upon which they range them- 
selves side by side, with their heads toward the margin of 
the leaf. They feed in this position, nibbling at the green 

/•'/■()»/ (( ilnnr/Ni/ liij Man/ /•,'. W'dlkcr S,i /)(),/< /('/ 

(";ilirpill;ir .irnl liiil Irrfly on rrd cldNcr plant. ( Ht'diued) 

See page 76 

Summer form: upper surface, above; under surface, below 

From a (hairing by Mary E. Walker See page 76 

N'isiting hlossoniing brunches of tho T)awpaw tree. (Tleduced) 

Srr jHUjrs '.17-11.', 
Tpper siirfiifes at left; undi^r siirfiices at rijilil 
(1) 'I'll.' lUack-hnnleml Yellow — male; ('2) llie Clouded Siilj)liiir -male; (.'!> the 
Orange SmImIiui — female; (4) llie I )o«"s-liead— male 


surface of the leaf-blade and leaving the network of veins 

These caterpillars continue to feed in this manner for 
about a week, remaining side by side when feeding, and 
marching in processions from one leaf to another as the 
food supply is exhausted. Wherever they go, each spins a 
silken thread on the surface traversed, so that 
the combination of all the threads makes a 
sort of carpet that serves as a foothold for 
the caterpillars. At the end of the week 
they moult or cast their skins, a process in 
which the skin of each larva splits open 
along the back, and the larva crawls out 
covered with a new skin that had been formed 
beneath the old one. This new skin stretches ing-cioak, laid in 

a cluster on a twig. 

somewhat after the caterpillar emerges, so (^™°^ HoUand). 
that the insect is able to increase considerably in size. 
At the period of moulting, the caterpillars remain quiet 
for a short time, but they soon become active again and 
begin feeding with increased voracity. 

During the next three weeks, this moulting process is re- 
peated three times, the caterpillars becoming larger each 
time, and leaving their cast skins upon the denuded twigs. 
They soon scatter more or less over neighboring leaves, 
but remain in closely associated colonies. As they increase 
in size, they eat more and more of the leaf substance; when 
half grown, they devour all but the mid-rib and the side 
veins; but when they get larger, only the midribs are left. 

The carpet web that they form becomes more conspicu- 
ous as the caterpillars become full grown. They then 
leave the tree or shrub on which they have been feeding, 
and scatter about, seeking some sheltered situation. Hav- 


ing found this — perhaps beneath a stump or along the 
under side of a fence — each caterpillar spins a web of silk 
along the surface. It then entangles the hooked claws of 
its hind legs in the silken web, and lets its body hang ver- 
tically with the head end curved upward. It remains in 
this position some hours before the skin along the back 
just behind the head splits apart and is gradually wriggled 
upward, until finally it is all removed and there hangs in 
place of the caterpillar a peculiar object having no definite 
form. But it rapidly assumes a definite form — that of the 
chrysalis — which is grayish brown, different specimens 
varying somewhat in shade. 

In this quiet chrysalis, the insect is apparently almost as 
inert as a mummy. If you touch it it will wriggle a little, 
but otherwise it hangs there mute and helpless. On the in- 
side, however, the tissues are being made over in such a 
wonderful way that, in about two weeks, from the mummy 
case into which the caterpillar entered there comes a 
beautiful butterfly. 

When tliis butterfly first breaks through the mummy 
shell, its wings are very small, although its body, antennae, 
and legs are well developed. By means of the latter, it 
clings to the empty chrysalis, while its wings expand. At 
first these wings are short, but as soon as the insect takes 
a position in which the wings hang downward, they begin 
to expand, and soon reach full length, but are more or less 
crumpled longitudinally, and the front wings are not so 
wide as the hind ones, hanging limply inside the latter. 

After the butterfly has thus reached its full form and 
size, it crawls from the chrysalis to some neighboring 
support, where it rests quietly for half an hour or more. 
During the latter part of this time it exercises its un- 


used muscles by slowly opening and closing its wings, until 
it finally flies away. 


This is one of the most distinctive tribes of the family of 
Nymphs. The clubs of the antennae are about twice as 
long as broad and curiously spoon-shaped. The palpi 
are large and bushy, with the last joint very short. Most 
of the species are rather large and practically all are 
beautifully mottled in various tones of brown, red, black, 
and silvery gray. A large proportion of our midsummer 
butterflies are members of this tribe. 

The Gulf Fritillary 

Agraulis vanillae 

In tropical America there is a genus of butterflies called 
Agraulis. These are fairly large insects, approximating 
the size of the Viceroy, which show most beautiful colors 
in the tropical sunshine. One member of this genus has 
come north to our Southern states, and is occasionally 
found as far up as Virginia and southern Illinois, extending 
below this from ocean to ocean. It reveals on its upper 
surface the most exquisite tints of iridescent purples and 
browns, suggesting by its form and color as thus seen a 
tropical species. The lower wing surface, when the wings 
are closed in their natural position, shows only a spangled 
effect of silver- white and brown, which is very suggestive 
of the under surface of our northern Spangled Fritillaries. 
So this beautiful species may fittingly be called the Gulf 


Fritillary, carrying over from the north some of its peculiar 
beauty and connecting with the equally distinctive beauty 
of the tropical south. {See 'plates, pages 128, 129). 

Like so many other southern butterflies the eggs of this 
species are laid upon the leaves of passion vines. The 
caterpillars develop very rapidly and when matured are 
yellowish or brownish yellow, striped with darker lines 
along the back and sides. There are black branching 
spines, arranged in rows beginning on the head and run- 
ning backward on the body. The whole cycle of hfe from 
egg to butterfly may take place within the short period of a 
month and one brood succeeds another in so irregular and 
rapid a fashion that it is difl5cult to determine definitely 
the number of broods in a season. 

The Variegated Fritillary 

Euptoieta claudia 

There is something in the appearance of the upper sur- 
face of this butterfly that suggests the other Fritillaries 
on the one hand and the Emperors on the other. The 
coloring and marking is a bit like the former and the 
shape of the wings like the latter. The general color is 
a golden brown with darker markings arranged in bands 
and eye-spots in a rather complicated pattern. The 
under surface, so far as it is exposed when the butterfly 
is at rest, is a beautiful marbled combination of gray and 
brown which is probably distinctly obliterative in the 
haunts of these insects. The front wings have the outer 
margin concave in the middle, giving a special prominence 
to the shape of each front outer angle. 


This butterjBy is a southern rather than a northern spe- 
cies, but it is found occasionally from Montana to Massa- 
chusetts and southward to Arizona, Mexico, and Florida. 
Even in northern Indiana it is very seldom found and is 
considered rare in the southern part of that state. Around 
Buffalo, New York, it is also rare and is not common in the 
vicinity of New York City. In the more Southern states, 
however, it is abundant and extends well through the con- 
tinent of South America. 

There is considerable evidence to indicate that this 
butterfly hibernates as an adult. In the more southern 
regions it probably also hibernates in other stages, es- 
pecially the chrysalis and the larva. In regions where it 
is double-brooded, as it appears to be in the latitude of 
New York City, the seasonal history seems to run some- 
thing like this: the partly grown caterpillars which have 
passed the winter in shelter at the surface of the soil feed 
upon the leaves of violets and certain other plants. They 
change to chrysalids, probably in May, and emerge as 
butterflies in June. These butterflies lay eggs for a sum- 
mer brood of caterpillars which may feed upon the leaves 
of violets, May apples, portulaca, and stonecrop. They 
grow into cyhndrical worms of a general reddish yellow 
color, marked by longitudinal stripes of brown upon the 
sides and a row of whitish dots upon the back. They 
become matured in time to disclose the butterflies of the 
second brood in August and September. Presumably 
these butterflies lay eggs that develop into caterpillars 
which hibernate when partially grown. 

Farther south there are probably three broods a year 
and hibernation may take place in various stages. There 
is good opportunity for careful work in determining the 


life-history of the species in different latitudes. The 
butterfly is found in much the same situations as the 
other Fritillaries, flying over meadows and along the 
borders of woods. 

The Diana Fritillary 

Argynnis diana 

This magnificent butterfly differs from the other Fritil- 
laries in the fact that the females are so unlike the males 
that only a skilled naturalist would even guess that they 
are related. Both sexes are rather rare and are found only 
in a comparatively narrow range extending from West 
Virginia to Missouri, northward to Ohio and Indiana, and 
southward to Georgia and Arkansas. 

This species was first described by Cramer a long time 
ago from specimens of the male sex. It was later described 
by Say and other writers all of whom saw only the males. 
The other sex was first recognized by William H. Edwards, 
whose account of its discovery as given in his splendid 
work on the Butterflies of North America is worth quot- 

"No mention is made of the female by any author," 
wrote Mr. Edwards, "and it seems to have been unknown 
till its discovery by me in 1864 in Kanawha County, 
West Virginia. On the 20th August, I saw, for the 
first time, a male hovering about the flowers of the 
iron- weed {Vernonia fasciculata), and succeeded in taking 
it. Two days afterwards, in same vicinity, while breaking 
my way through a dense thicket of the same weed, hoping 
to find another Diana, I came suddenly upon a large black 


and blue butterfly feeding so quietly as to allow me to 
stand near it some seconds and watch its motions. It 
seemed to be a new species of Limenitis, allied to Ursula, 
which it resembled in color. But on taking it, I saw it 
was a female Argynnis, and the general pattern of the 
under wing left little doubt of its affinity to the Diana 
male, despite its total difference in color and of upper sur- 
face. Subsequent captures confirmed this conjecture, 
and out of the large number that have since been taken 
the males have been of the known type and the females 
black, with no tendency in either to vary in the direction 
of the other. 

"When my attention was called to the species I found 
it not very uncommon, always upon or near the iron-weed, 
which is very abundant and grows in rank luxuriance 
upon the rich bottom lands of the Kanawha River, fre- 
quently reaching a height from eight to ten feet and in 
August covered by heads of purple flowers that possess 
a remarkable attraction for most butterflies. Both sexes 
are conspicuous, the males from the strong contrast of 
color and the females from their great size and the habit of 
alighting on the topmost flower and resting with wings 
erect and motionless. It is an exceedingly alert and wary 
species, differing in this from our other Argynnids. At 
the slightest alarm it will fly high into the woods near 
which, upon the narrow bottoms or river slopes, it is 
invariably found. It is a true southern species, sensi- 
tive to cold, not to be looked for in the cooler part of the 
morning but flying down from the forest when the sun 
is well up. From eleven to three o'clock is its feeding 

The life-history of this fine butterfly is similar to that of 


the lesser Fritlllaries. The butterflies appear from mid- 
summer onward, the males preceding the females, and the 
eggs are laid on or near violets in August or September. 
The larvae hibernate and mature early the following sum- 
mer. As they approach the chrysalis stage they are rather 
large velvety black caterpillars with brown heads and 
rows of fleshy barbed spines that show an orange tint at 
their bases. There is thus but one generation each year. 

The Regal Fritillary 

Argynnis idalia 

The Regal Fritillary, fresh from the chrysalis, still 
showing the marvelous sheen of its iridescence, furnishes 
one of the most beautiful exhibitions of color in the world 
of nature. Over the whole wing surface there are tiny 
scales that reflect the sunlight in an almost dazzling man- 
ner, giving a distinct purplish tone especially to the hind 

The Regal Fritillary is one of the largest butterflies of 
the distinctive group to which it belongs. The wings 
expand some three inches and the rather thick body is 
more than an inch long. The general ground color of the 
wings is brown, with distinct markings of blackish which 
in the hind wings almost obscure the brown. On each of 
the latter as seen from above there is a distinct row of 
cream-colored spots across the middle, duplicated by a 
similar row of brown spots near the margin. The under 
surface of both pairs of wings is much lighter and thickly 
mottled all over with light cream-colored spots of a large 
size and more or less triangular shape. {See frontispiece.) 


Like the other Argynnids, the Regal Fritillary is single- 
brooded during the year and it has a rather remarkable 
longevity in each stage of its life. The newly hatched 
caterpillars go into hibernation and live through the 
winter without feeding, finding shelter at the surface of 
the ground, especially beneath the leaves of violets which 
form their chosen food plants. When the snow has dis- 
appeared and the warmth of the spring sun brings them 
out of their winter lethargy these tiny caterpillars feed 
upon the violet leaves and grow slowly for several weeks. 
They then change to chrysalids, the time for doing this 
varying considerably with the individual and doubtless 
with the warmth of the situation in which each is living. 
The length of time spent in the chrysalis varies also, but 
in general it seems to be less for those which develop into 
male butterflies than for the females. It is a curious fact 
that the former may be found for nearly two weeks before 
any of the latter appear. 

The first butterflies of this species are usually disclosed 
from the chrysalis late in June or early in July. They 
continue to come forth for several weeks, apparently 
until nearly the middle of August. They lead a leisurely 
life, visiting freely the flowers of goldenrod, iron-weed, 
boneset, Joe Pye weed, and especially swamp milkweed. 
They are most likely to be found in lowlands and along 
the borders of swamps where these favorite flowers are 
growing. It evidently requires some time for the eggs 
to develop within the ovaries, for the butterfly cannot be- 
gin laying these until the latter part of August. They 
apparently are normally deposited on the under side of 
violet leaves, although so far as I know no butterfly has 
been seen thus laying her eggs. It would be an interest- 


ing point for some young observer to determine. Even 
the eggs take a long time to develop, not hatching for three 
or four weeks after they are laid. When they do hatch 
the tiny caterpillars seem not to eat at all but to go di- 
rectly into hibernation. 

These butterflies are to be found in their preferred habi- 
tats almost any time during July, August, and September. 
Apparently many of them live as adults for nearly three 
months so that whether we consider the egg, the larva, 
the chrysalis, or the adult we have in this species an unusual 
duration of life. This is doubtless an adaptation to the 
fact that the species must get through the year with only 
one brood. 

This unity of habit with no such variations as occur in 
many butterflies with a wider range north and south is 
apparently correlated with the distribution of this butter- 
fly. It is found in a belt of territory running from New 
England and the Atlantic states westward at least to 
Nebraska along a line which approximates the annual 
isotherm of fifty degrees Fahrenheit. 

The Great Spangled Fritillary 

Argynnis cyhele 

To one who wanders much in the woods and open fields 
there are few summer scenes more characteristic of the 
season than that of a group of milkweeds in full flower, 
surrounded by a host of brown butterflies busily sucking 
the nectar from the curious pink blossoms. There are 
likely to be several species of these winged creatures, but 
in many regions of America the largest and most conspicu- 


ous will generally be the Great Spangled Fritlllary. This 
butterfly is easily recognized by its large size and its 
combination of two colors of brown, with whitish or 
silverish spots scattered over the lower surface of the 

The life-history of this insect is of peculiar interest on 
account of the way in which it passes the winter. The 
mother butterfly remains upon the wing through many 
weeks in summer, so that toward the end of August or 
early September a large proportion of the specimens have 
a decidedly frayed appearance. They are patiently wait- 
ing for the season of the year when they can deposit their 
eggs, apparently knowing by instinct that this must not 
be done until early autumn. When the proper season 
arrives they lay their eggs upon the leaves or stems of wild 
violets, apparently without much reference to the par- 
ticular species. Sometimes they have been reported 
simply to drop the eggs loosely upon the violet plant 
with no attempt to fasten them in place. Having thus 
deposited the eggs the mother butterflies soon die. 

It would not seem strange if these eggs remained un- 
hatched until the following spring, but the fact is that the 
eggs hatch very soon into small caterpillars that eat off 
part of the shells in order to escape and sometimes eat also 
part of the shell remaining after they have emerged. 
Various good observers have apparently established the 
fact that these tiny caterpillars eat nothing else before 
winter sets in. It seems curious indeed that they should 
not nibble at the leaves or stems of the violet plants in 
order to be slightly prepared for the long fast that awaits 
them before they will find food upon the young buds the 
following spring. The case is somewhat similar to that of 


the common tent caterpillar which becomes a fully formed 
caterpillar within the egg shell before the end of autumn, 
but remains unhatched until the following spring. In the 
present case the caterpillar hibernates outside of the egg 
shell rather than within it. 

When at last the warm sunshine of spring starts the 
violets into new growth the tiny caterpillars begin feeding 
upon the succulent tissues. They nibble away day after 
day for a week or more before they become so large that 
they have to cast their skin for the first time. They then 
feed again and continue this process of feeding and moult- 
ing until early in summer. They are likely to hide them- 
selves during daylight and have the reputation of being 
difficult to rear under artificial conditions. 

The full-grown caterpillar wanders along the surface of 
the ground in search of suitable shelter for the chrysalis 
period. When it comes to a large stone with sides pro- 
jecting more or less horizontally or a log lying upon 
the ground or even a large piece of loose bark it is likely 
to stop and change to the pupa or chrysalis. In this con- 
dition it is dark brown in color and well covered with 
thickened tubercles, especially along the back of the 

About a fortnight later the chrysalis breaks open and the 
fully developed butterfly comes forth. It rests quietly for 
a time while its wings expand and the tissues harden and 
then sallies forth for its long period of flight; for this insect 
is single-brooded in the Northern states at least and the 
butterflies that thus mature late in June or early in July 
are likely to remain alive until early in September. So 
they have a comparatively long life for a butterfly that 
does not hibernate as an adult. 


The Silver-spot Fritillary 

Argynnis aphrodite 

Our brown Fritillaries are seldom found without several 
species mingling together. This is not strange, for they 
have similar habits throughout their entire lives. So when 
you see a bevy of butterflies collected around the midsum- 
mer blossoms of the milkweed, you are pretty sure to find 
that the Great Spangled Fritillary is associated with the 
Silver-spot and probably one or two other related forms. 
The Silver-spot is generally decidedly smaller than the 
one first named and the surest way to be certain of it 
is to look on the under side of the hind wing and see 
whether there is a broad band of buff between the two 
outer rows of silver spots. If this band has disappeared 
or is nearly all taken up by the brown ground-color of 
the wing, you may be pretty sure we have the Silver-spot 
Fritillary. (See plate, page 128.) 

When one has firmly fixed in mind the life cycle of one of 
these butterflies, one has a model after which to fashion the 
rest, for our several species are remarkably alike in this 

The Silver-spots are on the wing for several weeks in 
summer. During the latter part of this time the females 
lay eggs upon violet leaves. These eggs shortly hatch into 
caterpillars that go directly into hibernation, taking no 
food before winter sets in. The following spring they feed 
upon violet leaves and mature in time to change to chrys- 
alids and emerge as butterflies in early summer. There is 
but one brood a year and the species is widely distributed 
over southern Canada and the Northern states. It extends 


south to Virginia and Pennsylvania and west to Nebraska, 
Montana, and Washington. 

The Mountain Silver-spot 

Argynnis atlantis 

If one were able to take a Silver-spot Fritillary and re- 
duce its size about one third he would have a wonderfully 
good imitation of the present species. Except for the size, 
about the only difference in the markings is found in the 
blackish border along the margins of the Mountain Silver- 
spot which is not present in the other species. The buff 
sub-marginal border line on the under surface of the wings 
between the rows of silver spots is also wider in the moun- 
tain species. 

The distribution of tliis butterfly justifies its name. It 
is preeminently a northern species, being especially abund- 
ant in the White Moimtains of New Hampshire and rang- 
ing northward far into Canada and west through British 
America as far as the Mackenzie River. A pair of these 
butterflies were captured by Merritt Carey on July 16, 
1903, on the summit of Mount Tha-on-tha, in the Nahanni 
Mountains, at an altitude of 2,500 feet. The southern 
limit of its distribution approximates the isotherm of 
forty-five degrees. It extends southward in mountainous 
regions through New York and Pennsylvania and is found 
in Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa. It also occurs in the 
Rocky Mountain region of Colorado. 

The various species of Argynnis show a remarkable uni- 
formity in their life-history. Like the others, this butterfly 
is single-brooded, laying the eggs on or near violets late in 


summer, the eggs hatching into larvae that take no food 
until the following spring. They then feed upon the violet 
leaves, become mature, and change to chrysalids in time for 
the butterjBdes to emerge in June in New Hampshire. 
These butterflies remain upon the wing for several weeks. 
They usually appear a week or two earlier than Aphrodite 
or Cybele in regions where all three species are found. It is 
worth while for the collector to take a hint from this fact 
and do his Silver-spot collecting early. For after the 
other species appear it is not so easy to tell which is Atlan- 
tis when the butterflies are on the wing. It is most likely 
to be found in open places in the woods, apparently pre- 
ferring such situations to the broad expanse of fields and 

The White Mountain Fritillary 

Argynnis montinus 

This is distinctly a mountain butterfly, known to be 
found only near the top of Mount Washington and other 
neighboring parts of the White Mountains. It generally 
occurs between the altitudes of four thousand and fifty- 
five hundred feet. It is doubtless closely related to a 
somewhat similar form found farther north and west, but 
its isolation from them is complete. Apparently it is 
single-brooded and very little is known of the early stages. 
The butterflies visit the flowers of goldenrod and those of 
the alpine sand-wort which are abundant in the sub-alpine 
home of this species. 

This variety is interesting as a living souvenir of the 
day when New England was buried beneath the ice-sheet. 


The Meadow Fritillary 

Brenthis hellona 

The fact of variation is one of the most universal things 
in nature. No two animals are exactly alike and every 
plant differs from every other plant. That this is true of 
the structure of living things is easily observed but it is not 
so well known, because not so easily observed, that most 
species of animals differ also in the precise phases of their 
growth. We know that the variation in form and color 
has brought about the remarkable adaptations to sur- 
roundings which we call mimicry and protective colora- 
tion. A little consideration will make it evident that the 
variation of different individuals in periods of growth must 
have led also to the adaptation of the life stages to the con- 
ditions of the changing seasons. This is particularly true 
in the great majority of insects which show remarkable 
adaptations in their various broods to the seasonal con- 
ditions of the localities where they live. 

From this point of view the attractive little Meadow 
Fritillary is of especial interest. We are indebted to the 
studies of S. H. Scudder for our knowledge of the remark- 
able variations in its growth. These are so complicated 
that in order to make plain the varying conditions it seems 
necessary to separate the broods in a somewhat hypotheti- 
cal manner. 

We will begin with what we shall call Group A: The 
butterflies are on the wing in May and early*"June. They 
have just come from the chrysalis and continue living for 
three or four weeks before they deposit eggs, this time 
being required in order that the eggs may develop in the 


Tpper iiiid lower siirfiif-es (xrc iniijc 


Lower SiiiTiice (.vrv luuir 11. 'A 


THE GULF FRITILLARY {see page 115) 

Upper and under surfaces {see page ISl) 


Upper and under surfaces {see page hifj) 


ovaries of the butterflies. These eggs hatch in about a 
week and the caterpillars become full grown a month later. 
They then change to chrysalids in which condition they re- 
main another week, thus requiring five or six weeks for the 
newly laid eggs to mature into butterflies. Supposing 
the eggs were laid the first week in June, the butterflies of 
this second brood would appear about the middle of July. 
The eggs in the ovaries of some of these butterflies also re- 
quire several weeks before they are ready to be laid, so that 
it may be about the tenth of August when this happens. 
These hatch and mature to chrysalids during the next six 
weeks, the butterflies of this brood emerging about the 
middle of September. These in turn lay eggs at once ap- 
parently, no extended period being required for their de- 
velopment before they are laid. The eggs hatch during the 
latter part of September and the young caterpillars feed 
upon the violet leaves for two or three weeks, moulting per- 
haps twice and becoming approximately half grown. They 
now stop feeding and go into a lethargic condition in which 
they hibernate. Then in spring they awaken and feed 
again upon the violet leaves for a short time, becoming 
mature and changing to chrysalids sufficiently early to 
emerge as butterflies late in May. 

In this hypothetical group we have a fairly normal con- 
dition of a three-brooded butterfly hibernating in the stage 
of the half -grown larva and requiring some weeks for the 
development of the eggs in the ovaries of the butterflies in 
the case of the first two broods but not of the third. 

In another group, which we may designate as B, the con- 
ditions may be similar except that the butterflies lay their 
eggs very soon after coming from the chrysalis in the case of 
all three broods. Obviously there would be a tendency 


here for hastening the earhness of the broods so that the 
hibernating caterpillars might either become larger or 
might go into the hibernating condition earlier than those 
of Group A. 

In Group C, the variation takes place in the larvae rather 
than in the butterflies. These may go on in the normal way 
up to the time the caterpillars of the summer brood become 
half grown. Then they become lethargic, ceasing to feed 
and to all appearances going into hibernation. They re- 
main in this condition until the following spring when they 
come forth from their winter's sleep and feed upon the 
violets in precisely the same way as the caterpillars of the 
third brood of Groups A and B. 

In Group D we have another interesting variation of the 
larvae. These are the same as C up to the time of be- 
coming lethargic, that is, the larvae of the summer or 
second brood become lethargic at the same time as those of 
Group C but instead of continuing in this condition until 
the following spring they remain in lethargy only three or 
four weeks, then they wake up (having apparently then 
changed their caterpillar minds) and begin to feed, soon 
maturing and changing to chrysalids from which butterflies 
emerge late in September or early in October. The result 
is that these butterflies lay eggs so late that the cold nights 
come on apace and the little caterpillars apparently 
take no food at all but go into hibernation immediately. 
In consequence these must eat for a longer period the 
following spring, so that the butterflies into which they 
mature will be likely not to appear until well along in 

It is probable that even this rather elaborate statement 
does not do justice to all the variations in the development 


of this little butterfly. But perhaps enough has been said 
to help us to understand something of the way in which 
such insects are able to adapt their life habits to the con- 
ditions of their environment. It is easy to see that if con- 
ditions should so change as to give any one of these groups 
a decided advantage over the others, the tendency would 
be for the other groups to disappear and for the group of 
favored habits to survive. 

The Meadow Fritillary is common in Canada and the 
Northern states east of the Rocky Mountains. It is 
foimd especially in lowland meadows and along the bor- 
ders of swamps, the very situations chosen by the food 
plants of the larva, the blue and the white violets. The 
butterflies may be often seen sipping nectar from the 
various species of mint and related plants found in such 
situations. It is commonly associated with the Silver- 
bordered Fritillary, from which it is easily distinguished 
because it has no silver spots upon its wings. 

The Silver-bordered Fritillary 

Brenthis myrina 

This attractive little butterfly bears a close general re- 
semblance to the Meadow Fritillary, from which it differs 
chiefly by the continuous row of silver spots along the bor- 
der of the under side of both pairs of wings. It is found 
in the same localities as the other and its life-history is 
very similar. {See plate, page 129.) 

The present species is widely distributed in North Amer- 
ica, being found as far west as the upper Mississippi Val- 
ley and the Rocky Mountains, and southward as far as 


the Carolinas. In New England and the Atlantic states 
it is one of the commonest of the smaller butterflies. 

Beginning with the butterflies which are seen in the 
fields and meadows in September, the yearly cycle of this 
insect may be summarized in this way: the eggs laid in 
September hatch in a few days into tiny caterpillars, some 
of which become lethargic at once, while others begin 
feeding upon the violet leaves and continue thus to feed 
until they are about half grown. These then also become 
lethargic and find shelter just above the soil surface 
where they remain until the following spring. They then 
begin to feed again upon the violet leaves and at about 
the same time the other caterpillars which became dor- 
mant as soon as hatched, also waken and feed upon these 
leaves. Naturally those which were half grown at the 
beginning of spring are likely to mature and change to 
chrysalids two or three weeks earlier than those which were 
so small at the beginning of the season. Consequently 
the fresh butterflies will be found from late in May to the 
latter part of June. Presumably those which first ap- 
peared have developed from the larger caterpillars and the 
later ones from the smaller caterpillars. 

The butterflies of this first brood of the season lay their 
eggs upon the violet leaves, generally upon the upper sur- 
face of the blade, but occasionally upon the stems or upon 
near-by grasses. These eggs hatch in about a week into 
caterpillars that mature during the next three or four 
weeks, coming forth as a second brood of butterflies late 
in July or early in August. These in like manner lay 
their eggs and develop into a third brood which matures 
as butterflies in September. These lay eggs that hatch 
into the caterpillars which live through the winter. There 


are thus three broods of butterflies during the year and it 
is probable that there is the same remarkable variation 
in the habits of the different broods that have been found 
in the case of the Meadow Fritillary. 

Synopsis of the Fritillaries 

Gulf Fritillary {Agraulis vanillae). Expanse 2f inches. 
Apex of each front wing produced into a distinct angle. 
Upper surface of all wings reddish brown, marked with 
black spots and an interrupted black border, the border 
on the liind wings enclosing round red-brown spots. 
Under surface, so far as it shows when insect is at rest, 
nearly covered with large silver- white spots. Found only 
in the more Southern states. 

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia). Expanse 2| 
inches. Apex of each front wing produced into a distinct 
angle. Upper surface of all wings fulvous brown, thickly 
marked with buff and brownish black. A sub-marginal 
row of black dots on each of the wings, outside of which 
is a row of buff crescents on the blackish border. Under 
surface, as it shows when the butterfly is at rest, beauti- 
fully marbled in creamy browns and deeper browns. No 
distinct silver spots in either surface. 

Diana Fritillary {Argynnis diana). Male. Expanse 
3| inches. Apex of fore wings rounded. Upper surface 
of all wings, with a little more than basal half, solid 
brownish black and the rest of the surface orange-brown, 
marked with darker brown round spots and vein lines. 
Under surface light buff, marked with black, with silver 
crescents and spots on hind wings. Female. Expanse 
4 inches. Upper surface of all wings blackish with bluish 
or greenish iridescence, and marginal third marked with 


blue spots and stripes. These are more prominent on the 
hind wings. Under surface slaty brown with prominent 
silver crescents on the hind wings. 

Idalia or Regal Fritillary {Argynnis idalia). Male. 
Expanse 3 inches. Front wings fulvous brown with black 
spots and markings. Hind wings black except at base 
with a row of fulvous brown sub-marginal spots and an 
inner row of whitish or bluish white spots. Female. 
Expanse 3| inches. Similar to male except for larger size 
and the fact that the two rows of spots on the hind wings 
are yellowish brown. 

Great Spangled Fritillary (Argynnis cyhele). Expanse 
3J inches. General color of wings fulvous brown with 
black markings on upper surface and black and silver 
markings on under surface. The yellow band between 
the rows of silver spots on hind wings is broad. There is 
a distinct narrow fulvous stripe on the upper side of the 
hind wing just inside the outer margin, and a similar 
stripe along the margin of the front wing, more or less 
interrupted by the veins. 

Silver-spot Fritillary (Argynnis aphrodite). Expanse 
3 inches. Similar to the Great Spangled but a little 
smaller, and with the buff yellow band between the rows 
of silver spots on the lower surface much narrower and al- 
most disappearing at the rear. 

Mountain Silver-spot (Argynnis atlantis). Expanse 2| 
inches. Known by its smaller size and the black marginal 
border stripe on all the wings, with no brown line dividing 
this stripe. 

Silver-bordered Fritillary (Brenthis myrina). Expanse 
If inches. Known by its small size and a marginal row 
of silver spots on the under side of each of the wings, and 


with many other silver spots scattered over the under sur- 
face of the hind wings. 

Meadow Fritillary {Brenthis bellona) . Expanse 2 inches. 
Easily known by the absence of silver spots on all the 
wings. The wings are long in proportion to their width. 


The members of this tribe have the following combina- 
tions of characters: scaly antennae, with a short stout 
club some three times as long as broad, and a pair of 
slender palpi in which the terminal joint is only about half 
as long as the middle one. There may or may not be a 
slight ridge running lengthwise of the naked part of the 
antennal club. 

Although more than fifty distinct species belonging to 
this tribe have been found in North America, very few 
of these are distributed through the eastern part. Only 
four are so abundant and widely distributed that they need 
be treated of here. 

Baltimore Checker-spot 

Euphydryas phaeton 

To the naturahst those islands in the seas which are 
remote from the mainland have long been of especial in- 
terest. The life upon them is likely to show the results 
of many generations of living under unique conditions. 
The plants and animals are generally distinctive, many of 
the species having characteristics which differentiate 
them markedly from those upon the mainland. They 
show in a thousand ways the effect of isolation and so are 


of especial value when one attempts to determine the re- 
sults of unusual conditions upon living things. 

In a somewhat similar way the peat bogs or sphagnum 
swamps which occur here and there over a large part of 
North America are of especial interest, because in a way 
they are biological islands in which the conditions of a 
long past age are preserved until the present. These 
nearly always occur in a little valley surrounded on all sides 
by hills. Here the water has collected originally into ajpond 
or lake, which has been gradually filling up through the 
growth of peat mosses and a special set of other plants 
that develop in such situations. One can still find many 
stages in the process. In some bogs the surface will be 
practically covered, although the water beneath may still 
be so abundant that the matted moss quakes as one walks 
over it. Sometimes such bogs are really dangerous be- 
cause the walker may drop through to the water beneath. 
In most of the bogs, however, the little lake is nearly filled 
but shows the surface over a small area. 

The conditions in these peat bogs have changed little 
since civilization began. They are relics of an earlier 
era which have come down to us as types of conditions 
that once existed very generally. The plant life is unique 
and consists almost entirely of forms which are found prac- 
tically nowhere else. There are comparatively few ani- 
mals living in these peat bogs and all of these are likely 
to be of especial interest. Among the insects none is 
more remarkable than the Baltimore Checker-sjxjt but- 
terfly which has several peculiarities that diflFerentiate 
it from the other members of the group. It seems to have 
come down to us unchanged from a far remote past and 
to be living its tranquil life to-day in precisely the same 


manner as during the time when the mammoth and the mas- 
todon were Hkely to invade its haunts . {See plate ^ page 129.) 
The Baltimore is probably the most local in its distribu- 
tion of any of the butterflies found throughout Canada 
and the Northern states. It is to be looked for only in 
peat bogs and swamps, and it has a remarkable unity in 
its life-history whether it be found in northern Canada or 
as far south as West Virginia. The butterfly itself is 
rather large, measuring a little more than two inches across 
its expanded wings and being colored with an unusual 
combination of fulvous and yellow upon a black back- 
ground. It is present as a rule only from about the first 
of June to the middle of July. The eggs, in bunches of 
from one hundred to four hundred, are laid upon the 
leaves of the plant commonly called snake-head or turtle- 
head {Chehne glabra) . They do not hatch for nearly three 
weeks; then the little caterpillars emerge together and 
usually each eats a little of the empty egg shell. They 
are then likely to form a thin web over the under surface 
of the leaf beneath which they remain as a small company 
feeding upon the succulent green tissue. A little later 
they are likely to begin the construction of a miniature 
nest by spinning a silken web over the young leaves at the 
top of the plant. From this time on this silken nest serves 
as their home, and they utilize it almost as effectively as 
do our familiar American tent caterpillars the nest which 
they make in the forks of the wild cherry tree. The 
Baltimore caterpillars often wander more or less from their 
tent-like home but they generally come back to feed as 
well as to moult. If the nest is injured by wind or rain, all 
the caterpillars turn out to repair it and as the need for 
new food supplies arises they also unite to enlarge the 


tent. This habit of working together for the common 
good is very suggestive of the similar habits of the Ameri- 
can tent caterpillars. Doors for going in and out are 
left in the tent during its construction. 

The tent thus made is likely to be deserted after the first 
moult and a new and larger one constructed on another 
part of the plant. Two or perhaps three such nests may 
be made from the time the caterpillar hatches until after 
the second moult. The last nest made is very likely to be 
upon some neighboring bushy plant or at least to include 
some branches of such a plant if the bulk of the nest is 
made upon snake-head. For after the third moult the 
caterpillars stop feeding and become more or less quiet, 
thus beginning a nine months' fast, during which they are 
simply to wait until the return of spring. This fast may 
be begun any time from the middle of August until early 
in September, and even when brought indoors the cater- 
pillars cannot be induced to eat. It is evidently the way 
in which the species has bridged over the winter during the 
thousands of generations of its existence, and the instinct 
is so firmly fixed that it cannot be changed. Even in 
West Virginia, where the caterpillars would have plenty 
of time during the summer to mature as butterflies that 
would bring forth another generation of caterpillars that 
might pass the winter, the condition is the same as in the 
far northern regions. 

So within the shelter of the silken nest these Baltimore 
caterpillars remain from the middle of August until May. 
Then when the spring sunshine has sufficiently warmed 
their cool retreats they come forth and feed greedily upon 
the young leaves. They now soon make up for lost 
time and complete their growth as caterpillars very 


quickly. When full fed they wander about in all direc- 
tions, each hunting its own shelter before becoming a 
chrysalis. Having found a twig or branch that suits their 
purpose each hangs downward and changes to a brownish 
yellow chrysalis, more or less marked with black. It re- 
mains in this condition for about a fortnight, when it comes 
forth as the Baltimore butterfly which thus appears again 
about the first of June. 

These butterflies seem to have some of the character- 
istics of their unique surroundings. There are very few 
flowers in the peat bogs and it is significant that the butter- 
flies instead of flitting from flower to flower, as do most of 
our familiar species, fly rather in a slow and lazy fashion 
from leaf to leaf, lighting upon the foliage or frequently 
upon the surface of the moss or ground. They seem leth- 
argic and have httle of the animation which we usually 
associate with the name butterfly. 

In my mind the Baltimore is associated with the White 
Mountain butterfly as a survivor of a former geologic 
period. The latter was developed under colder conditions 
and now survives only on a few isolated mountain peaks; 
but the former has survived wherever the peat bog has 
held its sway during the long ages that the surrounding 
landscape has been taking on its present-day condition. 
Many things in the life of the Baltimore point to its primi- 
tive condition: the laying of the eggs in loose clusters, the 
long lethargy of the caterpillars, the limited flight of the 
butterflies — all indicate a creature with habits firmly fixed 
by long ages of development in a definite environment. 

No collector should feel sure that the Baltimore is not to 
be one of his trophies until he has visited in June every 
peat bog or sphagnum swamp in his locality. One may 


search years without finding it, and then come across a 
dozen in a single day. I well remember the interest with 
which I first found this species on the margin of a great 
swamp in Michigan when I was eager for every new butter- 
fly to add to my collection. I had never seen it alive be- 
fore and the thrill with which the first specimen was cap- 
tured can be realized only by those remembering similar 

Harris's Checker-spot 

Cinclidia harrisii 

This little butterfly so closely resembles the Pearl 
Crescent and the Silver Crescent that on the wing it is 
easily mistaken for them. It really looks more like them 
than it does the Baltimore Checker-spot, which is con- 
siderably larger and darker colored than the present 
species. This is essentially a northern form occurring 
only in a narrow strip of country east of Minnesota and 
Wisconsin, running on the north through southern Canada 
and on the south through Michigan, New York, and Massa- 

This insect is one of the best-known botanists among all 
the butterflies. In the very difficult group of asters which 
has caused endless confusion to human botanists these in- 
sects seem always able to select the one species — Aster 
umbellatus. It has been repeatedly found that the cater- 
pillars would starve rather than eat the leaves of other 
kinds of asters, and so far as known they have never been 
found feeding outdoors upon any other. 

These butterflies appear along roadsides and in open 


fields about the middle of June. They are often very 
abundant and are much more generally distributed than 
the Baltimore Checker-spot. A few weeks later the fe- 
males lay their eggs upon the aster leaves, the eggs being 
deposited in clusters of twenty or more on the under side 
of the leaf. Early in July the little caterpillars come forth 
and remain together in colonies as they feed upon the 
green tissues of the leaves. Each is able to spin a silken 
thread so that wherever they go they weave a web and 
they soon protect themselves with a slight silken shelter, 
which is suggestive of the nests made by the Baltimore cat- 
erpillar. They continue to live in this manner for several 
weeks in July and August, growing rather gradually and 
becoming approximately half grown before the frosts of 
autumn. Unlike the Baltimore caterpillars they now de- 
sert their nests and find shelter at or near the surface of the 
ground. Here they hibernate, to come forth the following 
spring and feed again upon the new growth of the aster 
plants, often doing considerable damage by denuding the 
young shoots of their leaves. They become full grown in 
time to change to chrysalids so that the butterflies may 
emerge in June. 

The Silver Crescent 

Charidryas nycteis 

While this species has not the broad distribution for wliich 
the Pearl Crescent is notable it occurs over a large part of 
the United States. Its distribution is bounded broadly by 
a line running from southern Canada north of Maine to a 
point in southern Canada north of Montana, whence it 


runs south through Wyoming and Utah to the corner of 
Arizona, and thence east through New Mexico and Texas 
to Ohio and West Virginia, extending south near the coast 
to North Carolina. It thus includes a broad belt of terri- 
tory occupying fully one half of the area of the United 

Throughout this vast area the Silver Crescent is often a 
purely local species, occurring abundantly during its brief 
season in some favorable locality but seldom being seen 
in other places near by. In the north it is single-brooded, 
the butterflies appearing on the wing during June and 
commonly disappearing early in July. Late in June the 
females lay their eggs in clusters of a hundred or less on 
the under surface of the leaves of various composite 
plants, notably sunflowers, asters, and a common species 
of Actinomeris. A week or more later these hatch into 
little caterpillars that feed together in colonies upon the 
green tissues of the leaf, taking only the succulent paren- 
chyma and leaving the network of veins. As one leaf is 
thus denuded they migrate to another, in this way passing 
from leaf to leaf for several weeks in summer. They con- 
tinue to feed until about half grown when they desert the 
food plant and find shelter at the soil surface. Here they 
become lethargic and hibernate until the following spring. 
They then arouse again and feed upon the tender leaves of 
the new growth, continuing to eat and grow for a few 
weeks before they become mature as caterpillars and 
change to chrysalids. A little later the chrysalids disclose 
the butterflies which as already indicated appear in 

In more southern regions the life-story of the species is 
not so simple. There is at least a partial second brood and 


it is probable that in many localities the species is both 
single-brooded and double-brooded. In such a case some 
of the caterpillars go into hibernation probably about mid- 
summer, remaining quiescent through the later weeks of 
summer and all the weeks of fall and winter, while others 
would mature to chrysalids and butterflies in summer, and 
the butterflies would lay eggs for a second brood of larvae 
which would hibernate when partially grown. There are 
opportunities for careful observers to do good work upon 
the life-history of this species in many parts of its range. 

The Pearl Crescent 

Phyciodes iharos 

Some years ago Mr. Samuel H. Scudder, the most not- 
able student of New England butterflies, wrote a delightful 
essay with the title "Butterflies as Botanists." From his 
long experience in rearing the eggs of these insects he con- 
cluded that the egg-laying females know in a most remark- 
able way the precise kinds of leaves upon which to ovi- 
posit. He educed many illustrations in proof of the fact 
and quoted a remark of Asa Gray, the most eminent of 
American botanists, that is worth repeating. At that 
time Scudder had reason to believe that the Pearl Crescent 
laid its eggs exclusively upon the New England aster. 
Now the asters as a group have been a source of much 
trouble to the botanists who have attempted to classify 
them as to species and variety. The various forms are so 
similar to one another that different authorities have not 
agreed as to the limitations of the species. So when Gray was 
told that this little butterfly was able always to distinguish 


and select for her egg-laying a single species of this vexing 
tribe he replied: "If your butterfly selects only that, it is a 
better botanist than most of us." 

While later observers have found that this beautiful little 
insect is not so exclusive in its choice of a food plant as was 
formerly believed, it serves to illustrate the fact that a 
large proportion of the caterpillars of this group have a 
very narrow range of food plants. In nearly every case 
where the food is thus restricted the insect feeds only upon 
species which are closely related to one another, generally 
falling within a single genus according to the classification 
of the botanists. 

There has been much discussion in regard to the way in 
which the mother butterfly knows the particular species 
which she chooses for oviposition. Experiments ap- 
parently have shown that she is not dependent upon the 
sense of sight but rather upon the sense of smell, which as 
is well known is much more highly developed in insects 
than in the higher animals. I suppose it is not very 
strange that a creature which has fed from infancy upon 
leaves with a certain taste and odor should in its later life 
respond only to that particular odor and should neglect all 
others. In a way the butterfly itself is a product of the 
plant and it probably is not necessary to assume that each 
butterfly differentiates the odors of all kinds of plants but 
only that she responds to the fragrance of the one with 
which she has been particularly associated. 

This idea may suggest to various observers an interest- 
ing point of view. When you see a butterfly flying leisurely 
from plant to plant and alighting upon the leaves rather 
than the blossom, you may be pretty sure that she is bent 
upon egg-laying. Now watch her to see if she goes at once 

From a drawing by Mary E. Walker 

See page 153 

Caterpillar, chrysalis, ami butterflies. (Reduced) 

.Moiiriiiiiu-Cloak Sec jhu/c-s //?. 171 


The Viceroy visit iiifj wild carrot flowers See jnujr VJ- 


(IMH)to<i;ra])lie(l from life) 


to the particular kind of leaves she finally selects or does 
she stop momentarily upon neighboring plants, apparently 
trying to find the one from which the fragrance emanates 
until at last she reaches it. Such observations have only 
rarely been recorded and if carefully made, notes being 
taken on the spot, they would have decided scientific 

Abundance and Distribution 

Few butterflies are more abundant or more widely dis- 
tributed throughout North America than the beautiful 
little Pearl Crescent. It occurs over practically the whole 
of the United States and Canada and is found from early in 
spring imtil late in autumn. It is a rather small species 
with a wing expanse of only about an inch and a quarter, 
the upper surface of the wings being that tone of reddish 
brown called fulvous, more or less marked with black wavy 
lines and dots. The under surface is similar in color, with a 
small silver crescent near the outer margin of each hind 

These butterflies are not very active creatures, although 
they are commonly found in meadows and pastures along 
brooks and by the borders of open woods. Instead of lay- 
ing their eggs singly as do so many of the more active but- 
terflies, they lay them in clusters, often of a hundred or 
more, one layer of eggs being placed above the other upon 
the aster leaf. In at least one case observed, the cater- 
pillars hatch from the layer farthest away from the leaf 
surface before those of the layer next the leaf surface 
emerge. This is an interesting provision, for were the lat- 
ter to come out first they would be likely to disarrange the 
unhatched eggs. The caterpillars appear about a week 


after the eggs are laid and remain together in crowded 
colonies that feed upon the upper surface of the aster leaf. 
At first they eat only the green tissue, leaving the bare 
veins, although they are not careful to denude the entire 
surface of the leaf as so many other caterpillars do. As one 
leaf is exhausted they pass to another near by, continuing 
thus to feed in companies for a few weeks. Their general 
color is blackish, although the black is relieved with yellow 
dots along the back and a band of a similiar color on each 
side. Unlike the larger social caterpillars of the Mourning 
Cloak and other butterflies these larvae do not spin any 
threads as they crawl from place to place, so there is abso- 
lutely no nest made upon the aster leaf. This may possi- 
bly be correlated with the fact that these caterpillars are 
sluggish creatures and when disturbed drop quickly to the 
soil beneath. 

When the caterpillars are full grown, they fall or crawl 
to the ground and scatter more or less in search of shelter. 
Each attaches itself to any protection it may have found 
and changes to a grayish or brownish chrysalis more or less 
angular. It remains in this condition for a period that 
varies greatly with the weather conditions, averaging 
about two weeks. 

There are two distinct forms of these butterflies which 
vary so greatly that they were once considered separate 
species. They are now known, however, to be only sea- 
sonal variations. In New England two broods of the 
insect occur, one in spring, the other in summer. The 
spring form is called technically Phyciodes tharos tharos. 
In this form the under surface of the hind wings is very 
distinctly marked with blackish spots. The summer form 
is called Phyciodes tharos morpheus. It is noticeably 


larger than the spring form and it has very few markings 
on the under surface of the hind wings. 

The Yearly History 

As it occurs in New England the yearly history of this 
little butterfly runs something like this. The spring form 
of the adult appears in May and lays eggs upon the aster 
leaves. These eggs hatch into caterpillars that feed upon 
the aster leaves for several weeks and then change to 
chrysalids, remaining in the latter stage ten days or 
two weeks. They then come from the chrysalids in the 
form of the summer butterflies which begin to appear about 
the middle of July and continue to emerge for at least a 
month. These lay eggs upon the aster leaves again and 
the Kttle caterpillars that hatch from them feed for a few 
weeks or until about the last of September. They are 
then only partially grown, but they make no attempt to 
complete their transformation at this time. Instead they 
drop to the ground and go into hibernation, remaining in 
this condition until early the following spring. They then 
begin feeding again and complete their development in 
time to emerge as the spring form of the butterfly in May. 

Some very interesting experiments by William H. Ed- 
wards have shown that the smaller, darker spring form of 
the butterfly is due to cold. He placed upon ice chrysaHds 
that would normally produce the summer form and found 
that the specimens so treated produced the spring form. 

This butterfl}^ is one of the best known examples of the 
variation in the yearly cycle due to differences in latitude. 
This is readily shown by a brief summary of its life-his- 
tory, from north to south. 

In the far northern climate of Labrador there is but one 


brood a year and the butterflies belong to what I have 
been calling the spring form. The butterflies appear on 
the wing in early summer, lay their eggs upon the aster 
leaves, and die. The eggs hatch into caterpillars that 
feed for several weeks, then become dormant and remain 
in such shelters as they can find until the following spring. 
They then change to chrysalids to emerge as butterflies a 
little later. There is thus but one brood a year and the 
only form of the butterfly is the small, darker colored 

As far south as southern Canada there is a slight varia- 
tion in this yearly cycle. The spring form of the butter- 
flies appears in May and lays eggs. The eggs hatch into 
caterpillars ; part of these caterpillars mature within a few 
weeks, change to chrysalids, and come out in July or 
August as the larger summer form of the butterfly, which 
in turn lays eggs for the caterpillars that are to winter 
over in a dormant condition and mature the following sea- 
son. But the significant fact is that not all of the cater- 
pillars which thus have hatched in spring go through this 
cycle. Part of them become dormant when partially 
grown and continue dormant through summer, autumn, and 
winter, just as they did in Labrador. Then in spring they 
develop into the spring form of the butterfly, along with 
the caterpillars that have hatched from the eggs laid in 
summer. There is thus what is called an overlapping of 
the broods. 

Farther south, in southern New England, the life-his- 
tory is more definitely two-brooded each year, as already 
described in an earlier paragraph. Still farther south, in 
the region of the Virginias, it is definitely three-brooded, 
there being at least two summer broods during the year. 


How is it that the instinct to become lethargic Hes dor- 
mant in the summer broods of caterpillars and shows itself 
only in the autumn brood? Is it perhaps due to a reac- 
tion to the colder nights of the later season? If so, possi- 
bly one could get interesting light upon the subject by 
experimenting with placing the summer caterpillars tem- 
porarily in an ice chest. 

Synopsis of the Crescent-spots 

Baltimore Checker-spot (Euphydryas phaeton or Melitaea 
phaeton). Expanse If inches. General color purplish 
black with the upper surface marked thus: a marginal 
row of red-brown spots between the veins; two rows of 
creamy yellow spots inside of the row just mentioned; two 
or three small red and two or three small white spots near 
front border of each front wing. Under surface checkered 
in red-brown and creamy yellow on a blackish back- 

Harris's Checker-spot {Cinclidia harrisii or Melitaea 
harrisii). Expanse If inches. This species bears a close 
general resemblance to the Silver Crescent. It may be 
distinguished by the fact that the middle joint of each 
palpus is of uniform size from end to end instead of taper- 
ing toward its outer end. The tibial joint of the first pair 
of legs of the male butterfly is very thick. The upper 
wing surface is so marked with black that the tawny red 
coloring shows only in the middle. 

Silver Crescent {Charidryas nycteis, Melitaea nycieis or 
Phyciodes nycteis). Expanse If inches. This species may 
be known from Harris's Checker-spot by the fact that the 
middle joint of each palpus tapers from the middle to the 
tip and that the tibia of each front leg in the male is slen- 


der rather than stout. On the lower surface of the wings 
there is a narrow yellowish marginal line. 

Pearl Crescent {Phyciodes tharos or Melitaea iharos). 
Expanse If inches. General color much lighter than 
either of the preceding. Terminal joint of each palpus 
less than a third as long as the middle joint. 


The special characteristic that distinguishes the mem- 
bers of this important group from the other Nymphs is 
the fact that on that portion of the club of each antenna 
which has not hairs there are three longitudinal ridges. 
The tribe includes a large number of our most familiar 
butterflies. Nearly all of them are rather large, with 
bright attractive colors. They fly freely along roadsides 
and in orchards, fields, and meadows so they are com- 
monly seen by every one. 

The Violet-tip 

Polygonia interrogationis 

The Violet-tip is one of the largest of the Angle- wings, as 
well as one of the most beautiful of all our species. It has 
a wonderful violet iridescence which is especially marked 
on the projecting tip of the hind wing. On fresh specimens, 
however, it may be seen practically all over both surfaces 
of the wings and in bright sunlight gives them a sheen 
of remarkable beauty. The expanded wings measure 
nearly two and a half inches, the upper surface being 


marked with dark brown upon a ground of orange-brown. 
The under surface has a bark-like effect in brownish gray 
brought about by rather indefinite markings of varying 
tone. The most characteristic feature is a distinct silver 
semicolon on the middle of the under surface of each hind 
wing. This marking closely resembles the Greek inter- 
rogation point and so the species was given the specific 
name interrogationis by Fabricius early in the history of 
science. It has since often been called the interrogation 
butterfly as a translation of its Latin name, but in as much 
as the marking on the wings is not at all like the English in- 
terrogation point, this has led to considerable confusion and 
people have considered it a misnomer. It has also been 
called the Semicolon butterfly which is correct enough so 
far as this most characteristic feature is concerned; but it 
leads to confusion in connection with the Latin name. 
The recent practice seems the better, which is to call it 
the Violet-tip butterfly. {See plates , 'pages 160-161.) 


The life-history of this butterfly is much like that of the 
related species. Briefly summarized, this is its story: 

The adult butterflies, more or less worn and faded from 
their long hibernation, appear in fields and pastures in 
May. They fly for several weeks sipping nectar from 
many kinds of spring flowers. The females search for the 
leaves of the elm, hop, nettle, false nettle, and perhaps 
other related plants on which they deposit their ribbed 
eggs either singly or in small groups, it often happening 
that one egg will be laid directly on top of another. About 
a week later the eggs hatch into small spinose caterpillars 
which begin feeding upon the leaves near by. They con- 


tinue to feed and grow rather rapidly until they become full 
size. Each then fastens a bit of pink silk to the stem of 
the plant or some other support, in which it entangles its 
hind legs and hangs downward to become a chrysahs 
which is remarkable for its numerous protuberances and 
the beautiful silvery and golden spots along the middle of 
the back. Within these chrysalids the change from larva 
to butterfly takes place, usually in less than two weeks, 
so that this new brood of adults appears on the wing early 
in July. Eggs are laid by these for a second brood of 
caterpillars that feed upon the host plants in the same way 
as the others, and mature as butterflies late in August or 
early in September. These butterflies visit the fall 
flowers and suck the juices of fallen fruits, until the cold 
weather of autumn warns them to seek shelter for the 
winter. They now find crevices within the bark of trees 
or places in hollow logs or stone piles or other similar 
situations, where they close their wings together, so that 
only the bark-like under surface shows, and remain quiet 
for long periods. They hibernate in this way, coming 
forth again the following season to start the cycle for the 
new year. 

In regions where hops are grown commercially the 
chrysalids of these butterflies are often called "hop 
merchants." There is a quaint fancy that the price of 
the crop varies with the lustre of the golden spots upon 
the chrysalids. When these stand out conspicuously, 
according to this fancy, the hops are to sell high — bringing 
much gold to the owners. When these are inconspicuous 
the hops are to sell at a low price, with a corresponding 
diminution in the returns. But this fancy does not apply 
at all to the chrysalids when they are nearly ready to dis- 


close the butterfly, for at this time they lose their metallic 

The Hop Merchant or Comma 

Polygonia comma 

There are two species of butterflies which commonly 
lay their eggs upon the hop and which resemble each 
other so closely in their earlier stages that they are fre- 
quently confused by ordinary observers. One is the 
Violet-tip or Semicolon and the other is the one which has 
long been called the Comma. The chrysalids of both are 
marked in silver and gold and the variation in the golden 
lustre has led hop growers to deduce from them the prob- 
able price of hops. On this account the chrysalids are com- 
monly called Hop Merchants and the name has been trans- 
ferred to the butterflies themselves. {See plate, page 14-4-) 

The Comma is easily distinguished by the conspicuous 
silver mark in the middle of the under side of each hind 
wing. This bears a striking resemblance to a comma, hence 
the name. The butterflies are somewhat smaller than 
the Violet-tips and show to a remarkable degree the angu- 
larity in the borders of the wings. The under side is 
cleverly marked in imitation of the bark of trees, which 
is doubtless of much benefit to the species in eluding ob- 
servation during the long months from October until 
April, when the butterflies are hibernating in such con- 
cealed shelter as each happens to find. The crevices be- 
neath loose bark, the openings in fallen logs and hollow 
trees, the interspaces in stone piles, as well as the inte- 
rior of buildings, all serve this purpose. 


Like the other over-wintering butterflies, the specimens 

that come forth in spring are commonly faded and more 

or less frayed from their long wait since bursting forth from 

the chrysalis. They may often be seen sunning themselves 

on bright days in April and May, resting upon stones or 

logs in sheltered spots with their v/ings fully expanded to 

receive the greatest benefit from the rays of sunshine. 

When spring has sufficiently advanced for the leaves of 

the elm and the hop to be fairly well developed, the mother 

butterflies lay their eggs in a curious and characteristic 

fashion. Under a lens these eggs look Hke 

tiny barrels with vertical ribs. They are 

deposited in columns, the egg first extruded 

being attached to the leaf, generally the 

Eggs laid in uudcr surfacc, and those which follow are 

ters on the un- placcd ouc upou thc otlicr somctimcs to the 

der side of leaf. . . 

(From'Hon^d) ^uiiit)er of six or eight, the group thus mak- 
ing a miniature column. Now if the egg 
which was first laid should hatch before the others, when 
the little caterpillar came out it would be very likely to 
cause the others to fall off and when they hatched they 
would find themselves in what would be to them an im- 
penetrable forest of weeds and grasses from which there 
would be small chance to escape to reach the elm or hop 
leaves. To avoid this calamity we find an interesting 
adaptation. The egg at the end of the column hatches 
first, although it was necessarily the one laid last. The 
tiny caterpillar eats its way out of the shell and crawls over 
the other eggs to the leaf. Then the others hatch in 

The eggs thus deposited by the hibernating butterflies 
are likely to be laid late in May or even early in June. 


They hatch into caterpillars less than a week later and 
these caterpillars feed for about a month, when they 
change to the characteristic chrysalids in which they com- 
monly remain for a week or ten days. They then emerge 
as the summer brood of butterflies, most of them in New 
England appearing during July. These remain upon the 
wing for several weeks, the females laying their eggs upon 
the elm and hop leaves. These in turn soon hatch into 
caterpillars that change to chrysalids in August and emerge 
as butterflies late that month or during September. This 
autumn brood of butterflies is quite abundant for a time 
but soon seeks the seclusion of winter quarters to remain 
until the following April. There are thus two distinct 
broods during the year in the Northern states while as far 
south as West Virginia there are likely to be three broods. 

These caterpillars at first simply eat small holes in the 
green substance of the leaf, but as they become larger each 
takes up its abode on the under surface of a single leaf and 
makes a sheltered tent in somewhat the same fashion that 
the Painted Lady does upon the nettle leaf. The cater- 
pillar eats out more or less of the base of the blade on 
each side of the midrib, thus weakening the edges so 
that they can be fastened in a tent-like manner by 
silken threads. This serves as a resting place from which 
it sallies forth to feed, commonly only toward the tip of 
the leaf. As a result it often eats itself out of house 
and home and has to crawl to another leaf and construct 
a new shelter. 

While the Comma is generally spoken of as a character- 
istic northern species it has a very wide range, being found 
from New England to Texas and from the Northwestern 
states to the Carolinas. It is one of those species which 


have two distinct forms of coloring. The winter form has 
been given the variety name harrisi. The butterflies of 
this brood are decidedly lighter in color than those of the 
summer brood to which the variety name dryas has been 
given. The latter was originally described as a distinct 
species by W. H. Edwards. 

The Change to the Chrysalis 

The manner in which a larva changes to a chrysalis is 
second in interest only to that in which a chrysalis changes 
to a butterfly. There are not a great many careful 
descriptions by competent observers of this process in 
print. One of the best of these is that by W. H. Edwards 
in his splendid work on "The Butterflies of North Amer- 
ica," in which he describes the transformation of the 
Comma caterpillar. It is as follows: 

"When about to transform, the caterpillar selects a con- 
venient place on the under side of a projecting rock, or of a 
fence rail, or of a weather board of the house, or the mid- 
rib of a hop leaf, and having spun a little button of pale red 
silk fixes the hooks of its hind legs therein and hangs sus- 
pended, head downward, in the shape of a fishhook and 
remains immovable for the space of twenty-four hours, no 
change being perceptible except in the color of the skin, 
which becomes partly transparent and loses its dark color 
owing to its gradual parting from the chrysalis within. 
Suddenly, and to a looker-on without any premonitory 
symptom, a rent takes place in the skin at the back of the 
head, just wide enough to allow the passage of the chrys- 
alis, the head of which at once emerges. By a rapid con- 
traction and expansion of the folds of the abdomen the 
larva draws the skin upward, successively discovering the 


parts of the fully formed chrysalid until at last, and in 
scarcely more than one minute of time, the entire skin is 
gathered about the hind feet. It now bends itself violently 
to disengage the end of the chrysalis, which is long, pointed, 
and hard, furnished with several little hooks, meanwhile 
retaining its hold of the skin by the folds of its abdomen 
until after a severe effort, convulsively reaching out and 
feeling in all directions for the object of its search, it 
touches the button of silk and at once grasps it with its 
hooks and fixes them in it securely. Then by a twisting 
motion it manages to disengage the loose skin which falls 
to the ground and the chrysalis rests. The whole process 
is most interesting to witness and excites renewed wonder 
with every repetition at the ingenuity of the means em- 
ployed and the delicacy of the instinct displayed. How to 
strip off the skin and much more the legs by which the 
creature is suspended without losing its hold, and at the 
same time to securely fasten the chrysalis, is a problem 
that would seem impossible to solve; and yet this little 
insect accomplishes it unerringly when to fail would 
be certain destruction And not this species only, but 
the larvae of all butterflies which form suspended 
chrysalids, embracing the whole of the great family of 
Nymphalidae, that is, a large proportion of all the 
existing species of butterflies, undergo a similar trans- 

"The chrysalis is now green in color, soft and inde- 
fensible, susceptible to the slightest injury, and for a few 
moments the several parts of the future butterfly may be 
seen and readily separated; the wings folded close and en- 
veloping the thorax, the antennae, and proboscis stretched 
at length along the back; but very speedily a complete 


casing is formed by the exuding from parts of the body of 
a viscous fluid, which binds together the tender parts and 
covers the whole with a coating like varnish. This soon 
hardens and the chrysalis is ready to take its chance 
against injury." 

The Gray Comma 

Polygonia progne 

This butterfly is rather darker colored, especially on its 
under side, than the one last discussed. The silver mark- 
ing takes on a little more definitely the form of an L than 
a comma, and the under surface of the wings is darkened 
by many blackish thread-like lines running across the 
veins. When at rest with wings closed these butterflies are 
very easily overlooked. 

Except for a diflference in the food plants of the cater- 
pillar, the life-history of the Gray Comma is very similar 
to that of the other Comma. The butterflies hibernate, 
and in spring lay eggs singly on the leaves of currants, 
gooseberries, and related plants. The eggs soon hatch into 
caterpillars that feed upon these leaves but do not make 
any suggestion of a nest. They grow slowly and change 
into angular chrysalids which disclose the summer brood 
of butterflies in July. These lay eggs for another brood 
of caterpillars which mature into butterflies in August and 
September. These generally go into hibernation before 
the middle of October, sometimes choosing simply the 
under side of a branch where their dark coloring, so near 
like that of the bark, is likely to cause them to be over- 
looked by their numerous enemies. 


The Green Comma 

Polygonia f annus 

The Angle-wings exhibit interesting variations in the 
geographical distribution of the species. Some are 
characteristic members of the Canadian fauna, others of 
the Alleghanian fauna. Some of those which are char- 
acteristic of the former are scattered south well into the 
latter, but the Green Comma is distinctively a northern 
species — ^being found abundantly in the great regions 
traversed by the trappers of the Hudson Bay Company 
and occurring south as far as northern New England, being 
very rare as far south as northern Massachusetts. It is 
abundant on the higher slopes of the White Mountains. 

As one might expect from the short seasons of the far 
northern regions in wliich this butterfly lives, there is only 
one brood each year. In consequence the adult butterflies 
live a long time. Coming from the chrysalis generally 
the first weeks in August, they remain upon the wing a 
month or more before they go into hibernation. They 
come from their winter quarters in May and commonly 
continue alive until late in June. Thus it is evident that 
many of these butterflies must live at least ten months as 
adults, an extraordinary longevity for one of these frail 

The caterpillars are known to feed upon the foliage of 
several kinds of plants. These include alder, currant, 
gooseberry, willow, and black birch, the last two named ap- 
parently being those most often chosen. 

Mr. S. H. Scudder called attention to the fact that these 
butterflies are able to make a slight chcking noise as they 


start into flight. He described his experience in these 

"Starting up a pair just at my feet on the Mt. Washing- 
ton carriage road one day, I stopped abruptly to see 
whether they would settle again. After flying a few yards 
away to escape the cause of their disturbance, one turned 
back and dashed straight at my face, turning only when 
within three or four inches of my nose, and then suddenly 
whisked off with a distinct click as it did so, snapping its 
fingers, as it were, in my very face. There was no sort 
of doubt about this click, though if it had not been made 
so close at hand it would probably not have been heard. 
But other butterflies in the tropics have long been known 
to emit sounds like this, which can be heard at a consider- 
able distance; others, including some of our own butter- 
flies, are known to produce a rustling sound by the rubbing 
of one wing upon another; and movements of one sort and 
another have been so often observed, as of the opposite 
rubbing of the erect wings in most Lycaenids, and the 
tremulous agitation of the wings in many different sorts 
when excited, as to leave little doubt that sounds made 
by themselves and for the advantage of warning their 
brethren play a not unimportant part in the lives of but- 

The Red Admiral or Nettle Butterfly 

Vanessa atalanta 

Among the weedy plants which have been intimately 
associated with mankind ever since his slow upward 
progress in civilization began, the nettle has probably 
played almost as important a part as the thistle. While 

Srr pmjr H-. 

1> hoi, Mini pit by M !■■<■-■ J- li rooks y ■•/ 



The American Tortoise-shell {fiee page 182) 
The Red Admiral {see page 160) 
The Violet-tij) {see page l'>0) 

The American Tortoise-shell (.see page 182) 
The Red Admiral {see page UiO) 
The \'iolet-tip {aee page 150) 

From (I (lidiriiKj h/j ]f'. I. Bcecraft 

hipillnr, (Oirys.-ili-^, :inil l)iill(M-ny 

.S'rc luiijc Ui-l 


it lacks the winged seeds of the latter it is even more 
effectually protected from the attacks of vertebrate 
enemies on account of its irritating hairs. At any rate, 
nettles of various kind are widely distributed over the 
earth's surface, and consequently it is not surprising that 
the Nettle Butterfly or Red Admiral should be almost as 
cosmopolitan as the Thistle butterfly. The two species 
are closely related in structure and habits and the life-his- 
tory of the one is very similar to that of the other. 

About the middle of May one may see in open fields and 
along sunny highways these Red Admirals flitting from 
flower to flower, or stopping occasionally upon green 
leaves in search of opportunities to lay their eggs. Should 
you observe them closely you might notice that some of 
them seemed frayed and worn while others seemed per- 
fectly bright and fresh. {See plates, pages 160-161.) 

The Life-story 

Late in May and early in June these butterflies deposit 
their eggs upon the leaves of the nettles. As a rule only 
one or a few eggs are laid on a leaf, but when the butter- 
flies are abundant many leaves upon the plant may be- 
come infested. About a week later the egg hatches into 
a larva, which is likely to eat more or less of the empty 
shell before crawling up the stem of the plant to the un- 
folding buds at the top. Here it makes its first nest by 
webbing together the still closed upper surface of a leaf 
not yet unfolded. It is thus able to furnish itself with 
protection from weather and enemies, as well as an abund- 
ant supply of succulent food. It remains in this first 
home about a week, then it casts its skin, still within its 
protection, and stays until it has recovered after the 


process. It now migrates to another larger, expanded 
leaf where it very cleverly proceeds to construct its second 
nest. In order to do this it weakens the midrib at the 
base of the leaf by biting nearly through it. Then it cuts 
a hole in the blade of the leaf at the base in such a way that 
the margins are made to droop, so that they can be fast- 
ened together with silk to form a little tent. We thus 
have a tent-like nest hanging down from the stem of the 
leaf on the under side of which the caterpillar will find 
shelter, while near at hand is the green tissue of the inner 
surface of the leaf waiting to be eaten. This improvised 
tent serves as the home during this second stage of the 
caterpillar. Here also the second moult commonly takes 
place, after which the caterpillar migrates to a new leaf 
and constructs its third nest. The rest of the story of 
the caterpillar's life consists of similar chapters. After 
each moult a new tent is formed and even the chrysalis is 
often hung within the last one. 

The eggs which were laid late in May develop into 
butterflies during July. These in turn lay eggs for the 
second brood of caterpillars most of which develop into 
butterflies late in August or early in September, but 
some of which apparently remain in the chrysalis stage 
unchanged throughout the winter, and mature as butter- 
flies about the middle of the following May. This is the 
explanation of the fact mentioned at the beginning of this 
discussion that one can find late in spring and early in 
summer some butterflies which seem worn and frayed 
while others seem perfectly fresh. They are all the 
progeny of the midsummer brood of the previous summer, 
but some of them have been living as full-grown butterflies 
through eight long months of tempestuous weather, while 


others have just been disclosed from the protecting walls 
of the chrysalis. 

The world-wide distribution of this butterfly is shown 
in the statement that it occurs throughout Europe, and 
in North America from Newfoundland to Cuba and 
Guatemala. It is a safe guess that it is found in practi- 
cally all locahties where nettles grow. 

It is not alone the association between a butterfly cater- 
pillar and its host plant which has been brought about 
during the long ages through which one generation has 
been succeeding another, but there have been also many 
developments of similar associations between the cater- 
pillars and their parasitic enemies. The Red Admiral is a 
good example of such a development. During its long 
growth as a species it has been exposed to attack by vast 
numbers of tiny foes which live at the expense of other 
insects. Several of these foes have found in the bodies 
of the caterpillars good opportunities for growth, so that 
now the Red Admiral, as a species, has to reckon with 
many enemies among these tiny parasites. The inter- 
action between caterpillar host and uninvited parasitic 
guest has much to do with the great irregularity in the 
numbers of the butterflies. It is simply another example 
of that complicated struggle for existence, by means of 
which nature keeps ever a fairly even balance of her 
myriad forces. 

The Painted Beauty 

Vanessa huntera 

One of the most interesting phases of the study of but- 
terflies is to learn how often they take advantage in their 


life-history of any peculiarity of the food plant which has 
a protective value. The Painted Beauty is an excellent 
illustration of this. The caterpillar feeds upon the leaves 
of the common Everlasting or Gnaphalium. This is an 
abundant and widely distributed plant, found along road- 
sides and in fields and pastures. It is notable for the 
woolly covering on stems, leaves, and flowers — this dry, 
hairy surface being so evident that the flowers will ap- 
parently continue in blossom when they have dried, hence 
its common name Everlasting or, as the French call a 
similar flower. Immortelle. {See plates, pages 161, 176.) 

The utilization of the hairs upon the leaves is begTin by 
the mother butterfly when she lays her egg upon the upper 
surface, pushing it down among the hairs so that it is almost 
concealed. Should you be fortunate enough to find one 
of these eggs you would see that it is a small, yellowish 
green object, looking like a tiny barrel with several 
vertical ribs upon its surface. A few days after the egg 
is laid it hatches into a minute caterpillar that begins eat- 
ing off the hairs where they are attached to the leaf, in 
such a way that it soon has a free space beneath a bunch 
of these hairs which it has more or less matted together 
by means of silken thread. The little caterpillar has 
thus provided for itself a protecting nest that effectually 
conceals it from birds or other enemies. It now begins 
feeding upon the succulent surface of the rather thick leaf, 
where it has removed the hairs. After several days of 
such feeding it moults, still under the shelter of its hairy 
covering. This process of moulting and feeding continues 
for two or three weeks, the caterpillar occasionally making 
a new covering as needed for its food supply. 

The later nests are likely to be made by folding two or 


three leaves together, binding them with silken thread. 
The caterpillar in doing this takes advantage of the fact 
that the terminal leaves are vertical before they have 
spread out, so that it is a comparatively simple matter to 
make a little house by binding their edges together with 
silken threads. The larva feeds upon the inner walls of 
the house it thus constructs, and as it becomes larger the 
buds and blossoms are also utilized for food. 

When the caterpillar is full grown it thus finds itself 
fairly well concealed within a very substantial sort of a 
home. Many of them have the apparent good sense to 
realize that this is as safe a place as they are likely to find 
for shelter during the period of the chrysalis. So the 
caterpillar makes the nest especially secure near the cen- 
tre of what might be called the ceil ng and in this web it 
entangles its hind legs and hangs downward, preparatory 
to changing to the chrysalis. A few hours later the skin 
splits apart and is wriggled off, leaving the chrysalis 
hanging in place of the caterpillar. About a fortnight 
later the butterfly emerges and crawls at once to the out- 
side of the nest, where it rests quietly while its wings ex- 
pand and its tissues harden. Then it flies away in search 
of the nectar of thistles and many other flowers which it 
visits freely. 

This Painted Beauty is a wonderful example of harmo- 
nious coloring. The general tone of the upper surface of 
the wings is fulvous, with some distinct white markings 
on a blackish background at the outer angles of the front 
pair. There is also more or less blackish shading on the 
base and margin of all the wings with an indistinct row of 
about four dots, more or less run together, near the margin 
of the hind wing. The under surface of the wings is even 


more beautiful than the upper, and furnishes a striking 
example of flower-picturing. There is a little fulvous 
background near the middle of the front wings, but the 
rest of the surface is spotted and striped with blotches 
and circles of gray and brown in a most intricate design. 
On each front wing near the outer angle are three indistinct 
eye-spots in a row, and on the outer half of each hind wing 
there are two bull's-eye circles, one smaller than the other, 
which form the most conspicuous feature in the marking of 
the insect. 

When full grown the caterpillars are a little more than 
an inch long with a general color of velvety black, marked 
with fine yellow lines and more or less covered with bristly 
spines. There is also a distinct row of whitish spots along 
each side beginning a short distance back of the head. 

This is a widely distributed butterfly, occurring from 
Canada to the Southern states and beyond. In most 
northern regions it seems to be two-brooded, the butter- 
flies commonly hibernating as adults; but sometimes the 
winter is passed in the condition of the chrysalis. Along 
its southern range there are three and perhaps four broods 
each year. 

The Painted Lady or the Cosmopolite 

Vanessa cardui 

Our story of this beautiful butterfly ought really to begin 
with that of one of the most successful plants in the world. 
Now a plant is successful from its own point of view when 
it is able to multiply abundantly in many different sorts 
of situations and to spread easily over a large area. The 


plant I have in mind is the thistle, which from time im- 
memorial has been one of the commonest neighbors of 
man. It is found over the whole habitable globe, as well 
as in many parts which are scarcely habitable. It has 
many advantages in its struggle for life. The roots pene- 
trate deeply into the soil; the thickened, spiny leaves are 
so protected by their juices and their spines that they are 
molested by very few enemies; the flower stalks are also 
clothed in a similar armature; and the great heads of 
flowers are surrounded with prickly involucres that gener- 
ally prevent their being eaten by browsing animals or even 
by phytophagous insects. The brightly colored blossoms 
are abundantly provided with nectar and pollen, and they 
attract great numbers of bees, moths, and butterflies, in 
order to bring about cross-fertilization. But all of these 
advantages are of little significance so far as wide dis- 
tribution is concerned, compared with the feathery seeds 
which are produced in such abundance and so generally 
scattered by the slightest breath of wind that the word 
thistle-down has come into general use to express a lightly 
moving object. These airy seeds have been riding on the 
wings of the wind all over the surface of the earth for un- 
told millions of years. Doubtless during severe storms 
they may be carried thousands of miles, and it is easy to 
think that one of them might readily go half-way round 
the world before it found a resting place. Wherever such 
a seed alighted and found the condition of a moist soil and 
slight protection, it would be lils:ely soon to spring into 
growth and to start anew the development of its ancient 

The thistle, however, has not been entirely unmolested 
during its aeons of existence. There has been developing 


along with it one of the most beautiful of our butterflies 
which has received various scientific names and the com- 
mon name of the Painted Lady, although it is also often 
called the Thistle Butterfly and the Cosmopolite, which 
latter title perhaps is to be preferred. This butterfly, 
however, can scarcely be considered a troublesome en- 
emy of its host plant, for it is seldom sufficiently abundant 
to injure the thistle appreciably. The relation between 
the two is rather suggestive of that mutual toleration by 
which two living things develop together with advantage 
at least to one and without serious disadvantage to the 
other. The universal distribution of the food plant has 
led to a like distribution of the butterfly. Consequently 
the Thistle butterfly has long been recognized as the most 
cosmopolitan species of its group. (See plate, page 176.) 

Aside from the wide distribution of its food plant and 
possibly correlated with it through the diversity of cli- 
matic conditions under which the insect has developed, 
this butterfly is remarkable for its powers of flight. Many 
instances are known where it has been taken at sea long 
distances from land. This is due not only to the pro- 
pensity of the individual for taking aerial journeys, but 
also to the fact that this is one of the butterflies which has 
the instinct to congregate in swarms and to migrate long 
distances when thus congregated. In 1879 such a flock 
started from Africa and migrated to Europe. 

One of the most remarkable things about this butterfly 
is our ignorance of what it does with itself in winter. 
American entomologists are agreed that the adult butter- 
fly hibernates, but where it does so seems not to be 
known. Here is an excellent opportunity for some young 
naturalist to go scouting, hunting in board piles, under 


loose bark, or with a flashlight searching the interiors of 
hollow trees to find between November and April living 
specimens of this butterfly. Such a discovery would be a 
real service to science and should at once be made known 
through some scientific journal. In Europe there seems 
to be a belief that the insect hibernates partially at least 
in the condition of the chrysalis. 

The Life-story 

While we may not know just where the butterflies have 
been throughout the winter, we do know that in southern 
New England they begin to be seen in fields and along 
roadsides about the middle of May. Many of the speci- 
mens then have a ragged appearance which is a pretty 
good indication that they came from the chrysalis the fall 
before and have been lying concealed through all the weeks 
since. These butterflies lay their small greenish, barrel- 
shaped eggs on the leaves of the thistle. The mother 
butterfly chooses the location rather carefully and de- 
posits only one egg upon a leaf. The butterflies continue 
thus to visit flowers and to lay eggs until about the middle 
of June when apparently they perish. 

About a week after the egg has thus been laid, it 
hatches into a small spiny caterpiUar which does not take 
the trouble to devour its egg shell as so many other cater- 
pillars do. Instead it crawls around to the lower side of 
the leaf and gnaws off enough of the silken surface of the 
leaf to furnish material for making a webby covering, 
the leaf particles being woven together by threads from the 
caterpillar's mouth. In this way the little creature soon 
provides itself with a snug enclosure which serves it as a 
temporary home. It remains in this home much of the 


time when not eating, going out occasionally to feed upon 
the green tissues of the adjacent parts of the leaf. 

This first home of the young caterpillar, made as it is as a 
flat blanket upon a flat surface, can be used only by a 
very small larva. Consequently, the caterpillar soon finds 
these quarters too cramped and it deserts them to make a 
new home with larger space. This second nest is com- 
monly made on the upper surface of a leaf, the edges of 
which are likely to be more or less drawn together and 
other supports connected from other leaves or a near-by 
stem. The caterpillar continues to use this nest number 
two as a place for remaining when not feeding and for 
protection during the process of moulting. But even this 
larger nest is likely to be given up about the time the 
caterpillar becomes half grown, and a third nest is begun 
in the upper part of the plant. This is likely to be very 
commodious, its walls being made of leaves or stems 
bound together by a silken web. Within this the cater- 
pillar completes its growth, going out and in through one or 
more doors when it wishes to feed. Sometimes it even re- 
mains within this nest during the process of changing to 
the chrysalis, hanging downward from the upper part in 
much the same way that the caterpillar of the Painted 
Beauty butterfly does. In case it leaves the nest when 
fully developed it generally finds a place nearby in which to 

About ten days after the caterpillar has changed to a 
chrysalis it changes again to the adult butterfly. In 
southern New England these butterflies appear about the 
middle of July and lay eggs soon afterward, these eggs 
hatching into butterflies that change to chrysalids and 
change again to butterflies late in August or early in Sep- 


tember. This autumn brood doubtless furnishes the 
butterflies that will be seen upon the wing the following 
May, so that it is pretty certain that they must find some 
shelter in which to pass the intervening months. 

The full-grown caterpillar of the Thistle butterfly is 
about one and a quarter inches long and of a general 
yellowish color, more or less marked with blackish as well 
as with paler lines of color. There are many transverse 
rows of spines along the segments, each yellowish spine 
having a circle of smaller ones at the top. 

Notwithstanding its fondness for thistles, these cater- 
pillars occasionally feed upon various other plants. One 
might readily expect them to be able to live upon other 
composites upon which they are found, but it seems a bit 
strange that they should be recorded as being "especially 
fond of mallows." 

The Mourning-cloak 

Vanessa antiopa 

One of the most scholarly students of American in- 
sects has happily called the butterflies "the frail children 
of the air." It seems a fitting term for creatures so 
ethereal that they are readily wafted on the wings of the 
slightest breeze and so delicate in structure that they are 
likely to be sadly mutilated by the lightest touch of human 
hand. Such creatures one would say belong to regions of 
perpetual summer and have no place in the blizzard -swept 
winters of our Northern states. 

Yet if one goes into the snow-clad woods during one of 
the midwinter thaws one is likely to see in every open glade 
several dark-colored butterflies flitting from tree to tree, or 


resting with expanded wings in the sunniest spots. These 
butterflies obviously have endured the coldest weather and 
If they are to survive until another season must continue to 
endure still more. This species is commonly called the 
Mourning-cloak butterfly — not a particularly happy name 
for so beautiful an insect. In England it has the more 
suggestive title of Camberwell Beauty, and country boys 
are said to call it the Yellow Edge butterfly. Its general 
life-story has already been told on pages 112-115. 

The caterpillars of the Mourning-cloak butterflies are 
restricted to comparatively few food plants. In regions 
where they are not especially abundant, they are likely to 
be found upon willow, poplar, or elm. In general, as many 
observations indicate, they are as likely to be found upon 
any one of these food plants as upon either of the other 
two; but in certain localities where they become especially 
abundant it seems that they are more likely to occur upon 
the elm. On this account they have been called the 
Spiny Elm caterpillars. There is considerable evidence to 
show that they prefer the American elm to other species of 
the genus, although in the case of willow and poplar there 
seems to be little if any preference as to the species. 

Miss Caroline G. Soule has seen the butterflies deposit- 
ing their eggs upon the white and canoe birch, and it has 
been recorded as feeding in Labrador and Europe upon a 
species of birch. There is one record of the caterpillars 
having been found feeding upon the hackberry, and also of 
their having fed greedily upon the leaves of rose bushes, and 
still another of their having almost defoliated a pear tree. 
Linden and nettle are also included in the European hsts 
of the food plants of this species. {See plates, pages lJf.5, 176.) 

It is evident, however, that all of these, except the three 


first named — willow, poplar, and elm — are to be regarded 
as exceptional cases, and that the normal food of the 
species is the foliage of a plant belonging to one of these 
three genera. 

It has generally been supposed that this species is 
double-brooded in central and southern New England, 
the butterflies of the first brood appearing early in July. 
These are said to deposit eggs which hatch into caterpillars 
that mature into butterflies early in September. These 
butterflies live through the winter, laying eggs the follow- 
ing spring. 

It is very probable that as far north as southern New 
Hampshire the species is commonly single-brooded. 
During one season when the caterpillars were unusually 
abundant, a very careful watch was kept for the second 
brood in New Hampshire and Vermont by several com- 
petent observers. Only one colony of caterpillars was 
found and this was at Durham in the southern part of New 
Hampshire near the seacoast. Consequently, it seems safe 
to conclude that in northern and central New England, at 
least, a single brood is the rule rather than the exception. 
This involves the conclusion that the butterflies seen upon 
the wing early in autumn are the same ones that de- 
veloped in July, and that these same butterflies remain 
alive through the winter and imtil, in the following May, 
they lay their eggs. Thus there is a period of ten months 
of existence in the butterfly state, an extraordinary length 
of time for a butterfly to live. 

To a large extent the butterflies disappear in August, 
and the question arises as to what becomes of them. Our 
observations lead to the conclusion that they go into sum- 
mer quarters similar to those which they seek out for 


winter shelter. Apparently they fly about for a few days 
after coming from the chrysalis and then retire to cool 
woods, where under the side of a log or beneath the loose 
bark of a dead tree they settle down and to all appearances 
go to sleep. The instinct to remain quiet is very strong in 
these butterflies. In taking the accompanying photo- 
graphs, I found that even shortly after coming from the 
chrysalis the butterflies when disturbed would fold their 
wings with the antennae between them, and drawing the 
legs against the body would lie quietly on their sides for a 
long time. These same butterflies would also hang down- 
ward from a limb by the horn- in the hibernating position as 
shown in plate opposite page 32. 

In the cooler weather of early autumn, the butterflies 
come from their retreats and fly about in the sunshine. 
They are especially likely to be seen along the borders of 
woods or in open glades. At this time they love the sun- 
shine, and will settle in a sunny place to bask in it. 

Going into Winter Quarters 

When the warm days no longer tempt them abroad, the 
Mourning-cloaks seek shelter in many sorts of situations — 
under loose bark, in hollow trees, under culverts and 
bridges, in woodpiles, in crevices of rocks, or alongside 
logs lying on the ground. In such retreats they remain 
until the sunshine of spring again calls them forth. 

Prof. G. H. Parker's observations indicate that 
these butterflies are very sensitive to changes of tempera- 
ture, and he has seen the interesting action of the butter- 
flies crawling into their hiding places, finding that this 
takes place each day after they had been sunning them- 
selves. Thus he writes: 


"These butterflies remain during cool spring nights in 
places similar to those in which they hibernate in winter, 
viz., in openings in stone walls, in old out-houses, in open- 
ings under the bark of trees, etc. They retire to these 
places with considerable regularity, so that in the open 
woods, where dozens of individuals may have been seen 
flitting about, all may have disappeared a quarter of an 
hour later. I have watched their retreat with some care. 
On a clear afternoon in early April I took my stand in a 
woodland where many Mourning-cloak butterflies were 
on the wing. They continued actively flying about till 
approximately four o'clock, when I began to notice a di- 
minution in their numbers. By a quarter past four not a 
butterfly was to be seen. During the fifteen minutes from 
four o'clock on I followed two to their hiding places. One 
alighted on the front of a fallen tree and without expanding 
its wings crept immediately into a large crack in the bark. 
The second settled on a stone fence and crept into a hole 
between some loose stones. The period during which this 
occurred was marked not so much by a diminution of 
light as by a rapid fall of temperature." 

That the habit of lethargy in cold and of resting upon the 
bark of trees is practically universal with this species is 
shown by a statement quoted by H. G. Adams in his book, 
"Beautiful Butterflies," published in England in 1871. 
The writer quoted says: "In a wood on the summit of the 
Drachenfels, when the wind was rather keen, I found num- 
bers resting on the backs of fallen trees in a state of stupor. 
They made no attempts to escape and when throwTi into 
the air their wings barely opened or flapping feebly eased 
their fall or enabled them to seek repose on the stem of a 
rotten trunk." 


Its Rarity in England 

In many books this species is spoken of by its English 
name Camberwell Beauty. It is so called because it was 
first observed in the neighborhood of Camberwell in the 
county of Surrey, England. It seems that in that 
country it is a very rare species. This is a bit curious con- 
sidering the fact that in America it is so extremely abund- 
ant. In his attractive little book quoted above, Mr. 
Adams begins the discussion of this species with this 
statement: "This is the crowning glory of the British 
butterfly collector's cabinet, and a happy man is he who 
gets a perfect specimen of an insect which is at once so rare 
and so beautiful," And later in the same discussion is this 
further statement concerning the scarcity of the species: 
"In neither the larva nor the pupa state has the insect been 
found, we believe, in this country where its appearance 
occurs, except just here and there a single specimen or two, 
at long and uncertain intervals. About eighty years ago 
it was seen in many parts of the kingdom and again in 
1819, but not since then although almost every year one or 
more specimens are taken or seen." 

A curious fact in regard to the Mourning-cloak, as found 
in England, is that the border around the wings seems to be 
much more generally white than it is with us. J. O. 
Westwood in his book on British butterflies describes the 
margin as of a white or whitish color and other writers 
speak of the same fact, Kirby in his "Butterflies and 
Moths" makes this comparative statement: "The border 
is whitest in British specimens, and perhaps yellowest in 
American ones." He speaks of it also as one of the 
rarest British species. It is sometimes called by the 


I pper surfaces at k-ft ; Tiiulcr surfaces at right, sliylilly rciluc-d 
'I'lic Hufkeyo {see page 18S) 
'rhc Paiuled l?cauly {see page IG-J) 
'J'lic Cosiuopolitaii {see page IGiJ) 

From a drawing by W. I. Beecroft 

Caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly 

See pages 112. 171 


common name the White Border and also occasionally 
the Grand Surprise, appellations which bear out what has 
been said above both in regard to the color of the border 
and the rarity of the insect. 

The Mourning-cloaks subsist upon a considerable vari- 
ety of liquid food which they suck through their long 
tongues. In spring, when they first come from their 
winter quarters, they visit the stumps of recently cut 
trees and suck the exuding sap, a habit which they con- 
tinue whenever opportunity offers. Mr. W. F. Fiske 
has noticed that they commonly sip the sap of maple 
twigs where the squirrels have gnawed the bark. A little 
later they visit the willow catkins to suck the nectar 
secreted by these blossoms, and still later they hover about 
the delicate blossoms of the mayflower, or traihng arbutus, 
for a similar purpose. Probably many other flowers are 
thus rifled of their sweets, although this butterfly seems 
to be a less regular visitor to flowers than are many of its 
allies. A httle later, when the aphids, or plant-lice, have 
become sufficiently abundant so that the so-called "honey 
dew" is to be found upon the infested shrubs, these Mourn- 
ing-cloaks sometimes sip the liquid sweet from the surface 
of the leaves. In April and May they occasionally visit 
the flowers of moose wood, and later in the season have 
been observed upon the blossoms of the common milk- 
weed. From the time the early apples ripen these butter- 
flies may often be seen beneath the orchard trees, sipping 
the liquids of the fallen and decaying fruit. 

The Parasites of the Eggs 

One fine spring morning I came upon a Mourning-cloak 
depositing a cluster of eggs upon a willow twig. She was 


so busily engaged that I was able to draw near and watch 
the operation for some time before she flew away. As 
soon as she was gone I was much interested to see a tiny 
parasitic fly running eagerly over the newly laid eggs, and 
this fly also was so busily interested in her work that I was 
able to cut the twig ojBF and sit down to observe at leisure 
through a lens the actions of the insect. I dictated to a 
companion my notes of these observations and so was 
able to get rather a complete record of the process of ovi- 

The tiny fly would stop over one of the butterfly eggs, 
holding its body vertical with the hind legs far back 
and the other legs so straightened out as to hold the front 
of the body high up. Then it would insert its tiny ovi- 
positor through the egg shell and proceed to deposit an 
egg of its own inside of the larger egg of the butterfly. 
At least it seemed a safe assumption that this was what 
happened although of course it was impossible to see the 
smaller egg at the time. While thus engaged the anten- 
nae of the tiny fly were bent directly downward to the egg 
beneath. In about a minute the fly withdrew its ovi- 
positor and after running around for a few seconds again 
settled upon another egg and repeated the operation. 
Then it tried again on a third egg, after which I got out 
my watch and began timing the process. These are the 
results in the case of the next dozen eggs that were laid. 
It required : 
94 sec. to lay egg No. 4. Then fly moved around 26 sec. 

<£ ii (< (< aa << 






























90 sec. to lay egg No. 9. Then fly moved around 42 sec. 


< <( 

" 10. 

' 15 


( << 

" 11. 

* 21 


( << 

" 12. 

' 18 


( a 

" 13. 

* 25 


( (t 

" 14. 

* 25 


< (< 

" 15. 

* 50 

It thus required an average of about two minutes per 
egg for the laying of these fifteen eggs. I then caught the 
little fly and sent her to Dr. L. O. Howard, our greatest 
authority on this group of insects, to learn the name of the 
parasite. He identified it as Telenomus graptae, a well- 
known parasite of the eggs of the Mourning-cloak and 
related butterflies. 

The most interesting thing about this observation was 
the fact that the little fly had apparently begun its opera- 
tion before the mother butterfly had finished laying her 
cluster of eggs. There were thousands of willow twigs 
in the immediate vicinity. How did this tiny creature 
arrive at this particular place at the particular moment 
when from its own point of view it was most needed? 
Had it been riding around upon the body of the butterfly 
waiting for the time when she should lay the eggs? Or 
was it attracted to them from somewhere in the immedi- 
ate vicinity? That this early arrival probably takes place 
generally is indicated by the fact that a similar observa- 
tion had been made in the White Mountains by Prof. 
C. W. Woodworth. 

The history of the egg parasite after the laying of the 
egg seems to be comparatively simple. It soon hatches 
into a tiny larva that develops within the shell at the ex- 


pense of the contents. It finally changes to a pupa which 
in turn changes to the little fly that gnaws a hole through 
the egg shell and emerges to the outer world. 

The Parasites of the Caterpillars 

After hatching from the egg, the Mourning-cloak cater- 
pillars are also subject to the attacks of various parasites. 
One of these is quite minute, not a great deal larger 
than the egg parasite. It is a tiny four-winged fly which 
deposits many eggs in a single caterpillar. The eggs 
hatch into tiny maggots that grow at the expense of the 
caterpillar, finally killing it and changing to four-winged 
flies again. As many as 145 of these parasites have been 
known to emerge from a single dead caterpillar. These 
little flies are called Chalcids by entomologists. 

There is still another group of four-winged flies, some 
of which attack the Antiopa caterpillars. These are 
much larger than the Chalcid flies and are called Ichneu- 
mon flies. In the case of these, only one or two parasites 
develop in each caterpillar or chrysalis. 

In addition to these various four-winged flies, there are 
certain two-winged flies, called Tachinid flies, that de- 
velop at the expense of the caterpillars. In New Hamp- 
shire, during recent years, these appear to have been the 
most abundant parasites of these insects. An egg is laid 
on the skin of the caterpillar by a two- winged fly, similar 
in general appearance to the figure below. The contents 
of this egg shortly develop into a tiny grub that burrows 
through the egg shell and the skin of the caterpillar into 
the inside of the body. Here it remains, absorbing the 
body substance of its host and gradually increasing in 
size. In a few weeks it becomes fully developed in this 


grub state. By this time the caterpillar has become slug- 
gish from the effects of the parasite. If the branch upon 
which it feeds is disturbed, the other caterpillars are 
likely to crawl away, but the enfeebled 
victim remains in its place. 

Shortly after becoming full grown, 
the Tachinid grub breaks through the 
skin of the dying caterpillar and, fall- 
ing to the ground, changes to a pecuhar "^^lughuy m^lt^!^.) '• 
pupa; the outer skin of the grub turns 
brown and becomes hard, forming a protective covering 
for the body inside. A week or two later the insect 
undergoes another change and emerges as a two- winged 
Tachinid fly, like the one that laid the egg some weeks 

Other Enemies 

Besides those insects that develop on the inside of the 
bodies of these Antiopa caterpillars there are other 
insect enemies which attack them from the outside and 
devour them bodily. The most notable of these, perhaps, 
is a large beetle commonly called the Caterpillar Hunter; 
it is known to entomologists as Calosoma scrutator. This 
is a very active insect, with large strong jaws, that runs 
rapidly about in search of victims. In some cases it 
has been observed while destroying many of the Antiopa 

In the Southern states a common reddish wasp — a spe- 
cies of Polistes — has also been observed attacking these 
caterpillars, and there are probably various other insects 
that destroy them, although definite observations show- 
ing this have not been recorded. 


The Antiopa caterpillars are such spiny creatures that 
comparatively few birds attack them. They are de- 
voured, however, by the two species of cuckoos — the 
yellow-billed and black-billed — and it is probable that 
they are sometimes killed by Baltimore orioles and various 
other birds. They are also greedily devoured by toads, 
but of course they do not often come witliin the reach of 
these useful animals. 

Even the adult butterflies of this species have to be on 
the lookout for enemies. During the long months of their 
life many of them probably succumb to the attacks of 
birds or other creatures. I have seen but one such 
tragedy. While riding along a country highway with a 
bird-loving friend one spring day we saw a male Maryland 
yellow-throat flit by with a Mourning-cloak in his mouth. 
The bird lit on a fence, from which I startled him so that 
he dropped the butterfly, a worn and faded, half-dead 
specimen. The places where the bird held the insect were 
indicated by missing pieces of the wings. 

The American Tortoise-shell 

Aglais milherti 

This beautiful butterfly is one of the most distinctive 
of all our species. It is of moderate size, its wings rarely 
expanding more than two inches, and it has sufficiently 
irregular outlines to indicate its relationship with the Angle- 
wings. The most striking feature of the upper surface 
is the broad band of orange-brown extending clear across 
both wings a little inside the border. The remaining sur- 
face is a darker brown marked with two orange-brown 


spots near the front margin of each front wing and having 
scattered iridescent scales which show plainly under a lens. 
The suggestion of the coloring of a tortoise-shell is easily 
seen in these rich brown tones. The under surface is a 
wonderful illustration of protective coloring. With wings 
closed and resting against the bark of trees or lying be- 
neath the trees among fallen leaves, it would require a 
keen eye to detect the insect. {See plates, pages 160-161.) 
The American Tortoise-shell is distinctly a northern 
species. North of latitude forty-tlu-ee degrees it seems to 
occur practically from ocean to ocean, extending far up to- 
ward the arctic region. It is commonly found in British 
America as far north as Fort Simpson in latitude sixty-one 
degrees. There are specimens in the British Museum 
collected by the explorer Ross in arctic America, and there 
are many in our own National Museum collected in the 
Hudson Bay region by various American explorers. In 
New England the species is abundant at times in New 
Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. In the vicinity of New 
York City and Buffalo, New York, it is rather rare. And 
south of this latitude it is found chiefly at the higher ele- 
vations in mountainous districts. As a rule it is likely to 
vary in numbers from year to year, sometimes being ex- 
tremely abundant while more commonly it is rather rare. 
These are the same sorts of fluctuations that we find in the 
case of the Mourning-cloak, the American tent cater- 
pillar, and various other insects whose larvae live in col- 
onies. The variation is probably due to the fact that 
when the caterpillars become unusually abundant they be- 
come correspondingly conspicuoiLS and so provide a shin- 
ing mark that is soon discovered by their insect enemies or 
by various fungous diseases. 


The Story of Its Life 

In its manner of laying eggs this butterfly differs from 
most others. The great majority of om* famihar species 
lay their eggs one in a place or possibly two or three near 
together. Some species deposit several in a group, while 
some, like the Mourning-cloak, may lay two or three dozen 
in a cluster. Very few, however, deposit hundreds in a 
bunch. Two of these are the Baltimore and this American 
Tortoise-shell. In the case of the latter the eggs are 
loosely laid, hundreds together, upon the leaves of the 
common stinging nettle. Probably each female can de- 
posit six or eight hundred eggs. In less than a week the 
eggs hatch into minute blackish caterpillars that feed upon 
the tender tissues of the leaf upon which they were born and 
then migrate together toward the top of the plant. In 
their habits they are quite similar to the caterpillars of the 
Mourning-cloak. As each walks it spins from its mouth a 
silken thread and the combined effect of hundreds of these 
threads is to make a noticeable silken web over the leaves. 
The caterpillars remain in colonies, feeding together from 
day to day and gradually denuding the upper branches of 
the nettle plant, leaving an unsightly silken web as a 
memento of their presence. This webbing is very sug- 
gestive of the similar result left behind by a colony of 
Mourning-cloak caterpillars upon the twigs of elm or 

When about half grown these caterpillars are likely to 
scatter more or less in accidental groups which may make 
small shelter tents from the larger leaves. In each little 
nest there may be four or five or more of the dark-colored 
caterpillars. From these shelter tents they sally forth to 


feed upon the adjacent leaves and a little later become full 
grown as caterpillars. Each now wanders away and find- 
ing such shelter as it is able to, spins a button of silk and 
becomes a chrysalis. It remains in this condition but a 
short time before it emerges again as the beautiful but- 

This species is commonly reputed to have three broods a 
year, liibernating both as a butterfly and as a chrysalis. 
It has been suggested, however, by Mr. W. F. Fiske, one of 
our most painstaking entomologists who has studied the 
butterflies of New Hampshire for many years, that it is 
more probably double-brooded with a period of aestiva- 
tion during the later weeks of summer. This seems a very 
probable condition and it is to be hoped that some observer 
will make such a careful study of this species as to settle 
the point definitely. 

In the case of many butterflies the distribution of the 
species coincides with the distribution of the food plant. 
This American Tortoise-shell, however, is perhaps the 
exception that may prove the rule, for its southward limit 
is far north of the southern range of the stinging nettle. 
Evidently, it is a species which has developed in adjust- 
ment to the cool climate of northern regions or high alti- 
tude, and it does not easily adapt itseK to a warmer 

The White-J Butterfly or Compton Tortoise 

Eugonia J-album 

During bright days in March and April one is likely to 
find two kinds of butterflies on the wing in open glades of 


the woods. One is the famihar Mourning-cloak and the 
other is the Compton Tortoise — the latter generally much 
less abundant than the former. Both make the most of 
the brief periods of sunshine and quickly disappear when 
the sky is overcast. 

The Compton Tortoise butterflies which are thus abroad 
in early spring have been in hibernation since October. 
They are helping to carry the species over from one season 
to another, and as the days become longer and warmer 
they appear on the wing more and more, seeking such 
liquid food as the field and forest yields during the days of 
early spring. The sap exuding from holes in bark made by 
woodpeckers, or from the tappings of the maple trees by 
man, the nectar of willow catkins, the moisture of road- 
side pools — these help to yield a precarious sustenance to 
these butterflies after their long winter fast. They remain 
upon the wing week after week, while spring slowly pro- 
gresses in the northern regions they inhabit. When at 
last the leaves push out on their food trees — willow, birch, 
and elm — the females lay their eggs and then, having 
lived to what for a butterfly is a ripe old age, they die, 
after nearly ten months of adult existence. 

Apparently the eggs are laid in clusters on the twigs, al- 
though this seems to be one of the many facts about but- 
terflies awaiting observation by some careful student. 
The caterpillars feed together in small colonies but make no 
nest. They become full grown in about a month. They 
are then nearly two inches long with spinous, greenish 
bodies, striped with lighter lines. Some change to chrys- 
alids about the middle of June and ten days later change 
again to butterflies, the first of which appear early in July 
while others continue to emerge for nearly a month. 


These butterflies may be seen rather frequently from 
midsummer on, visiting various flowers and sipping the 
juices from decaying fruits beneath the trees. At times 
they seem to disappear in August to reappear in October, a 
fact which has led some observers to suggest that there'is a 
second brood. The caterpillars of this brood, however, 
have never been observed and a much more probable ex- 
planation has been made by Mr. W. F. Fiske who studied 
the butterflies of New Hampshire carefully for many 
years. He found that in the hot summer weather this 
butterfly goes into a seclusion similar to that of its winter 
rest — that is, it aestivates in summer and hibernates in 
winter. "The possibility that the October J-album did 
not represent a second brood," writes Mr. Fiske, "was 
rendered almost a certainty by repeated observations 
which failed to disclose a single specimen approximating in 
freshness to average August individuals, and the question 
of their whereabouts during the interim was unexpectedly 
answered one warm August day by my finding several 
snugly packed away under the shingles on an old roof. The 
theory of the aestivation of the butterflies of this group 
will explain a good many points hitherto obscure in the life 
histories of the other species." 

In October these butterflies seek their winter quarters, 
finding them in woods and groves. Apparently they com- 
monly rest upon the bark of the trunk as well as crawl into 
such crevices beneath loose bark as they can find. Here 
they remain through fall, winter, and spring, except when 
called into brief periods of activity by the unwonted 
warmth of the winter sunshine. Then in spring they come 
forth again to lay the eggs for the caterpillars of the new 


The fresh butterflies are creatures of exquisitely modu- 
lated coloring. The name Compton Tortoise has refer- 
ence to the rich brown tones of the upper wing surface, 
suggestive of those of fine tortoise-shell. In fresh speci- 
mens much of the surface, especially in the middle and 
along the front border, is overlaid with iridescent purple 
scales. Near the front outer angle of each of the four 
wings there is a distinct white spot, divided near the 
middle by a darker line of the vein running through it. 
The under surface is one of the best examples of mimicry 
of gray bark to be found in any butterfly. The tones vary 
considerably in different individuals, but in all the protec- 
tion must be well nigh perfect when the insect is at rest 
with closed wings upon the bark of a tree. The striking 
angularity of the wing's border doubtless helps to conceal 
it, and the habit of dropping motionless to the ground 
when disturbed must also have protective value. Near 
the middle of each hind wing there is a small white J which 
led to the specific name J-album. 

This butterfly is essentially a member of the Canadian 
fauna. It ranges from far north in Labrador, British 
America, and Alaska, south as far as Pennsylvania, but to- 
ward its southern limit it occurs only on the higher eleva- 
tions of mountains like the Alleghanies. 

The Buckeye 

Junonia coenia 

Some genera of butterflies seem to belong almost ex- 
clusively to the north temperate regions, seldom occurring 
even in our Southern states. Others belong equally ex- 


clusively to tropical regions, seldom straying into the 
north. The Buckeye is an illustration of the latter group. 
The genus Junonia to which it belongs is essentially tropical, 
as it contains several species which are found through- 
out the tropics in both the Old and the New Worlds. 
In fact, this is apparently the only species which occurs 
north of the tropics. It has an extraordinary range, being 
found from Cuba to Massachusetts and from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific coasts. Toward the northern limits of its 
range it is very rare and one of the greatest prizes which 
the collector can obtain. In our Southern states it is an 
abundant and generally distributed butterfly and, as it 
hibernates as an adult and one group follows another 
throughout the season rather rapidly, it is likely to be 
taken at almost any time. {See plate, page 176.) 

The mother butterflies select as food plants for the larvae 
various members of either the plantain or figwort families. 
They lay eggs, one in a place, upon the leaves of plantain, 
figwort, gerardia, and related plants generally near the 
tip of the leaves. Less than a week later these hatch into 
spiny caterpillars which feed upon the green substance of 
the leaves during the next few weeks. For the most part 
they eat between the veins leaving a ragged effect which 
may help in finding them. When full grown they change 
to . chrysalids which hang straight downward and bear a 
general resemblance to those of the Thistle butterfly. 
Curiously enough, those chrysalids which are attacked by 
parasites take on a characteristic golden hue ; although the 
normal healthy chrysalids are dark brown with a few 
touches of a decidedly lighter brown. 

In its tropical home, where there is no winter period to 
interrupt its growth, this butterfly doubtless continues to 


develop generation after generation without any break in 
the sequence. As the species goes north, however, there 
is necessarily such an interruption — in which case the 
winter seems commonly to be passed by the adult butter- 
fly. In our Southern states there are commonly three or 
four broods each year, while in the northern parts of its 
range there is but one brood a year. In the South there is 
such an overlapping that all stages of the insect may be 
found at one time. 

Synopsis of the Angle-wings 
I. The Polygonias 

The most angular of the Angle-wings are grouped in the 
genus Polygonia. They are characterized by having the 
outer margin of the front wings projecting in two places in 
a way to give an angular effect, and by having the hind or 
inner margin distinctly excised toward the outer end, so 
that this margin is curved rather than straight. 

Violet-tip (Polygonia interrogatio7iis or Grapta interro- 
gationis). Expanse 2^ inches. Under surface of each 
hind wing marked by a silvery semicolon, made up of a dot 
and a crescent. 

Hop Merchant {Polygonia comma or Grapta comma). 
Expanse 2 inches. A white comma with expanded tips on 
lower surface of each hind wing. Lower surface of all the 
wings mottled with brown. 

Green Comma {Poly goniaf annus or Grapta f annus) . Ex- 
panse 2 inches. A white comma with expanded tips on 
lower surface of each hind wing. The lower surface of all 
the wings more or less mottled with green toward the 


Gray Comma {Polygonia progne or Grapta progne). Ex- 
panse 2 inches. A white comma with tips narrowed 
rather than expanded on lower sm*face of each hind wing. 

II. The Vanessids 

Our beautiful species of the genus Vanessa may be known 
by the long scales that make up the fringe on the wing mar- 
gins, in alternate groups of black and white. There are 
also several white spots on the upper surface of the outer 
angle of each front wing. 

Red Admiral {Vanessa atalanta, Pyrameis atalanta or 
Cynthia atalanta). Expanse 2 inches. Upper surface of 
front wings blackish, marked with white spots on outer 
angle and a broad orange stripe across the middle. 

Painted Beauty {Vanessa huntera, Pyrameis hunter a or 
Cynthia huntera). Expanse 2| inches. Upper surface 
orange-brown with black, white, and blue markings . Lower 
surface of each hind wing with two large eye-spots, each 
extending across two veins. 

Painted Lady or Cosmopolite {Vanessa cardui, Pyrameis 
cardui or Cynthia cardui). Expanse 2| inches. Easily 
distinguished from the Painted Beauty by the four or more 
small eye-spots on the lower surface of each hind wing, 
each eye-spot being included between two veins. 

III. Other Angle-wings 

The other common Angle- wings are readily distinguished 
by the following characters : 

Mourning-cloak {Euvanessa antiopa or Vanessa antiopa) . 
Expanse 3| inches. Easily known by the nearly black 
wings with creamy white borders. 

American Tortoise-shell {Aglais milberti or Vanessa 


milherti). Expanse 1^ inches. One of the smallest of the 
Angle-wings. Easily known by its small size and the 
broad orange band extending across the upper surface of all 
the wings just beyond the middle. Under surface dark 
mottled gray without distinct white markings. 

Compton Tortoise {Eugonia j-album, Vanessa j-album or 
Grapta j-album) . "Expanse 3 inches. Best known by the 
straight line of the inner margin of the front wings and the 
white j on the under side of each hind wing. 

The Buckeye {Junonia coenia or Vanessa coenia). Ex- 
panse If inches. Distinguished by the large eye-spots on 
the upper surface of the wings, one on each front and two 
on each hind wing. Eyes not hairy. 


No other small group of American butterflies has at- 
tracted so much attention as the species of the genus 
Basilarchia, which have been happily called the tribe of 
Sovereigns. These are rather large butterflies with 
rounded wings which are found in one species or another 
over practically the whole of North America. Some of 
them are of exceeding beauty and all of them present life- 
histories of extraordinary interest. At least two of the 
species are the most notable examples of the mimicry of 
other butterflies that are shown in our fauna. They also 
present some extremely interesting problems for the study 
of natural hybrids and they illustrate in their development 
some of the most wonderful cases of adaptation to en- 
vironment that have ever been found. 

These butterflies may be considered from so many in- 

I- mm a ,lra>rii,g l,y If. /. Bcccrojt See pages 268-282 

so.ME co:mmox skippers 

The Loiif; Dash, male, at top; the Vitellius Skipper, female, next helow; (he 
i aiiadian skipper resting on iris flower in the middle; the Least Skii)per, next l)eiow: 
l.<'niiar.l s .^kipper at rest on leaf, next; and the Sachem Skipper, male, at bottom 

/'/■();;/ (I ilriiiriiKi hi/ IT. I. Beecrnft See [Hit/e.s rJ'i-.'O. 


'I'lio l)iill('r(Iy i'lTslily emerged; catorpilliir luing iij) for piipalioii; I lie clirys.ilis; 
llio r;ilor])ill;ir reeding 


teresting points of view that it is a bit diflBcult to know 
which phases to emphasize. In general, there is a striking 
similarity in their structure and habits in the earlier stages. 
The eggs are very nearly alike; the caterpillars resemble 
one another so closely that even expert entomologists 
sometimes have to decide what species a collected cater- 
pillar belongs to by seeing what plant it is feeding upon, 
and the chrysalids are also very similar. 

Some of the more interesting phases in the development 
of these insects are discussed in connection with the life- 
stories of the different species. A phase which is char- 
acteristic to all of them may well be emphasized here. 
From the time the caterpillars hatch until they change to 
chrysalids they illustrate to a marked degree an adaptation 
through structure and habit which must very largely pro- 
tect them from attack by birds and other enemies. Their 
structure and markings are almost grotesque. The body 
is covered with strange club-like appendages and it is 
colored with a curious mottling of tones of green, drab, 
brown, and white which is very difficult to describe but 
which suggests, as the caterpillar rests upon rough bark, 
simply a bit of bird dung or some natural excrescence. 
The caterpillars have the habit of feeding at night and re- 
maining upon their perches by day, often assuming po- 
sitions which are very unusual among insect larvae. 
Such positions, in which they remain motionless for hours 
at a time, are undoubtedly of protective value and help to 
conceal the insect. After the caterpillars are half grown 
they rest not upon the leaves upon which they feed, but 
rather upon the bark of twigs or branches where their 
peculiar structure is likely to make them inconspicuous. 

The chrysalids of the Sovereigns are also curiously 


mottled in color tones that will probably lead to their 
eing overlooked. 

Three distinct species of Sovereigns are found in eastern 
North America, namely: 

The Viceroy, Basilarchia archippus. 

The Banded Purple, Basilarchia arthemis. 

The Red-spotted Purple, Basilarchia astyanax. 

The first species, the Viceroy, has a much wider dis- 
tribution than either of the others. It apparently is found 
in nearly all localities in which either of these occur, and so 
includes within its range almost the whole of the United 
States and much of Canada. 

The second of these, the Banded Purple, is a northern 
form. It is found commonly at least as far north as the 
Mackenzie River region in British America and southward 
to central Massachusetts. It also occurs as far west as 
Nebraska so that it has a very wide distribution in north- 
ern regions. It is especially abundant in Canada and the 
White Mountains. 

The third, the Red-spotted Purple, is the characteristic 
form south of latitude 42 degrees. Its range overlaps 
that of the Banded Purple for about one degree but it is 
seldom found north of latitude 42 degrees. It seems to 
range about as far west as the Banded Purple. 

There are several other butterflies belonging to this 
genus which are rarely found and which occur only in 
certain limited regions. There has been much discussion 
in regard to these. Some entomologists have thought 
them simply varieties or dimorphic forms while others 
have considered them hybrids. An analysis of the con- 
ditions shows that these doubtful butterflies occur only 
in regions where the different species overlap. Thus in 


the boundary connecting the Banded Purple and the Red- 
spotted Purple there are forms which resemble these two 
species in such a way as to suggest that these are the 
parents of the hybrid. In localities where the Viceroy 
and the Banded Purple occur there are other forms which 
seem to connect these two species, and in the locality 
where the Viceroy and the Red-spotted Purple occur 
there are still other forms which seem to suggest these as 
the parents. So the evidence seems pretty conclusive 
that where these butterflies overlap there are likely to be 
occasional crosses between the species which result in 
these natural hybrids. 

In the far Western states there are certain other species 
of Basilarchia which take the place of the eastern form. 
One of the most abundant of these on the Pacific Coast 
is sometimes called Lorquin's Admiral {B. lorquini). 
In Florida there is another species, B. floridensis, which is 
found in the Southern states. It is the only one whose 
coloring resembles that of the Viceroy. 

The Viceroy 

Basilarchia archippus 

The common name of this butterfly was probably given 
it in allusion to its resemblance to the Monarch butterfly. 
For the Monarch and the Viceroy have been closely asso- 
ciated in the minds of many observers ever since people 
began to study butterflies in America. These two insects 
have become famous as the most notable examples that we 
have of the mimicking of one butterfly by another. Ac- 
cording to the theory which has been held by many natur- 
alists, the Monarch is distasteful to birds and other ani- 


mals and it advertises the fact by its bright combination 
of brown and black. The Monarch is thus an example 
of what has often been called warning coloration. On the 
other hand, the Viceroy is commonly supposed to have no 
objectionable taste when eaten by birds, but it so closely 
resembles the Monarch in its color pattern and its habits 
of flight that it has been assumed that birds would not 
touch it because of its resemblance to the distasteful 
butterfly. There has, however, recently been a reaction 
among naturalists in regard to the validity of many sup- 
posed examples of warning coloration and the whole subject 
is still open to careful investigation. {See cover; and plate, 
page lJi.5.) 

Whether the Viceroy deserves its celebrity as an insect 
mimic or not, it is well worthy of study for other reasons. 
It is a common and attractive butterfly and it has most 
interesting habits in the larval state. It is found over a 
large part of North America and flies freely from spring 
until autumn over meadows, fields, and open glades. 

The Yearly Cycle of Life 

To trace the yearly cycle of this butterfly's life, let us 
begin with one of the mother insects flitting along a stream 
in early summer. She stops now and then to lay an egg 
on the tip of a leaf on a willow or poplar. She then con- 
tinues on her way occasionally sipping nectar from any 
early flowers she may chance to find, and continuing her 
leisurely life perhaps for several weeks. 

The egg thus laid upon the poplar leaf remains in posi- 
tion for a week or more, unless it should be devoured by 
some wandering ant or discovered by some tiny parasite. 
If it escapes these dangers, it hatches into a minute cater- 


pillar that escapes from the egg shell through a hole in 
its side. After it has come out it turns around and eats 
the remainder of the shell. It then begins feeding upon 
the tender tissue of the leaf it is resting upon, nibbling 
at the sides until its appetite is satisfied. Then it retires 
to the midrib on the lower surface where it remains quietly 
through the day and thereafter feeds chiefly at night. 
After about a week it becomes too large for the skin with 
which it was born, so it moults and immediately devours 
its cast skin. It continues these operations of feeding 
and moulting at occasional intervals for several weeks, 
finally becoming a rather large and curious looking cater- 
pillar, mottled in greenish olive and light gray, with two 
large horn-like projections from the front of the body. 

It finally becomes full grown in this larval state. Then 
it spins a web of silk upon the bark of the twig and en- 
tangles the hooked claws of its hind legs in the silken web. 
It thus hangs downward until the larval skin is shuffled 
off and the curious pupa with the conspicuous hump upon 
the middle of its back remains in its place. This chrysalis 
is of a mottled coloring, very similar to that of the cater- 
pillar. A week or so later the chrysalis skin breaks open, and 
the butterfly comes out, catching hold of the twig with its 
legs and hanging quietly in position while its wings expand. 
{See plate, page 193.) 

The butterflies of this brood are likely to appear late in 
summer. It is the second brood of adult butterflies for the 
season. These insects have the same leisurely habits as 
those that were on the wing earlier in the season. In a 
similar way the mother butterflies lay their eggs on the 
leaves of willows and poplars, and these eggs soon hatch 
into young caterpillars that look like those that hatched in 


early summer. The caterpillars, however, of this autum- 
nal brood have a most interesting habit which was en- 
tirely lacking in those of early summer. Soon after hatch- 
ing they begin to make for themselves little houses in 
which to pass the winter. This is very cleverly done by 
utilizing part of the leaf upon which they are feeding. 
Each side of the leaf toward its tip is eaten off with the 
midrib remaining untouched; then the lower half of the 
leaf which has not been eaten is rolled into a tube and se- 
curely sewed together with silken threads. The stem of 
the leaf is also covered with a similar silken web and se- 
curely fastened to the twig in such a way that it is impos- 
sible for the leaf to fall off when the other leaves do. The 
little caterpillar thus cleverly provides itself with a safe 
winter home into which it retreats on the approach of cold 
weather to remain until spring. They enter these little 
cases head first, and apparently seldom emerge again until 
the warm spring sun brings them forth to feed upon the de- 
veloping willow catkins or the unfolding leaves. 

The caterpillars that thus pass the winter in these 
pitcher-like cases are perhaps a third grown. They de- 
velop rapidly in spring and are likely to use the cases for 
resting purposes when they are not feeding. After a few 
weeks they become full-grown caterpillars and change to 
chrysalids, to change again a little later into the butter- 
flies that appear in early summer. There are thus two 
broods of each stage of the insect during the year. 

Curious Caterpillar Habits 

This brief summary of the yearly history of the Viceroy 
is by no means adequate as a story of the many interesting 
things to be told about this insect, which has been carefully 


studied by several eminent naturalists. One of these is the 
strange habit the very young caterpillars have of fastening 
a few bits of leaf together by means of silken threads and 
then tying the bunch to the denuded rib of the leaf. To 
explain this, allow me to quote from an admirable essay of 
the late Samuel H. Scudder, whose studies of butterflies 
have added so much to our knowledge of these beautiful 

"Soon after birth," wrote Mr. Scudder, "when it has 
eaten but a very few swaths down the leaf, the little fellow 
constructs a small and loose packet from minute bits of 
leaf and other rejectamenta, loosely fastened to one an- 
other and to the midrib, close to but scarcely touching the 
eaten edge of the leaf; and as fast as the leaf is eaten, it re- 
moves this packet (continually added to until it becomes 
almost as big as a small pea) farther and farther down the 
midrib away from its perch, always keeping it near the 
eaten edge. It should be noted that it is so loosely at- 
tached (the bits of leaf at all possible angles) that it is 
moved by the least breath. Meanwhile, the caterpillar 
has been growing larger and more conspicuous, and thus in 
greater peril from its enemies. There are two possible 
services that this odd packet may render. A spider 
wandering over a leaf and observing its motion may seize 
it, and thinking it has a prize, hurry away with it and leave 
its architect unharmed. This seems to me rather a 
strained suggestion, for a wandering spider w^ould prob- 
ably proceed to investigate it on the spot. Another ex- 
planation seems more probable. It should be remembered 
that the leaves preferred by these creatures as food are 
mostly such as are easily shaken by the wind, and as the 
caterpillar moves with the leaf and with all the surround- 


ing leaves (in a continual fluttering in the case of the 
trembling aspen, and to a less degree in the other food 
plants), this of itself is a protection to it, as it would more 
readily escape observation as an object distinct from the 
leaves, all being in motion together; but on the more 
stable leaves, like the willow, the motion in a feeble wind 
would not be sufficient to be serviceable, and here, at 
least, the packet comes into play. An object in motion 
among others at rest is a noticeable thing; a fact well 
recognized among animals, as a host of them show when 
they fear being seen. This packet attached by loose 
silken threads moves, as stated, with a breath of wind, and 
so would distract attention from its architect near by, who 
has taken pains to place it at the farthest remove from his 
perch while still (to avoid undesirable steps) on his daily 
track. If this be really its object, it is surely one of the 
oddest devices in nature." 

The curious winter cases of the Viceroy were first 
carefully described by the late Dr. C. V. Riley, in one of 
his classic reports on the insects of Missouri. It is one of 
the best accounts which has ever been written and is well 
worth quoting at some length: 

" The larvae of the autumnal brood," wrote Doctor Riley, 
"when about one fourth or one third grown, build for 
themselves curious little houses in which they pass the 
winter. First and foremost — with wise forethought and 
being well aware through its natural instincts that the 
leaf which it has collected for its house will fall to the 
ground when the cold weather sets in unless it takes 
measures to prevent this — the larva fastens the stem of 
the leaf with silken cables securely to the twig from which 
it grows. It then gnaws off the blade of the leaf at its tip 


end, leaving little else but the midrib. Finally it rolls the 
remaining part of the blade of the leaf into a cylinder, 
sewing the edges together with silk. The basal portion 
of the cylinder is of com-se tapered to a point as the edges 
of the leaf are nearly drawn together, not overlapped; and 
invariably the lower side of the leaf forms the outside of 
the house so as to have the projecting midrib out of the 
way of the larva as it reposes snugly on the inside. The 
whole, when finished, has somewhat the appearance of the 
leaf of a miniature pitcher-plant (Sarracenia), its length 
being .50-. 65 inch, and its diameter .11-. 14 inch. 

"These curious little cases may be commonly found 
upon our willows and poplars in the winter time. I have 
examined hundreds of them and although they are in- 
variably built upon this plan, they vary greatly in the 
degree of perfection which the architect attained; and 
this is especially the case where they have been built in 
confinement. The blade on the tip piece is sometimes 
gnawed oflp right down to the rib ; at others it is left almost 
as broad as the tube. Sometimes it is bent over the ori- 
fice; at others not. They are also much more irregular and 
ungainly when made with broad leaves, such as those of 
the silver poplar, than when made from the more narrow 
leaves of the willow tree. These autumnal larvae have 
also another peculiar habit: they exhibit a tendency to 
build from the time they are hatched and will always eat 
the leaves from the side, gnawing large holes and cutting 
along the sides of the midrib. They commence at the 
tip, and as they work downward toward the base, they 
collect the debris into a little bunch which they fasten with 
silk to the midrib. When the hibernaculum is finished the 
seam is perfectly smooth and the hole inside is lined with 


silk. The larva, having completed its work, composes 
itself for the winter with the hind end toward the orifice. 
Here it remains till the catkins are in bloom the next spring 
when it retreats from its house and commences feeding. 
Not the least wonderful part of this phenomenon is that 
it is only the autumnal brood of larvae that form pitcher- 
like houses to live in during the inclement season of the 
year — the summer brood having no occasion to shelter 
themselves from cold." It is an interesting fact that in 
most northern regions these winter cases are nearly always 
made so near the ground that they are protected by snow 
during most of the winter. 

When an insect has such a curious habit as that of mak- 
ing these winter cases it seems comparatively easy to ex- 
plain it as an acquired instinct brought about through the 
conditions of life during the long period in which successive 
generations have been laid. But, as Doctor Riley seems to 
suggest above, it is much more diflScult to explain this sort 
of phenomenon when it occurs only in one of two or more 
broods during the season. 

The Banded Purple 

Basilarchia arthemis 

None of our common butterflies shows more striking 
color markings than the Banded Purple. A broad white 
stripe runs midway through the wings on both surfaces, 
the white making a strong contrast to the purplish or 
brownish black of the rest of the wings. This white band 
is supplemented by rows of fulvous and of blue dots, 
especially on both surfaces of the hind wings. {See plate » 
page 203.) 


This butterfly is a northern form ranging to a large ex- 
tent north of the regions occupied by the Viceroy. Its 
Hfe-history is very similar to that of the latter insect. The 
caterpillars have the same curious habits and bear a close 
general resemblance to one another. The Banded Purple 
butterflies appear in June and lay their eggs in July upon 
the tips of the leaves of birches, especially the black birch. 
Almost all of these eggs are laid within two or three feet of 
the ground. They are of grayish green color. The cater- 
pillars are greenish- or oHve-brown. 

About a week after the egg is laid it hatches into a small 
caterpillar that feeds upon the sides of the leaf and rests 
upon the midrib just as the Viceroy caterpillar does. It 
continues to feed through July and the early part of 
August, moulting once or twice before it begins to form 
the winter case. It usually goes into this during the 
latter part of August, when it is in the second or third 
caterpillar stage. From then on it remains quietly in its 
winter home, being covered by the deep snows during 
several months, and coming out about the middle of the 
following May, when the spring warmth starts the buds 
of its food plant. It then feeds for two or three weeks 
before it changes to a chrysalis to emerge in June as a 
butterfly. There seems to be normally but one brood 
each year although under exceptional conditions some of 
the eggs laid in July mature into butterflies the same 
season. But it is probable that these butterflies either do 
not lay eggs and perish as the cold comes on, or that if 
they do lay eggs the caterpillars that hatch from them do 
not get large enough to construct their winter cases. Con- 
sequently, it is doubtful if we can consider the insect 
really two-brooded even in part. 


The Red-spotted Purple 

Basilarchia astyanax 

Were it not for the wonderful iridescence of its wings 
the Red-spotted Purple would be one of the most plainly 
marked of the Sovereigns. But the upper surface of both 
pairs of wings is thickly covered with iridescent scales 
which give the insect a shimmering beauty that makes it 
conspicuous among northern butterflies, suggesting some- 
thing of the marvelous coloring of the large tropical 
species. The general coloring is a purplish black with 
rows of white dots along the borders of the wings. The 
under surface shows much more of the fulvous brown which 
is so characteristic of the Viceroy, the brownish back- 
ground being rather thinly overlaid with iridescent scales, 
but with a large number of spots and stripes, where the 
fulvous color alone shows. {See plate, page 208.) 

The favorite food plants of this species belong to the 
great order Rosaceae which includes the apple, pear, cherry, 
rose, and many other common trees and shrubs. The 
egg is laid upon the extreme tip of the leaf, a character- 
istic habit of all the species of Basilarchia. It obviously 
must have decided advantages in preserving the eggs 
from attack by ants, spiders. Ichneumon flies, and other 
enemies. All of these creatures are constantly patrolling 
leaf surfaces in search of eggs and minute insects. They 
are much more likely to find their victims upon the broad 
general surface than upon the extreme tip of narrowly 
pointed leaves. The eggs of all these butterflies are small, 
and pitted much like a tiny little honeycomb with a large 
number of tiny hairs arising from the surface. These 


hairs are very similar to the hairs upon the surface of 
many leaves and they probably assist in leading other in- 
sects to overlook the eggs. Yet, notwithstanding these 
devices for protection, it remains true that a large 
proportion of the eggs are attacked by tiny parasites 
and probably many others are eaten by ants and 
spiders. This very fact emphasizes the necessity of such 
protective features as the laying of one egg in a place 
upon the tip of a leaf and the hairy covering on the egg 

A few days after the eggs are laid each hatches into a 
small caterpillar that immediately begins feeding upon 
the green tissues beside it — first, however, devouring the 
empty egg shell. It does not eat the midrib of the leaf, 
but utilizes it as a perch, generally winding it more or less 
with silken threads, apparently to make it stronger and 
to prevent it from curling up. The caterpillar seems to 
feed chiefly at night, resting quietly by day. After a week 
or so it moults and then continues feeding as before. It 
continues to feed and grow for several weeks, moulting 
regularly until it becomes full fed as a caterpillar. It then 
spins a web of silk closely upon the bark of twig or branch 
or possibly upon some other object near at hand. In this 
web it entangles the hooked claws of its hind legs and 
hangs downward preparatory to the change to the chrys- 
alis. Soon afterward the last larval skin is shed and the 
chrysalis hangs in place of the caterpillar. This chrysaUs 
has the characteristic form of all the members of this 
limited group, the outer skin being well hardened and 
there being a very prominent projection on the middle of 
the back. 

The chrysalis hangs thus, buffeted more or less by 


wind and rain for about ten days, then the skin breaks 
apart and the butterfly emerges. 

Over a large part of its range there are two broods of 
this butterfly each year. The adults appear in early 
summer and lay eggs which develop into butterflies again 
during the latter part of summer. The life-history of this 
generation is the one described in the last paragraph. The 
eggs laid by these late summer butterflies, however, re- 
quire a somewhat different story. They hatch in the 
same way as the others but when the caterpillars have 
moulted about twice they form a winter case or hiber- 
naculum, in exactly the same way as the caterpillars of 
the Viceroy. They remain within these winter homes 
till the following spring, when they come forth and com- 
plete their development producing the early summer brood 
of butterflies with which our story began. 

The Vicereine 

Basilarchia floridensis 

In Florida and some of the other Southern states there 
is a butterfly which looks almost like the Viceroy except 
that the brown coloring of the wings is very much darker. 
The species has been called the Vicereine as it is believed 
to mimic the Queen Butterfly, a species closely related to 
the Monarch and occurring in the Southern states. The 
Vicereine probably has a life-history very similar to that 
of its northern cousin. 

Synopsis of the Sovereigns 

Banded Purple (Basilarchia arthemis or Limenitis 
arthemis). Expanse 2| inches. Ground color of upper 


surface of wings black with a distinct white band in bow- 
like form running across the middle of both wings. A row 
of six tawny spots just outside the white band on each hind 
wing and various sub-marginal blue spots outside of these. 
Under surface tawny brown with the white stripe dis- 
tinct and many red-brown spots. 

Red-spotted Purple {Basilarchia astyanax or Limenitis 
astyanax). Expanse 2^ inches. Ground color brownish 
black tinged with bluish, especially on the hind wings. 
No white band but various red and blue spots, especially 
near the outer margins of the upper surface of both pairs 
of wings. 

Viceroy {Basilarchia archippus or Limenitis disippus). 
Expanse 2§ inches. General color reddish brown with 
veins and margins blackish. A narrow black band run- 
ning across the hind wings just beyond the middle. A 
series of white spots in all the marginal bands. 

Vicereine {Basilarchia floridensis). Expanse 2| inches. 
Similar to the Viceroy but much darker in the brown 
coloring of all the wings, 


The members of this small group are distinguished from 
the closely related Sovereigns by the tailed hind wings 
in one species, by the eye-spots on the upper surface of 
the wings of the others, and by the fact that on the club 
of the antennae there are three instead of four longitu- 
dinal ridges. There is also a distinction in the arrange- 
ment of the veins of the hind wings. {See plate, page 209.) 

This tribe is represented in our northern fauna by only 
two genera. In the genus Chlorippe the antennae are as 
long as the front wings are wide. In the genus Anoea the 


antennae are much shorter than the width of the front 
wings. Only two species of the former and one of the 
latter are suflSciently abundant to be considered here. 

The Goatweed Emperor 

Anoea andria 

Comparatively few butterflies are confined so closely 
to the valley of the Mississippi River as the Goatweed 
Emperor. From southern Illinois south to the Gulf this 
insect is rather abundant in many localities where its food 
plant, the goatweed, is common. The life-history of the 
insect was carefully studied by Dr. C. V. Riley, and one of 
the best accounts was published in one of his early reports 
on the insects of Missouri. The excellent illustrations 
in that article first made the species familiar to many 

Briefly summarized, the life-history runs something like 
this : the butterflies hibernate, coming forth in spring and 
visiting various spring and early summer flowers. The 
females deposit eggs singly upon the leaves of the young 
goatweed plants. In a week or less each egg hatches into 
a little caterpillar that feeds upon the tip of the leaf 
leaving the midrib and covering it with silk so that it 
may serve as a resting perch. Later each makes an ex- 
cellent tent for itself by bending over and binding to- 
gether the opposite margins of a leaf.* This bit of work 
is cleverly done, a hole being left at each end so that 
there is good ventilation and an opportunity for the cater- 
pillar to go in and out. Quite frequently the nest is also 
lined with more or less silken webbing. This tent is used 

* See next page. 

THE BANDED PURPLE {see jxKjr 202) 
THE RED-SP0TTP:D purple (see page 20',) 

(Upper and lower surface) {see page 215) 

From (hainngs bi/ W. I. Beecroft 


See pages 207-2 U 

The Gray Emperor, female (top) 
The Tawny Emperor, female {middle) 
Tlic Goatweed Emperor, female (bollnm) 



as a refuge from the heat of the sun and doubtless serves 
also in concealing the caterpillar from its many enemies. 
The larva goes out to neighboring leaves when it wishes 
to feed and only occasionally eats up the leaf of which its 
tent is made. 
When this is 
done it must of 
course construct 
another home. 

After some 
weeks of this 
sheltered exis- 
tence the cater- 
pillar is ready to 
change to a 
chrysalis. It 
leaves the tent 
and commonly 
attaches a bit of 
silken web to the 
under side of a 
leaf or branch 
of its food plant 
or some other kind of shelter. Here it changes to a 
chrysalis, to emerge a little later as the beautiful burnt- 
orange butterfly. There are said to be two broods each 
season, in some regions, although in others there seems to 
be but one. The butterflies hibernate in hollow trees or 
in such other shelters as they may find. 

The full-grown caterpillar (a) is an inch and a half long 
and of a general grayish color, dotted thickly with slightly 
elevated points. The chrysalis (6) is suggestive of that 

Goatweed Butterfly: a, larva; b, chrysalis; c, larva! case. 
(After Riley) 


of the Monarch butterfly. It is light green covered with 
whitish granules. 

The adult butterfly is remarkable for the falcate shape 
of the outer margin of each front wing and the broad tail 
at the hind outer angle of each hind wing. In the male the 
upper surface of all the wings is of a dark orange tone, 
with a rather narrow brown marginal marking. In the 
female this marginal band is broader and is nearly par- 
alleled by another narrower band a little nearer the body. 
In bright sunshine there is a distinct purplish red iri- 
descence over practically the whole upper surface. The 
under side of both wings is of a color to suggest a dead 
brown leaf, with a purplish iridescence in certain angles of 
light. {See plate, page 209.) 

The Gray Emperor 

Chlorippe celtis 

This very distinctive medium-sized butterfly is found in 
the Southern states at least as far west as the Mississippi 
Valley. It extends north to Indiana and Ohio and prob- 
ably occurs quite generally from Ohio eastward. This 
species is distinguished by the general gray -brown or olive- 
brown coloring of the wing surfaces, heavily marked with 
a much darker dusky brown and with many irregular 
white spots as well as one large eye-spot on each front 
wing near the border, and a row of seven more or less dis- 
tinct eye-spots near the border of each hind wing. 

Like the Tawny Emperor this species feeds in the larval 
state upon the leaves of hackberry. In Missouri the 
butterflies appear in June. A little later they lay eggs 
upon the under side of the hackberry leaves, commonly 


one in a place but sometimes several side by side. A few 
days later these eggs hatch into little yellow caterpillars 
that feed upon the leaves for about a month when they 
become full grown. They are then a little more than an 
inch long, of a general light green color with yellow spots 
along the middle of the back and three yellow lines along 
each side. The head has a pair of curious antlers much 
like those of the caterpillar of the Tawny Emperor. 
These caterpillars now spin a bit of silken web on the 
under side of the leaf or twig. They attach their hind legs 
into this web and hang downward for a day or two, before 
casting the last larval skin and changing to chrysalids. 
They change again to butterflies which are seen upon the 
wing early in August. These butterflies lay eggs in turn 
on the hackberry leaves, the eggs soon hatching into small 
caterpillars which according to Riley's observations are 
less active than those of the earlier brood. These cater- 
pillars feed for a few weeks until they become nearly half 
grown and have passed their second or possibly their 
third moult. They now stop eating and get ready for a 
long fast through the winter. Apparently some of them 
at least attach themselves to the under side of the hack- 
berry leaves and turn to a brownish color, remaining upon 
the leaves until the latter fall to the ground and presum- 
ably hibernating in the shelter thus provided. WTiether 
or not all of the caterpillars have this rather curious habit 
seems to be doubtful. It has been suggested that some 
of them find shelter within the crevices in the rough bark 
of the tree. At any rate, the caterpillars remain in a sort 
of stupor until the following spring. Then they awaken, 
climb up the trees or bushes, and begin feeding upon the 
young leaves. They continue this until they become full 


grown in May when they change to chrysaHds, to emerge 
as the first brood of butterflies the following month. 
Many of the caterpillars make a sort of nest for them- 
selves by spinning a web of silk upon the imder surface of 
the leaf and drawing together slightly the outer edges. 

As is the case with so many other butterflies that 
hibernate as caterpillars, apparently the species is only 
partially double-brooded. Some of the earlier caterpillars 
become lethargic when half grown and remain in that 
condition throughout the later weeks of summer and all 
through the fall and winter. {See plate, page 209.) 

The Tawny Emperor 

Chlorippe clyton 

This handsome butterfly is easily distinguished from the 
Gray Emperor by the general reddish color of the wings 
which are thickly marked with bands and eye-spots of 
darker brown or black. The eye-spots are especially 
marked on the hind wing, there being a row of five of these 
on each hind wing in both sexes. The females are de- 
cidedly larger than the male and generally of a dis- 
tinctly lighter color. {See plate, page 209.) 

This butterfly is a southern species found more or less 
abundantly from southern New York to northern Florida 
and across the country to a line drawn from Iowa to Texas. 
It seems to be more common in the Mississippi Valley than 
in other regions and its life-history was first thoroughly 
worked out in Missouri and published in one of Riley's 
classic reports on the insects of that state. It has since 
been studied by Edwards and others, but even now there 


seems to be some uncertainty in regard to many points in 
its development, notably the number of broods in different 
localities and the habits of the larvae when preparing for 

The principal points in the life-history of the species may 
be outlined as follows : some time in July the eggs are laid 
on the leaves of hackberry in dense clusters, each of which 
may contain from two hundred to iSve hundred eggs. 
These are usually deposited in two or more layers, one 
upon another. A little more than a week later these eggs 
hatch, each caterpillar eating through one end in a way to 
cut out the rim of a tiny cap which is pushed up as the 
larva escapes. The whole brood emerges at practically 
the same time and collects upon one or more leaves where 
they begin to feed upon the succulent green tissues. Like 
so many caterpillars that feed in companies each spins a 
silken thread wherever it goes. 

The little larvae remain together until after the third 
moult, at which time they are about half grown. In the 
more northern regions where they are found they are now 
likely to scatter about in search of quarters for hibernation- 
Having found suitable shelter, they remain through the 
winter to come forth early the following spring and feed 
upon the developing leaves of the hackberry trees. They 
continue to do this for a few weeks before they become full 
grown. They are then smooth-bodied, greenish worms 
about an inch and a half long, striped longitudinally in 
yellow and brown. The hind end of the body is forked 
in a curious fashion and the head is even more remarkable 
for the strange pair of tiny antlers projecting from it. 

These full-groAvn caterpillars soon change to pale green 
chrysalids, lightly striped with longitudinal lines of yellow. 


with a distinctly pointed head. From these chrysalids 
butterflies emerge early in summer. 

Evidently in the more Southern states there are two 
broods of these butterflies each year but there is great need 
of more precise knowledge in regard to them. 

As is the case with so many other butterflies there is a 
dimorphic form, called ocellata, in which the outer half of 
the hind wing is very dark brown, with the eye-spot show- 
ing as black with red-brown circles. 

Synopsis of the Emperors 

Goatweed Emperor (Anoea andria or Pyrrhanea andria). 
Expanse 2f inches. Front outer angle of each front wing 
projecting into a falcate tip. Rear outer angle of each 
hind wing projecting into a distinct tail. General color 
burnt-orange with darker marginal bands, and in the fe- 
male on the upper surface other sub-marginal markings. 

Gray Emperor {Chlorippe celtis). Expanse 2 inches. 
General color grayish brown with numerous markings of 
white and blackish. A distinct brown eye-spot on the 
upper surface of each front wing near the outer hind 

Tawny Emperor {Chlorippe clyton). Expanse 2 inches. 
General color tawny brown with markings of black and 
yellowish white. No distinct eye-spot on upper surface 
of front wings. 


Family Agapetidae 

The Meadow-browns form one of the most distinctive 
family groups among all the butterfly tribes. They are 


characterized, at least so far as our eastern species are 
concerned, by their slender bodies and rather large wings, 
toned in various shades of brown, and marked chiefly with 
conspicuous and characteristic eye-spots. The larger 
veins of the front wings aje swollen at the base. The 
caterpillars are rather slender and have a curious division 
of the last body segment into two parts, which gives them 
an appearance suggestive of the caterpillar of the Em- 
peror butterflies, although the Meadow-brown cater- 
pillars do not have, upon the head, the curious antlers 
borne by the Emperor larvae. 

The Common Wood-nymph or Grayling 

Cercyonis alope 

In the development of our knowledge of both birds and 
mammals as found upon the American continent the ex- 
perience in many cases has been essentially this: a bird 
or a mammal was first described from some well-known 
region of North America, commonly from specimens car- 
ried to Europe by early voyagers. Later other species of 
the same genus were brought to light by various explorers 
and given specific names. As each section was thus ex- 
plored a new form differing markedly from the others was 
found and named. At a later period, when great collec- 
tions were brought together so that one observer was able 
to make a careful survey of specimens from all parts of the 
continent, it was found that many of these species merged 
into each other through intergrading forms from regions 
between the localities of the original species. So it has 
come about that in the case of a large number of our birds 


and mammals we have geographical races distinctly rec- 
ognized instead of separate species. 

While the study of butterflies has by no means received 
the degree of attention which has been given the birds and 
mammals, it is already evident that a similar condition pre- 
vails with reference to many species. As the size of col- 
lections has increased and more careful studies have been 
made of the various forms from different regions it has been 
found in numerous cases that they intergraded to so great 
an extent that it is impossible to distinguish many species 
which were formerly considered entirely distinct. One of 
the most striking examples of this is found in the case of 
our common Wood-nymph, which is sometimes called the 
Blue-eyed Grayling. The form which is one of our most 
abundant butterflies in southern New England and many 
of the Eastern states was described as Satyrus alope by the 
French naturalist Fabricius, who also described another 
species from the Southern states as Satyrus pegala, and a 
form found in northern Canada was described by the 
English entomologist Kirby as Satyrus nejphele. Various 
other forms from isolated regions have been given specific 
names by other authorities. {See plates, pages 81, 208.) 

During recent years many collectors have gathered these 
butterflies from all parts of North America and many 
specimens have been grouped together in the more im- 
portant collections. When this occurred it became easy 
to see that this is essentially a variable species which 
under varying climatic conditions has assumed slightly 
different forms, so that we have a good illustration of 
well-developed geographical races. The more important 
of these are indicated in the synopsis of the Meadow- 
browns on page 227. 


The Similar Life-histories 

One good indication that these varying forms all have a 
common origin is found in the remarkable unity of their 
life-histories. It is essentially the same in all. The 
mother butterflies lay eggs late in summer upon the leaves 
of grasses and perhaps other plants. About three weeks 
later these eggs hatch into smalj caterpillars that imme- 
diately become lethargic and begin their hibernating con- 
dition without eating any vegetation. They remain thus 
fasting until spring when, after the weather warms up 
sufficiently, they begin to feed upon grasses and perhaps 
other herbage. But they have lots of time in which to 
complete their growth and they are very moderate in their 
eating and their movements. They grow slowly so that 
they do not become mature as caterpillars until June. 
They then change to chrysahds to emerge as butterflies 
during July and August. The female butterflies remain 
upon the wing for some weeks before they begin to lay 
their eggs. We thus have in this case an adaptation to 
single-broodedness in practicaDy aU stages of the insect's 
hfe. The twelve months of the year must be passed and 
egg, larva, chrysalis, and butterfly each seems to try to do 
its part in prolonging its period of life. 

These butterflies are especially common along streams 
and near the borders of woods, as well as in upland pas- 
tures and meadows. They are interesting creatures with 
characteristic manner of flight. They are by no means so 
easy to capture as one might think who sees them ap- 
parently going with slow, erratic motions from flower to 
flower. Mr. S. F. Denton, a collector of long experience, 
has written this interesting paragraph upon this point: 


"As the flight of these insects is weak, they have been 
obhged to resort to a number of tricks to outwit their 
enemies. In capturing these butterflies the collector will 
very soon become acquainted with their modes of escape, 
which are very interesting and show no small amount of 
cunning, scarcely to be looked for in an innocent little 
butterfly. Their first plan of escape on being disturbed is 
to make directly for a dump of bushes into the thickest 
part of which they dive and there remain until the danger 
is past. If one is startled from the grass at some distance 
from a safe retreat and the collector overtakes him, he will 
immediately dodge backward and forward, at one time 
high in air and again low down near the grass tops, and in 
spite of his slow flight keeping well clear of the net. If the 
net is at last brought very close to him he will try his last 
desperate scheme to elude his pursuer and shutting his 
wings quickly together will drop into the gra,ss, disappear- 
ing as if by magic. If it were not for the cunning of the 
frail little creatures they would doubtless have gone to the 
wall long ago in the struggle for existence.'* 

The Southern Wood-nymph 

Cercyonis pegala 

This large southern butterfly is sufficiently distinct from 
the other Wood-nymphs to rank as a separate species. 
The yellow blotch has expanded into a large band extending 
practically across the front wings. On its upper surface 
there is one eye-spot in the male and two in the female. 
It is abundant in the extreme Southern states and has 
occasionally been taken much farther north. 


The Pearly Eye 

Enodia portlandia 

Most butterflies are creatures of open country, basking 
freely in the sunshine and visiting flowers of many sorts 
for their nectar food. Some of them are found at times 
along the borders of woods and others seek the woods 
especially in autumn for the purpose of hibernation. This 
exquisite Pearly Eye, however, is distinctly a woodland 
species, being found only in little glades in the midst of 
woods and apparently seldom even seeking flowers for 
their nectar. It is commonly considered one of the rarest 
of American butterflies, but many collectors who have 
searched their regions carefully have been able to find 
small areas in which the butterfly is quite abundant. In 
such situations it may be looked for in all parts of the 
United States east of the western limits of the Mississippi 
Valley and south of Canada, except perhaps the lower part 
of Florida. 

In northern regions this butterfly is single-brooded : the 
adults appear shortly before midsummer and continue 
on the wing through July and at least part of August. 
The eggs are laid some weeks after the butterflies emerge. 
The caterpillars feed upon grasses and apparently hiber- 
nate after they become well grown, changing to chrysalids 
the following spring in time to emerge as butterflies in 
early summer. 

These Pearly Eyes have certain characteristics which are 
of especial interest. No other species presents such ex- 
quisite modulation of brown coloring arranged in beauti- 
ful circles upon both surfaces of the wings. The males 


possess, perhaps to a greater degree than any other of our 
native butterflies, the ability to give off a pecuhar, pleas- 
ant aroma which is noticeable whenever the insects are 
collected and which at least one careful observer has been 
able to detect in the open air as the butterfly flew near. 

For many years Mr. W. F. Fiske made a special study 
of the butterflies prevailing in the region of Webster, 
New Hampshire. His word picture of the haunts of the 
Pearly Eye is more adequate than any other which has 
been published and seems well worth quoting in this 
connection : 

"I have found them in several localities, always in some 
numbers, but nowhere more abundant than in a Httle 
wooded glen in Webster. Here a scattering group of tall 
pines, a few thick hemlocks, and a young growth of mis- 
cellaneous deciduous trees fill up the space between two 
rather steep banks. A small trout brook follows close by 
one of these banks, and near the lower end of the glen, in a 
space kept clear of underbrush by the overshadowing in- 
fluence of the pines and hemlocks, is a little spring, the 
overflow from which keeps the ground moist for some 
space on each side of the channel which it follows to the 
brook. This is the great meeting place of these butter- 
flies; here they may be seen at almost any time in the day 
except in the early morning — when they seek the out- 
skirts of the woods — until the shades of evening render 
their flitting forms indistinguishable. Half-way up the 
bank on one side, half shrouded in the dense growth of 
underbrush which is springing up around it, is an old 
apple tree upon which the sapsuckers work yearly. The 
wounded limbs, dripping with sap, are frequented by 
many forms of insect life, most noticeable among them 


this butterfly, and such refreshment added to the moisture 
which they suck from the margin of the spring is all that I 
have ever seen them partake." 

The Eyed Brown 

Satyrodes canthus 

For delicacy of gray-brown color tones few butterflies 
can compare with this exquisite creature. It seems in- 
deed to have succeeded in a modest attempt to obliterate 
itself, for even when the spread wings are placed against 
a clear white background they can scarcely be called con- 
spicuous and it is very probable that when the butterfly 
is at rest in its native haunts, with wings closed together 
so that only the very delicate light brown color-tones of 
the under surface are revealed, it actually becomes in- 

The upper surface of the wings is broadly washed with a 
gray-brown color which runs into a suggestion of a hghter 
band near the outer margin of the front pair. The 
upper surface of the hind wings is almost uniforml}^ washed 
with this same brown color which is interrupted only by 
very fine, double lines at the outer margin and a sub- 
marginal row of delicate ocelli which are larger than the 
somewhat similar sub-marginal row of eye-spots on the 
front wings. The under surface is much lighter in color, 
with distinct striations extending across the main surface 
of both wings from front to back and with some very at- 
tractive ocelli arranged as a sub-marginal series each with 
a central white eye. 

This is distinctly a northern species, having rather a 


limited range in Canada and New England. It extends 
south to Pennsylvania and Ohio and westward to Wis- 
consin and Iowa. It is more abundant in northern than in 
southern New England but it is often overlooked by col- 
lectors who are not familiar with its haunts. It is es- 
pecially likely to be found among the tall grass of swamps 
and brooks running through lowlands. One of the best 
ways to discover it is to beat the grasses in such situations. 
The life-history of the Eyed Brown is fairly well known. 
The eggs are laid chiefly on grasses and probably at times 
upon the grass-like sedges. The larvae feed upon these 
plants and become nearly full grown before winter sets 
in. They then hibernate in this larval stage and the fol- 
lowing spring complete their growth and change to chrysa- 
lids in time for the butterflies to emerge in June. There 
is but one brood a year. 

The White Mountain Butterfly 

Oeneis noma semidea 

To appreciate the extraordinary distribution of this 
notable species one must let his fancy carry him back a 
million years or so until he reaches that old time when the 
whole northern part of the American continent was cov- 
ered with an icy coating. Then he must follow the grad- 
ual retreating of the ice northward, carrying with it won- 
derful changes in climate and along with these climatic 
changes taking northward many plants and animals 
which were adapted to the cool temperature along the 
borders of the glacier. As the ice cap retreated most of 
these arctic forms retreated with it, and all along the 


lower levels they were replaced by others migrating from 
the south so that gradually there came about the dis- 
tribution of plants and animals as we find them to-day. 

When, however, the glaciers left the higher elevations 
of the White Mountains and the Rocky Mountains there 
were at the summits small areas in which the climatic 
conditions were of very much the same arctic character 
as prevailed along the margin of the ice cap. Conse- 
quently conditions were here favorable for the continua- 
tion of many of the arctic species which had disappeared 
from the warmer, lower levels. It was as if we had a 
great sea of air of a certain warmth and rising above this 
the islands of the mountain tops, these islands retaining 
the same arctic features as otherwise are found much 
farther northward. 

Among the animals thus left stranded by the retreat- 
ing ice cap this White Mountain butterfly has perhaps at- 
tracted the most attention from scientists. It is a butter- 
fly of moderate size which shows in every phase of its 
structure and its life-history the results of the long process 
of adaptation to its unique environment. It has been 
carefully studied by many observers and has been consid- 
ered one of the most desirable trophies by every collector 
of insects. As a result, notwithstanding its isolation and 
the difficulty of studying it, its life-history is better known 
than that of many a common and widely distributed 

To appreciate the facts in regard to the structure and 
life of this butterfly one must know that its habitat is 
confined to a thousand feet or so at the summits of the 
mountain, that in this area there are no trees or even 
shrubs worth mentioning, and that the surface of the 


mountain is covered with rocks between which grow a few 
stunted sedges and over which grows the ever-present 
reindeer moss. It is a bleak, bare, gray environment, 
constantly swept by terrific winds, where snow is seen in 
August and is likely to remain until June. So the summer 
season is of briefest duration and the climatic conditions 
are so severe that one can only wonder how a fragile 
creature like a butterfly is able to survive the twelve long 

Habits and Life-history 

From a first glance at the mottled gray-brown wings of 
these insects one would guess that here was a distinctive 
example of obliterative coloring, and it is true as all observ- 
ers testify that when the butterfly lights upon the stones 
and turns sideways, as apparently it does habitually in 
deference to the force of the wind, it becomes very diffi- 
cult to see, for the wings are closed and only the rounded, 
mottled under surface shows. It appears also to have the 
habit of some of the Graylings when hard pushed of simply 
closing its wings and dropping to the ground feigning 
death. In deference also to the winds its flight is just 
above the surface. Doubtless if it rose high in the air it 
would be swept away to lower regions where evidently 
it is unable to survive for long periods. 

These butterflies appear early in July and continue on 
the wing for several weeks. They lay their small eggs 
upon or near a species of sedge which is abundant on these 
alpine summits. About two weeks later the eggs hatch 
into sluggish little caterpillars which feed upon the sedge 
leaves, apparently eating only at night and hiding in 
crevices between stones by day. As one would expect 

From a drairitig hi/ Mart/ F. Walker 

On orange leaves and blossoms. (RedufH-d') 

Sec page 2J'J 

Oil ;i inilkwi'cd pod 

From "SrehHi Ndfiirc First " Srr pages- ',7. 

On clematis secd-fruils 


from the prevailing low temperatures these caterpillars 
grow very slowly and apparently a large proportion of 
them require two years to complete their development. 
There seems to be some uncertainty in regard to this 
phase of the insect's life-history, but most entomologists 
are of the opinion that some of the butterflies mature in 
one year while others require two years : that is, the broods 
are both annual and biennial. There is no doubt that 
the insect hibernates as a caterpillar, and if this statement 
about the number of broods is correct some of the cater- 
pillars hibernate when very small, and recently hatched 
from the egg, while others hibernate when nearly full 

The full-grown caterpillars change to chrysalids beneath 
the shelter of the small stones in practically the same sorts 
of situation which they have chosen for hiding at night or 
for hibernation through the winter. Here without any 
button of silk or silken loop and with scarcely a suggestion 
of a silken cocoon they change to chrysalids, generally 
about the first of June. They remain in this condition 
for perhaps three or four weeks when they come forth as 

The Arctic Satyr 

Oeneis noma jutta 

This is another butterfly of decided interest because of 
its geographical distribution. It is normally an inhabitant 
of the Far North, extending around the North Pole over 
parts of three continents. Apparently, the only place in 
the United States where it occurs is a bog a little north of 


Bangor, Maine. This locality is called the Orono- 
Stillwater bog and is the only place where collectors have 
been able to find this species. 

An even more local insect is another of these mountain 
butterflies found by H. H. Newcomb on Mount Katahdin, 
Maine. So far as known this species is confined to the 
higher portion of this mountain and so is even more dis- 
tinctly localized than the White Mountain butterfly. 
It is called the Katahdin butterfly {Oeneis noma katahdin). 

The Little Wood Satyr 

Cissia eurytus 

This elfin creature has well been named the Little Wood 
Satyr, although under our modern conditions it is often 
found in fields and along hedgeroads rather than in the 
woods. It has, to a marked degree, the delicacy of struc- 
ture of its allies and its small size serves to emphasize this 
appearance. It has also a rather general distribution 
west to the Mississippi Valley, extending from the corner 
of Dakota, south through Nebraska, Kansas, and central 
Texas, and north to Wisconsin, Michigan, and New Eng- 
land. It occupies the whole of the United States east 
and south of the lines thus indicated. 

The life-history of this species is very similar to the 
Common Grayling. The butterflies appear in early 
summer, deposit their eggs upon grasses, and the resulting 
larvae feed upon the grasses and grow slowly through the 
weeks of summer. They become nearly full grown by 
autumn and hibernate in this condition in such shelter as 


they can find at the soil surface. The following spring 
they come forth, probably feeding for a short time, and 
change to chrysalids in time to emerge as butterflies in 
May and early June. Practically all observers emphasize 
the fact that the butterflies are abundant only late in 
spring or early in summer, generally disappearing before 
the middle of July. There is thus but one brood a year. 

Other Meadow-browns 

The Gemmed Brown {Neonympha gemma) is a small 
southern species remarkable for the plainness of its gray- 
brown wings which are marked on the upper surface only 
with two or three dark spots on the middle margin of each 
hind wing. There are two broods a year. 

The Georgia Satyr {Neonympha phocion) is another 
small southern form, remarkable for the four elongated 
eye-spots on the lower surface of each hind wing. The 
shape of these spots distinguishes it at once from the 
Carolina Satyr {Cissia sosyhius) in which the eye-spots 
are rounded. 

Synopsis of Meadow-browns 

Pearly Eye {Enodia portlandia or Debis portlandia). Ex- 
panse 2j inches. Eyes hairy. Outer margin of hind 
wings projecting in a noticeable angle. Brown with many 
distinct eye-spots on both surfaces of wings. 

Eyed Broivn {Satyrodes canthus or Neonympha canthus). 
Expanse 2 inches. Eyes hairy. Margin of hind wings 
rounded, without an angle. Both surfaces of wings pale 
brown with four distinct blackish eye-spots on each front 


wing near the margin. Five or six such spots on each hind 

Common Wood-nymph or Grayling {Cercyonis alope). 
Expanse 2 inches. Eyes not hairy. Eye-spots on front 
wings, but not on upper surface of hind wings. The chief 
geographical races of this abundant species are indicated 
below, although in regions where the forms overlap many 
intermediate hybrids occur. 

Blue-eyed Grayling {Cercyonis alope alope). A large 
yellowish-brown blotch near outer margin of each front 
wing, above and below, with two distinct eye-spots in 
middle spaces of the blotch. A southern race extending 
north to central New Hampshire, Michigan, and Wiscon- 

Dull-eyed Grayling {Cercyonis alope nephele). The yel- 
lowish brown blotch obsolete or nearly so, but eye-spots 
present. A northern race extending southward only to cen- 
tral New Hampshire, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

Maritime Grayling {Cercyonis alope maritima). Similar 
to the type form, but with the yellowish blotch tinged with 
reddish. A race found only near the seacoast. 

Southern Wood-nymph {Cercyonis pegala). Expanse 3 
inches. Eyes not hairy. General color brown with an 
orange-yellow blotch near outer margin of each front wing 
above and below with one eye-spot in middle space of the 
blotch on the male, and two on the female. 

Little Wood-satyr {Cissia eurytus or Neonympha 
eurytus). Expanse 1| inches. Eyes not hairy. General 
color fawn-brown with two eye-spots on upper surface of 
each front wing and several on each hind wing. 

Gemmed Brown {Neonympha gemma). Expanse \\ 
inches. Eyes not hairy. General color mouse-brown with 


no markings on upper wing surface except a rather indis- 
tinct pair or more of spots next the margin of the middle 
of each hind wing. Under surface indistinctly striped with 
rusty hues and a few brown and silvery spots on the hind 
wings directly beneath the spots on the upper surfaces. 
Occurs in Southern states. 

Georgia Satyr {Neonympha j)hocion). Expanse 1^ 
inches. Distinguished from the related species by the 
four distinct eye-spots on lower surface of each hind wmg, 
these spots being transversely elongated rather than round. 
Occurs in Southern states. 

Carolina Satyr (Cissia sosybius). Expanse li inches. 
Distinguished by the row of round eye-spots near outer 
margins of lower wing surface. Occurs in Southern 


Family Heliconidae 

This is a tropical family with only a single species mi- 
grating northward to our Southern states. The butter- 
flies of this group are characterized by having the wings 
so long and narrow that their length is usually twice as 
great as theu- width. The front legs in both sexes are so 
poorly developed that they are considered a modification 
approaching the complete dwarfing found in the Brush- 
footed butterflies. 

The Zebra Butterfly 

Heliconius Charitonius 

While the butterflies of temperate North America show 
many examples of marvelous beauty and coloring, one 


must go to the tropics to see the culmination of what nature 
has done in painting the outstretched membranes of 
butterfly wings with gorgeous colors. The great butterfly 
tribes that swarm in tropical forests seldom reach our tem- 
perate clime, and even when they do they are likely to 
show only a suggestion of the splendid size and rich color- 
ing to be seen farther south. The Zebra butterfly 
{Heliconius charitonius) belongs to one of these tropical 
tribes. It shows its affinities by its coloring and the 
curious shape of its wings. In most of our northern but- 
terflies, the wings are about as long as they are wide, but 
in the tropical family, Heliconidae, they are very much 
longer than wide. This gives the insect an entirely 
different look from our common forms so that one recog- 
nizes it at once as a stranger within our gates. Indeed, it 
does not penetrate far into our region, being found com- 
monly only in Florida and one or two other neighboring 
states, its principal home being in tropical America. 

The Zebra butterfly is well named. Across the brown- 
ish black wings there runs a series of yellow stripes, three 
on each front wing and one on each hind wing, with a sub- 
marginal row of white spots on each of the latter. The 
under surface is much like the upper, except that the color- 
ing is distinctly paler. It is very variable in size : some 
specimens may be but two and a half inches across the 
expanded wings, while others are four inches. {See plate, 
page 22 1^.) 

The Zebra caterpillars feed upon the leaves of the pas- 
sion flower. When full grown they are about an inch and 
a half long, whitish, more or less marked with brownish 
black spots arranged in transverse rows, and partially 
covered with longitudinal rows of barbed black spines. 


They change to chrysalids which are remarkable for their 
irregular shape, with two leaf -like projections on the head 
which the insect can move in a most curious fashion. 

One of the most notable things about this insect is the 
fact that the male butterflies are attracted to the chrysalids 
of the females even before the latter emerge. Many ob- 
servers have reported upon this curious phenomenon and 
have recorded experiments demonstrating that it is a 
general habit with the species. 

The Roosting Habits 

The adult butterflies flock together at night and rest 
upon the Spanish moss which festoons so many of the 
trees in the Far South, or upon dead branches. They take 
positions with heads upward and wings closed, many of 
them often flocking together to roost, and wandering out 
to the near-by fields when the morning sun gives them re- 
newed activity. But these butterflies are essentially 
forest insects. Reliable observers have noticed that when 
one emerges from a chrysalis it flies up in the air and 
makes straight for the nearest woods. Others have 
noticed that when a butterfly in a field is alarmed it also 
makes for the woods. And in the regions where the species 
is abundant the butterflies are most likely to be found in 
paths and glades in the forest. Thus they show the in- 
fluence of their ancestral habitat in the tropical wilderness. 

There seems to be a certain amount of ceremony at- 
tending the flocking together at night for roosting pur- 
poses. A famous English naturalist, Philip Henry Gosse, 
saw the performance in the West Indies many years ago 
and described it in these words: 

"Passing along a rocky foot-path on a steep wooded 


mountain side, in the Parish of St. EKzabeth (Jamaica), 
about the end of August, 1845, my attention was attracted, 
just before sunset, by a swarm of these butterflies in a sort 
of rocky recess, overhung by trees and creepers. They 
were about twenty in number, and were dancing to and 
fro, exactly in the manner of gnats, or as Hepioli play at 
the side of a wood. After watching them awhile, I 
noticed that some of them were resting with closed wings 
at the extremities of one or two depending vines. One 
after another fluttered from the group of dancers to the re- 
posing squadron, and alighted close to the others, so that 
at length, when only two or three of the fliers were left, the 
rest were collected in groups of half a dozen each, so close 
together that each group might have been grasped in the 
hand. When once one had alighted, it did not in general 
fly again, but a new-comer, fluttering at the group, seeking 
to find a place, sometimes disturbed one recently settled, 
when the wings were thrown open, and one or two flew up 
again. As there were no leaves on the hanging stalks, the 
appearance presented by these beautiful butterflies, so 
crowded together, their long, erect wings pointing in differ- 
ent directions, was not a little curious. I was told by per- 
sons residing near that every evening they thus assembled, 
and that I had not seen a third part of the numbers often 
collected in that spot.'* 


Family Lymnadidae 

So far as the great majority of readers of this book are 
concerned, this family includes but one species — the famil- 
iar Monarch or Milkweed butterfly. In the Southern 


states there is another — the Queen — and in Florida, still a 
third. The distinguishing characteristics are found in the 
dwarfed, useless front legs and the absence of scales upon 
the antennae. 

The Monarch 

Anosia plexippus 

From June until October one may often see the stately 
Monarch flitting leisurely about over fields and meadows. 
It is one of the largest and most distinctive of these " frail 
children of the air" and may be easily recognized by its re- 
semblance to the picture opposite page 241. The veins of 
the wings are heavily marked in black, with large white 
dots upon the black bands along the margin. The color of 
the rest of the wings both above and below is reddish 

These butterflies come from the South in spring or early 
summer. They find milkweed plants and lay their eggs 
upon the leaves. These eggs soon hatch into small white 
and black caterpillars that feed upon the milkweed leaves 
and grow rapidly. One is likely to find them throughout 
most of the summer, wherever a milkweed shows partially 
eaten leaves. Bring in the half-grown caterpillars, place 
them in an open vivarium, and furnish fresh leaves every 
day or two. The caterpillars will soon mature and change 
to beautiful green chrysalids with golden markings. This 
chrysahs has been called "the glass house with the gold 
nails." (See plates, pages 32-33, 2^1.) 

About two weeks later the glass house will burst open 
and the butterfly emerge. It will rest an hour or two while 
its wings and body harden and then it vnil want to fly 


away. It is not so anxious to do this, however, as most 
butterflies. If one is kept beneath a good-sized bell-glass^ 
or in a glass-covered box, or even in a closed room, and fed 
with sweetened water it will soon become so tame that it 
will perch on one's finger and suck nectar from a flower 
held in one's hand. On this account it is a particularly 
desirable butterfly for the amateur photographer to culti- 
vate, because he can easily get many interesting and beau- 
tiful pictures by posing the butterfly on different flowers. 

The Change from Caterpillar to Butterfly 

The change from the caterpillar to the butterfly is 
easier to watch in this species than in most others. The 
full-grown caterpillar spins — sometimes on the under sur- 
face of the milkweed leaf, sometimes elsewhere — a little 
mat of silk in which it entangles the hooked claws of its 
hind feet. Then it lets go with its fore feet, and hangs 
downward with the front end of its body curled upward. 
In this position it remains for some hours — perhaps a day 
— the body juices gravitating downward and causing a 
swollen appearance on the lower segments. Then the 
skin splits apart and is wriggled off by the contortions of 
the body. When it finally drops away, there is left a 
strange-looking creature, broader below than above. This 
is a transition stage that lasts but a very short time: soon 
the form is entirely changed so that the broadest part is 
above instead of below. The definite outline of the chrys- 
alis is soon taken on, the outer tissues hardening into a 
distinct covering. The insect is now a beautiful green 
with wonderful golden spots upon its surface and a few 
black spots just below the black "cremaster" by which the 
chrysalis is connected with the web of silk upon the leaf. 


In this quiet chrysalis the insect remains for nearly a 
fortnight. Then the structure of the forthcoming butter- 
fly begins to show through the thin outer covering and you 
know that the period of the chrysalis is nearly ended. If 
you keep watch you will probably see the sudden bursting 
of the outer envelope and the quick grasping of its surface 
by the legs of the newly emerged butterfly. Its wings at 
first are short and crumpled, bearing little resemblance to 
those of the fully developed butterfly. But as it hangs 
there with one pair of legs holding to the empty chrysahs 
and the other to the leaf above, the wings rapidly lengthen, 
hanging limply downward, and the body juices penetrate 
the veins. A little later they expand in the other di- 
rection, the hind wings reaching full size before the front 
ones do. Finally both pairs of wings are fully expanded, 
and the butterfly is likely to walk to the top of the sup- 
port, where it rests for an hour or two while its tissues 
harden, before it attempts to fly. 

In early autumn out of doors these butterflies start 
southward on their long journey. They often gather in 
great flocks and roost at night on wayside shrubs and 
trees. At this season it is easy to catch them in an insect 
net and bring them indoors for pets. They live for a long 
while and lend interest and beauty to living room or window 
garden. To the photographer they offer opportunities for 
attractive indoor pictures. {See plates, pages 32-33, 160, 

The Queen 

Anosia berenice 

The general form and color patterns of this fine butterfly 
show at once that it is related to the Monarch. Its gen- 


eral colors are cliocolate-brown and black, dotted and 
spotted with white. The eggs are laid upon milkweed and 
the life-history is much like that of the Monarch. One of 
the most interesting facts in connection with this species 
is that it seems to be mimicked by the Vicereine butterfly 
in the same way that the Monarch is mimicked by the 


Family Lihytheidae 

One has a suggestion of Hobson's choice in the common 
names of this unique family. If Snout butterflies does 
not seem sufficiently elegant as a descriptive phrase for 
such delicate creatures, he can call them the Long-beaks, 
until he sees that this also is inadequate. As a matter of 
fact both are misnomers, for the projection from the head 
that gives them these names is neither a snout nor a beak. 
It is simply a pair of palpi unusually developed, which 
perhaps in an early stage of butterfly history served a use- 
ful purpose. At present, however, they serve chiefly 
to set the few owners apart from the other butterflies 
in the system of classification; although possibly they may 
also serve the butterfly by helping to give the impression 
of a leaf attached to a twig. {See plate^ page 24'0.) 

The Snout Butterfly 

Hypatus hachmani 

There is a peculiar interest in any form of animal life 
which can be definitely traced far back through the 
geologic ages. In nearly every group of living creatures 


there are certain types which scientists have found were 
once abundant but which now are on the wane. As a rule 
these are better represented in the museums through fossil 
species than by those now living. To a considerable ex- 
tent also such forms are likely to present various features 
which mark their primitive condition and the living allies 
have peculiarities which set them off as distinct from those 
of their own relations which have been modeled in a more 
modern fashion. Among the mammals the curious mar- 
supials, of which oiu" southern opossum is an example, 
furnish good illustrations of this general truth. Among 
the birds the curious little Least Bittern is an example. 
Among the butterflies the strange Snout butterfly is by 
far the best example. 

These Snout butterflies, of which only two species are 
now living in North America, are the sole representatives 
with us of the family Lihytheidae or the Long-beaks. Only 
one of these species occurs to any extent at least north of 
Texas. It is the curious little creature called the Snout 
butterfly. It has a strange appearance due to the angular 
outline of both front and hind wings and the long palpi 
which project forward from the head in a way to attract 
attention. The common name is due to these projecting 
palpi. Even the coloring is primitive, the general tone 
of the wings being blackish browTi, distinctly marked with 
white and orange spots. The under surface is less prim- 
itive in its coloring, being toned in iridescent grayish 
brown in a way to suggest protective coloring, except in 
that part of each front wing which is not hidden when the 
insect is at rest. This shows the white and orange-brown 

Some years ago there were found in certain fossil de- 


posits in the West about a dozen species of fossil butter- 
flies. It is strange indeed that these ethereal creatures 
should be fossilized at all. One would think it scarcely 
possible that they could be so preserved that a million 
years after they had died man should be able to study 
them, determine to what families they belonged, and even 
guess with a high probability of accuracy upon what leaves 
their caterpillars fed. This little collection of fossil but- 
terflies was studied by one of the great American authori- 
ties on living butterflies, the late Samuel H. Scudder, who 
said of them: "They are generally preserved in such fair 
condition that the course of the nervures and the color 
patterns of the wings can be determined, and even, in 
one case, the scales may be studied. As a rule, they are 
so well preserved that we may feel nearly as confident con- 
cerning their affinities with those now living as if we had 
pinned specimens to examine; and, generally speaking, 
the older they are the better they are preserved.'* 

A curious fact is that out of the comparatively few 
species of these fossil butterflies two were easily recognized 
as members of this Long-beak family. They were given 
special scientific names and undoubtedly were closely re- 
lated to the Snout butterfly which is still flying every year 
in various parts of the United States. Our modern spe- 
cies lays its eggs upon the leaves of hackberry and in these 
geologic deposits of that far-gone era there have been 
found well-preserved leaves of old hackberry trees, upon 
which it is extremely probable that the caterpillars of these 
ancient Long-beaks fed. What an opportunity for a 
modern collector of butterflies to work his fancy, as he 
thinks of those old times when these fossil creatures were 
flying in the sunshine, depositing their eggs upon the 


leaves of trees that made up landscape pictures probably 
very different from those of to-day ! And how he wonders 
what flowers these butterflies visited for their nectar food, 
what birds chased them from tree to tree, and what mam- 
mals wandered through those ancient forests. What a 
suggestion also it gives of the continuity of life upon our 
old earth to realize that these butterflies of to-day are 
carrying on their brief existence in practically the same 
way that these forbears of theirs did so many millions 
of years ago. 

Another way in which these butterflies are pecuhar is 
the fact that the females have six well-developed legs while 
the males have only four. As already indicated the cater- 
pillars feed upon hackberry. When full grown they are 
about an inch long, dark green, striped with yeflow, 
with two blackish tubercules on the second ring behind 
the head. They apparently pass the winter in the chrysa- 
lis stage. The butterflies are likely to be found along the 
borders of brooks or streams running through woods, or 
along the margins of the forest. Occasionally they become 
abundant in certain localities, but on the whole they are 
rare and highly prized by collectors. 


Family Riodinidae 

This small family of very small butterflies contains five 
genera and a dozen species found in the United States and 
Mexico. Only two, however, occur in the eastern region 
and only one extends much north of the Gulf states. 
Aside from certain peculiarities of the wing-venation (a 


costal and a humeral vein on the hind wings) these Metal- 
marks may be known by their minuteness and the bright 
metallic markings on the brown wings. 

Both our eastern species belong to the genus Calephelis. 
The Small Metal-mark {C. caenius) has been collected 
in Florida and Georgia. The wings are rusty red on both 
surfaces, brighter below than above, and marked with 
blackish spots that almost converge to form stripes; in 
addition to which there are, beyond the middle of each 
wing, two lines made by special scales that glisten with a 
steel glitter. The wings expand only about three quarters 
of an inch. So far as I can learn, the eggy larva, or pupa 
have never been described. 

The Large Metal-mark is called by science Calephelis 
borealis, but it deserves the latter name only in the sense 
that it is more northern than its allies. It has been col- 
lected as far north as New York and Michigan, but it 
seems to be very seldom found, at least in eastern regions. 
It expands a little more than an inch. The general color 
of the wings is yellowish brown, marked with blackish dots 
and lines, together with rows of steely spots on the under 
siu*face. In this case also the life-history is unknown. 


Family Lycaenidae 

The daintiest and most delicate of all our butterflies are 
included among the Gossamer-wings. Their bodies are 
small and slender, their antennae ringed with white and 
almost threadlike, their wings thin and of exquisite beauty. 
Many of them are marked with the slenderest of tailed 

See page 2-U') 

Sec jtiKjr <>? 

From a drawing by W. I Bcccroft Sec page 233 


C;d<Ti)ill;ir feeding; caterpillar hung up for pupation; chrysalis, and adult 


projections from the hind wings. When the face is viewed 
from in front it is seen to be much narrower than its height. 
At the insertion of the antennae the eyes are notched, and 
they are also more or less surrounded with white scales. 
Most of the caterpillars have oval, slug-shaped, smooth 
bodies, with the under surface flattened, and very small 
heads, which in many species can be extended by means 
of an extensile neck. The chrysalids are held in place 
by silken threads both at the tail and over the middle. 
They are rounded, short, and stout. 

Notwithstanding their small size, the Gossamer-wings 
are among the most spritely of all our butterflies. They 
seem indeed winged sprites, playing everywhere, in fields 
and open woods, along roads, lanes, and brooks, in door- 
yards and gardens — wherever, in fact, a bit of open space 
invites their presence. Not alone upon the wing but even 
when at rest does their liveliness appear. For most of 
these butterflies have the curious habit of keeping the 
hind wings in motion after alighting, rubbing them 
against each other in a vertical plane or "moving them 
backward and forward when half expanded." These 
habits are so fixed that when one sees a butterfly thus 
engaged one can pretty certainly conclude it is a member 
of this family. 

The Gossamer-wings are commonly separated into 
three rather distinct tribes — the Hair-streaks, the Cop- 
pers, and the Blues. The characteristic features are 
these : 

Three branches arising from the radius of each front 
wing. Under surface of hind wing commonly marked 
with threadlike streaks: the Hair-streaks. 

Four branches arising from the radius of each front 


wing. Under surface of hind wing commonly marked 
with spots rather than Hnes. 

Colors brownish red : The Coppers. 

Colors blue: The Blues. 


The Hair-streaks are small butterflies with the eyes 
notched to allow for the insertion of the bases of the 
antennae. The name is given on account of the fine, 
hair-like markings which extend across the under surface 
of the hind wings. In many species there is a tailed pro- 
jection or two on the hind inner margin of the hind wing. 
The caterpillars are remarkable for the small head, so 
connected with the body that it can be pushed forward 
in a characteristic way. 

The Hair-streaks are among the most exquisite and deli- 
cate of all our butterflies. A large proportion of them 
have the upper surface of the wings toned in beautiful 
hues of grayish brown and the under surface lighter gray, 
marked with dots and stripes, some of which are brilliant 
in coloring. A few of the larger species are brilliantly 
iridescent in purples, blues, and greens, marked with 
black. The males have well-developed scent-pockets 
in many species, these being commonly along the front 
border of the front wing. 

A very interesting suggestion in regard to the possible 
function of the curious tail projections was made nearly a 
hundred years ago by some English entomologists and has 
since been discussed at considerable length in various pub- 
lications. It is that the slender tails, together with the 


enlargement of the wing just back of them, give the im- 
pression of a false head. Along with this unusual develop- 
ment of the wing is to be considered the fact that these 
butterflies nearly always alight head downward so that the 
false head, furnished with what seem to be waving an- 
tennae, takes the place that would naturally be occupied by 
the true head. Instances have been reported in which this 
false head has apparently been nipped off by a lizard and 
much evidence has accumulated to indicate that this 
curious device may be a real protection in many cases. Of 
course, the loss of the tails and the part of the wings 
adjacent would be comparatively insignificant. In most 
cases, these projections on the wings are held at right 
angles to the plane of the wing. 

While nearly half a hundred species of Hair-streaks have 
been found in North America, only a few of these are 
sufficiently abundant to require discussion in this httle 

The Great Purple Hair-streak 

Atlides halesus 

It seems something of a reflection on the activities of 
American entomologists to say that, after the lapse of 
more than a century since Abbott studied the insects of 
Georgia, our knowledge of the early stages of two of the 
largest Hair-streak butterflies is still confined to the ob- 
servations he made. Yet this is true, and one of them — 
the Great Purple Hair-streak — is the largest species of the 
group that occurs in the eastern United States. The 
other is the White-M Hair-streak. 


The Great Purple Hair-streak is a beautiful, iridescent 
blue creature, as seen from above, with blackish borders 
around the blue. As seen from below, the wings are dark 
brown, with red spots near the body. The two tail-like 
projections are quite long. It is very large for the group 
to which it belongs, measuring nearly two inches across the 
expanded wings. It is a tropical form, extending into our 
southern borders from California to Florida and occasion- 
ally occurring north as far as southern Illinois. The larvae 
feed on oak. (See plate, page 256.) 

The White-M Hair-streak 

Eupsyche M-alhmn 

The White-M Hair-streak is about two thirds the size of 
the Great Purple species with less blue and more b!ack on 
the upper wing surface. The hind tail is slender and well 
developed, and the angle of the wing just back of it is 
rounded out in an unusual fashion. The lower surface of 
the wing is of a general grayish brown color, marked by a 
white stripe, which takes the form of the letter M: hence 
its name. This is also a southern species occurring at times 
as far north as Ohio and even Atlantic City, New Jersey. 
The caterpillars feed upon the leaves of oak and Astragalus 
or milk vetch. 

There is also a third species of this group of whose his- 
tory we are ignorant except for Abbot's observations. It 
is an exquisite little butterfly called the Least Purple 
Hair-streak {Calycopis cecrops) and is apparently a 
tropical form which has spread into our Southern states. 
It is especially beautiful because of the brilliant red and 


white lines running across the under surface of both wings. 
It occurs as far north as West Virginia and Kentucky and 
ranges westward at least to the Mississippi Valley. 

The Gray Hair-streak 

Uranotes melinus 

This exquisite little creature is capable of surviving 
under a great variety of climatic conditions. It ranges 
from New Hampshire to Florida and Central America, 
but apparently occurs only rarely north of the United 
States. Perhaps the most distinctive feature in the female 
is the orange spot just in front of a pair of tiny tails on each 
hind wing, the rear one being curiously curved and about 
three times as long as the other. In the male the shorter 
tail is absent. The general color of the upper surface is a 
dark bluish gray, relieved on the margin of each hind wing 
by a few white dots and the orange spot already mentioned. 
The under surface is much lighter gray, distinctly marked 
with two dark brown lines near the margin, the outer line 
little more than a row of spots and the inner line with a 
white edge. {See plate, page 257.) 

These small butterflies lay tiny though beautiful eggs 
upon a variety of plants. The eggs hatch into curious 
little caterpillars that have the appearance of slugs with 
small heads which can be extended as if the little creature 
had really a rubber neck. The object of this extensile 
head is seen when one finds the larvae feeding upon the 
fruits or the seed-pods of its various food plants — haw- 
thorn, hop, hound's-tongue, and St. John's-wort. The 
caterpillar is able to thrust its jaws into the interior of the 


seed-pods and devour their contents. There seem to be 
generally two broods in a season, even in the more northern 
parts of its range, while toward the south there are prob- 
ably at least three broods. The butterflies are found upon 
the wing almost any time in summer, especially from early 
June until late in August. 

The Banded Hair-streak 

Thecla calanus 

This is one of the most familiar of the delicate little 
butterflies grouped in the genus Thecla. It occurs rather 
commonly in a great stretch of territory extending from 
Maine, west to Nebraska, south to New Mexico and Texas, 
and east to Alabama and Georgia. It also occurs in a 
limited area on the coast of California. The general color 
of the upper surface is a dark brown, which in the male is 
marked near the front edge of the fore wings with a dis- 
tinct gray patch of scent scales. The under side is similar 
in color to the upper except that the outer half of the wing 
is marked by two series of broken lines in white, blue, and 
brown and a brilliant bit of coloring just in front of the tail 
projection of the hind wings; this coloring shows beautiful 
tones of red, blue, and black. 

These little butterflies may often be seen visiting the 
midsummer flowers but are fully as likely to be found along 
the sides of a shady road, where they rest upon the leaves 
of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. When disturbed, 
they fly up in small companies but soon settle back again 
into their previous positions. They are lovers of sunshine 
and may often be seen upon a leaf, with fully expanded 


wings, taking a sun-bath. There is but one brood a year, 
butterflies appearing early in summer and remaining for 
several weeks. They lay their tiny pale green eggs upon 
the leaves of various trees, especially oaks and hickories, 
and probably hawthorns. It is not known whether these 
eggs remain unhatched as a rule until the following spring, 
or whether they soon hatch and the young caterpillars 
hibernate without feeding. It is probable that both con- 
ditions occur. In spring the larvae eat holes in the leaves 
of their food plant and grow rather slowly, gradually be- 
coming brown or green slug-like caterpillars about half an 
inch long. They finally change into greenish brown 
chrysalids from which the butterflies emerge in early 

The Striped Hair-streak 

Thecla liparops 

In the Eastern states the distribution of this species is 
almost the same as that of the Banded Hair-streak, but in 
the Central West the outline of its region moves northward 
extending into Canada, above North Dakota, and into 
Montana and Wyoming. It does not go so far south, 
however, extending practically only to the southern bor- 
ders of Kansas and Missouri. The butterfly bears a strik- 
ing general resemblance to the other species just named, 
differing chiefly in the fact that the under surface of the 
wings is much more thickly marked with broken lines that 
extend nearer to the body. As a rule, it is not common 
and consequently it is prized by collectors. Some good 
observers have noticed that it is more likely to be found 


only on flowers, instead of sunning itself on leaves. It is 
single-brooded, hibernating either in the egg state or in 
that of the young larvae. The food plants are varied, 
there being good evidence that the caterpillar feeds upon 
all of these: apple, plum, shadbush, blueberry, holly, 
chestnut, willow, thorn, and several kinds of oaks. Mr. 
W. F. Fiske found a chrysalis of this species in the deserted 
nest of a tent caterpillar in New Hampshire in early June, 
the butterfly emerging later in the month. 

The Acadian Hair-streak 

Thecla acadica 

This is one of the numerous butterflies that offers some 
young student an opportunity to make real contributions 
to science. It is a beautiful little creature, expanding 
scarcely an inch across its outstretched wings, found from 
New England west to Montana along a rather restricted 
area, which coincides pretty closely with the southern part 
of the Transition Zone. There is a form on the Pacific 
Coast which is commonly considered to be this same 

These butterflies appear during July and August. They 
visit various flowers but are especially likely to be found 
near willow thickets along the borders of brooks and 
swamps. It is supposed that the eggs are laid upon the 
willows and that they remain unhatched until the following 
spring. Then they develop into little caterpillars that 
feed upon the willow leaves and mature in time to form 
chrysalids early in June. These chrysalids in turn dis- 
close the butterfly early in July. So far as I know the eggs 


themselves and the situation in which they are laid have 
never been described. 

The Olive Hair-streak 

Mitoura damon 

Very few butterflies have the distinction of showing a 
clear case of protective resemblance to one kind of plant in 
both the adult and the larval stages. This is the case, 
however, with this Olive Hair-streak which is so intimately 
associated with our common red cedar, that where one is 
found the other is likely to occur, although both cater- 
pillars and butterflies are seldom seen because they re- 
semble the twigs of the cedar so closely. 

Along the Atlantic Coast this little butterfly occurs from 
New Hampshire to Florida, and westward to a line drawn 
from Dakota to Texas. The upper surface of the wings is 
rather dark olive-brown and the under surface, so far as it 
is exposed when the butterfly is resting, is of a greenish hue 
that harmonizes with the green of the red cedar twigs. 
There are also, on the under surface, some irregular hues 
and dots of red, brown, and white which probably help in 
rendering the insect inconspicuous when it is resting among 
a cluster of twigs. 

The yearly history of this beautiful little butterfly 
differs from that of most of its relatives. The species 
winters in the chrysalis state, the first brood of butterflies 
bursting forth early in May. These lay their eggs upon or 
between the scales of the red cedar twigs, especially those 
which bear flowers. About a week later the eggs hatch 
into tiny caterpillars that feed upon the scale-like leaves. 


continuing to eat and grow for nearly six weeks before they 
reach their full size. These caterpillars are so similar in 
color that they are diflBcult to see, and they have a remark- 
able protective device in that the first ring behind the head 
is developed into a shield which covers the head, hiding it 
so completely that the movement of the jaws in feeding is 
effectively concealed. Late in June they change to 
chrysalids, part of which appear to remain in this con- 
dition until the following spring, while most of them give 
forth a second brood of butterflies in July. These butter- 
flies lay eggs for a second brood of larvae that mature into 
chrysalids during September, and hibernate in this con- 
dition until the following spring. Consequently, in the 
Northern states, the collector should look for fresh speci- 
mens in May and early June and again in July and early 

These butterflies visit various flowers, apparently pre- 
ferring rather small blossoms, such as those of the Mouse- 
ear Everlasting, which is in bloom when the first brood 
is flying, and the various members of the mint family, 
especially spearmint, as well as the sumacs, which are in 
bloom when the second brood is on the wing. The time 
between flower visits seems to be spent at rest upon the 
red cedar branches, and one of the surest ways to find the 
butterflies is to give these trees a sudden jar, which starts 
them into flight. In fact, they may often be seen flying 
around the tops of the cedars a score of feet from the 

Synopsis of the Hair-streaks 

Great Purple Hair-streak {Atlides halesus or Thecla 
halesus). Wing expanse If inches. Upper wing surface 


bright blue with blackish margins, the blackish coloring 
extending nearly to the middle in the female. Two dis- 
tinct tails on each hind wing. Under surface sepia 
brown with blue and red spots. Abdomen orange below. 

White-M Hair-streak {Eujpsyche m-album or TJiecla 
m-album). Wing expanse 1§ inches. Upper wing sur- 
face blue with wide blackish margins in both sexes. 
Under surface marked with whitish lines suggesting the 
letter M, with a reddish spot near it. Each hind wing with 
two small tails. 

Least Purple Hair-streak (Calycopis cecrops or Thecla 
cecrops). Wing expanse 1 inch or less. Upper wing 
surface dark brown, more or less marked with blue, es- 
pecially at base of front wings and inner half of hind wings. 
Under wing surface marked with a brilliant red line edged 
outside with white. Two very fine tails on hjnd wings 
with brightly colored spots near their base on lower sur- 

Gray Hair-streak {Uranofes melinus or Thecla melinus). 
Wing expanse 1^ inches. Upper wing surface bluish 
gray with a brilliant red spot at base of tails on hind wing. 
Lower wing surface much lighter gray, each wing marked 
with a brown and white stripe and a row of dots nearer 
the margin. 

Banded Hair-streak {Thecla calanus). Wing expanse 
li inches. Upper wing surface dull dark brown, com- 
monly without markings although sometimes there is an 
orange spot on each hind wing. Lower wing surface 
a little lighter than upper with bright red and blue spots 
at the base of the tiny tails, and with distinct narrow blue 
and white broken bands extending across the outer half 
of each wins. 


Stripped Hair-streak (Thecla liparops). Wing expanse 
1 inch. Very similar to the Banded Hair-streak, but 
having more white markings on the lower surface of the 

Acadian Hair-streah (Thecla acadica). Wing expanse 
If inches. Upper wing surface blackish brown with a 
slaty tinge, and red spots at base of the single short 
tail on each hind wing. Lower surface bluish gray with 
many small blackish spots edged with white arranged in 
two principal rows on the outer half of each wing. Larger 
orange-red spots on each side of base of the tail on eacli 
hind wing. 

Olive Hair-streak (Mitoura damon or Thecla damon). 
Wing expanse 1 inch or less. Upper wing surface olive- 
brown, more yellow in the male than the female. Tips 
of tiny tails on hind wing whitish. Lower surface green 
except where upper wing is covered by lower: this part is 
brown. The green is marked with a row of white spots 
on each front wing and two distinct rows of brown and 
white spots on each hind wing, with black spots between. 


The members of this tribe are well characterized by 
their name, for most of them show on the upper wing 
surface tones of coppery brown, more or less marked 
around the margin with darker shades. On the under 
side of the tarsi there are numerous spines in irregular 
clusters. In the chrysalis there are curious hair-like 
projections on the skin, which are short and shaped like 
tiny toadstools or mushrooms. 


While some of the Coppers are very abundant, the 
majority are rather rare. Only a few species are suffi- 
ciently widely distributed to require description here. 

The Wanderer 

Feniseca tarquinius 

In many orders of insects there are whole famihes 
whose larvae are habitually carnivorous, feeding entirely 
upon other kinds of insects. This is especially so in case 
of the beetles, the flies, the true bugs, and the great order 
to which the bees and wasps belong. Among the scale- 
winged insects, however, carnivorous caterpillars are rare, 
seldom occurring among the moths and in hardly more 
than one species among the butterflies. This one excep- 
tion is the modest-looking little butterfly fancifully called 
the Wanderer, perhaps because instead of frequenting 
the flowery fields where other butterflies congregate it 
wanders in and out among the alders by brooks and ponds, 
alighting oftener upon a leaf or twig than upon a flower — 
the latter apparently lacking for it the attraction it has 
for other butterflies. 

If you watch one of these copper-hued creatures for 
awhile, however, you will soon see that its wandering 
is not aimless but has rather a method all its own. Per- 
haps you will see it alight upon an alder twig on or above 
which you are likely to notice curious woolly white ex- 
crescences. If you are close enough you will probably 
see the butterfly uncoil its tongue and sip up a liquid on 
twig or leaf — the exudations of the woolly aphids that 
make up the supposed excrescence and suck the sap from 


the bark. Much of this sap passes through the bodies 
of the aphids and collects in liquid globules on twigs and 
leaves, forming a sort of honey-dew which is much sought 
after by flies, wasps, and other insects. It seems to form 
the chief sustenance of these Wanderers. 

But many of these butterflies have another purpose 
besides that of sipping the honey-dew. Should you watch 
one of the mother butterflies carefully you would be likely 
to see her alight on or near a colony of woolly aphids and 
run rather rapidly over them in a wasp-like manner, 
finally stopping long enough to lay a tiny, roundish, 
slightly flattened egg upon the twig, generally on the under 
side, and only one in a place. Then she may continue 
her way, wandering lazily along the alder-bordered stream. 

Let us now centre our interest upon the egg. Three 
or four days later it hatches into a curious caterpillar. 
Instead of having mouth parts fitted for biting leaves as 
is the case with most butterfly larvae, it has one fitted for 
grasping, piercing, and sucking the juices of the plump 
bodies of the aphids, which it finds hard by its place of 
birth. It also has silk spinnerets connected with its 
mouth, so it is able to spin a web to shelter it from being 
run over by its intended victims. 

The newly hatched larva is not slow to take advan- 
tage of the facilities with which it is provided. It at once 
begins to spin a web above and around itself, from the 
end of which it reaches out for the nearest aphids, sucking 
their life-blood and casting their empty skins to the dis- 
card of its protecting web. The skins thus serve as an 
additional shelter so that, as the caterpillar moves forward, 
increasing the number of its victims from day to day, it 
extends its web and the protection of the cast skins in- 


termingled with it, while through all — the cast skins, the 
silken web, and even the hairs on the body of the cater- 
pillar — there runs a woof of the woolly excretion — ef- 
fectually concealing the larva from sight. 

The woolly aphids thus serve as the sole food of the 
caterpillar during its brief life as a larva. Perhaps be- 
cause of the pre-digested nature of its food, it is able to 
mature much sooner than most butterfly larvae. In 
about eleven days after hatching it is ready to change to a 
chrysalis, having undergone during this period only three 
moults, instead of at least four as with other caterpillars. 
Each caterpillar then changes to a chrysalis which is re- 
markable because the form and color of its back bears a 
striking resemblance to the face of a miniature monkey. 
It remains in this condition nearly a fortnight and then 
emerges as a butterfly. 

In New England and the Northern states the short life 
of the larva enables this insect to mature three broods 
each season. Farther south there are probably more, for 
this species is widely distributed in eastern North Amer- 
ica, occurring from Nova Scotia to Georgia and west to 
the Mississippi Valley. 

The American Copper 

Heodes hypophlaeas 

This little butterfly is one of the most generally abund- 
ant insects in the northern part of North America. It 
commonly occurs from ocean to ocean, from the Hudson 
Bay region to the latitude of Georgia, and it flies freely 
in city parks and village yards as well as in the more open 


spaces of field and forest. Wlien seen through a lens it 
is very beautifully colored, the coppery red of the wings 
being overspread with conspicuous black dots and a touch 
of orange around the outer border. The expanded wings 
measure just about an inch, so that this is one of the 
smallest of our common butterflies. 

The caterpillars of the American Copper feed upon 
sorrel, one of the commonest weedy plants of waste places 
everywhere. The rusty red blossoms of the sorrel har- 
monize in color with the color of the butterfly, which is 
frequently to be seen flying slowly above the plants, stop- 
ping now and then to lay its eggs singly upon the leaves 
or stems. Each egg soon hatches into a curious caterpil- 
lar, which looks more like a slug than the usual type of 
butterfly larva. It feeds upon the succulent tissue of the 
sorrel leaf, at first biting small holes in the under surface. 
As it gets larger it feeds more freely and is likely to make 
channels instead of holes. It matures in about three 
weeks, changing into a chrysalis under the shelter of a 
stone or board. A little later it again changes to a butter- 


There is an interesting variation in the number of 
broods of this butterfly each season. In regions where it 
has been studied it has been found to be double-brooded 
in northern New England and triple-brooded in southern 
New England and the Atlantic states. It is probable 
that in its far northern home in the Hudson Bay territory 
it is only single-brooded. It is thought that the insect 
hibernates as a chrysalis. 

These little butterflies are so small and fly so near the 
ground that they are likely to be overlooked by the casual 
observer. They frequently alight to sun themselves or to 

From a drawing by W. I. Beecroft 

The Spring Azure {p. 258) at the top; the Falcate Orange-Tip {p. d',) next; 
tlie Bronze Copper {p. 257), female, next; the Spring Azure {p. 25S) resting on a 
leaf, ne\t; and the Great Purple Hair>;treak (;;. 2!,3), female, l)elo\v 

Sec page 2Jf5 



sip nectar from many kinds of flowers. They begin their 
day's work early in the morning and continue well into 
the evening. Then they find a roosting-place, head 
downward upon a blade of grass, where they sleep until 
wakened by the morning sunshine. 

The Bronze Copper 

Chrysophanus thoe 

This butterfly is nearly twice as large as the American 
Copper to which the female of the present species bears a 
striking resemblance. The Bronze Copper is a rare spe- 
cies, occurring from New England nearly to the Rocky 
Mountains. The slug-shaped yellowish green caterpillar 
feeds upon dock and related plants. {See plate , page 256.) 

Synopsis of the Coppers 

The Wanderer {Feniseca tarquinius). Wing expanse 1\ 
inches. Upper wing surface tawny brown, each wing 
more or less marked with dark brown spots, the distinction 
between the colors being clear-cut, and the lines between 
having an angular effect. Lower surface of front wings 
similar in colors to upper with dark spots rectangular. 
Under surface of hind wings mottled with irregular spots 
of pale brown. 

American Copper {Heodes hypophlaeas or Chrysophanus 
hypophlaeas) . Wing expanse 1 inch. Upper surface of 
front wings tawny orange with margins and rectangular 
spots blackish. Upper surface of hind wings coppery red 
with a tawny orange band on outer margin. Lower sur- 
face of front wings much like upper surface; that of hind 


wings grayish marked with dark spots and an orange line 
near the margin. 

Bronze Copper {Chrysophanus thoe). Wing expanse 1| 
inches. Male. Upper wing surface coppery brown 
marked with dark spots and a tawny orange sub-marginal 
band along outer margin of hind wings. Under surface 
of front wings lighter orange with blackish spots and of 
hind wings grayish with blackish spots and an orange sub- 
marginal band. Female. Upper surface of front wings 
tawny orange with blackish spots. 


These beautiful httle butterflies are well named, for 
the majority of them are colored in exquisite tints of blue. 
They are distinguished from the Coppers by this blue col- 
oring, as well as by the fact that the spines on the under 
side of the tarsi are arranged in rows rather than in clus- 
ters and are comparatively few in number. The body is 
rather slender and the under surfaces of the wings are 
generally dotted in a characteristic fashion. Most of the 
two score or more species found in North America occur 
on the Pacific Coast or in the Southwest, less than half a 
dozen being common in the eastern region. 

The Spring Azure 

Cyaniris ladon 

For a wee bit of a gossamer-winged creature that ex- 
pands scarcely an inch across its outstretched wings, the 


Spring Azure has caused American scientists an immense 
amount of patient labor. Over the vast territory from 
Labrador across to Alaska and south to the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, this little blue butterfly exists in so many different 
forms that it requires special analytical keys to separate 
them. Not only does it vary geographically so that in one 
locality we find one form and in another a different form, 
but it also varies seasonally to a marked degree. As one 
would expect there is a striking difference in its annual 
cycle between Labrador and the Gulf Coast. In the far 
northern region there is but one brood a year, while in the 
southern region there are at least two and perhaps more. 
The variations in this butterfly are shown by the differ- 
ences in the marking of both surfaces of the wings. These 
markings may run from a faint blackish border along the 
extreme margin and a few faint dots upon the under sur- 
face, to a wide black margin around the wings and a deep 
abundant spotting of the under surface. The markings of 
the various forms are so uniform that the varieties are 
easily distinguished. It is beyond the scope of this book 
to attempt to differentiate all these varieties but any reader 
interested will find an admirable summary of the con- 
ditions illustrated by an excellent plate in Comstock's 
"How to Know the Butterflies." The species as a whole 
may be known from the fact that the upper surface is blue, 
the lower surface ash-gray, more or less spotted with dark 
brown, and the wings are without tails. {See plate, page 256.) 

The Strange Structures of the Larvae 

A remarkable variation of the adults is sufficient to give 
this species a special interest, but the larvae also have a 
unique attraction for the naturalist. The mother butter- 


flies lay their eggs upon tlie flower buds of various plants, 
especially those which have clustered racemes of blossoms. 
These eggs hatch into minute slug-like larvae which feed 
upon the buds, commonly burrowing through the calyx 
lobes and devouring the undeveloped stamens and pistils 
inside. They finally change to chrysalids, which are more 
or less securely attached to a central flower stalk, from 
which in due time the butterflies emerge. So far there is 
nothing remarkable about this story of the life of the 
Spring Azure, but that is yet to come. 

These little caterpillars are subject to attack by tiny 
parasitic flies which lay eggs in their bodies. Each egg 
hatches into a still more tiny maggot that lives at the ex- 
pense of the tissues of the caterpillar and finally kills it. 
When one of these little caterpillars has its head buried in 
the round ball of a flower bud, about half of its body is ex- 
posed defenseless, so that the little fly that lights upon it to 
lay her egg cannot even be dislodged by the head of the 
caterpillar, as is often the case with other species. There is 
a very curious provision for defense, however. If you look 
carefully through a lens at the hind part of the body you 
will find a little opening on the back of the seventh abdom- 
inal ring. This opening leads to a sort of tiny pocket, a 
pocket which the caterpillar can turn inside out when it so 
desires. Now the curious thing about it is that the cater- 
pillar, while this pocket is concealed in its body, is able to 
secrete in it a drop of liquid which we presume to be sweet 
to the taste. When the little pocket is partly filled with 
this drop of liquid the caterpillar turns it inside out in such 
a way that the liquid drop remains in position on top of the 
protruded pocket. 

Perhaps you ask what is the good of all this complicated 


arrangement? If you could see what happens when the 
little drop of what — for lack of a better name — we shall 
call honey-dew is exposed, you would begin to guess the 
reason. Wherever these larvae are found you will also 
find many ants wandering round among them, and the 
moment the honey -dew appears these ants begin to sip it 
up. When it is all gone the little caterpillar draws in its 
pocket again and presumably begins to store up another 
bit of liquid. It is certainly a curious example of what the 
naturalists call symbiosis, which simply means a living to- 
gether of two animals, each helping the other in some way. 
In this case it is easy enough to see how the caterpillar 
helps the ant, but perhaps you are wondering in what pos- 
sible way the ant may help the caterpillar. I hardly dare 
give the most plausible explanation for fear some one will 
cry out, "Nature-faker!" But fortunately the explana- 
tion is based upon at least one precise observation by W. 
H. Edwards, one of the most careful and reliable natural- 
ists America has produced, who lived before the recent era 
of Nature-fakers and was never accused of sensationalism. 
Mr. Edwards saw an ant drive away from one of these 
caterpillars a little parasitic fly which apparently was 
searching for a victim. Consequently, it would appear 
that the ants helped the caterpillars by protecting them 
from these arch enemies. 

This is by no means an isolated example of the relations 
between ants and other insects. It has been known for 
hundreds of years that the ants use the aphids as a sort of 
domestic milk-producer, attending the aphids at all times 
and even caring for their eggs throughout the winter 
season. As the plant-lice live in colonies, sucking the sap 
of their host plant, they are attended by great numbers of 


ants that feea upon the honey-dew which passes through 
their bodies. In many cases the ants have been observed 
to stroke the aphids with their antennae in a way which 
seems to induce the aphid to give out a drop of the sweet 
hquid for the ant to lap up. In a similar way these ants 
seem sometimes to stroke these little caterpillars with their 
antennae and thus to induce them to turn their little 
pockets inside out with the drop of liquid at the tip. This 
is certainly an unusual and most interesting relation be- 
tween two insects far separated by their structural char- 

The little pocket that I have thus described is situated 
upon the seventh segment of the abdomen. Just back of 
it there are two other openings which are even more 
curious in their structure. These are provided with some 
slender tentacles on which there are circles of hairy spurs. 
These structures are a great puzzle to naturalists. It is 
difficult to explain what they are for unless we assume that 
they relate in some way to the honey-dew pocket on the 
seventh ring. The only plausible explanation is that these 
serve to advertise to the ants, by giving off a distinctive 
odor, that there is nectar near at hand to be had for the 
asking. They would thus be analagous in a way to the 
fragrant scent of flowers which is for the purpose of ad- 
vertising to the bee the fact that nectar or pollen or both 
are near at hand and may be had for the asking. In the 
case of these caterpillars, however, if this is the true ex- 
planation it is a most wonderful provision and one which 
would be likely to tax the ingenuity of man's mind for a 
long while before it was originated. 

So this little butterfly which greets us in every spring, 
like "a violet afloat," to quote Mr. Scudder's happy phrase. 


is full of interest at all stages of its existence. It should 
lead one to a new respect for the familiar things in the 
natural world when one learns how baflfling to the wits of 
the wisest scientist is this little creature with its protean 
forms and the wonderful structure of its caterpillars. 

Scudder's Blue 

Rusticus scudderi 

This beautiful little butterfly is perhaps the most 
richly colored of all our northern Blues. The upper sur- 
face of the wings in the male is a nearly uniform hue, ex- 
cept for a narrow dark border around the margin. In the 
female there is, in addition, a series of black-centred 
orange spots inside of the black border, the series being 
more prominent on the hind wings than on the front ones. 
The under surface is very pale with distinct marks in 
black scattered over the basal two thirds, with a row 
of orange spots outside of these and another row of 
small blackish spots just inside of the blackish border 

This butterfly is a northern species. It occurs in New 
England, New York, and Michigan, and thence extends far 
north into Canada. The caterpillar feeds upon blue 
lupine and apparently the butterfly is likely to be found in 
most places where this plant grows. The eggs are laid 
upon the leaves or stems and the little caterpillars come 
out of the shells through small holes which they have 

"The caterpillar," wrote Mr. Scudder, "has a very ex- 
tensible head and flexible neck, and its manner of feeding 


immediately after birth is rather remarkable; it pierces the 
lower cuticle of the leaf, making a hole just large enough to 
introduce its minute head, and then devours all the in- 
terior of the leaf as far as it can reach — many times the 
diameter of the hole — so that when the caterpillar goes 
elsewhere, the leaf looks as if marked with a circular 
blister, having a central nucleus; the nearly colorless mem- 
branes of the leaf being all that is left, and at the central 
entrance to the blister the upper membrane only." Later 
in its life it often modifies this feeding habit somewhat, and 
as it approaches full growth it is likely to devour the entire 
blade of the leaf. 

These larvae have the curious nectar-secreting glands on 
the seventh abdominal segment which are discussed in 
connection with the preceding species. Many ants are 
attracted by this secretion so that it often happens that the 
easiest way to find the caterpillars is to look for these 
attendants. In New England there are two broods of the 
butterfly, one appearing early in June and the other late in 

The Tailed Blue 

Everes comyntas 

The tiny, thread-like, white-tipped tail projecting from 
the hind angle of the hind wings distinguishes this species 
at sight from any other found in eastern North America. 
The species, however, occurs clear to the Pacific Coast 
and ranges north and south over most of the northern con- 
tinent. The small slug-like caterpillar feeds upon the 
flowers of various clovers and other legumes. 


The Silvery Blue 

Nomiades lygdamus 

It would be a distinct privilege to work out the life- 
history of this exquisite little butterfly. Although the adult 
was described as long ago as 1842, the early stages seem 
to be still unknown. The species occurs in the South 
Atlantic states, extending west as far as Wisconsin. 

Synopsis of the Blues 

Tailed Blue {Everes comyntas or Lycaena comyntas). 
Wing expanse 1 inch or less. A slender tail projecting 
from each hind wing. Upper wing surface of varying 
tones of blue, the males lighter than the females. Lower 
wing surface grayish white with scattered spots. 

Scudder's Blue {Rusticus scudderi or Lycaena scudderi). 
Wing expanse 1 inch or less. No tails on hind wings. 
Eyes without hairs. Upper wing surface blue; female has 
dusky margins on front wings and an orange border with 
blackish spots near outer margin of the hind wings. 
Lower wing surface bluish gray with many small spots. 

Silvery Blue {Nomiades lygdamus or Lycaena lygdamus). 
Wing expanse 1 inch. No tails on hind wings. Eyes 
hairy. Upper wing surface silvery blue with dusky mar- 
gins which are broader in the female. Lower wdng sur- 
face ashy gray with many darker spots. 

Spring Azure {Cyaniris ladon or Lycaena ladon) . Wing 
expanse 1 inch. No tails on hind wings. Eyes hairy. 
Upper wing surface azure blue with black border markings 
varying greatly, more pronounced in the female. Lower 
wing surface slaty brown with many darker spots. 


SuPERFAMiLY Hesperioidea 

The true butterflies are so distinct in their structure and 
many of their habits from the Skippers that the most care- 
ful students of the order are pretty well agreed in making 
the two great superfamilies — Papilionoidea, the true 
butterflies, and Hesperioidea, the Skipper butterflies. 
The latter includes these two families: 

The Giant Skippers (Megathymidae) . 

The Common Skippers (Hesperiidae). 

These insects as a whole are distinguished from the 
higher butterflies by their large moth-like bodies, small 
wings, hooked antennae (except in the Giant Skippers), 
by having five branches of the radius vein arising from 
the large central cell. The larvae spin slight cocoons in 
which to pupate and the pupae are rounded rather than 

The two families are readily distinguished by the differ- 
ences in their size and the structure of the antennae. The 
Giant Skippers measure two inches or more across the ex- 
panded wings and have comparatively small heads, with 
the clubs of the antennae not pointed or recurved. The 
Common Skippers are smaller, and have very large heads 
with the antennal clubs drawn out and recurved. 




Family Megathymidae 

Although large in size, the Giant Skippers are few in 
numbers. Only one genus and five species are listed for 
North America, and practically all of these are confined 
to the Southwestern states and Mexico. Some of them 
extend as far north as Colorado and as far east as Florida. 

So far as the story of its life is concerned, the best- 

Megathymus yuccae. Female. (After Riley.) 

known species is the Yucca-borer Skipper {Megathymus 
yuccae) which was carefully studied by the late Dr. C. V. 
Riley. As will be seen from the picture above which 
represents the adult, natural size, this skipper has 
a body so large as to suggest some of the heavy-bodied 
moths. The wings are dark brown, marked with red- 
brown spots and bands. They fly by day and when at 
rest hold the wings erect. 

These adults lay eggs upon the leaves of Spanish needle 
or yucca. The eggs soon hatch into little caterpillars 
which at first roll parts of the leaves into cylinders, fas- 


tening the sides in place by silken threads, and later bur- 
row into the stem and root, often making a tunnel a foot 
or more deep. Here the caterpillars remain until full 
grown. They are then nearly four inches long and half 
an inch in diameter. They now pupate in the top of 
their tunnel and in due season emerge as adults. 


Family Hesperiidae 

The Skippers are the least developed of the butterflies. 
They show their close relationship to the moths both by 
their structure and their habits. The larvae make slight 
cocoons before changing to chrysalids, and these chrysa- 
lids are so rounded that they suggest the pupae of moths 
rather than those of butterflies. The common name — 
Skippers — is due to the habit of the butterflies — a jerky, 
skipping flight as they wing their erratic way from flower 
to flower. 

In North America the Skipper family includes nearly 
two hundred species grouped in about forty genera. From 
this point of view it is the largest family of our butterflies, 
but on account of the small size and limited range of most 
of the species it has by no means the general importance 
of such families as the Nymphs, the Swallow-tails, or the 

The Skippers are remarkable for the uniformity of 
structure in each stage of existence. The butterflies have 
small wings and large bodies. The broad head bears 
large eyes without hairs, but with a tuft of curving bristles 
overhanging each. The antennae are hooked at the end 


and widely separated at the base. Each short palpus 
has a large middle joint and a small joint at the tip. 
The fore wings project out at the front angle and the 
hind wings are folded along the inner margin. There are 
six well-developed legs in both sexes. The colors are 
chiefly various tones of brown, dull rather than bright, 
and many of the forms resemble one another so closely 
that it is difficult to separate them. 

The Skipper caterpillars have stout bodies and are 
easily known by the constricted neck which is well shown 
in plate opposite page 192. Most of these have the 
habit of making nests from the leaves of the food plants, 
weaving them together with silken threads. In a similar 
way each also makes a slight cocoon when it is ready to 
change to a chrysalis. 

The Sldppers found in eastern North America are com- 
monly grouped into two types — the Larger Skippers and 
the Smaller Skippers. The characteristics are given in 
the paragraph immediately following and the one on 
page 278. 


The butterflies of this tribe have that part of the club 
of the antenna, which is recm'ved, about as long as the 
thicker part below it. As a rule, the abdomen is dis- 
tinctly shorter than the hind wings. The caterpillars 
are rather short and thick, and the upper part of the head, 
when looked at from in front, is square or roundish rather 
than tapering. The chrysalids have the tongue case at- 
tached throughout its length and stopping short of the 
tips of the wing cases. 


The Silver-spotted Skipper 

Epargyreus tityrus 

One can seldom draw hard and fast artificial lines in 
nature. There are all sorts of intermediate conditions 
which disturb arbitrary classifications. It might seem 
simple enough to say that some insects are leaf-rollers 
and others are tent-makers, but as a matter of fact in the 
case of the Silver-spotted Skipper we have an insect which 
starts its larval life as a leaf -roller and finishes it as a tent- 
maker. Its life-history is rather interesting and easily 
observed, if one can find the larvae at work upon the 
leaves of locusts and other trees. (See plates, pages 272-273.) 

The Silver-spotted Skipper is one of the largest butter- 
flies of the interesting group to which it belongs. It lays 
its eggs upon the upper surface of the leaflets of locusts 
and other plants of the legume family. In less than a 
week each egg hatches into a little caterpillar with a very 
large head and a comparatively large body, tapering 
rapidly toward the hind end. This little creature cuts 
out from one side of the leaf a small round flap which it 
turns over and binds in place by silken threads to make a 
home for itself. This little home shows considerable 
variation in its construction but it usually has an arched 
dome held in place by strands of silk running from the 
eaten fragment to the surface of the leaf. It remains an 
occupant of this home until after the second moult. 
About this time it becomes too large for its house and 
deserts it to make a new one generally by fastening to- 
gether two adjacent leaves. These are attached along 
the edges by silken strands in such a way as to give con- 


siderable room. It leaves one end open as a door out of 
which the caterpillar crawls to feed at night upon near-by 
leaves, returning to the house for shelter during the day. 
They continue to use this habitation until they are 
full grown as caterpillars and sometimes they change to 
chrysalids within it. More commonly, however, they 
crawl away both from the leafy case and the tree that 
bears it and find such shelter as they can upon the ground 
near by. Here they spin slight silken cocoons within 
which they change to chrysalids. In the more Northern 
states there is but one brood a year, so these chrysalids 
remain in position until early the following summer when 
they come forth as butterfhes. Farther south there are 
two broods each summer, the second brood of butterflies 
appearing chiefly in August. 

The Silver-spotted Skipper derives its name from the 
distinct silvery spots upon the under-wing surface against 
a background of dark brown. The butterflies appear in 
the Northern states early in June and remain upon the 
wing for several weeks, being found even in August. 
They fly very rapidly and are difiicult to catch in an in- 
sect net except when they are visiting flowers. 

This species is widely distributed, occurring from ocean 
to ocean over nearly the whole of the United States. It 
extends into Canada only in the eastern part and is not 
found in the Northwestern states. 

The Long-tailed Skipper 

Eudamus proteus 

This is perhaps the most easily recognized of all the 
Skippers found in the United States for it is the only one 


that looks like a Swallowtail. Its hind wings project 
backward as long, broad tails in a way that marks the in- 
sect at once as different from anything else. It expands 
nearly two inches and when the front wings are spread at 
right angles, the distance from the apex of the front wing 
to the end of the tail of the hind wing just about equals 
the expanse. The general color is dark brown, with about 
eight more or less rectangular silvery spots on each front 

This is distinctly a tropical species which is common 
along the Gulf Coast from Mexico to Florida. It ranges 
north along the Atlantic Coast to New York City and 
even to Connecticut. In the South Atlantic states it is 
common, but toward the northern limits of its range it is 
very rare. 

In the West Indies this butterjfly is very common and 
has been observed to rest with its wings vertical, the 
front ones held far back between the hind ones and the 
tails of the latter held at right angles to the plane of the 
wings. Apparently, this curious fact was first noted by 
Dr. G. B. Longstaff. Of course in museum specimens 
the wings have been flattened into the same plane during 
the process of drying, so that this peculiarity would not 
be noticed. 

Juvenal's Dusky-wing 

Thanaos juvenalis 

There are few trees which have so interesting a set of 
insects attacking them as does the oak. It would be a 
simple matter to find abundant material for a large vol- 
ume by making a study of the life-histories of the various 

Upper Surface 


i^^A^K ^^^^^^^^ .i>'.sa/ -J^^^^^Hk 





Photo(jra])h bij A. H. Verrill 

Lower Surface 


(About twice natural size) 

Sec page 270 

from a dnuriiiij iiij H . I. HcccroU 

Caterpillar, chrysalis and adult 

,S,, IHKJi -IIU 


insects that live upon or within the various tissues of this 
tree. The leaves alone provide a home for a remarkably 
large number of insect species scattered through a great 
manj^ orders and families. The thickened blades seem to 
furnish an ideal opportunity for many larvae to get their 
living, and they are particularly useful to those which need 
to make a winter nest. 

By a little searching almost any time after the middle 
of June, one is likely to find a curious caterpillar home 
upon some of the oak leaves. The margin of the blade 
has been turned over, generally from above downward but 
sometimes from below upward, and has been fastened 
down to the main expanse of the blade by means of golden 
threads; commonly this fastening is not continuous but is 
more or less intermittent, so that the turned-over margin 
is likely to have an irregular border where it joins the 
blade. Inside of this tubular construction a rather un- 
usual looking worm-like caterpillar is probably to be seen. 
Late in the season it will probably be nearly an inch long, 
with a smooth greenish body and a head that may be a bit 
brownish and more or less marked on the sides with 
orange tones. 

This is the larva of one of the most widely distributed 
Skippers — Juvenal's Dusky-wing. The species is found 
from southern New Hampshire west to the Great Plains 
and south to the Gulf of Mexico. In most localities it is 
seldom abundant but yet is so general that it may be 
found by almost every persistent collector. The wings 
expand about an inch and a half and are of a dull browTiish 
color, more or less marked with darker and lighter spots. 
Toward the northern limits of its range there is but one 
brood a year but farther south there are two, although it 


is not improbable that some of the caterpillars of the first 
brood remain unchanged throughout the season, so that 
the insect is both single- and double-brooded in the same 

The Yearly Cycle 

The yearly cycle in southern New Hampshire may be 
taken as an illustration of the life of the species in regions 
where there is but one brood. The butterflies appear in 
open woods and on cut-over lands in May and June. They 
lay eggs upon the twigs of oak trees, one egg in a place and 
generally near a leaf stem. The egg soon hatches into a 
little caterpillar that crawls upon a near-by leaf and 
begins the construction of its tubular nest by bending over 
the margin and sewing it with golden silk. It utilizes this 
nest chiefly as a tent for resting and sleeping and wanders 
away from it generally to another leaf when it is ready to 
feed. It grows very slowly, having before it all the weeks 
of summer to complete its caterpillar growth. As it gets 
larger it needs a new tent and is likely to desert its early 
one. When it does this some observers have noted a 
curious habit. It cuts loose all the silk that binds the 
margin of the leaf down upon the blade so that the flap is 
free to spring back to its original position. It would be 
difficult to suggest an adequate explanation for this 

When autumn comes our caterpillar is faced with the 
problem of passing through the winter successfully. It 
must shelter itself from birds, spiders, predaceous beetles, 
and many other enemies. It must find a means of keeping 
out of the reach of snow and rain, for while it can survive a 
great degree of cold as long as it keeps dry, it might easily 


be killed by freezing up with moisture. But the cater- 
pillar is able to provide against these dangers. It has 
apparently an abundant supply of liquid silk to secrete 
from the silk glands in its head, so it lines its tubular tent 
with a dense silken web that effectually excludes enemies 
and moisture. It thus has on the outside of its nest the 
thick oak leaf and on the inside a dense soft lining that 
makes a most admirable winter protection. So it remains 
here throughout the winter, the leaf commonly staying on 
the tree until early spring. Then leaf, nest, and enclosed 
caterpillar are likely to drop to the ground to remain until 
spring arrives in earnest. Just what happens then seems 
to be a bit doubtful. The caterpillar changes to a 
chrysalis, but whether it first works its way out of its 
winter nest and makes a new and less dense covering seems 
not to be certainly known. Here is another good oppor- 
tunity for some careful observations. 

At any rate, the caterpillar changes to a chrysalis, and 
late in spring it changes again to an adult butterfly that 
flits about on dusky wing for a few weeks before it 

The Sleepy Dusky-wing 

Thanaos hrizo 

The appearance of this butterfly both as to size and 
marking is very similar to that of Juvenal's Dusky- wing 
except that the white spots are not present on the front 
wing of this species. The life-histories of the two species 
as well as their distribution seem to be closely parallel. 
The present butterflies are to be found early in summer in 


the same oak barrens as the other, the blueberry blossoms 
being freely visited for nectar by both species. 

Persius's Dusky-wing 

Thanaos persius 

This is a rather small, dark brown Skipper, with a few 
white spots toward the apex of the front wing, but other- 
wise not marked except for a very pale transverse band 
which is almost obsolete. The butterfly is found from 
ocean to ocean along the northern tier of states. It also 
occurs in the Eastern states as far south as Florida as well 
as in the states along the Pacific Coast. 

The food plants of the caterpillars differ from most of 
those of the other Skippers. The butterflies lay their 
yellowish green eggs, one in a place, upon the leaves of 
willows and poplars. These soon hatch into little cater- 
pillars each of which cuts out a small flap along the margin 
of the leaf and folds it over, fastening it in place with silken 
threads. It thus forms a protecting nest within which it 
remains during the day, going forth at night to a neighbor- 
ing part of the same leaf or to another leaf, and feeding 
upon the green surface tissues. In this first caterpillar 
stage it does not eat the veins to any extent. As it be- 
comes larger it constructs a larger nest and feeds more 
freely upon the leaf tissues. When about half grown it has 
the curious habit of biting out small holes here and there in 
the blade so that the leaf takes on a very unusual appear- 
ance. The presence of these holes is generally the easiest 
way to find the caterpillars, for when the holes are seen, a 


little searching is likely to show one the characteristic tent- 
like nest. 

After a few weeks the caterpillars become full grown. 
They then sew themselves in for the winter, fastening all 
of the crevices in the nest so securely with silken webbing 
that a very serviceable winter cocoon is formed. An in- 
teresting fact is that this sewing up for the winter is likely 
to take place about midsummer, the caterpillars remain- 
ing quiet from this time until the following spring. The 
nests of course fall in autumn with the leaves and the 
caterpillars remain unchanged until April or May, when 
they transform into chrysalids to emerge in May as butter- 
flies. There appears to be normally but one brood a year 
although there is some evidence of a partial second brood. 

The Sooty Wing 

Pholisora catullus 

This is one of the smallest of the blackish Skippers and 
may be known by its small size, expanding less than an 
inch, and the series of five white dots near the apex of 
the front wing, these dots being more distinct on the under 
surface. The species is widely distributed, occurring over 
practically the whole of the United States, except in the 
states along the Canadian border from Wisconsin west — 
and in several of these it is found along their southern 

This butterfly is of particular interest because it is one 
of the comparatively few species that habitually occur in 
gardens and cultivated fields. The reason for this is that 
the eggs are laid upon white pigweed or lambs' quarter. 


the common garden pest of the genus Chenopodium. The 
eggs are laid singly, generally on the upper surface, and 
hatch in about five days into tiny caterpillars that make a 
little shelter for themselves by cutting out the edge of a 
leaf and folding over the blade, sewing it in place by a few 
silken threads. Here they remain and feed upon the green 
pulp of the succulent leaves either within the nest or 
near by outside. They remain in these cases until the 
time for the first moult, when they are likely to line the in- 
side of the silken web before moulting. After this they 
make new cases for concealment and shelter, the cases as 
they grow older being generally made of two or more 
leaves securely bound together by silken web along their 
margin. When they become full grown, they spin a silken 
cocoon and change to yellowish green chrysalids from 
which the butterflies emerge a little more than a week later. 
This species is supposed to be double-brooded in the 
north. The full-grown caterpillars of the second brood 
sew up their leafy cases very carefully, making them of 
such thick silken webbing that they are watertight. 
They remain in these coverings until the following spring, 
when each changes, still within the case, into a chrysalis 
from which the butterfly comes forth in April or May. 


In the members of this tribe the tip beyond the club 
of the antenna is short and the abdomen is long enough to 
extend as far as or farther than the hind wings. The 
caterpillars have long and slender bodies with the upper 
part of the head, when looked at from in front, tapering 


rather than roundish or square. The chrysahds have the 
tongue-case free at the tip and projecting beyond the tips 
of the wing-cases. 

The Tawny-edged Skipper 

Thymelicus cernes 

This is one of the commonest and most widely distrib- 
uted of all our Skippers. It is found from Nova Scotia to 
British Columbia, south along the Rocky Mountains to 
New Mexico, Texas, and Florida. It is apparently absent 
west of the Rocky Mountains and along the Gulf Coast 
except in Florida. Its life-history was carefully worked 
out by Dr. James Fletcher, late entomologist to the 
Dominion of Canada, and in the north may be summarized 
thus: the butterflies come from the hibernated chrysalids 
in May or June. They remain upon the wing for several 
weeks so that worn specimens may be taken late in July 
or, rarely, even early in August. The females lay eggs 
upon grass blades. These eggs hatch about two weeks 
later, the larvae eating their way out of the shells so slowly 
that a whole day may be taken up by the operation. Each 
little caterpillar weaves a silken nest for itself, in which it 
remains concealed most of the time, reaching out to feed 
upon adjacent blades of grass but retiring into the nest at 
the least alarm. It is a sluggish little creature and grows 
so slowly that in the north it may require more than two 
months to become full fed as a larva. It is then abouf 
an inch long and has the characteristic outlines of the 
other Skipper larvae, with a black head and a greenish 
brown body. It now spins a cocoon, possibly using its 


larval nest as a basis, and some time later, before cold 
weather surely, it changes to a chrysalis that winters over. 

This is the story of the life of the butterfly in the more 
northern parts of its range. Even in New Hampshire 
there seems to be at least a partial second brood, and 
farther south there are probably two regular broods with 
the possibility that a small percentage of the first set of 
chrysalids remains unchanged until spring. 

The Roadside Skipper 

Amhlyscirtes vialis 

This little butterfly is found apparently in most parts 
of the United States, as it has been collected in New Eng- 
land, California, Texas, and many intermediate points. 
Over the northern part of its range there is but one brood 
a year. In New Hampshire the butterflies appear in 
May and early June and lay eggs upon the blades of vari- 
ous grasses. These hatch about ten days later into slen- 
der, silk-spinning cateipillars, each of which makes a nest 
for itself by sewing together the margin of one or more 
grass blades. When the larvae get larger, they make 
larger and denser nests with heavy linings of silken web. 
After the earlier moults, the thin skin is covered with very 
fine snow-white hairs, between which there is developed a 
curious whitish exudation, so that the caterpillars have a 
flocculent appearance. When full grown, they change 
to delicate green chrysalids which apparently in the North 
remain until the following spring before disclosing the 
butterflies. In more southern regions there are two broods 
each summer. 


The Least Skipper 

Ancyloxipha numitor 

The Least Skipper differs from the other Skippers both 
in structure and habits. Most of these butterflies have 
thick bodies and a distinct hook at the end of each antenna. 
This has a slender body and the antennae lack the hook. 
Most Skippers have strong wings and show their strength 
in their rapid, erratic flight. This has feeble wings that 
show their weakness in their slow, straight flight. But 
from the fact that it is about the smallest of all our butter- 
flies, expanding little more than three quarters of an inch, 
it deserves our interested attention. The tawny wings 
are so marked with broad margins of dark brown that they 
show the tawny tinge chiefly in the middle spaces. 

On account of its small size and its retiring habits this 
little butterfly is often overlooked by all but the most ex- 
perienced collectors. It generally flies slowly just above 
the grass in sunny places in wet meadows and along the 
open margins of brooks and marshes. It rests frequently 
upon grasses, flowers, or bushes. Mr. Scudder noticed 
that when resting these butterflies have the curious habit 
of "moving their antennae in a small circle, the motion of 
the two alternating; that is, when one is moving in a for- 
ward direction, the other is passing in a reverse direction." 
This is the sort of observation that should challenge us all 
to sharper wits in watching living butterflies. It would 
be strange if no others thus twirled their feelers in their 
leisure moments. Who will find out.'' 

The female butterflies at least have something to do 
besides sipping the nectar of flowers or idly twirling their 


feelers. They must lay their eggs and thus provide for 
the continuation of the species; to do this they find suit- 
able blades of grass on which they deposit their tiny, half- 
round, smooth yellow eggs. A week or so later each 
egg hatches into a dumpy little yellow caterpillar with a 
black head and a body well covered with hairy bristles. 
This little creature is a silk spinner and makes a home in- 
stinctively by drawing together more or less the outer 
edges of a leaf blade and fastening them with transverse 
bands of silk. It then feeds upon the green tissues and 
as it grows larger it makes its nest more secure by thicker 
walls of silken web. 

When full grown as a caterpillar it changes into a slender 
chrysalis generally of a grayish red color, thickly dotted 
with black. About ten days later it emerges as a butter- 
fly. (See plate, page 192.) 

The Least Skipper is one of the most widely distributed 
of all butterflies. It occurs from New England to Texas, 
south to Florida on the east coast, and west to the Rocky 




Abdomen 4 

Acadian hair-streak 248 

Admiral, Red 160 

Aestivation 21-22 

Agapelidae 214-229 

Ae,lais milberti 182 

Ajax 77 

Amblyscirtes vialis 280 

American copper 255 

American tortoise-shell 182 

Anatomy of butterflies 3-5 

Ancyloxipha numitor 281 

Androconia 15 

Angle-wings, Synopsis of the . . . 190 
Angle-wings, Tribe of the . . . 150-192 

Anoea aiidria 208 

Anosia berenice 235 

Anosia plexippus 233 

Antennae 3-4 

Anthocaris genutia 97 

Anthocaris olympia 97 

Antiopa 112-115,171-182 

Ants and caterpillars 261 

Aphids 261 

Apparatus for collectors . . . .51-54 

Araulis vanillae 115 

Arctic satyr 225 

Argynnis aphrodite 125 

Argyniiis allantis 126 

At gy tints cybele 122 

Argynrtis diana 118 

Argynnis idalia 120 

Argynnis montinus 127 

A Hides halesus 243 

Baltimore checker-sf)ot 135 

Banded hair-streak 246 

Banded purple 202 

Basilarchia archippus .... 195-202 

Basilarchia arthemis 202 

Basilarchia astyanax 204 

Basilarchia floridensis 206 

Black-bordered yellow 105 

Black swallowtail 59 

Blue-eyed grayling 215 

Blue swallowtail 65 

Blues, Synopsis of the 265 

Blues, Tribe of the 258-265 

Brenthis bellona 128 

Brenthis inyrina 131 

Brimstone butterfly 98 

Bronze copper ... .... 257 

Brown, Eyed 221 

Brown, Gemmed 227 

Buckeye 188 


Butterflies, Aestivation of . . . .21-22 
Butterflies, Anatomy of ... . 3-5 
Butterflies and Moths, Difference be- 
tween 13-14 

Butterflies, Classificatioru of . . . 55 

Butterflies, Collecting 49-54 

Butterflies, Coloration of ... . 24-35 
Butterflies, feigning death. . . .22-23 
Butterflies, General characteristics of 3-54 
Butterflies, Hibernation of . . .17-21 
Butterflies, Migrations of . . . .16-17 
Butterflies, Parasites of ... . 40-43 
Butterflies, Photographing. . . .47-48 

Butterflies, Rearing of 43^7 

Butterflies, Scents of 15 

Cabbage butterfly, Southern ... 88 

Cabbage butterfly. White or Imported 83 

Callidrayas eubule 98 

Calosoma scrutator 181 

Calycopis cecrops 251 

Camberwell beauty, see Mourning- 

Carolina satyr 227 

Caterpillar cages 44 

Caterpillar collecting 44 

Caterpillar habits, curious. . . . 198 

Caterpillar hunter 181 

Caterpillar parasites 260 

Caterpillar to chrysalis 8-10 

Caterpillars 5-9 

Catopsilia eubule, c. philea, or c. agari- 

ihe . . . _^ 109 

Cercyonis alope' 215-228 

Cercvonis pegala 218 

Chalcid flies 42 

Charidryas nycteis 141 

Checker-spot, Baltimore .. . . . 135 

Checker-sp)ot, Harris's 140 

Checkered white 88 

Chlorippe celtis 210 

Cklorippe clyton 212 

Chrysalis 8-12 

Chrysalis to butterfly .... 10-13 

Chrysophaniis hypophlaeus. . . . 257 

Chrysophanus thoc 257 

Cinclidia harrisii 140 

Cissia eurytus 226 

Cissia sosybius 227 

Classification of butterflies ... 55 

Clouded sulphur 101 

Cloudless sulphur 98 

Colias caesonia 110 

Colias eury theme 110 

Colias philodice 110 





Collecting butterflies 49-54 

Color changes 7 

Color sense. Selective 32 

Coloration 24-35 

Comma 153 

Common skippers 268-282 

Common wood nymph. .... 215 

Compton tortoise 185 

Copper, The American 255 

Copper, The Bronze 257 

Copjjers, Synopsis of the .... 257 
Coppers, Tribe of the .... 252-258 

Cosmopolite 166-171 

Counter-shading 24-25 

Cremaster 8 

Crescent-spots, Synopsis of the . . 149 
Crescent -spots. Tribe of the . . 135-150 

Cyanide bottle 51 

Cyaniris ladon 258 

Cynthia atalanta 191 

Cynthia cardui 191 

Cvnthia hunfera 191 

Cynthia Moth 14 

Dainty sulphur 109 

Dazzling coloration 26-29 

Death-feigning 22-23 

Debis portlandia 227 

Diana fritillary 118 

Dog's-head butterfly 100 

Drying box 54 

Dull-eyed grayling 228 

Dusky -wing, Juvenal's 272 

Dusky-wing, Persius's 276 

Dusky-wing, Sleepy 275 

Eclipsing coloration 26-29 

Eclosion 11 

Egg-laying 46 

Emperors, Tribe of 207-214 

Encasement theory 9 

Enodia portlandica 219 

Envelopes for collectors .... 52 

Epajgyreus tityrus 270 

Euchloe genutia 97 

Euchloe olympia 97 

Eudaynus proteiis 271 

Eugonia J-album 185 

Euphydryas phaeton 135 

Eitpsyche M-albtim 244 

Euptoieta claudia 116 

Eurema enter pe Ill 

Emema lisa 106 

Eurema nicippe 105 

Eurymus eury theme 102 

Eurymus interior 104 

Eurymus philodice 101 

Euvanessa antiopa 191 

Everes corny ntas 264 

Exuviae 6 

Eyed brown 221 

Falcate orange-tip 94 

Fenisequa tarquinius 253 

Fritillaries, Synopsis of the . . . 133 
Fritillaries, Tribe of the . . . 115-135 

Gemmed brown 227 

Georgia satyr 227 


Giant skippers 267-268 

Giant swallowtail 62 

Goatweed emperor 208 

Gossamer-wings 240-265 

Grapta comma 190 

Grapta faunus 190 

Grapla interrogationis 190 

Grapta J-album 192 

Grapta progne 191 

Gray comma 158 

Gray emperor 210 

Gray hair-streak 245 

Gray-veined white 86 

Grayling, Blue-eyed 215 

Great purple hair-streak .... 243 

Great southern white 90 

Great spangled fritillary .... 122 

Green-clouded swallowtail .... 67 

Green comma 159 

Gulf fritillary 115 

Hair-streaks, Synopsis of the . . . 250 
Hair-streaks, Tribe of the . . . 242-252 

Harris's checker-spot 140 

Heliconians 229-232 

Heleconidae 229-232 

Heliconius Charitonius 229 

Heliotropism 35-37 

Heodes hypophlaeus 255 

Hesperiidae 268-282 

Hesperioidea 55, 266-282 

Hibernation 17-21 

Honey-dew 261 

Hop merchant 153 

Hypaius bachmani 236 

Ichneumon flies 41-42 

Imago . 10 

Imported cabbage butterfly ... 83 
I p hie tides ajax 76 

Junonia coettia 188 

Juvenal's dusky-wing 272 

Killing bottle 51 

Laertias philenor 65 

Larger Skippers, Tribe of the . . 269-278 
Least purple hair-streak .... 251 

Least skipper 281 

Lepidoptera, see Butterflies 

Libytheidae 236-239 

Limenilis arthemis 206 

Limenitis astyanax 207 

Limenitis disippus 207 

List observations 37-40 

Little sulphur 106 

Little wood nymph 228 

Little wood satyr ...... 226 

Locusts, Coloration of 29 

Long-beaks, The ..... 236-239 

Long-tailed skipper 271 

Lycacna coniyntas 265 

Lycaena ladon 265 

Lycaena lygdamus 265 

Lycaena scudderi 265 

Lycaenidae 240-265 

Lymnadidae 232-236 




Marcellus 77 

Maritime grayling 228 

Meadow-browns, The .... 214-229 

Meadow fritillary 128 

Meganostoma caesonia 100 

Megathyniidx 267-268 

Megalhymus yuccae 267 

MelUaea harrisii, M. phaeton, M. nyc- 

teis, or M. tharos 149 

Metal-marks, The 239-240 

Microgaster 42 

Migrations 16-17 

Milkweed butterflies. The . . . 232-236 

Mimicry 34-35 

Mitoura damon 249 

Monarch, The 12-233 

Moths 13-14 

Moulting 6-7 

Mountain silver-spot 126 

Mourning-cloak. . . 112-115, 171-182 

Nathalis iole 109 

Neonympha canthus 227 

Neonympha eurylus i!28 

Neonympha gemma 227 

Neonympha phocion 227 

Net, Butterfly 51 

Nettle butterfly 160 

Nomiades lygdamus 265 

Nymphalidae 111-214 

Nymphs, The 111-214 

Odors, see Scents of butterflies 

Oeneis noma juita 225 

Oeneis noma semidea 222 

Olive hair-streak 249 

Olympian orange-tip 96 

"Orange dogs" 63 

Orange sulphur 102 

Orange-tips, Synopsis of the ... 97 
Orange-tips, Tribe of the . . . .92-97 
Orientation, see Heliotropism 

Painted beauty 163 

Painted lady. . ' 166-171 

Palamedes swallowtail 76 

Palpi 4 

Papilio asterias 81 

Papilio brevicauda 75 

Papilio cresphonles 80 

Papilio glaucus 72 

Papilio palamedes 76 

Papilio philenoT 81 

Papilio polyxenes 59 

Papilio thoas 62 

Papilio troilus 67 

Papilionidae 57-81 

Papilionoidea 55-265 

Parasites 40-43 

Parasites of the Mourning-cloak . . 177 

Parnassians 56-57 

Parnassiidae 56-57 

Pearl crescent 143 

Pearly eye 219 

Persius's dusky-wing 276 

Pholisora calullus 277 

Photographing butterflies . . . .47-48 
Phyciodes nycteis 149 


Phyciodes tharos 143 

Pieridae 82-115 

Pieris napi g6 

Pieris phileta 92 

Pieris protodice 91 

Pieris rapae 83 

Pink -edged sulphur 104 

Pins for collectors 53 

Polygonia comma 153 

Polygonia faunus 159 

Polygonia interrogationis .... 150 

Polygonia progne 158 

Polygonias, Synopsis of ... . 190 

Pontia monuste ....... 90 

Pontia protodice. ...... 88 

Protective coloration, see Coloration 

Purple hair -streak, Great .... 243 

Purple hair-streak. Least .... 251 

Purples, Banded and Red-spotted 202-206 

Pyramcis atalanla 191 

Pyrameis cardtii 191 

Pyramcis hunlera 191 

Pyrrhanea andria 214 

Queen, The 235 

Rearing butterflies 43-47 

Red Admiral 160 

Red-horns, Tribe of the . . . 97-115 

Red-spotted purple 204 

Regal fritillary 120 

Riker mounts 54 

Riodinidae 239-240 

Roadside skipper 280 

Rusticus scudderi 263 

Satyr, Arctic 225 

Satyr, Little wood 226 

Satyrodes canthus 221 

Satyrs, The 214-229 

Satyrs, Georgia and Carolina . . . 227 

Scents of butterflies 15 

Scudder's blue 263 

Selective color sense 32-33 

Setting board 52-53 

Shadow observations 37-40 

Short-tailed papilio 75 

Silver-bordered fritillary .... 131 

Silver crescent 141 

Silver -spot fritillary 125 

SUver-spotted skipper 270 

Silvery blue 265 

Skippers 55, 266-282 

Skippers, Common 268-282 

Skippers, Tribe of the larger . . 269-278 
Skippers, Tribe of the smaller. . 278-282 

Sleepy dusky-wing 275 

Smaller skippers. Tribe of the. . 278-282 
Snout butterflies. The .... 236-239 

Sooty wing. The 277 

Southern cabbage butterfly ... 88 

Southern wood nymph 218 

Sovereigns, Synopsis of the . . . 206 
Sovereigns, Tribe of the . . . 192-207 

Spring azure 258 

Striped hair-streak 247 

Sulphurbutterflies, 98-100, 101-105, 106-109 
Swallowtails . .57-81 




Swallowtails, Synopsis of ... . 80 

Synchloe genulia 94 

Synchloe olympia ...... 96 

Tachina flies 42-43 

Tailed blue 264 

Tawny-edged skipper 279 

Tawny emperor 212 

Telamonides 77 

Terias lisa 110 

Terias nicippe 110 

Thanaos brizo 275 

Thanaos juvenalis 272 

Thanaos persius . 276 

Thecla acadica 248 

Thecla calanus 246 

Thecla cecrops 251 

Thecla damon 252 

Thecla halesus 250 

Thecla liparops 247 

Thecla M-alhum 251 

Thecla melinus 251 

Thistle butterfly 166-171 

Thorax 4 

Thymelicus cernes 279 

Tiger swallowtail 72 

Tortoise-shell, American .... 182 

Transformations 5-13 

Uranotes melinus 245 

Vanessa anliopa 171-182 

Vanessa atalatiia 160 

Vanessa cardui 166-171 

Vanessa coenia 192 


Vanessa hunter a 163 

Vanessa J-album ...... 192 

Vanessa milberti 191 

Vanessids, Synopsis of 191 

Variegated fritillary 116 

Vicereine. 206 

Viceroy 195-202 

Violet-tip 150 

Wanderer, The 253 

Warning coloration. 33-34 

Weismann's theory. ..... 10 

White cabbage butterfly .... 83 

White J butterfly 185 

White M hair-streak 244 

White Mountain butterfly. . . . 222 
White Mountain fritillary .... 127 
Whites, Synopsis of the .... 91 

Whites, Tribe of the 82-92 

Wing expansion .12-13 

Wood nymph. Little 228 

Wood nymphs ...... 215-218 

Xanlhidia lisa 110 

Xanthidia nicippe . ..... 110 

Yellow edge, see Mourning-cloak 
Yellows, Synopsis of the .... 109 
Yellows, Tribe of the , . „ . 97-115 
Yucca-borer skipper . » . . . 267 

Zebra butterfly ....... 229 

Zebra swallowtail 76 

Zerene caesonia 110