Etymology of "Hobomok"

John V. Calhoun bretcal at
Mon Jun 30 17:26:02 EDT 1997

Peter Payzant wrote:
> The word "Hobomok" has been heard around the house a lot this weekend,
> because there are lots of them flying in the neighbourhood. However, I
> don't have the slightest idea where this word comes from - it's not in my
> dictionary or gazetteer.
> Anybody have any ideas?

Poanes hobomok was described by Thaddeus William Harris in 1862 who said 
that he gave it "the name of one of our celebrated Indian chiefs." 
According to the etymology in Opler and Krizek (1984, Butterflies East 
of the Great Plains) the name "Hobomok" was the chief of the Wampanoag 
Indians who assisted the English upon their landing at Plymouth in 1621. 
I miss seeing this species, it was common in Ohio where I was 
raised--unfortunately, it isn't as fond of Florida as I. 

John Calhoun

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