John Shuey jshuey at
Tue Sep 7 09:24:10 EDT 1999

When we were writing the "Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio" which was
published as a reviewed monograph, our editor assured us that there was no
verb - "to nectar".  Rather she documented that nectar is a noun, and that
butterflies are often seen feeding at nectar sources.  Given her power over
the monograph and its adherence to rigorous standards, she expunged all of
our attempts to conjugate "to nectar" from the text, and replaced with more
exacting use of the english language.  This placed feeding at nectar sources
in the same category as feeding at rotting fruit,, feeding on carrion,
feeding on fox feces, and so on.

While I'll admit that "fecesing" and "fruiting" don't ring my bell, I still
like nectaring.  While I would not attempt to use it in a peer reviewed
publication again, I do use it when writing for more general audiences.

John Shuey

ys-sedman at wrote:

> Lepidopterists, especially butterfly workers, often use the word
> "nectaring" when butterflies appear to be feeding at a flower, and this
> seems quite appropriate even if not always accurate.  Are other forms of
> the verb used to describe butterfly activity?  Is it said that
> butterflies have "nectared" in the past, etc.?
> Finally, what words are used when butterflies are seen on feces,
> puddles, rotten fruit, carrion, etc. (puddling, etc.) and seem to be
> taking up fluids?  Yale
> --

John Shuey

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