names for mourning cloak
zagatti at versailles.inra.fr
Thu Apr 13 10:14:10 EDT 2000
I think the French name 'morio' comes from the dark color of the butterfly.
French mineralogists use the same word for black varieties of quartz. Now
words meaning _dark_ and _strange_ generally coevolve in the history of
As many, many insects, Nymphalis antiopa is still common in the southern
part of France, becoming rarer northward (it is protected in Paris area, but
still common in my garden :-)
Barbara Barnett wrote:
> I would like to find out why the name Mourning Cloak is used in American
> Englishas a common name for N. antiopa? I know that in Britain it is
> called Camberwell Beauty. It is names in several European languages
> which have basically the same meaning as "mourning" or "funeral"
> "cloak", "cape" or "coat": (examples: German
> Trauermantel; Dutch, Rouwmantel; Danish Sorgekabe). In French it is
> called Le Morio. Does the French word have any connection to Latin
> "morio" which means roughly buffoon, monster, imbecile?
> I would not be surprised that the name Mourning Cloak was chosen
> because of the pattern and color of the wings. Could someone suggest a
> good reference on the etymology of this name?
> Also I would like to know more about the status of this species in
> Europe. I read on a web site that N. antiopa is listed as extinct in
> Netherlands and Belgium, and is listed as endangered in Switzerland.
> Many thanks in advance,
> Clyde Kessler
INRA Unite de Phytopharmacie et Mediateurs Chimiques
78026 Versailles Cedex
Tel: (33) 1 30 83 31 18
e-mail zagatti at versailles.inra.fr
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