_Vanessa_ at night

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at aurora.alaska.edu
Sun Jan 13 15:45:32 EST 2002

	Andy Warren asked: "Can Vanessas fly at night?"

The answer is "Yes". I think I'll let S. H. Scudder give the details (from
_The Butterflies of New England, 1889, page 377, in an excursus titled:
_Butterflies at Night and at Sea; Out of Season and Out of Place_):

"...but since the introduction of electric lights into our cities, ento-
mologists have made use of them for the capture of insects,...and among
them, according to Mr. Henry Edwards and others, several species of butter-
flies (Ent amer.,i:160). Most of them, like the preceding [Eugonia j-album],
were members of the highest family, Nymphalidae, viz., Anosia plexippus,
Vanessa atalanta, V. cardui, V. huntera, and Euvanessa antiopa; and besides
these, Cyaniris pseudargiolus, and Euphoeades troilus."

Scudder's own observation of Eugonia j-album (Compton Tortoiseshell) at
light was made around 1874, at a lighthouse on Nantucket. He thought that
was "...the first instance, so far as I can learn, in which butterflies
have been known to fly by night...".

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at uaf.edu


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