The Day Butterflies and Duskflyers of New England

The Day Butterflies and Duskflyers of New England

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Excerpt from The Day Butterflies and Duskflyers of New England: How to Find and Know Them

Butterflies and moths. Insects without jaws, having the maxilla prolonged into a Spiral sucking tube, the wings broad and covered with dust-like scales. The transformations are complete. The larva are provided with six true legs, and from, one pair to five of false or pro-legs. The pupa is generally inclosed in a cocoon (except butter?ies), and has the legs and wings soldered to the breast.

This order has been divided into three groups, called day, dusk, and night lepidoptera, or butter?ies, sphinges, and moths. Butter?ies are distinguished from moths by having the antenna knobbed or thickened at the end while the antenna of hawk-moths are thickened in the middle, those of moths are either simple or feathered. As these are the most delicate of all insects they should be carefully handled, to avoid injuring the specimen by rubbing the dust or scales from the wings. They are most easily captured with a gauze net, after which they may be killed with benzine or ether, or by slightly pinching the thorax, taking care' to have the wings folded together over the back, then pinned and placed in the collecting box.

As entomology does not consist in simply knowing an insect in the perfect state, or being able to give its scientific name, a knowledge of its habits and transformations is necessary. To obtain this the student should collect and rear caterpillars, watching them through their different changes, and closely observing every particular connected with their metamorphoses.

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