Moths by Michael E. N. Majerus

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By Michael E. N. Majerus

One other quantity within the "New Naturalist" sequence, this e-book is a complete account of the varied normal historical past of those interesting and well known bugs. Michael Majerus, writer of the "New Naturalist" ebook "Ladybirds", examines all points of moths, from their lifestyles histories to their function as pests to people. He covers their replica, feeding, evolution, habitats and conservation. The booklet additionally discusses the enemies of moths, and the methods they've got developed to prevent detection, together with camouflage, caution colouration, and mimicry.

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But this is the exception. To most people, moths have a darker side. Fig. 7 The Broad-bordered White Underwing, Anarta melanopa. Perhaps the species of moth most associated with legend is the Death’s-head Hawk moth, Acherontia atropos. The skull marking on its thorax (Fig. 8), the way it holds its dark brown wings back along its body, slightly parted to reveal the yellow, blue and black markings along the abdomen, all contribute to the impression of a skeletal Death in his dark cowl (Fig. 9). This impression has given the moth its name and has drawn this species into disrepute, aligning it with the forces of darkness.

To be honest, I have no answer. Possibly it was merely an extension of a fascination with insects generally. I apparently caught my first butterfly when four and may have simply assumed that moths and butterflies were virtually the same. I certainly never really distinguished between the two in my mind. By the age of six, I was aware that there was no sensible distinction between the two groups, for day-flying Six-spot Burnets, Zygaena filipendulae (Plate 13f), with their semi-clubbed antennae, were a common sight on the thistle heads on Ruislip-Northwood Common, near my home.

And with a group that is largely active at night, that has meant many late nights lurking about in dark woodlands or on deserted moorlands, often to the intrigue and puzzlement of officers of the local constabulary. For many species, the best way to get to know them is to breed them through a generation or more. One gets to know the life history, the anatomy and the different behavioural strategies employed at different stages of development. Fortunately, most moths mate readily in captivity and are easy to rear.

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