Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29, 2008

A warm day, but a search of Peace Park didn't turn up any insects. As usual on any warm day in winter, I found a few Red-shouldered Bugs outside Jesse Hall. I also had a winter crane fly land on a book I was reading outside.

I've been reading Enjoying Moths by Roy Leverton. The book was published in Great Britain, so it's mostly about British moths. Here's a great quote from the chapter discussing European moths that have become established in North America:

“Some moths (or rather their caterpillars) have been given common names, such as Apple Leaf Skeletonizer Chloreutis pariana and Omnivorous Leaf-tier Cnephasia longana, reflecting an American tendency to see moths as enemies rather than as wildlife. After it was introduced, our Rosy Rustic became their Potato Stem Borer!”

1 comment:

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Interesting quote regarding the New World Common names of the moth common names being changed from its Old World Name into a destructive sounding name- like Potato Stem Borer. In many cases- the common name reflects the behavior of the larvae of the moth- rather than the adult moth. When I am researching a plant, insect, bird, etc- I like to learn the meaning of the Scientific name- it is usually descriptive as well- and in many times humorous. Some of the more interesting that I've encountered: the Brown-headed Cowbird scientific name means "Dark, Greedy, Beggar." The White Micrathena Spider's Scientific name means: "Turban Wearer" (my favorite), and The Pied-Billed Grebe's scientific name means: "feet at the buttocks and rump-headed."

I do think that in the United States (and other agricultural countries)- many insects are viewed as enemies. It is interesting to read the yearbooks published by the US Department of Agricultural over the years- many entymologists were employed to study the effects of insects in regards to the damage that they cause crops.