Page:De Vismes Kane-European Butterflies.djvu/17

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.
xiii
INTRODUCTION.

Sphinges). Their wings when at rest are folded over the hack of the insect roofwise, and the hind wings are of a softer tissue than the upper, and can he creased lengthwise and rolled up heneath them.

The body is not pinched-in in the middle, as in the Rhopalocera (butterflies), but the thorax and abdomen are continuous. The eyes are almost always smooth and polished. By far the greater portion of the group fly only in the dusk or at night. But a considerable number are to be taken in the daytime resting on flowers, or swiftly visiting them in search of honey : and many of the Sphingidse, such as the Burnet Moths (Zygsena), add largely to the contents of the collecting-box in a day's walk.

But moths (Heterocera) unfortunately are not suitable by reason of their large heavy bodies for the method of collecting in envelopes, which I shall proceed to describe for the benefit of tourists.

Apparatus.

The apparatus necessary for taking and bringing home a collection of butterflies in a small compass is simple, and easily carried.

It consists of a net, an oblong box (a shallow cigar-box divided transversely by a little partition across the middle is exceedingly suitable), and a number of paper envelopes.

The net may be purchased with a jointed ring, so as to fold up and fit into a small space when not in use, and I recommend those having but one joint, as being least likely to go out of order.

The "handle should not be more than 2 ft. to 3 ft. long, of light wood (a stout bamboo is excellent), heavier at the butt, which should be thick enough to alPord a secure grasp. The