A. S. (Alpheus Spring) Packard.

Guide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists online

. (page 25 of 29)
Online LibraryA. S. (Alpheus Spring) PackardGuide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists → online text (page 25 of 29)
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describes the eggs as being "nearly round, a little flattened at
the apex and flattened also at the base, where it is fastened to
the box. They, are greenish white, and thickly indented ; at the
apex is a considerable depression ; immediately around this,
the indentations are small, growing larger towards the base."


The genus Lyccena is azure blue -throughout, with dark mark -
ings. Lyccena neglecta Edwards (Polyommatus pseudargiolus
Harris) is very common about the Kalmia and Rhodora in
May, and a new brood appears in June and July. It has been
reared by Mr. Saunders, from whom I have received the pupa,
which is a little hairy, being much smaller than in Thecla
Acadica and paler ashy. It is spotted quite thickly with black
blotches, and on each side of the abdomen is a subdorsal row
of rather large, black, contiguous blotches, more distinct than
in T. Acadica. It is .30 of an inch long.

L. comyntas Harris is quite common southward. It differs
from the other species in having a little tail on the hind wings,
at the base of which are two deep, orange-colored crescents.
It flies in July and August. The caterpillar lives on the Lespe-
deza. It is green with three darker stripes. The brown chrys-
alis has three rows of black spots on the back.

Thecla differs from the two preceding genera, in its conspic-
uous tails and the longer clubs of the antennae and its dusky
brown hues. The larvae are longer and flatter, and they usually
live on trees. Tliecla Immuli Harris feeds on the hop-vine.
It flies in July and August. Thecla niphon Godart, a dusky
rust-red butterfly, feeds on the pine. The larva is green, with
a dorsal yellow stripe, and, a white one on each side. It
changes to a short, thick, greyish pupa, with two rows of
blackish dots, and beyond these a row of rust-red ones. Mr.
Saunders has sent us the following description of the cater-
pillar and chrysalis of Thecla Acadica Edwards, found by him
at London, Canada West, feeding on the willow, June llth
and 18th. "It was .63 of an inch in length, with a very small,
pale brown head, withdrawn within the prothoracic segment,
when at rest. The body is rather dark green, and is thickest
from the mesothoracic to the sixth abdominal segment. There
is a darker green, dorsal line, the dorsal region being flat,
rather wide, and edged on each side with a raised, whitish yel-
low line, and the sides of the body are inclined at almost an
acute angle, and striped with faint, oblique lines, of a greenish
yellow. A whitish yellow line borders the under surface, be-
ginning at the anterior edge of the second segment (the head
is, for convenience, counted as a single ring, or segment) and


extending entirely around the body. The chrysalis is .32 of
an inch long, and .15 wide. It is fastened with a silken
thread. The abdomen is thickened and somewhat raised. It
is minutely hairy, pale brown, with many dots and patches of
a darker color ; the upper edge of the wings being quite dark,
with a dark ventral stripe, and four or five short, dark lines on
the side. It remains in the chrysalis state eight or nine days,
the caterpillar turning dark July 3d, just before pupating."
The body, especially the abdomen, is thicker and fuller than in
Chrysophanus Americanus.

Thecla Mopsus Hiibner is found in New England and Canada.
Mr. Saunders sends me the following description of the larva
taken June 9th, by beating bushes, at London, Canada. "It
was .40 of an inch in length. The head is small, of a shin-
ing black color, with a pale stripe across the front just above
the mandibles, and is drawn within the second ring when at
rest. The body above is green along the middle rings, deep rose
color at each extremity, and is thickly covered with short, brown
hairs. The second segment is rosy above, greenish yellow at
the sides, with an edging of the same color in front ; the third
segment is entirely rose colored ; from the third to the tenth
segments is a dorsal stripe of rose which is wide on the fourth,
fifth, eight and ninth segments, t>ut narrow and linear on the
intermediate ones ; on the tenth segment the green encroaches
on the rose color on the sides of the body, extending more than
half-way upon the segment behind the tenth. The body is
rose colored with a dorsal streak of a darker shade. The rose
color at each extremity is united by a rosy line along each side
close to the under surface which grows fainter on the middle
segments. The under surface is dull green, with a yellowish
tint ; the feet and prolegs (abdominal legs) are yellowish
green. June 24th, the larva has now become quite large and
will probably soon go into the chrysalis state. I found it
would readily eat the plum and cherry.

"Its length is now .70 ; its width about .20 of an inch. The
head is very small, bilobed, black and shining, with a streak of
dull white across the front above the mandibles, which are
reddish brown. The body above is dull green, with a yel-
lowish tint, especially on the anterior segments, which are


thickly covered with very short, brown hairs, scarcely visible
without a magnifier; these hairs arise from small, pale, yel-
lowish dots which appear slightly raised ; there is a dorsal streak
of dark green arising from the internal organs showing through
the scniitranspareut skin. There is a patch of dull pink, or
rosy color, on the anterior segments from the second to the
fourth inclusive ; it is faint on the second ring, and covering
but a single portion of its upper surface, and nearly covering
the dorsal crest on the third segment, and reduced again to a
small, faint patch on the fourth. On the posterior segments is
a much larger rosy patch, extending from the hinder part of the
ninth segment to the end of the body. The hinder part of
the ninth segment is merely tinged. On the tenth segment it
becomes a rather large patch, widening posteriorly. Behind
this the bod}' is entirely covered with rosy red. The sides of
the tenth segment, close to the under surface, have a streak of
the same color, and there is a faint continuation of this on the
ninth segment. The head is drawn within the second segment
when at rest. The second segment is smaller than the third ;
there is a wide dorsal crest, or ridge, from the third to the tenth
segments inclusive ; behind this the body is suddenly flattened,
the sides suddenly sloping. The under surface is yellowish
green, with a few very fine brownish hairs ; the feet and
prolegs are greenish, semitransparent.

"On June 29th it fastened itself to the lid of the box, chang-
ing to a chrysalis July 1st, which was .45 of an inch in
length, and its greatest width .20 of an inch. The body is
pale brown and glossy, with many small, dark brown or black-
ish dots distributed over the whole surface ; they are thicker
along the middle above, with a faint, imperfect, ventral stripe
from the seventh to the eleventh segments ; the surface is
thickly covered with very short, brown hairs, invisible without
a magnifier. The imago appeared July 13th."

Mr. Saunders has found the larva of Theda strigosa Harris,
a rare species in Canada and New England, feeding on the
thorn, Cratico-us, July 13th. "The head is small, greenish, with
a faint tint of brown, and a black stripe across the front below
the middle, and a patch of white between this stripe and the
mandibles, which are brownish black above. The body is of a


rich velvety green, with a yellowish tinge, slightly paler be-
tween the segments, and a dorsal stripe of a darker shade,
centred along the middle segments with a faint, yellowish
line. The anterior edge of the second segment is yellowish
brown, with a few dots of a darker color. The body is thickly
covered with minute hairs which are brown above and white
below, being scarcely visible to the naked eye. The body is
flattened above (dorsal crest not bordered with yellow as in T.
Acadica), steeply sloped at the sides, where it is striped with
faint oblique lines of yellowish, two or three on each segment.
The two last segments have a patch of yellowish on each side?
making the dark dorsal line appear much more prominent. A
faint yellowish line close to the under surface from the fifth to
the terminal segments. The under surface is bluish green,
with a darker patch on the last two segments.

u The chrysalis changed June 19th, and is nearly oval in form.
The head-case is rounded, and the body is dark reddish brown,
with black markings thickly covered with fine, short, whitish
hairs, rather more numerous on the anterior and posterior
segments. Anterior segments with many thickly set patches
of blackish, and a dark ventral line from the sixth to the
twelfth segments. It is bound by a few silken threads on
the anterior portion of the first and second segments."

The accompanying cut (Fig. 197) represents the pupa of a

Thecla, found in July by Mr. Sanborn, on the Glen road to

Mount Washington. The body is smooth and tapers gradually

from the mesothorax, and the venation of the wings is

very apparent. Another pupa, probably of Thecla, found
by Mr. Sanborn, is very different, being much stouter,
and thicker through the abdomen, by a third of its
' diameter, than the chrysalis figured. It is rough and
covered with short, fine, stiff hairs ; the tegument is so thick,
that there are no traces of the veins of the wing, while the
sutures between the segments and the appendages are not
nearly as distinct. The larva, according to Mr. Sanborn's
notes, was found feeding upon the White Pine, July 13th.
"It was .45 of an inch long; the head was retracted, yellow-
ish, and the body pale, transparent green, with four longi-
tudinal, white stripes, and one transverse, lozenge-shaped


patch, of the same color, on the eleventh segment. The rings
were all somewhat elevated in the middle of their diameter and
thinly covered with yellowish brown, short hairs." lie did not
succeed in rearing the butterfly, but this description will be
useful to any entomologist who may be fortunate enough to
rear it hereafter.

The Hesperians, or Skippers, are a large group of small,
dark, dun-colored butterflies, whose antennae have the knob
curved like a hook, or ending in a little point bent to one side,
reminding us of the antennae of the Sphinges. They are moth-
like in their motions, form, and larval characters. They are
stout bodied, with large heads and prominent eyes, and thick
palpi, almost square at the end. The larvae are spindle-shaped,
naked, and with a remarkably large head. They are solitary,
and often hide in folded leaves like the Tortricidce, trans-
forming in a rude cocoon of dead leaves or stub-
ble, held together by silken threads. The pupae
are somewhat conical, like those of moths,
smooth and generally covered with a bluish
white powder. They are fastened by the tail <s=a
and a slight band of threads within their rude Fi #- 198 -
cocoons. We have many species in this country ; the largest
forms occurring southwards.

Eudamus Tityrus Cramer feeds on the locust and is our largest
species northward. E. Batliyllus flies in June and July. It feeds
on Gtycine and Iledysarurn in May and June. In Hesj)eria
the knobs are shorter, and end in a point turned sidewise.
The upper wings are raised, and the lower spread out flat when
at rest. The chrysalis has a long tongue-case free at the end,
in this respect showing a transition to the hawk-moths. They
are snuff-brown, with dark spots.

Mr. W. Saunders has been very successful in raising the
larvae of H. Hobomoc Harris and other butterflies and moths,
by watching for the fertile eggs in captured specimens, which
are often deposited on the sides of the collecting box. The
food-plant of the larvae can usually be discovered after experi-
menting with those plants on which other 'species of this or
allied genera are known to feed. "The egg, deposited June
17th, is nearly round, flattened on the lower side, and of a


pale green color. Under the microscope it appears plainly
reticulated, with fine, six-sided markings, strongly resembling
the cornea of a fly's eye. The larva on finding its way out,
June 27th, began to eat the egg-shell at the centre above.
It feeds on grass, on the inside of the leaves near the joints,
drawing portions of the leaves together with silken threads.
When placed on a strongly ribbed blade of grass, it spins a
few threads from rib to rib, and stations itself behind the
threads. By the 14th of July the caterpillars were three-
eighths of an inch long and resembled those of H. Mystic
of the same age." Mr. Saunders did not succeed in raising
the caterpillars to maturity as they were unfortunately lost.

The most abundant species in New England is A. Wamsutta
Harris (Fig. 198) which frequents roadsides throughout the
summer. According to Mr. Saunders' notes, from "eggs de-
posited July 10th, the young larva was hatched July 24th, the
eggs growing darker about two or three d&ys previous. The
egg is pale greenish yellow, or yellowish green, strongly con-
vex above, and flattened at the place of attachment. The flat-
tened portion is slightly concave and very faintly reticulated
under a power of forty-five diameters.

The young larva, when first hatched, is about the same as
that of Mystic and Hobomoc, probably .10 of an inch, and is
scarcely distinguishable from them, excepting that it is slightly
darker in color. The head is large and prominent and of a
shining black color. The second segment has a ring of brown-
ish black, encircling it above. The body is dull brownish yel-
low, very faintly dotted with black, each dot emitting a single,
rather long, brownish hair. The under surface is rather paler
than the upper.

Mr. Saunders has also reared the larva of H. Mystic Edwards
from the egg, which is "strongly convex above, flattened below
and depressed in the centre of the flattened portion. Under
a magnifying power of eighty diameters, the surface is seen
to be faintly reticulated ; it is pale yellowish green. The eggs
were deposited about the 20th of June and hatched on the
28th and 29th of June. When hatched it was .10 of an inch
long, with a large, black head, and was white, becoming yel-
lowish brown, especially towards the end of the body. It feeds


on grass, and at this stage can scarcely be distinguished from
the young larva of II. Ilobomor. When ;ui inch long the hrad
is not large in proportion to the body, though it is prominent
and wider than the second segment ; it is dull reddish brown
and black posteriorly. The body above is semitransparent,
dull brownish green, with minute, whitish hairs, similar to
those on the head, with a dorsal line and many darker dots
over the surface. The second segment is pale whitish, with a
line of brownish black across the upper surface, with a faint,
pale, lateral line close to the under surface: the terminal seg-
ments are paler than the rest of the body. The feet are
whitish, semitransparent. This species is found from Canada
to Maryland.

: Latreille. The Hawk-moths or Humming-bird
moths are among the largest and stoutest of Lepidoptera. The
body is very stout, spindle-shaped, with narrow, powerful wings.
Their flight is, consequently, exceedingly swift and strong.
The antennae are prismatic in form and thickened in the mid-
dle. The tongue, or maxillae, is remarkably long, so that the
insect is able, while on the wing, to explore the interior of
deep flowers. This habit of remaining for a considerable time
poised in the air on their rapidly vibrating wings, causes them
to be mistaken for humming-birds. At rest the wings are
folded, roof-like, over the body. The larvae have sixteen legs,
and on the last segment is an acute horn, sometimes represented
by a simple tubercle. At rest they stand with the forepart
of the body elevated in a supposed Sphinx-like attitude. The
la r vie descend into the earth and transform, often in rude,
earthen cocoons, moulded into form by the pressure of the
body. The tongue-case is usually free.

There are between 300 and 400 species known, a large part
of which are tropical American. Most of the species fly in
June and July. The larvae transform in the latter part of
August, and in September.

In Ellema the body is small. The head is small, narrow and
somewhat tufted, and with small eyes. It might be passed over
on a hasty view for a Noctuid. The larva of Ellema //"/v/.s/V
Clemens is green, has no caudal horn, and lives on the pine.


Mr. Saunders writes me that he has found it feeding on the
pine, about the middle of September. "It is two inches long,
the body being smooth and nearly cylindrical- and thickest in
the middle of the body. The head is large, pointed above, flat
in front and green, with a yellow stripe on each side. The
body is bright green, with a dorsal row of dark red spots on
the fifth to the twelfth segments inclusive, with a bright yel-
low stripe on each side of the reddish spots and a lateral
white stripe mixed with yellow." The moth is a very small,
ash grey species, only expanding two inches. It frequents
flowers at dusk in June.

The genus Sphinx, as now limited by systematists, is much
larger bodied, with a long and narrow head, small eyes and
long and narrow wings. The head of the larva is rather
large, semi-oval and flattened in front. The body is cylin-
drical, smooth and obliquely banded on the side, with an
arching, caudal horn. It transforms in a subterranean earthen
cell. The tongue-case of the pupa is short and free, instead
of being soldered to the body. Sphinx gordius Cramer is dark
brown, with a roseate tinge, and the thorax is blackish brown
above. The larva feeds 011 the apple.

Sphinx kalmice Smith is hoary and rust-red, and on the hind
wings are a median and marginal black band. The caterpillar
feeds on the lilac and laurel. It is pale green, with seven
oblique, lateral, pale yellow bands, edged above with black,
which is again bordered with pale blue. /Sphinx drupiferarum
Smith has the fore-wings blackish brown, with the discal dot
and outer edge of the wing whitish fawn-color. The larva
feeds on the different species of plum. The body is pale green,
with lateral purple bands, edged beneath with white. Sphinx
chersis Hiibner (S. cinerea Harris) is the largest species we
have, and is pale ashen, and reddish gray beneath. The larva
feeds on the lilac.

The large "potato worm" belongs to the genus Macrosila,
containing our largest species of the family ; the head is pro-
portionally large, and the wings are rather broad, with the
interior angles dilated. M. cinyulata Fabr. has. pink hind
wings and pink spots on the abdomen. It feeds on the sweet
potato. M. quinque-maculata Haworth (Fig. 199, moth ; a,





larva ; b, pupa) is gray ; the fore-wings are immaculate at the
base, and on the hind wings are two distinct angulated bands.
The larva feeds on the tomato and potato vines. It is dark
green, with a series of greenish yellow angular bands on the
side. The tongue-case is long and much arched. M. Carolina
Linn, is cinereous, with a white spot at the base of the fore-
wing, while the central band of the hind wings are indistinct.

The larva (Fig. 200)
feeds on the tobacco
and tomato. It is dark
green with lateral,
oblique, white bands,
edged above with blu-
ish and short trans-
rig. 200. i i T

verse black stripes.

The tongue-case is shorter and less curved than in M. 5-macu-
lata. The tongue of a Madagascar hawk-moth, M. duentius,
Wallace states, is nine and a quarter inches long, probably
adapted for exploring the long nectaries of some Orchids.

In Ceratomia the body is thick, with the head and eyes small ;
the thorax is short and round, while the abdomen is rather
long. The larva is easily known by the
four thoracic horns, besides the usual
caudal horn. The tongue-case is not
free. C. Amyntor Hiibner (quadricornis
Harris) feeds on the elm.

We now come to the more aberrant
forms of the family. Under the name
of Cressonia Mr. Grote has separated
Fig. 201. from the genus Smerinthus, a species in

which the wings are more notched than in the latter genus, and
the antennae are slightly pectinated. Cressonia juglandis Smith
(Fig. 201, venation) is of a pale fawn-color, and has no eye-like
spots on the hind wings, as in Smerinthus. The larva is bluish
green, with a row of subdorsal and stigmatal reddish brown
spots, and six oblique, lateral, bright yellow bands. It lives on
the wild cherry.

In Smerinthus the body is stout, the head sunken and the
maxillae are only as long as the palpi, being almost obsolete.


The species are said to fly heavily and only in the night. The
head of the larva is semi-oval or pyramidal, acute above, and
the thoracic rings are obliquely banded on each side. The
pupa is smooth, cylindrical and somewhat conical in form. /$.
modestus Harris is a very large species, expanding nearly six
inches. It feeds on the Lombardy poplar. JS. exccecatus Smith
has the hind wings rosy on the inner angle. The "ocellus" or
eye-like spot is black, with two or three blue pupils. The
larva is apple green, with seven oblique, yellowish white lines
on the sides, and a bluish caudal horn. It feeds on the apple
and the Rosa Carolina. S. geminatus Say (Fig. 202, venation
of the hind wing) is so-called from the two or three blue pupil*
in the black ocellus. The hind wings are rosy.
The pupa has been found at the roots of

In the genus Philampelus, or lover of the vine,
as its name indicates, the tongue is again as long Fi s- 202>
as the body. The antenna? have a long hook tapering to
the end, bearing cilise in the male. The abdomen is large and
thick, and the wings are deeply concave on the inner border.
The larva has a tubercle in place of a caudal horn. The
tongue-case of the pupa is not free. P. vitis Harris is olive
green, with pale green hind wings, which are rose-red towards
the inner margin. The larva is flesh-colored mixed with yel-
low, and with short, transverse, black lines, and lateral, semi-
oval, yellowish white bands, edged with black.

In Deilepliila the abdomen tapers suddenly at the tip and
the fusiform antenna} end in a minute hook. The gaily colored
larva has a straight and rather short caudal horn. There are no
oblique bands on the sides of the body, but a row of subdorsal
spots on each side. Clemens states that the anterior segments
are much attenuated, and are capable of being withdrawn or
shortened, or much extended. "When disturbed they fall from
their food-plants, shorten the anterior segments and bend the
head inwards." They transform in a cell excavated from the
surface. The tongue-case of the pupa is not free. D. lineata
Fabr. is olive green, with six white lines on the thorax. The hind
wings are black with a rose colored central band. The larva is
yellowish green ; the subdorsal spots consisting of two curved,



short, black lines, with yellow above and beneath. It is double
brooded in Texas. The larva feeds on the purslane and turnip,
and will, in confinement, eat the apple. D. chamcenerii Harris
has a white line on each side of the head and thorax. The
larva feeds on the willow-herb (Epilobium angustifolium) . It
is bronze green, dull red beneath, with nine round cream-
colored spots, pupilled with black, and a dull red caudal horn.
The genus Tliyreus has a lateral tuft on each side of the tip of
the flattened, oval abdomen, and the head is broad and obtuse,
while the fore-wings are excavated just below the tips. The

body of the

j'aCTTOsi^ iinminmi anBirn larva ta P ers

gently from
the first ab-
dominal ring,
and the last
segment has a
lenticular tu-
bercle instead
of a true horn.
When at rest
it throws its
head from side
to side thus
producing a

noise. It transforms in a cell on the surface. T. Abbotii
Swainson (Fig. 203 and larva) is dull chocolate brown, with
dull sulphureous hind wings, with a dark brown terminal band
broken up into short lines on a roseate spot at the inner angle.
The larva is reddish brown, with numerous patches of light
green. The tubercle is black, encircled at base by a yellowish
line and a blackish cordate patch. It feeds on the wild and
cultivated grape-vines and on the Ampelopsis quinquefolia, or

The Bee-moth or Clear-wing, Sesia, is smaller than the fore-
going genera, and the body is flattened, oval and gaily colored
with yellow, black and red, while the wings are transparent in

Online LibraryA. S. (Alpheus Spring) PackardGuide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists → online text (page 25 of 29)