[Excerpted from Strecker (1872)]


Antennae pectinated. Head and thorax dark brownish red; collar white; abdomen alternately banded with dark brown and white.

Upper surface, primaries, inner half dark reddish brown, with a dirty white band near the base, and a small white oval discal spot bordered on the outer and inner sides with black; the dark red colored space is bounded outwardly by a white transverse band extending from the costa to the interior margin, widening at the latter termination; the space immediately beyond the white band, occupying fully two-thirds of the exterior half of the surface, is dark grey, composed of black and white scales, the exterior portion being the darkest; the remaining space between this and the exterior margin is dirty grey, traversed by a serpentine black line; a short space in from the apex on the costa is a small black spot, from which a zigzag white line extends a short distance to another larger black spot of an oval shape, which has within it a pale blue crescent; the space from this latter black spot to the costa, and from the zigzag line almost to the white transverse band is violet.

Secondaries have a white basal patch, also a white transverse band, as in Cecropia, the color between this band and the base is dark brownish red; in the centre is a moderately large Innate discal spot, white edged with black; of' the remaining space, between the transverse band and the exterior margin, the inner two-thirds is composed of black and white scales, as in the primaries, and the outer third is light, dirty grey, which latter is divided by a black line, on the inside of which line, running parallel with it, is a row of irregularly shaped black spots.

Under surface same as above, with the exception of the ground color of the secondaries between the transverse bands and base, which is composed of black and white scales instead of being dark red as on the upper surface.

Antennae not as broadly pectinated as in the male. Head and thorax brownish or brick red, much the same as in ordinary forms of Cecropia; abdomen alternately banded with the same color and white.*

On the primaries the transverse white band is somewhat irregular, and rounded outwardly; the basal band also rounded; the distal spot larger than in male, and slightly lunate; the ground color between the transverse band and base is brownish reel, of a slightly different tint than the thorax; the portion beyond the transverse band, light dirty grey as far as the serpentine line, the inner third of it powdered with a band of reddish scales, broader near the exterior margin, and narrowing towards the costa; margin outside of serpentine line dirty white, shaded slightly exteriorly; the black apical spots and violet patch same as in male.

Secondaries. Color same as in primaries; ornamentation same as in male, except the discal spot which is double the size. Under surface marked same as the upper; coloration same as in under surface of male. Habitat. Arizona. This species I have named in honor of that most indefatigable of all hard working naturalists, Prof. Townend Glover, of Washington, D. C., who first showed me examples of it, which were said to have come from lower California, but as L. Weidemeyerii, Parn, Smintheus, and other northern Montane species were sent along in company with it, I expressed my doubts regarding that locality, which have since been confirmed by my receiving a female example from Arizona.

Of the distinctness of this species from P. Euryale, Boisd., (P. Californica Grote,) and P. Cecropia, there cannot be a particle of doubt, but what relation it may bear to P. Columbia, Smith, I am unable to say, (though the wide difference in locality convinces me they are distinct,) as I believe no figure has yet been published of the latter species, and Prof. S. J. Smith's types are all contained in some institution in Massachusetts, and the species must consequently remain a blank to the scientific world, until some one gives a figure of it. Apropos to this giving descriptions without figures, I may say that we Americans certainly occupy a most unenviable pre-eminence; if we had more figures and fewer descriptions there would be, I have little doubt, more satisfaction and considerably less confusion among scientists. The idea of expecting anything short Of the supernatural to identify a Lycaena, Hesperia, or any of the smaller noctuidae, by a mere description, is preposterous. Why, even larger species cannot thus be identified. I would like to see the Entomologist who could, by any description, identify or separate from each other Vanessa Polychloros, Californica, Xanthomelas, and Ichnusa- -yet although probably sprung from the same root, they are different in appearance when placed side by side, and exist in localities widely remote from each other. I would say the same of Van. J. Album and V. Album, or of many of the Coliades. Many and many a time have I, when a whole evening was wasted, trying with aching head to find out whether some little butterfly was something or something else, consigned the discoverer of the species in question to all kinds of unspeakable torments. Here is a sample of the result of this state of affairs, as shown by the latest synopsis of North American Butterflies, by W. H. Edwards: Thecla Humuli, Harris, is Melinus, Hub., Favonius, Bois. & Lee., and Hyperici, Bois. & Lee., T. Edwardsii, Saunders is Falacer, Harris and Calanus, Grote & Robinson, while Calanus, Hub., is Falacer, Godt. T. Viridis, Edwards, is Dumetorum, Boisd. T. Henrici, Grote, is Arsace, Bois. & Lee. Lycaena Anna, Edwards, is Cajona, Reakirt, Argyrotoxus, Behr, and Philemon, Boisd.

The female of Colias Eurydice has been in its time Gonepteryx Rhamni, Gonepteryx Lorquinii, and lastly Megonostoma Helena, Male! and if the brilliant colored male had not been at last coupled to his plain spouse, heaven knows what she would not have been. I might go on multiplying instances ad libitum, but until the descriptions of species are accompanied by correct figures, every new species described will but add to confusion confounded.

* As the bodies of my examples were much rubbed when I received them, some allowance must be made for this portion of my description.

last modified 11/03/96 by jgk
Return to Moth History Home Page