Z is for Zebra Swallowtail

zebra-swallowtail

Most of our Swallowtail butterflies are so distinctive in form and colors that they are easily distinguished from one another, but the Zebra species is so different from all the rest that when it is once seen it is likely always to be remembered.

The text is from the book Butterflies Worth Knowing, by Clarence M. Weed, (1917). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

Y is for Yellow Jacket

yellowjacket-final

We were walking through the woods one hot day in the middle of August when our attention was attracted by a stream of yellow-jackets issuing from the ground. They came in such surprising numbers and looked so full of energy that we stopped to watch them, and this was our introduction to the study of these bold sons of air and heat.

The text is from the book Wasps Social and Solitary, by George W. Peckham and Elizabeth Peckham, (1905). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

X is for Xerces Blue Butterfly

xerces-butterfly

L. Xerces. . .is now extinct as regards the neighborhood of S. Francisco. The locality where it used to be found is converted into building lots and between German chickens and Irish hogs no insect can exist beside louse and flea.

The text is from a letter written by Dr. H.H. Behr to Herman Strecker, 26 September 1875, as quoted in F. Martin Brown’s article “Letters from Dr. H.H. Behr to Herman Strecker,” Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society, (1968), which can be viewed on the Yale University website.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

W is for Water Beetle

water-beetle

The life history of this minute water scavenger has never been
described. The small, elongate beetles are often overlooked unless one
collects especially for them. They are found either in flowing or stand-
ing water and occur most frequently where the shore is muddy or
gravelly.

The text is from the article “Studies on the biology of the aquatic hydrophilidae,” by Edward Avery Richmond, reprinted in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. XLII, Art. I, pp. 1-94, (1920). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

V is for Viceroy Butterfly

viceroy-butterfly

The Viceroy is commonly supposed to have no objectionable taste when eaten by birds, but it so closely resmbles the Monarch in its color pattern and its habits of flight that it has been assumed that birds would not touch it because of its resemblance to the distasteful butterfly.

The text is from the book Butterflies Worth Knowing, by Clarence M. Weed, (1917). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

U is for Underwing Moth

underwing-moth

The novelty of the first underwing moth (Catocala Amatrix) has passed away . . . These fine moths during the day sit on the trunks of trees, and are scarcely distinguishable from the bark thereof, as their grey lichen-looking upper wings entirely conceal the splendor of the scarlet, or yellow under wings.

The text is from the book Butterflies and Moths of North America, by Herman Strecker, (1878).  Click here to read it online, or download it free, from the Internet Archive. 

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

T is for Termite

termites

The military condition. . .is most perfectly developed among the so-called white ants, or Termites, living in Africa, Southern Asia, South America, and Australia; . . .above and below the royal cell are the rooms of the workers and soldiers which are specially charged with the care and defence of the royal pair.

The text is from the book Mind in Animals, by Ludwig Buchner, (1880). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013