Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 19 > Page 26 - Moths and Butterflies of Cape Breton - A Talk with Dr. Graham Bell Fairchild

Page 26 - Moths and Butterflies of Cape Breton - A Talk with Dr. Graham Bell Fairchild

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/6/1 (1007 reads)

tongues. The tongue is like a watchspring and you can jnill it all out along a ruler-- and you find that these things and a number of others have long tongues. Then I correl? ated it and particularly noted those that had orchid pollen on them. And all those were the ones with long tongues. Short- tongued ones didn't visit orchids. Butter? flies and day-flying moths are the usual fertilizers of these Purple Habenaria that you see in the fields here in August, very fragrant. And they're attractive to moths and butterflies. They have a long nectar tube and they are fertilized by these long- tongued ones. Orchids, with a few excep? tions, are all insect fertilized, and those that are fragrant at night are usually fer? tilized by moths. (How do you get a caterpillar to pupate?) You can't just put a caterpillar in a bot? tle with a piece of grass. You have to feed the caterpillar the food that" it eats. Now if you find the caterpillar on a willow bush eating willow, then you feed it willow. You don't throw in a batch of dandelion leaves. (Water?) No. (Air?) You raake yourself little cages, perhaps with netting sides like this one, then you take a little bottle, cut a groove in the cork and stick the food plant in that. In this case, the caterpillar un? fortunately died. Had he lived, when he got wandering around I would have put some dirt in there. The caterpillar would have gone and buried himself in the dirt and turned into a pupa and hatched out next spring. The trouble with Wooly Bears is that they hibernate, like real bears, instead of pu? pating like proper moths. When you catch them wandering about in the fall, they are not hungry, hut looking for a good sleeping place. Next time put them in a flower pot with dirt, grass, etc., put a netting cover over it, and bury it in the garden. Next spring dig it up and if you're lucky, the creature will produce a tan moth called Isia Isabella. Isabella is a sort of dirty yellow brown, so named for the noted Queen who was supposed not to have washed or changed her linen during the time Columbus was on his first voyage. Enton'logy is full of such gritty little literary items. (How many different kinds of moths and but? terflies are there in Cape Breton?) I don't know. I imagine about 50 species of butter? flies, and there are probably 1000 moths. You have to remember that the bulk of these would be no bigger than perhaps a quarter of an inch • you wouldn't even notice them. You notice these things that turn the birch leaves brown in the summer • that's a moth. The larvae mine between the two layers of the leaf. They're pretty small, you see. (Moths are easier to get, though, because they'll come to light.) Yes. But if you really want to get them, you've got to use all kinds of methods of collection. There's a whole group, some of them fair size, they look like wasps, clear-winged, bright-cpl- oured some of them, which, bore inside the stems of plants. There's one that attacks maple bark, another attacks wild cherry* an- Cape Breton's Magazine/26 Keeping the docM* lif KEEPING THE DOOR OPEN to new energy sources will decrease our dependence on imported oil. Electricity will play an increasingly important role. The Science Council of Canada in its July 1976 report states: "By the year 2001 electric energy, as an end use form, is expected to be the backbone of our economy."* The Nova Scotia Power Corporation is looking at developments in the alternate energy fields: coal, hydro, tidal, wind, nuclear, solar, wood and waste products for the production of electricity. We also believe that electricty will fill the energy gap because it can be generated from so many different sources. As an energy consumer you should now learn to use all forms wisely and efficiently • we have a free booklet that can help. Write to us at Box 910, Halifax. ' • based on Report Number 25, Pofjulation, * Technology & Resources, Science Council of Canada 1976. Customer Services Division nova scotia power corporation
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