Lepidoptera Facts Catching Butterflies And Moths
It is not at all surprising that entomology should prove such a fascinating study to the young, and more especially that portion which deals with the department we are now considering. Butterflies and moths are among the most beautiful and most interesting of living creatures. The study of their life history is enchanting, and the creatures themselves are of such a size as to be conveniently handled and preserved, and withal occupy so little space that anyone with only moderate accommodation may possess a fairly typical collection.
Compare the work of the entomologist with that of one whose hobby is the study of mammals. The latter has to deal with large and cumbersome objects, a collection of which requires an enormous amount of space; and, unless he has the time and means to travel in foreign countries, he cannot get together a good typical collection of specimens representing his particular branch, for the few British mammals contain no representatives of several of the orders into which the class is divided.
Entomology is undoubtedly, par excellence, the study for youngsters. It is equally suited to the studious and to those of an adventurous turn of mind. It leads its follower into the bright sunshine and the flowery meadows; and with body and mind pleasantly occupied, the joy of living is deeply felt. The necessary apparatus can be made by anyone. No dangerous gun is required, and there are no precipitous rocks to scale. When the autumn flowers fade the year’s work of the entomologist is not done, for the arranging of his cabinet and the demands of his living specimens keep him more or less actively engaged until the flowers of the following spring call both him and the insects he loves once more into the field. And so, season after season, and year after year, he finds himself engrossed in labours so fascinating that idleness-the curse of so many of our youths-is with him an impossibility.
I assume that the readers of this book have a desire to take up the study of one branch of entomology-that of butterflies and moths-in real earnest; that they intend not only to read about these interesting insects, but to know them. And there is only one way in which one may really get to know living creatures; that is by searching them out in their haunts, observing their growth and habits, and by an occasional close examination in order to become acquainted with their structure.
Hence I shall in this, the practical portion of the work, give such information as will assist the beginner in catching, preserving, rearing, breeding, and arranging the specimens that are to form his collection.