它的白天比夜晚更美麗──飛蛾

:::

1998 / 10月

文‧張靜茹 圖‧張良綱



「當又大又圓的月亮照在蘭嶼的海面上,研究人員在森林中走動,成群的蛾類就在月光下飛舞。」

「五月的日月潭,雌皇蛾展開超過三怳膜擘e的雙翅,在黃色的路燈下飛翔,她的飛行漫無目的,像張紙在空中飄揚。」

「蛾的種類太多,翅膀花紋的變化往往出人意表,有白底灑滿藍點、黃點的夜蛾,有蝴蝶不會出現的X形花紋圖案。」……

研究蛾類的顏聖紘描述自己看蛾的經驗時,猶自回味,他希望,人們對蛾的瞭解,不再只限於「飛蛾撲火」。

人們慣常帶著喜悅的聲調,以毛毛蟲脫蛹而出比喻生命的蛻變、昇華,但大部份人真見了毛毛蟲,又多少不由自主打個寒顫、露出噁心表情。

蝴蝶谷,飛蛾災

在人類眼中,毛毛蟲是矛盾的化身;當蟲兒破繭而出,是蛾、是蝶,更讓人大起分別心。

蛾類群集,常被懷疑是「害蟲大發生」,同樣的情形發生在蝴蝶身上,除了少數農民因為作物損失而恨之入骨,蝴蝶成群結伴,通常就被視為「奇觀」,人們還喜歡設置蝴蝶園專養蝴蝶。

以近來「走紅」的高雄美濃黃蝶翠谷為例,日據時代日人在當地種植鐵刀木製槍托,吸引來大批淡黃蝶,鐵刀木在遭淡黃蝶幼蟲群起啃食後,好似歲寒而凋,連鎖效應下毛毛蟲跟著減少,鐵刀木又得以調養生息,各式各樣的鳥兒也被吸引蜂擁而至,如此三到五年一回循環,運作出榮枯交替的有趣生態系。

黃蝶翠谷在被規畫為美濃水庫淹沒區後,人為開墾又不斷侵入當地,蝶類逐日減少,就引來國、內外保育人士群起呼籲政府關注當地的變化。

夜晚出現的巫婆?

人們畏懼毛毛蟲,但由毛毛蟲化蛹而出的蝴蝶卻博得人們關愛的眼神;至於蛾類,閩南語稱之為:骯髒的蝶兒。

從小就研究鱗翅目昆蟲的中山大學生命科學研究所碩士班畢業生顏聖紘,深解人們對飛蛾的偏見,他常在採集標本的戶外活動中,聽到小朋友「澄清」:我們是來抓蝴蝶,不是抓蛾的。許多人甚至在知道某一種毛毛蟲羽化後是蛾類,而非蝴蝶時,顯得大失所望。

顏聖紘說,長期來,蛾類被定位成:夜晚出現的巫婆、翅膀上的鱗粉有毒、相較於大自然的舞姬──蝴蝶,蛾類體型臃腫肥胖。

人們對毛毛蟲與飛蛾厭惡意識的形成複雜,但蝴蝶與蛾的待遇如此之差,在台灣鱗翅目分類高手顏聖紘眼中,問題在人們對飛蛾的認識太少,誤解又太深。

天蠶變

「台灣蛾類可能有八千種,已命名的有五千種,」帶著顏聖紘認識昆蟲世界的台大昆蟲系教授楊平世說,台灣還有成千種的蛾類在自然裡未被分類、訂名,「目前學界一年發表個一、二抮媟s種不算什麼。」

跟著許多生物學者研究昆蟲的顏聖紘,是台灣鱗翅目昆蟲分類的佼佼者,記錄、發表了許多飛蛾。但對顏聖紘來說,研究鱗翅目昆蟲的樂趣,顯然不只在辛苦分類、辨識它們之間的不同。

看看蝶、蛾從幼蟲變態為成蟲的過程,比異形突變還驚人。顏聖紘說,幼蟲體內有一團細胞,稱為「成蟲盤細胞」,在結網成蛹的「休眠」狀態,這一團細胞會忽然大量成長,將過去的幼蟲細胞替換掉,「就好似人身上藏著異形,突然扭曲而出,將人的原形取而代之。」

錯把天蛾當蜂鳥

至於毛毛蟲「天蠶變」之後,深諳飛蛾習性的顏聖紘,與一般人「重蝴蝶、輕飛蛾」的態度自然大不相同。

《大美百科全書》在蝶與蛾的比較上寫著:「兩者在型態與生態上並無非常明顯的項目可做分別。」只不過,「蛾類佔了鱗翅目的大部份,但是較為人所熟悉的卻是一些亮麗的日行性蝴蝶」。

日行性、亮麗的就是蝴蝶?曾經,報紙上以大大的標題登出台灣鳥類世界的最新發現:「台灣出現蜂鳥!」仔細看看圖片,原來是常在清晨、黃昏出現的天蛾,它們伸出長長的口器,以快速拍動羽翼的姿態吸食花蜜,難怪人們要張冠李戴。

飛蛾不必然只在夜晚出現;蝴蝶又真的比飛蛾美麗?美、醜牽涉主觀認知,但顏聖紘有話要說,他「客觀」的評比:蛾類數量太多了,至少顏色、花紋樣式就比較豐富,許多圖案的排列組合,是蝴蝶身上不曾出現的。

顏聖紘眼裡,蝴蝶還可以說是蛾的一種。他解釋,在過去的分類學架構下,依據蝶與蛾的單一特徵,例如觸角的差異,將蝴蝶與蛾分為不同亞目,但目前較合理且被廣泛接受的分類系統,卻根據它們的整體型態與分子特徵,將蝴蝶歸在蠶蛾亞群之下的各科裡。對分類學者而言,「應該關心的是每個類群間的演化關係,而非刻板的挖空心思分辨孰是蝴蝶、孰是蛾類。」

蠶寶寶也是蛾

但對於人們「醜化」蛾類,更任意在飛蛾身上亂按罪名,顏聖紘卻不得不稍微打抱不平。例如人們認為蛾類幼蟲身上才有傷人的毒毛,南投竹柏園遭黃帶枝尺蛾洗劫後,報紙以訛傳訛,日行性、無毒毛的黃帶枝尺蛾幼蟲,竟然成了「身上會分泌腐蝕性液體」。

在台灣已知的五千種蛾寶寶裡,夜蛾科、尺蠖科至少佔掉兩千種,它們的幼蟲可都缺乏毒腺這一防衛性的利器。「大家好像忘記蠶寶寶也是蛾類,它們可沒有毒毛!」顏聖紘說,毛毛蟲以「擬態」──模仿所處環境的顏色──出名,就因為這些身上「無毛、無毒、又跑不快」的小動物,只好發展出隱身術來保護自己。

蛾類一百多個科裡,身上長有毒性細毛、可能造成人類皮膚過敏的只是小部份。台灣八抴X種毒蛾,想在野外撞見還不太容易,對抓過不計其數蟲子的顏聖紘,許多稀有毒蛾還是他處心積慮「想抓也抓不到」的研究對象。

針對近來發生的毛毛蟲造成學童過敏事件,台大地理系助理教授李美慧也在網站上指出,事件的主角毛毛蟲,很少用毒腺直接攻擊敵害,人們在接觸毒毛後,一般的症狀就是疼痛、紅腫過敏,不似虎頭蜂、蜈蚣危險性高。

「大家忽略了蛾類的數量、比重,」顏聖紘說,毛毛蟲洗劫大樹的事件,無法代表複雜多樣的蛾類世界。

蛾類多樣性

「蝴蝶有許許多多的業餘愛好者,累積著有關蝴蝶的資訊,研究者也不會太孤獨。」顏聖紘說,台灣研究蝴蝶的時日較長,累積較多可信資料。

至於蛾呢?除了小部份與農業息息相關的「害蟲」,百分之九怴A人們仍不知道它們到底吃哪一種植物的哪一部位。比較人們對蝴蝶與蛾的研究,顯得嚴重不平衡,大量閱讀、收集昆蟲資訊的顏聖紘表示,蛾類的研究空間因此更廣,是更好的觀察對象。

蛾類的生態多樣性蝴蝶難以匹敵。幾千種的蛾類,運用著各種自然資源,幼蟲從生活水中、陸地到空中;鑽進木頭、泥土、石頭縫、寄生其他生物體中;除新鮮的嫩葉,地下莖、落葉、蕨類、甚至腐肉,都有幼蟲隨時在分解,夏威夷一群特有的尺蠖還專門捕食農作物大敵──果蠅。除佔用白天資源,夜晚更是飛蛾的天下,它們的「生態棲位」廣泛,存在森林的每一寸空間。

每個科又各有特色。人們往往只能從化石認識上千萬年的「古生物」,飛蛾裡的小翅蛾科、卵翅蛾科,卻已在地球上優遊上千萬年,在台灣,這些原始蛾類的身影飛翔在北部宜蘭福山,到南台灣墾丁之間。小翅蛾、卵翅蛾的成蟲,長著齒狀的咀嚼式「嘴巴」,與其他蛾類吸式狀口器不同,它們由演化上更早的毛翅群進化而來,卻保留了原有的器官。

近來西方生物界對昆蟲的知覺研究產生高度興趣,夜蛾科飛蛾有演化最高超的聽器與鼓膜器,可以閃避蝙蝠的捕食,比蝙蝠的聲納更讓人嘆為觀止。

人單勢薄的蛾類愛好者

什麼是蛾類?有哪些特定的生活型態、身體構造?「有通則,但例外、變化卻常發生,它們是活生生的生命,很難歸納一個模式,或許如此多樣性,就是牠們的模式,」顏聖紘說。

然而,同樣學生物,選擇研究昆蟲生態的人本來就是少數,蛾類種類繁多,又背負髒、毒之名,研究者就更少。

連研究者本身也不願意進一步認識它們。研究農業病蟲害防治的同學,在研究農業「害蟲」斜紋夜盜蛾、玉米螟、小菜蛾等幼蟲時,對種類繁多的夜盜蛾裡,有哪些並非害蟲?有沒有觀察過牠們的成蟲習性?許多人只能搖搖頭。

隨手翻一本日文專業昆蟲刊物,赫然見到台灣九種蛾類被命名發表。國外學界採集、發表台灣的物種,若不只是滿足自己發表新種的欲望,站在建立完整的國際自然資源資料庫上無可厚非,但問題是「我們自己能做什麼?」

一蟲一世界

高雄壽山,有一幕讓人「駐足」的景象:步道旁的恆春厚殼樹,倒三角的樹形,灰色樹皮上散著暗色小點,冬來葉子儘速凋零,待得冬盡春來,開出白色小花,除了招惹來蜜蜂、蒼蠅等採花客,那黑白條紋的毛毛蟲也悄悄穿梭於花芽之間,它們看似成群聚首,卻又各自忙著吐絲將翠綠的葉子拉圍起來,這細細的絲,讓蟲兒們四通八達到處活動,卻不需擔心遭風雨吹落。日復一日,直到化蛹,毛毛蟲各自爬到樹幹或鄰近草木上,依不同地點織出不同色澤的絲,最終,羽化成雙翅泛著銀色,帶有許多小黑點的織蛾。

毛毛蟲的盛況會持續到夏初,至於那慘遭蹂躪的恆春厚殼樹呢?顏聖紘與中山大學同學在網站上討論與解答:「不必擔心,當毛毛蟲盛況不再,它會再吐出新芽,在北壽山充足的夏陽和充沛的夏雨滋潤下,繼續茁壯、繁衍。」

他們更沒忘記提醒大家:春天來臨時,記得來看看恆春厚殼樹與毛毛蟲們喔!

p.43

顏聖紘研究鱗翅目昆蟲,對蝶、蛾不起分別心,但人們誤解飛蛾,讓他不免要多說點蛾類「掌故」,讓人瞭解這有趣的物種。

p.44

「猜猜我是誰?」不是異形,不過是長著羽狀觸角的小飛蛾。(顏聖紘提供)

既無殺人利器,長得又不夠強壯,天蛾只好冒充枯葉,只是「蟲算不如天算」,仍逃不過人類的耳目。(顏聖紘提供)

p.45

蛾類是夜晚出現的巫婆?日行性的山龍眼錦斑蛾,不讓蝴蝶專美於前,趕著在白天大展姿顏。(顏聖紘提供)

不出來就是不出來!「避債蛾」好似躲著債主,羽化前就住這擷取落葉、枯枝所作成的袋子裡,平日靠著嘴和前腳拖著殼走動。

p.47

許多人喜歡養蠶寶寶,卻忘了蠶寶寶也是蛾的一種,它們既不醜、也不毒。圖攝於土地銀行早期在台東池上設置的蠶桑場。

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EN

Splatting Moth Myths

Chang Chin-ju /photos courtesy of Vincent Chang /tr. by Robert Taylor


"On Orchid Island, when a big round moon is shining over the sea, entomologists start moving about in the woods, and clouds of moths dance in the moonlight."

"At Sun Moon Lake in May, a female atlas moth spreads her wings-more than 30 centimeters in span-and flies aimlessly under the yellow street lights, like a sheet of paper wafting through the air."

"There are so many species of moths, and they have more wing patterns than you can imagine. There are moths with white wings speckled all over with blue and yellow dots; there are moths with X-patterns which you never find on butterflies. . . ."

When heterocerist Yen Sheng-hung recounts his own experiences of watching moths, he seems almost intoxicated. He hopes other people's understanding of them can go beyond knowing that they are attracted to light.

People often speak in joyous tones when they use caterpillars pupating as a metaphor for life's sublime transformations. But when most people see real caterpillars "in the flesh," they are apt to shudder involuntarily and grimace with disgust.

Butterfly valleys

If humans' feelings about caterpillars seem ambivalent, their attitudes towards the adult moths and butterflies which caterpillars turn into are even more contradictory.

When a large number of moths appear in one place, they are suspected of being a "swarm of pests," but a similar gathering of butterflies is generally regarded as a "marvelous sight," except perhaps by a few farmers who hate them for the damage they do to crops. People even raise them on special butterfly farms.

In Yellow Butterfly Valley near Meinung in Kaohsiung County, during the Japanese occupation the Japanese planted Siamese senna (Cassia siamea) for wood to make rifle butts. These trees attract large numbers of lemon migrant moths (Catopsilia pomona), but once the caterpillar swarms have stripped all the leaves from the senna trees, their numbers also fall, allowing the trees to recover again. The caterpillars also attract many kinds of birds. Thus an interesting ecological cycle has emerged which repeats itself over periods of three to five years.

Yellow Butterfly Valley has been designated as part of the area to be flooded by the planned Meinung Reservoir, and it has also suffered continuous encroachment from inappropriate land clearance for agriculture, causing the number of butterfly species, and their populations, to decline. These events have prompted conservationists both inside and outside Taiwan to call on the government to pay heed to changes in the local ecology.

Night witches?

People are scared of caterpillars, yet they look with loving eyes upon the butterflies which emerge from the chrysalises after caterpillars pupate; as for moths, their name in Taiwanese dialect means "mucky butterflies."

Yen Sheng-hung, who has been interested in Lepidoptera since childhood and who holds a master's degree from the Department of Biologic and Life Sciences at National Sun Yat-sen University, is well aware of people's prejudice against moths. On specimen-gathering field trips, he often hears children insist that they have come to catch butterflies, not moths, and many people appear greatly disappointed on learning that a particular kind of caterpillar will pupate into a moth rather than a butterfly.

Yen Sheng-hung says that moths have long been cast in the role of "witches of the night," supposedly with poisonous scales on their wings, and bodies which are fat and swollen compared with nature's "dancing girls," the butterflies.

The reasons behind people's disdain for caterpillars and moths are complex, but for Yen Sheng-hung, who is an expert in the taxonomy of Taiwanese Lepidoptera, what lies behind the different treatment accorded butterflies and moths is people's lack of knowledge about moths and their deep-seated misconceptions about them.

All change!

"Taiwan may have 8000 moth species, but so far only 5000 have been named." Professor Yang Ping-shih of NTU's Department of Entomology, who introduced Yen Sheng-hung to the world of insects, says there are still thousands of moths in Taiwan which have not yet been described or named. "At the moment it is nothing unusual for researchers to publish descriptions of ten to 20 new species a year."

Yen, who has done entomological research with many biologists, is Taiwan's leading Lepidoptera taxonomist. He has recorded and described many moth species previously unknown to science. But for Yen, pleasure in researching Lepidoptera clearly does not lie solely in arduously categorizing them and identifying the differences between them.

Yen finds the process by which butterfly and moth larvae are metamorphosed into adults more amazing than an alien mutation. He describes how within a larva's body there are clusters of cells called "imaginal discs" (from "imago," the adult form of an insect). While the pupating larva is in a state of "dormancy" in its cocoon, these discs suddenly begin growing rapidly and replace the larval cells-"just as if there were aliens hidden in a person's body which suddenly came squirming out and usurped the person's original form."

Hawk moth or hummingbird?

When it comes to the adult insects which emerge after metamorphosis, Yen, with his deep understanding of moths' natural history, naturally does not share most people's preference for butterflies.

In its comparison of butterflies and moths, the Encyclopedia Americana states: "There is no single prominent aspect of their morphology or ecology which suffices to distinguish between them." However, "the moths form the greater part of the Lepidoptera, yet the species most familiar to man are some of the more colorful diurnal (dayflying) butterflies."

Are colorful diurnal Lepidoptera all butterflies? Under a banner headline, a newspaper once announced Taiwan's latest ornithological "discovery": "Hummingbirds Seen in Taiwan!" But closer inspection of the photographs revealed the supposed hummingbirds to be hawk moths (family Sphingidae), which usually appear around dawn and dusk. With their long proboscises extended, flapping their wings as fast as hummingbirds as they sucked nectar from flowers, it is not surprising they fooled people.

Moths are not necessarily nocturnal, but are they all less beautiful than butterflies? Beauty and ugliness are matters of subjective judgment, but Yen Sheng-hung has something to say about this: in his "objective" opinion, there are so many moth species that at least in terms of their colors and patterns they are more diverse, and there are many arrangements of markings which do not occur on butterflies. In fact, Yen even regards butterflies as types of moths. He explains that within the taxonomic structure used in the past, moths and butterflies were assigned to different sub-orders on the basis of individual characteristics such as differences in the morphology of their antennae. But in the taxonomy now widely accepted, the butterflies are assigned to various families in the Subsection Bombycina, on the basis of their general morphology and genetic characteristics. Taxonomists "should be thinking about the evolutionary relationships between different species and groups of species, not racking their brains over whether a particular species is a butterfly or moth," says Yen.

Silkworms are moth larvae too

But when people vilify moths and call them all kinds of names, he does feel a need to set the record straight. For instance, people have the idea that all moth caterpillars have poisonous bristles which are harmful to humans. And after a podocarp plantation in Nantou County was devastated by inchworms, various newspapers repeated the baseless assertion that these moth caterpillars-which are diurnal and do not have poisonous bristles-"secrete a corrosive fluid from their bodies."

Of the 5000 moth species already identified in Taiwan, the owlet moths (family Noctuidae) and inchworm moths (family Geometridae) account for over 2000. None of their larvae have poison-secreting glands among their defense mechanisms. "Everyone seems to forget that silkworms are moth larvae too, and they don't have poisonous bristles!" laments Yen Hung-sheng. He says caterpillars are renowned for their camouflage skills-imitating the shapes and colors of their surroundings-because little creatures which "have no bristles, no poison and don't move very fast" can only protect themselves by developing ways to conceal or disguise themselves.

In the more than 100 families of moth species, those whose larvae bear toxic bristles capable of causing an allergic reaction in humans are only a small minority. Taiwan has more than 80 species of lymantriid moths (members of the family Lymantriidae), which do secrete poisons, but few of them are easy to find in the wild. Although Yen Sheng-hung has caught countless insects over the years, there are many rare lymantriid moths which he would like to study but simply cannot find.

With reference to the recent incidents of caterpillars causing allergic reactions among schoolchildren, Assistant Professor Li Mei-hui of NTU's Department of Geography notes on an Internet website that the caterpillars involved very rarely use their poison glands to directly attack enemies. After people come into contact with their poisonous hairs, the usual symptoms are allergic pain, redness and swelling; the caterpillars are not as dangerous as hornets or centipedes.

"People overlook how many moth species there are, and what a small proportion of them the ones people notice account for," says Yen Sheng-hung. Incidents of caterpillars defoliating large trees are far from being the whole story of moths' complex and diverse world.

The diversity of moth species

"There are very many amateur lepidopterists who have amassed vast amounts of information about butterflies, so researchers needn't feel too isolated," comments Yen. Also, he says, butterfly research has a relatively long history in Taiwan, so quite a large body of reliable data has been accumulated.

But what about moths? A small number which are agricultural pests have been studied in detail, but for the remaining 90% of species, people still don't even know what plants they feed on, and what parts they eat. When one compares the amount of research devoted to butterflies with that done on moths, a serious imbalance is apparent. Yen, who reads and collects large quantities of information about insects, says this means there is all the more scope for researching moths, and all the more reason to observe them.

Moths' natural histories display far greater diversity than those of butterflies. The thousands of different moth species utilize all kinds of natural resources, and their larvae may live in water, on land or above ground; they may bore into wood, soil, or the crevices in rocks, or live as parasites in other organisms; apart from eating tender leaves, moth larvae also break down underground stems, fallen leaves, ferns and even decaying meat. In Hawaii, there is even a group of inchworm moth species whose larvae specialize in catching and eating fruit flies, which are a major agricultural pest. Some moths are active by day, but the majority are nocturnal. They occupy a broad range of "ecological niches," and are found in literally every part of the forest.

Every moth family has its own special characteristics. Most ancient organisms can only be understood by studying fossils in rocks tens or hundreds of millions of years old, but the moth families Micropterigidae and Neopseustidae have already existed on this earth for over ten million years, and in Taiwan they can still be found from Fushan and Wulai in the north to Kenting in the south, and from the coasts to high in the mountains. The mouth parts of these primitive moths' adult forms still include functional chewing mandibles, rather than the sucking proboscises of other moths. They evolved from earlier trichopteroid insects (caddis flies), and have retained the latter's mouth structures.

Recently in Western biological circles there has been a great deal of interest in researching insects' sensory perception. Moths of the family Noctuidae (owlet moths) have the most highly evolved hearing organs in the form of "tympanal organs," which help them avoid being caught by bats. This seems even more amazing than the bats' echolocation ability itself.

A little-loved field

What distinguishes moths from other insects? What are their characteristic modes of life and bodily structures? "There are some general principles, but there are also huge numbers of exceptions and variations. They are living things, so they are very hard to reduce to a common denominator. Perhaps their very diversity is what they have in common," says Yen Sheng-hung.

But among the many people attracted to biological research, there are few who, like Yen, choose the field of entomology, and despite the huge number of moth species, still fewer people who research them. Their unpopularity is compounded by the general perception of them as "unclean" and "poisonous."

Even those people who do study moths do not always seem interested in learning more about them. Students studying the control of agricultural pests and diseases learn about such pests as the cluster caterpillar (the larva of Spodoptera litura, an owlet moth), corn borers (Ostrinia spp.) and the larva of the diamond-back moth (Plutella xylostella). But when asked if they know which species in the large Spodoptera genus were not pests, and whether they have observed the habits of their adult insects, many just shake their heads.

Leafing at random through a Japanese entomological journal, it comes as a surprise to see descriptions of nine newly named Taiwanese moths. From the point of view of establishing a comprehensive international database of natural resources, there is nothing wrong with overseas scholars collecting, describing and naming Taiwanese species, if it is not simply to satisfy their own need to publish. But the question is, what can we do ourselves?

Each insect a world of its own

On Mt. Shou in Kaohsiung City, there is a sight which stops many people in their tracks: beside the footpath stand Ehretia resinosa trees with their inverted-cone-shaped crowns and their gray bark speckled with little dark dots. With the approach of winter, their leaves rapidly fall, but when spring comes around they burst into bloom with little white flowers which attract not only bees and flies, but also black-and-white-striped caterpillars that shuttle back and forth between the flower buds. They look as if they are all gathered for a meeting, but each is also busily spinning threads of silk which it attaches to leaves to pull them together into shelters. The fine filaments also allow the caterpillars to travel all over the trees without having to worry about being blown away by the wind or washed off by the rain. They go on in this way day by day until they are ready to pupate. Then they crawl onto the trees trunk or neighboring plants, and spin cocoons of different colored silk according to their surroundings. From these cocoons they will finally emerge as concealer moths (family Oecophoridae) with silvery wings covered in small black spots.

The swarm of caterpillars continues until early summer, but what about the poor Ehretia resinosa trees? After a discussion on the Internet, Yen Hung-sheng and his fellow students at National Sun Yat-sen University posted the following answer: "Don't worry-once the caterpillars are gone, the trees will grow new leaves and flowers, and under the ample summer sun and rain of the north slopes of Mt. Shou they will continue to grow strong and set seed."

Nor do they forget to remind us: When spring comes around again, remember to go and look at the Ehretia resinosa -and the caterpillars!

p.43

Lepidopterist Yen Sheng-hung has no particular preference between butterflies and moths, but widespread misconceptions about moths make him feel the need to "stand up" for these much-maligned insects and help people discover what interesting creatures they really are.

p.44

"Guess who!" This isn't ET, but a little moth with feather-like antennae. (courtesy of Yen Sheng-hung)

Lacking either deadly weapons or intimidating size and strength, hawk moths have no choice but to disguise themselves as dead leaves. But this one still couldn't escape the beady eye of the human photographer. (courtesy of Yen Sheng-hung)

p.45

Are moths ugly "witches of the night"? Not to be outdone by butterflies, the dayflying helicia zygaenid moth (Erasmia pulchella hobsoni) flaunts its beauty in the full light of day. (courtesy of Yen Sheng-hung)

"I won't come out, whatever you say!" A bagworm-the caterpillar of a bagmoth (family Psychidae)-wraps itself in a pouch of silk camouflaged with fallen leaves and dry twigs. It moves itself and its bag around using its mouth and front legs.

p.47

Many people like to raise silkworms, but few remember that they too are moth caterpillars, although they are neither ugly nor poisonous. Our picture shows silk cocoons at a silk farm formerly operated at Chihshang in Taitung County by the Land Bank of Taiwan.

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