almost identical phenotypes of 2 moths with the same hostplants

June 25, 2010

Tags: Campion & Lychnis Moths: same hostplants, almost identical phenotype

At this time of the year, I spend at least part of every day
recording lepidoptera.

Today I noticed a curious similarity between two Noctuidae Moths which have the same specific larval foodplants - Campion and Ragged-Robin. The Moths in question are the Campion (Hadena rivularis) and the Lychnis (Hadena bicruris). These both have a pair of shorn antlers in the same positions on their wings. The wings themselves are of near identical overall patterning.

It is no doubt a mere Carlylean curiosity of nature without genotypic significance, but for a displaced Thoreauvian observer propels the heart into the mouth!

Schumann & insect structures

June 20, 2010

Tags: Schumann, David Zinman

Listening to David Zinman`s customarily dynamic rendition of Schumann`s 4 symphonies with the Tonhalle Orchestra - and broadcast in the UK for the first time last week - it struck me how these works which exude spontaneity traced a natural entomological pattern my writings have been highlighting for two decades now.

Beginning with the sprung rhythms of the First Symphony - the Spring - the succeeding works in the cycle follow a clear progression from this egg that provides the impetus, through No. 2 into the 3rd - the Rhenish -which quivers with chrysalitic impatience to be realized in the final liberated 4th Symphony.

Just as Romantic poets in Britain sought to emulate the massive presence of Shakespeare, so nineteenth-century symphonists always felt Beethoven looming over them. Here in the giant span of Schumann`s symphonic progression is an instinctive emulation that remains close to the nerve-ends of the performers and listeners. The fact is that human thought and true creativity follow processes in metamorphic nature, and our experience paradoxically allows us to share a process of nature apparently alien to our species.

See also Home

Science and the Humanities
Science and the humanities
"In this volume, Spooner makes use of the most recent data from science to strike out in an interesting direction by returning to one of the great unresolved mysteries: how to fuse science and the great works of imagination without doing violence to one or the other of these great human enterprises."
Poetry and Entomology
A consideration of poets from Darío to Rueda and Lorca; Cernuda and Aleixandre to Valente.

Quick Links

Find Authors