Image: Life cycle sketch of Spilosoma canescens (Butler)

Life cycle sketch of  Spilosoma canescens (Butler)

Composite sketch by Alexander Walker Scott of the life cycle of Spilosoma canescens, numbers 10 and 11 in the Scott family's first notebook (page 4), dated January and February 1839. AMS563/317.

This sketch would have been a reference for the finished painting of this species made much later by Harriet Scott for possible inclusion in her father's Lepidoptera publication (one of 4 species in plate number AMS193/69).

The annotations on this sketch are AW Scott's references to his notebook, where he would record more observations. Some excerpts follow:

"No.10. Chrysalis of a very hairy brown caterpillar with an orange stripe down the back - caterpillar eat of the Dock, Cabbage and Canterbury Bell leaves - Chrysalis black brown and small - turned to the above state 24 Janry 1839, and was placed in bran.

No.11 Moth of the above on the 5th February 1839 - Drawing exact size. Body, Saturnine red with black spots at the joints - white at the end..."

Alexander Walker Scott
© Australian Museum Archives


An example from the collection of butterfly and moth sketches made by AW Scott and his daughters over a period of nearly 30 years, beginning in the late 1830's, when AW Scott and his stepdaughters Frances and Mary began recording their observations of moths and butterflies.

With the family's move to Ash Island, the project continued and eventually Scott's younger daughters Helena and Harriet joined in. Many of the sketches were used as a starting point for the beautiful plates created by Helena and Harriet for their father's published work on Lepidoptera.

Last Updated: