Image: Life cycle sketch of Tryphaena renigera Scott

Life cycle sketch of Tryphaena renigera Scott

Composite sketch by Helena Scott of the life cycle of Tryphaena renigera Scott, number 182 in the Scott family's third notebook (p.36), entry dated March to April 1847. AMS563/313.

This sketch would have been a reference for the finished painting made much later by Helena for possible inclusion in her father's Lepidoptera publication (this species is one of four illustrated in Plate 14, AMS193/65).

Like Frances and Mary before her, Helena recorded her observations and sketch dates on the reverse and then entered more descriptive details into her notebook. Some excerpts follow:

"182. Nest made with earth. Painted caterpillar 22 March/47. Fed on a stiff leaf at Ash Island. Turned 23rd March/47. Painted chrysalis 5th April/47. Took wing 19th April/47. Painted moth 21st April/47."


Helena 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.

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