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Romantic moths from the AH Hamm Collection

Four moth specimens with slightly different wing markings

In the 18th century a group of naturalists who gave themselves the name 'The Aurelians' began to study British butterflies and moths. They made up fanciful names, mainly based on features in the wing markings. There is a moth for every occasion, including the four romanticly-named moths pictured above:

  • the True Lover's Knot (top left)
  • the Heart and Dart (top right)
  • the Archer's Dart (bottom left) - cupid's moth perhaps?
  • the Heart and Club (bottom right) - hopefully the club refers to markings and not a caveman approach to romance!

The True Lover's Knot is common around the north west on heathery moors, the Archer's Dart is found in local sand-dunes. The Heart and Dart is abundant almost everywhere but the Heart and Club is mainly found in south east England and is rare in the Liverpool area.

The specimens all come from the AH Hamm collection, and were obtained to help rebuild the collections after a fire bomb during the Second World War destroyed the museum's Lepidoptera collection. Albert Harry Hamm came from Berkshire.

Visitors can see lots more specimens, romantic and otherwise, in the Bug House at World Museum.

Accession number for the AH Hamm Collection 1943.3