Tuesday, November 14, 7:30 pm – Limacodidae Caterpillars and the Life of Harrison Dyar


November’s meeting of the Cambridge Entomological Club will be held Tuesday, November 14th, at 7:30 PM in room 101 of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Oxford Street, Cambridge. Marc Epstein, Senior Insect Biosystematist at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, will be discussing Limacodidae Caterpillars and the Life of Harrison Dyar.

When Marc Epstein began dissertation research on limacodid moths at the University of Minnesota, he soon sensed that Harrison G. Dyar had an “inordinate fondness” for them, although he was known for his work on many families of Lepidoptera, as well as mosquitoes. Epstein will take you on my journey of discovery, including an interview with his son about Dyar’s extensive tunnels beneath Washington, DC, an exploration of his double life, and other unusual attributes of his life. Epstein will also touch on his life in Boston with his mother, Eleonora Rosella Dyar, a well- known medium, his time at MIT and as a member of this club publishing not only his famous paper on geometric growth of caterpillars, known as “Dyar’s Law” in Psyche, but also other papers, including the life histories of over 60 geometrid moths! Dyar spent most of a decade in Boston (1882-1892), interrupted only by summers near Rhinebeck, New York, and extensive western collecting trips.

A book signing will follow the talk.

The talk is free and open to the public. The meeting is readily accessible via public transportation. Parking is available in the Oxford Street Garage with advance arrangement,  or (usually but not always) at spaces on nearby streets. Everyone is also welcome to join us for dinner before the talk (beginning at 5:45 PM) at the Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave., Cambridge.