October 15, 2004
Eupsilia morrisoni is a patronym meant to honor the nineteenth century entomologist, Herbert K. Morrison. The moth was named by his contemporary, Augustus Radcliff Grote, a nervous, sometimes volatile fellow with, aside from his entomological pursuits, gifts for composing poetry and opera and playing the organ. He was also a philosopher and theologian and considered a fascinating dinner guest.
Grote and Morrison were card-carrying members of the mutual admiration society, evidenced by Grote's naming of this owlet after his friend and Morrison's naming of another owlet Copevaleria grotei, or Grote's Sallow.
While I find Grote's Sallow more frequently than Morrison's, I have found them together, most often as the result of their compelling thirst for the beer bait I paint on the trees in March. Although the two entomologists have long since passed, it does my heart good to see their lepidopteran namesakes sharing a beer on a cold winter night.*