By the time he was in the second grade, Ebright had collected all twenty- five species of butterflies found around his hometown. (See following box.)
     “That probably would have been the end of my butterfly collecting,” he said. “But then my mother got me a children’s book called The Travels of Monarch X.” That book, which told how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America, opened the world of science to the eager young collector.

While studying in the second standard, Ebright collected all the \(25\) species of butterflies found in his hometown. The narrator then describes the species and subspecies of butterflies collected in six weeks in his hometown (Reading, Pennsylvania).


Let's look at the twenty-five species of butterflies found in Ebright's home town in detail.


Gossamer-Winger Butterflies- The Gossamer-Winged Butterflies are small insects with slender bodies and vividly coloured wings. Under the gossamer winger family, there are eight varieties of butterflies. They are white M hairstreak, acadian hairstreak, bronze copper, bog copper, purplish copper, eastern tailed blue, melissa blue and silvery blue.

  • White M Hairstreak- The White M Hairstreak is a dark little butterfly that spends most of its life in the treetops, feeding on honeydew, making it best observed through binoculars.
  • Acadian Hairstreak- The Acadian Hairstreak often perches on the tops of vegetation. It is light grey underneath, with a conspicuous submarginal row of orange on the hindwing below that continues over the blue tail spot.
  • Bog Copper- The Bog Copper is the tiniest copper found in Wisconsin. It can only be found in bogs where the host plant, wild cranberry, flourishes. A lazy flier prefers to fly low to the ground in the bog's wettest areas.
  • Purplish Copper- The purplish copper wingspan is 30–38 mm. Males have a brown upper surface with a purple iridescence, while females have an orange upper surface. Both males and females have a large orange stripe at the border of their hindwings.
  • Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly- The Eastern Tailed-blue butterfly is a tiny butterfly with a cobalt blue male and a slate grey female. It's most common in open grassy areas like sunny fields and pastures.
  • Melissa BlueThe Melissa blue is a butterfly that belongs to the family Lycaenidae. It is most commonly found in western North America, from Canada to Mexico.
  • Silvery-Blue Butterfly- The silvery-blue butterfly is a small North American butterfly. Males have a bright blue upperside, while females have a drab greyish-blue upperside.


Wood Nymphs and Satyrs- They are a group of butterflies that can be troublesome to identify in the field. There are two varieties of butterflies under the Wood nymphs and satyrs family. They are, eyed brown and wood nymphs.

  • Eyed Brown Butterfly- It is a common species of wet meadows throughout the state. It is often seen lazily working through the tall grasses and sedges, rarely in a hurry or flying above the vegetation, even when disturbed.
  • Wood Nymph- It is a brown American butterfly. It is most commonly found in grassy habitats and light woodland.


Monarch Butterfly- The monarch butterfly, or simply monarch, is a milkweed butterfly that belongs to the family Nymphalidae.


Sulphurs and Whites- The sulphurs and whites, together known as "pierids", are usually easy to recognize by their colours. Most species in this family have bright orange, yellow, or white wings, often with black markings. Under the sulphurs and white family, there are three species of butterflies. They are Olympia Marble, cloudless sulphur and European cabbage.

  • Olympia MarbleIt is the smallest white in Wisconsin. It is found from mid-April through early June, depending upon the year and where you are in the state.
  • Cloudless Sulphur- It is the most familiar and attractive Florida butterfly and is particularly prominent during its fall southward migration.
  • European Cabbage- The large white is common throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia to the Himalayas, often in agricultural areas and meadows.


Brush Footed Butterflies- The scientific name of Brush footed butterflies is Nymphalidae. They are the largest family of butterflies. Some of the butterflies that belong to their family are variegated fritillary, Harris checkerspot, Pear crescent, Mourning cloak, Painted lady, Buckeye, Viceroy, white admiral, Red-spotted purple, Hackberry.

  • Variegated Fritillary- It is a species of large, primarily orange butterflies found in both the Americas.
  • Harris Checkerspot- They are rich orange in base colour with wide black borders that help to distinguish them from other similar butterflies.
  • Pearl Crescent- The pearl crescent is a butterfly of North America. It is seen in all parts of the United States. Its habitat is open areas such as road edges, vacant lots, fields, and open pine woods.
  • Mourning Cloaks- The mourning cloaks, also known as Nymphalis antiopa, are found in North America and the Camberwell beauty in Britain. It is a large butterfly native to Eurasia and North America.
  • Painted Lady- The painted lady, also called Vanessa Cardui, is most commonly found in North America.
  • Buckeye- The buckeye is seen in the United States east of the rocky mountains and in Mexico. Its habitat is open areas with low greenery and some bare ground.
  • Viceroy Butterfly- The viceroy butterfly is brush-footed. They have tiny, hairy forelegs that look more like brushes than feet and are not used for walking. It is dark orange with black veins.
  • White Admiral- The white admiral is a woodland species that fly from tree to forest floor with only a few effortless wing beats.
  • Red-Spotted Purple- The red-spotted purple is a beautiful forest butterfly commonly seen in wooded suburban areas.
  • Hackberry Butterflies- They are known to be extremely ‘friendly,’ often landing on people and enjoying the treat of salty sweat.


Snout Butterfly- The snout butterfly is a butterfly of the family Libytheidae, having very long palpi carried extended in front of the head.


After collecting the twenty-five species of butterflies, Ebright thought it would be the end of his butterfly collection. But after that, his mother brought him a children's book. The name of the book was 'The Travels of Monarch X'. That book inspired him to become a young collector by teaching him how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America.


When Richard's mother gave him the children's book, his curiosity about exploring the world of science increased. He might have gotten to know that he had many things to explore from there.


Meanings of the difficult words:


S.No  Words                                                                 Meanings
  1HometownThe town or city that a person is from, especially the one in which they were born and lived while they were young
  2CollectorSomeone who collects objects because they are beautiful, valuable, or interesting
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Making of a Scientist- Robert W. Peterson(pp. 32-38). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.