Letter | Published:

Attitude and Concealing Coloration

Nature volume 140, page 684 (16 October 1937) | Download Citation



THE part played by living insects in adopting attitudes which increase the effect of the colour and pattern is often overlooked in discussing the relation of coloration of insects to natural selection. Mr. J. J. S. Cornes has given a striking new example from New Zealand of a phenomenon recorded by by Mr. A. H. Hamm1, for English moths when resting on the bark of trees. It was recorded that the vast majority of the individuals of the common winter moth, Hybernia leucophearia, rest with the body horizontal, so that the lines of pattern on the wings are brought into parallelism with the dark shadows in the abundant vertical cracks of the bark on which they rest. If the wings were spread horizontally, as is so often the case with moths of this group, the main lines of the pattern would cut across the main lines of the background.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., p. xv (March 19, 1902).

  2. 2.

    Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., 483–85, Plate xxix (1906).

  3. 3.

    , “Butterfly Hunting in Many Lands” (London, 1912), p. 194 and frontispiece.

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Entomology, University Museum, Oxford.



  1. Search for G. D. HALE CARPENTER in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.