06.22.2022 Wordless Wednesday-Four-spotted Speranza


Macaria coortaria

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
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13 Responses to 06.22.2022 Wordless Wednesday-Four-spotted Speranza

  1. shoreacres says:

    I knew that the Spanish word esperanza means ‘hope,’ so when I saw ‘Speranza’, I wondered about it. It looks as though that’s an Italian word for hope, as well, and perhaps also Spanish; I know so little about how words are constructed in Spanish I can’t say for sure. I suspect someone will be along soon who can sort that out. (Hi, Steve!)

    What I did discover is that Speranza used to be this one’s genus name, so it may be that the scientific name lingered in common use after the taxonomic change. In any event, this is a nice image of one that I’ve seen in my area. With those markings, it’s fairly easy to spot.

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    • You beat me to it. Speranza is indeed the Italian word for ‘hope.’ The Romans had a catchy proverb: Dum spiro spero; As long as I breathe [compare respiration] I hope. Unlike Italian, in the way that Spanish evolved from Latin, Spanish speakers can no longer pronounce a word beginning with s plus a consonant without sticking a vowel in front of the s. The default vowel has become e, and so Spanish has esperanza where Italian has no problem with speranza. Old French—but not modern French—had the same peculiarity as Spanish, and we see a few relics of it in pairs of borrowed words like estate and state, esquire and squire, especial and special. One non-mathematical thing I had to teach my students in Honduras was how to say Steve instead of Esteve.

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      • shoreacres says:

        Now I understand something that’s always seemed charming but a bit mysterious. Three of my customers are named Steve, and two of them have crews that tend to their boats: washing, compounding, waxing. Some of the guys are from Mexico or various countries in Central America, and one I often chat with always has pronounced the owner’s name in a way that caught my ear. Now, I know why; he’s saying ‘Esteve.’

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      • I’ll add that Esteve is the Catalan form of the name, which in Spanish is Esteban.

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      • shoreacres says:

        And now I understand more about the best Mexican restaurant in League City, called Esteban’s Café and Cantina. I smiled at this, from the imaginative history on the website:

        “Back in 1833, my great-great Grandfather, Esteban Antonio Rodriguez Gonzalez, began a tradition that lives on to this day. When confronting a renegade horse thief on his ranch in eastern Jalisco, he pulled out his six-shooter and told the horse thief to stop what he was doing or he would shoot. The horse thief replied, “go ahead, make my lunch”. So, he did. “

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      • I feel left out. Maybe the French should change my name to Estienne.

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    • I see a lot of these in the yard, which is where I shot this, and their season appears to be most of the summer. Sometimes the fourth spot is a bit faint. I did a short search and came up empty as to why the name “speranza” is attached to this moth. I had hoped to find out.

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  2. Peter Klopp says:

    The Speranza has an interesting shape. What hope has to do with its name is a mystery to me.

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    • Steve and Linda are much better with linguistics than I so I cannot say what the connection is, aside from which language one is speaking. WIth the number of identified moth species in the five figures (11,000+) their world is filled with intricate and interesting designs. Many are just as spectacular as butterflies.

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  3. Todd Henson says:

    I’m amazed how many moth species share this same basic body type. I’m only very slowly beginning to see the differences between some of them. Very nice view of this one.

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  4. Interesting image Steve! Enjoyed seeing it!

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