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Bug Word of the Day — Crepuscular

This word handily describes the activity timetable for some moths, flies and beetles. It may also prevent embarrassment for some vampire-lit fans.

Pronounced “krih-PUS-kyuh-lurr,” this term is an adjective with a simple meaning – “active at dawn or dusk.”

Dawn and dusk are times of day when there’s just a little bit of light, of course.

Many insects, notably certain fireflies and mosquitoes, apparently prefer to be out and about in dim light because it helps them survive, for example by escaping heat stress or avoiding predators that feed primarily during periods of full sun or complete darkness.

Some insect species take things a step further and are only active at dawn OR dusk, not both. Those bugs that get up with the sun are called matutinal, those active only at dusk are called vespertine.

Oh yes, that vampire-lit thing… if you’re embarrassed to admit you’ve been devouring the Twilight book series, you can always say you were “doing some crepuscular reading.”

Photo by Daniel Schwen

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