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Word of the Week: Vespertine

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Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!

The word of the week is vespertine [VEH-SPUR-TEEN] (adjective): of, relating to, active or occurring during the twilight hours of dusk.

This word is often used to describe wildlife that are active at dusk. Some vespertine animals include flies, moths, and some bats and owls. Plants can be vespertine as well! An example of vespertine plants are evening primrose flowers that open up at dusk.

Being active during the twilight hours of the dawn or dusk holds some benefits for some species of plants and animals. The dim light can provide cover for both predator and prey animals. Additionally, since most animals hunt during the day or night, twilight hours are less crowded, allowing animals to avoid competition with similar species.

The opposite of vespertine, used to describe wildlife active at dawn, is matutinal. Matutinal and vespertine species are together referred to as crepescular species, a word used to describe wildlife that are active during twilight hours.

Are you someone who finds themselves active at dusk? You too could use this word to describe your own vespertine routines!