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Attack of the killer butterfly?

Charaxes brutus natalensis. Pictured in Dar es...

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Did you know that butterflies are cannibalistic? Just went you thought you knew you could trust a butterfly.

Many butterfly species, while in their caterpillar stage will kill and eat other potential butterflies and moths.

When my little cousin was in about 2nd grade, her teacher assigned to her the responsible task of keeping a caterpillar in a tiny jar. It had a small piece of apple and a large leaf accompanying it. My mother objected, because she loathes creepy crawlers, so we kept it in my bedroom for safe keeping. I believe I was about 10 years old. As the days passed, we watched the caterpillar eat the leaf and the apple. Then it made a tiny green, protective looking cocoon at the top of the jar. A few weeks later, in the middle of the night, I heard something drop and some fluttering. Lo and behold it had turned into a butterfly! I called my sister and my little cousin into my room to see, and we released it back into the wild.

Im just sharing because it was a really cool experience. And for confession’s sake, because I felt really bad keeping a caterpillar in a jar instead of letting it be free. But who knows, maybe I saved it from being murdered and eaten by his own kind.

Other than all that. Butterflies freak me out. They are hairy, weird looking insects with pretty wings.

September 2011


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