[Ibogaine] A sad day for an Off Topic Butterfly Enthusiast

Krista Hower laadyemerald at gmail.com
Mon Oct 5 04:46:49 EDT 2009

Oh how interesting is the life of the Off Topic Butterfly Enthusiast! A sad
day turns into a bittersweet ending..

Scarlet, my large but crippled female Red Admiral butterfly who hatched out
today, was sitting around in her cushioned cup looking pretty unhappy.. at
least as far as butterflies can look "unhappy." Her antenae were drooping,
her legs weren't steady or holding her up well, so I got out an old banana
from the refrigerator and set it out on the counter to warm up.

After it felt at room-temperature, I peeled the mushy old banana and
inspected it for the most rotted or partially-rotted parts.. Red Admiral
butterflies are different from other butterflies, such as Monarchs, as they
don't like to drink the nectar of most flowers. They prefer rotting fruit on
the ground, bird droppings, or tree sap.. or will occasionally drink the
nectar of milkweed or alfalfa plants. Since I've got no milkweed, alfalfa
flowers, or bird poop around, I figured the old banana was my best bet for
at least giving this little girl something to eat before she would die.

So, I cut off the mushiest and darkest looking portions of the banana and
placed the banana-mash next to her inside her glass cup. I checked on her a
few times, and she hadn't moved, and didn't even look interested. "Oh well,"
I thought sadly, "At least I tried." I went off to the kitchen to make a
late dinner for myself, then returned a half hour later with my meal and I
glanced inside her cup once more..

I was shocked! Scarlet was straddling the banana mash and had her feeding
sucker stretched all the way out into it. I almost jumped for joy that I
could at least feed my crippled little one a few times before her death.
Another half hour later, I checked back on her- I noticed she didn't like to
be watched while eating, so I gave her some butterfly-feeding-privacy- And
she had really chowed down on that banana! She's eaten about half of what
I'd given her, and the rest looked like gooey baby food in the cup.. It
appears that the Red Admiral spits onto its fruit, causing it to decay
faster so they can suck up the juice with ease. I decided to go ahead and
leave the reduced banana in the cup in case she got hungry again later and
wanted to eat the rest.

Then, with a "flit!" sound, I saw her jump- something she had been far too
weak to do before- off the banana and perch on the opposite side of the
napkin. "She must be full," I thought. I noticed with joy how much stronger
and happier she looked- her head held high and her legs stretched out
strongly holding her up. "It must have been a good tasty meal!" I thought to

Ah, a sad day turned bittersweet.. At least I won't watch Scarlet die of
starvation; and knowing I can actually feed her successfully gives me some
peace that she'll experience a tiny part of her butterfly life. She can't
roam the skies, but at least she'll have lots of fruit to eat, and she
perches on my finger to go on walks to see the outdoors where she should
belong. I have an unfortunate feeling that she won't live long, but at least
she'll be well fed and warm in the coming days she does live!
Alas, the ups and downs of an Off Topic Butterfly Enthusiast.. It's the
Giant Flying Purple Foam Amersands, I tell you, they're going to take over
the world!
On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 6:04 PM, Krista Hower <laadyemerald at gmail.com> wrote:

> Such a sad day is has been indeed.. My latest large female Red Admiral,
> Scarlet, hatched this morning and I came into the bathroom to find her stuck
> in her chrysalis.. She'd managed to get her head out the bottom, but the
> rest of her was clearly stuck in there. By the looks of it, she had been
> hanging there stuck trying to get out of her chrysalis for a long time, at
> least a few hours. Her four legs were dancing around in the air, trying to
> grab something to pull herself out, so I reached out and put my hand up to
> her.. She grabbed on, and pulled vigorously until she was out crawling on my
> hand. But to my horror, I saw that she was entirely crippled! Scarlet's
> wings were doubled over on themselves and looked dry and stiff, she could
> barely expand them to fly.
> It was such a painful sight to watch her walking about in the "flight"
> position, which is where the butterfly has its head up and its front legs
> forward, ready for take-off, when it was so obvious she was never going to
> fly and probably die of starvation or as another animal's meal. First I took
> her outside and placed her gently next to her old Stinging Nettle plant, and
> she seemed to like her old familiar plant so I left her there awhile. But
> then the wind picked up, and I noticed she couldn't hold on.. She was blown
> off and landed on the concrete. I decided I had better bring her inside
> rather than let her wander into a spider's web, or get picked up by a bird..
> or even worse, have one the stray cats around here decide to bat her around
> for fun leading to an agonizing death.
> I took her and placed her on top of some soft napkins in a glass cup.. Red
> Admirals are a little different than most butterflies; they do not eat
> nectar from flowers, instead they prefer rotting fruit. I wondered if maybe
> she'd eat some of a rotting banana, if she lived long enough for me to try
> to feed her once.
> Alas, a sad day to watch a crippled butterfly emerge.. It must happen
> sometimes, though. It's so much easier to watch one die during metamorphosis
> rather than fight until the end and come out completely handicapped. By the
> way, Survivor did not live up to his name- another sad day for me- and did
> not even make it into his chrysalis. Before I picked up him and fed him
> inside in the beer mug, he had been hit by a wasp.. the wasp larva was
> inside him the whole time, and by the time he made a nice shelter to pupate
> in that beer mug, I noticed that four days later he was still hanging there,
> no chrysalis to be seen.. And he was hanging there flat and oddly,
> completely dead looking. I looked closer and noticed that something had
> literally punched a hole in his side, and his guts were even spewed out..
> Examining the beer mug a little more closely, I saw a strange brown pellet
> at the bottom. That wasn't there before.. I thought, and pulled it out. Ah,
> a wasp cocoon! I thought, staring at the small but sturdy brown pellet. Damn
> you! I thought. I'll show you what it's like to be disembowled! I took a par
> of scissors and cut the coccoon in half, saying, "There, now you know what
> it's like to eat a hole in somebody's side and let their guts spew out,
> thank you!"
> I mean, wouldn't that suck if all of a sudden, some strange organism ate a
> hole in *your* side and crawled its way out, meanwhile all your intestines
> are spilling all over the place?
> But yes, it's been such sad days recently, even for the butterflies!
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