I’m glad that I don’t see this too often. Y’all know that I am fond of butterflies. I’ve never ever caught one in a net, never pinned a beautiful, fresh butterfly to a small cardboard and for sure never ever caught one to sell to collectors in Tucson, Manila or Beijing.
Human poachers collect for their own collection or for money. That upsets me, for especially when they finally locate a small rare population, say with 50 butterflies at the most, who do they seek? They search for the strongest, most perfect 2 males and 2 females. Catch them, and desolate the vibrance of the remaining tiny population, by removing the strong, hearty individuals from the endangered gene pool.
Butterfly realities may be difficult to understand. Hard reality does require serious contemplation. G-d made all of these creatures, for good reason. Those that prey on animals, the spiders, wasps, beetles in the trees at night, robber flies, lizards, frogs, mice, dragonflies, snakes, birds, bats, they all depend on butterflies for their 1% to 15% of their prey. This really, really bothered me decades ago. 40 or more years of thinking has led me to conclude that the academics are correct, this is a very well organized system, and it has worked this who knows how many years. And it will work, well beyond our days.
This Black and Yellow Argiope has caught a yellow/sulphur butterfly in her web. Her sticky protein strands have done their job well, and she now will go to feast on her gossamer-winged prey.
Those who never consider such predator-prey relationships, are much aggrieved. Won’t this 1 event trigger the disappearance of this species of butterfly??
No it will not. There are offsets here. The mother butterfly who produced this imperiled offspring did not lay 1 egg. She more than likely set out 100 eggs. Those 100 caterpillars hatched will see high losses to another long list of predators. The chrysalises produced will suffer losses to the elements and to desperate predators. How many adults butterflies will eclose from those odd cases? Oh, let’s say 21. Those 21 adult yellow/sulphur butterflies must fly in the territory of dragonflies, blue jays, mockingbirds, even the sweet and beloved bluebirds. At night, when they roost in trees and bushes, snakes, beetles, lizards and more appear, and . . . !
Butterfly realities make me appreciate my home, my locked door, Petra and . . . . the law enforcement men and women who give us peace of mind and a watchful eye.
Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat, Eatonton, Georgia.