I came away from your book thinking that butterflies are crafty little creatures. Do you think thats an accurate way to describe them?

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I came away from your book thinking that butterflies are crafty little creatures. Do you think thats an accurate way to describe them?

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You have to be crafty. Caterpillars, in particular, have to be crafty. Everything in the world seems out to kill or eat a caterpillar: pathogens, fungi, parasitic wasps and flies, ants, birds, lizards. Plants are always trying to poison or skewer or repel caterpillars. The adult butterfly that finally emerges out of such a difficult childhood is a miracle. And then for that butterfly to survivewithout teeth or claws or any obvious defenseseems another miracle. So, of course, these insects use craft: camouflage, mimicry, distraction, scare tactics. They use their wings to hiss like a snake or they flash eyespots to resemble an owl. Often, their bright colors indicate that they are poisonous to predators, like wearing a T-shirt, Dont eat me. Other butterflies wear the same T-shirt, but arent really poisonous at all. They are just being deceptive.

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