Robots love butterflies

These sketches were inspired by this nature show I once saw about these beautiful green butterflies from Africa that drink the tears of Gazelles as they graze by the river bank.  While I couldn’t find the name of that particular butterfly I did come across this excerpt from a book.  For all those who love the silent, innocent grace of the butterfly here’s this…

Females of three species of tropical rain forest butterflies feed on bird droppings.  The Purple Emperor and some butterflies in the Vindula genus feed on dung, and some Vindulas feed on dead animals and drink sweat.  There are several skin-piercing, blood-sucking moths in Southeast Asia.  Commonly called the Vampire moth, the Calyptra eustrigata has a barbed proboscis and has been observed feeding on elephants, water buffaloes, and other large animals.

There are other Southeast Asian moths, which are lachryphlagous, meaning they feed on tears and other eye secretions of large, mild, plant-eating animals, and some have occasionally been observed drinking human tears.  Butterflies were recently observed in Ecuador drinking the tears of Amazon River turtles.  Although tear drinkers generally soft-tipped proboscises, Hilgartner, a German entomologist, repoted a fascinating observation of a moth, from a generally fruit-feeding or blood-feeding lineage of noctuids.  This moth was seen attacking sleeping birds in Madagascar, sticking its sharply tipped proboscis into a bird’s closed eye, presumably drinking the bird’s tears.

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