Category: butterfly

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I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

7 of the eggs are hatching today!!!

August 21, 2018

The 7 that hatched are all monarchs!

While collecting food for the babies, I also brought in three more eggs. These babies are in the generation that will migrate to Mexico 😀

August 21, 2018

Stripes are in! Look how hungry!

August 22, 2018 (morning)

Since my last update, the number of Monarch caterpillars in my care has grown to more than 20 and I’m still finding more every day. With the Queens, I limited myself because I had finite milkweed and didn’t want to run out. But my milkweed plants have grown, and I know what to expect (these babes are very efficient!).

I updated my “tiny baby” habitat to keep them safer and the milkweed fresher. Working great so far! My oldest caterpillars are third instar now. The two close-ups of the baby show him after he molted. His old face is still next to him, and his tentacles hadn’t inflated yet (still curled up like they were under his old skin).

August 25, 2018

Peekaboo!

There are so many of these things. I am exhausted. The eat so much. They grow so fast. I can’t keep up with them.

August 26, 2018

I was able to give away about 15 caterpillars/eggs. So… 50 of these buttmunches. Well, maybe fewer because they KEEP EATING EACH OTHER STOP IT

August 27, 2018

Save me

They’re eating my milkweed faster than it can grow!!!! I came downstairs before dawn because I had nightmares they ran out of leaves and were starving. And my nightmares were almost true—only a few pieces of leaf left!

Thy are so fat and so hungry and they won’t stop! I’m going to need to find a wild milkweed source on a roadside somewhere!!

August 28, 2018

[note: I guess reblogs are broken now because most of the text from the previous post got cut off?? *sigh]

Drastic measures to be taken

When I got home, the babs had eaten EVERYTHING. NOTHING WAS SAFE. I am running out of milkweed. I don’t think I have enough to last *this* batch through adulthood, let alone the 30+ (save me) newborns. So I guess I’m going out tonight with a shovel and a flashlight trying to look 100% not suspicious as I dig up milkweed on the side of the highway.

August 28, 2018

Okay, slightly less panicking (although if you know me, that’s still a lot). (And also, can we talk about how absolutely horrible reblogs are now ??????)

One of my neighbors has milkweed and I can basically come over tomorrow morning and cut their entire plant to a stump since they didn’t get caterpillars (they probably did, but the wasps would have stolen them)

My Snowberry Clearwing Hookup Who Works At A Nursery thinks they might have received milkweed plants in stock and will text me in the morning to confirm/deny

A butterfly club member who runs a private nursery (no pesticides!!) has A Ton of milkweed plants which is good news for the 30 NEWBORN QUEENS. Downside: it’s outside of Killeen. For non-Texans, I will translate: two hours of driving with no traffic (so more like three hours in reality). This is in the morning on a work day. Work commute is just under 2 hours if I’m lucky.

I hope these sausages realize how LUCKY they are!!! (They don’t)

August 28, 2018 😩

EVERYTHING IS OKAY

Neighbor had a lot of milkweed plants!!! Hopefully I come home to chrysalis apocalypse instead of naked stems. These plants will only last so long, and I still have the batch of newborn baby Queens and Monarchs to feed.

So I bought more milkweed! My Snowberry Clearwing hookup got a ton of brand new beautiful swamp milkweed plants 😍 Hopefully they survive the caterpillars!

I lost a lot of sleep over these babes last night, but what’s new?

August 29, 2018

In mourning

There was pesticide residue on at least one of the plants from my neighbor. I should have known better 😥 I rinsed off the plants but there were so many and I was so tired that I didn’t wash with soap and water like I usually do. I lost five of my babies last night, maybe more today. I won’t post the photos of them since pesticides are so horrible that seeing what happens to the caterpillars is more traumatic than any horror movie. I’m so sad I almost stayed home from work.

I didn’t have all the babes together, so the smaller ones were not exposed.

Have some cute/happy gifs:

*sigh*

August 30, 2018

After days and days and days of nonstop anxiety attacks, FINALLY I came home to some good news. Two babies pupated safely! Three more are putting down their silk pads! They hadn’t eaten all their leaves!

Huge sigh of relief. You guys don’t realize how stressful the caterpillar life is. WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS??? Oh right, they’re cute and stumpy :3

August 30, 2018

Some momentary relief!!! Most of them are ready to pupate or have pupated already. Babes are still eating my milkweed to sticks (so hungry) and they are still cute and tentacly (??) buttheads.

August 31, 2018

Down to the last two Monarchs (from this batch, still have a couple smaller babies). The rest are these weird green things hanging from the ceiling! I put a light behind one of the chrysalids so you can see it’s mostly filled with liquid!

I’m so tired. Monarchs are exhausting and hard to raise. Why is this the species beginners start with?!? I need to plant some milkweed seeds and grow the entire plant indoors, because even though I wash all my leaves with soap and water before every feeding, I am still bringing in the horrible black death disease (on top of the pesticide residue from the neighbor’s plants that claimed some of my babies).

I am ready for a break, jeez.

September 1, 2018

I’m so proud

The first two Monarchs are here (and my last three are about to pupate). Based on raising both Queens and Monarchs, I can safely conclude that Monarchs are testy little turds why would anybody want to raise them?? I have never had a CATERPILLAR angrily BITE ME before when I tried to break up any one of countless caterpillar fights. It’s too bad Queens have such a restricted range!

The enclosure is absolutely covered in chrysalids it’s hilarious.

September 6, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

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I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

7 of the eggs are hatching today!!!

August 21, 2018

The 7 that hatched are all monarchs!

While collecting food for the babies, I also brought in three more eggs. These babies are in the generation that will migrate to Mexico 😀

August 21, 2018

Stripes are in! Look how hungry!

August 22, 2018 (morning)

Since my last update, the number of Monarch caterpillars in my care has grown to more than 20 and I’m still finding more every day. With the Queens, I limited myself because I had finite milkweed and didn’t want to run out. But my milkweed plants have grown, and I know what to expect (these babes are very efficient!).

I updated my “tiny baby” habitat to keep them safer and the milkweed fresher. Working great so far! My oldest caterpillars are third instar now. The two close-ups of the baby show him after he molted. His old face is still next to him, and his tentacles hadn’t inflated yet (still curled up like they were under his old skin).

August 25, 2018

Peekaboo!

There are so many of these things. I am exhausted. The eat so much. They grow so fast. I can’t keep up with them.

August 26, 2018

I was able to give away about 15 caterpillars/eggs. So… 50 of these buttmunches. Well, maybe fewer because they KEEP EATING EACH OTHER STOP IT

August 27, 2018

Save me

They’re eating my milkweed faster than it can grow!!!! I came downstairs before dawn because I had nightmares they ran out of leaves and were starving. And my nightmares were almost true—only a few pieces of leaf left!

Thy are so fat and so hungry and they won’t stop! I’m going to need to find a wild milkweed source on a roadside somewhere!!

August 28, 2018

[note: I guess reblogs are broken now because most of the text from the previous post got cut off?? *sigh]

Drastic measures to be taken

When I got home, the babs had eaten EVERYTHING. NOTHING WAS SAFE. I am running out of milkweed. I don’t think I have enough to last *this* batch through adulthood, let alone the 30+ (save me) newborns. So I guess I’m going out tonight with a shovel and a flashlight trying to look 100% not suspicious as I dig up milkweed on the side of the highway.

August 28, 2018

Okay, slightly less panicking (although if you know me, that’s still a lot). (And also, can we talk about how absolutely horrible reblogs are now ??????)

One of my neighbors has milkweed and I can basically come over tomorrow morning and cut their entire plant to a stump since they didn’t get caterpillars (they probably did, but the wasps would have stolen them)

My Snowberry Clearwing Hookup Who Works At A Nursery thinks they might have received milkweed plants in stock and will text me in the morning to confirm/deny

A butterfly club member who runs a private nursery (no pesticides!!) has A Ton of milkweed plants which is good news for the 30 NEWBORN QUEENS. Downside: it’s outside of Killeen. For non-Texans, I will translate: two hours of driving with no traffic (so more like three hours in reality). This is in the morning on a work day. Work commute is just under 2 hours if I’m lucky.

I hope these sausages realize how LUCKY they are!!! (They don’t)

August 28, 2018 😩

EVERYTHING IS OKAY

Neighbor had a lot of milkweed plants!!! Hopefully I come home to chrysalis apocalypse instead of naked stems. These plants will only last so long, and I still have the batch of newborn baby Queens and Monarchs to feed.

So I bought more milkweed! My Snowberry Clearwing hookup got a ton of brand new beautiful swamp milkweed plants 😍 Hopefully they survive the caterpillars!

I lost a lot of sleep over these babes last night, but what’s new?

August 29, 2018

In mourning

There was pesticide residue on at least one of the plants from my neighbor. I should have known better 😥 I rinsed off the plants but there were so many and I was so tired that I didn’t wash with soap and water like I usually do. I lost five of my babies last night, maybe more today. I won’t post the photos of them since pesticides are so horrible that seeing what happens to the caterpillars is more traumatic than any horror movie. I’m so sad I almost stayed home from work.

I didn’t have all the babes together, so the smaller ones were not exposed.

Have some cute/happy gifs:

*sigh*

August 30, 2018

After days and days and days of nonstop anxiety attacks, FINALLY I came home to some good news. Two babies pupated safely! Three more are putting down their silk pads! They hadn’t eaten all their leaves!

Huge sigh of relief. You guys don’t realize how stressful the caterpillar life is. WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS??? Oh right, they’re cute and stumpy :3

August 30, 2018

Some momentary relief!!! Most of them are ready to pupate or have pupated already. Babes are still eating my milkweed to sticks (so hungry) and they are still cute and tentacly (??) buttheads.

August 31, 2018

Down to the last two Monarchs (from this batch, still have a couple smaller babies). The rest are these weird green things hanging from the ceiling! I put a light behind one of the chrysalids so you can see it’s mostly filled with liquid!

I’m so tired. Monarchs are exhausting and hard to raise. Why is this the species beginners start with?!? I need to plant some milkweed seeds and grow the entire plant indoors, because even though I wash all my leaves with soap and water before every feeding, I am still bringing in the horrible black death disease (on top of the pesticide residue from the neighbor’s plants that claimed some of my babies).

I am ready for a break, jeez.

September 1, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

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I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

7 of the eggs are hatching today!!!

August 21, 2018

The 7 that hatched are all monarchs!

While collecting food for the babies, I also brought in three more eggs. These babies are in the generation that will migrate to Mexico 😀

August 21, 2018

Stripes are in! Look how hungry!

August 22, 2018 (morning)

Since my last update, the number of Monarch caterpillars in my care has grown to more than 20 and I’m still finding more every day. With the Queens, I limited myself because I had finite milkweed and didn’t want to run out. But my milkweed plants have grown, and I know what to expect (these babes are very efficient!).

I updated my “tiny baby” habitat to keep them safer and the milkweed fresher. Working great so far! My oldest caterpillars are third instar now. The two close-ups of the baby show him after he molted. His old face is still next to him, and his tentacles hadn’t inflated yet (still curled up like they were under his old skin).

August 25, 2018

Peekaboo!

There are so many of these things. I am exhausted. The eat so much. They grow so fast. I can’t keep up with them.

August 26, 2018

I was able to give away about 15 caterpillars/eggs. So… 50 of these buttmunches. Well, maybe fewer because they KEEP EATING EACH OTHER STOP IT

August 27, 2018

Save me

They’re eating my milkweed faster than it can grow!!!! I came downstairs before dawn because I had nightmares they ran out of leaves and were starving. And my nightmares were almost true—only a few pieces of leaf left!

Thy are so fat and so hungry and they won’t stop! I’m going to need to find a wild milkweed source on a roadside somewhere!!

August 28, 2018

[note: I guess reblogs are broken now because most of the text from the previous post got cut off?? *sigh]

Drastic measures to be taken

When I got home, the babs had eaten EVERYTHING. NOTHING WAS SAFE. I am running out of milkweed. I don’t think I have enough to last *this* batch through adulthood, let alone the 30+ (save me) newborns. So I guess I’m going out tonight with a shovel and a flashlight trying to look 100% not suspicious as I dig up milkweed on the side of the highway.

August 28, 2018

Okay, slightly less panicking (although if you know me, that’s still a lot). (And also, can we talk about how absolutely horrible reblogs are now ??????)

One of my neighbors has milkweed and I can basically come over tomorrow morning and cut their entire plant to a stump since they didn’t get caterpillars (they probably did, but the wasps would have stolen them)

My Snowberry Clearwing Hookup Who Works At A Nursery thinks they might have received milkweed plants in stock and will text me in the morning to confirm/deny

A butterfly club member who runs a private nursery (no pesticides!!) has A Ton of milkweed plants which is good news for the 30 NEWBORN QUEENS. Downside: it’s outside of Killeen. For non-Texans, I will translate: two hours of driving with no traffic (so more like three hours in reality). This is in the morning on a work day. Work commute is just under 2 hours if I’m lucky.

I hope these sausages realize how LUCKY they are!!! (They don’t)

August 28, 2018 😩

EVERYTHING IS OKAY

Neighbor had a lot of milkweed plants!!! Hopefully I come home to chrysalis apocalypse instead of naked stems. These plants will only last so long, and I still have the batch of newborn baby Queens and Monarchs to feed.

So I bought more milkweed! My Snowberry Clearwing hookup got a ton of brand new beautiful swamp milkweed plants 😍 Hopefully they survive the caterpillars!

I lost a lot of sleep over these babes last night, but what’s new?

August 29, 2018

In mourning

There was pesticide residue on at least one of the plants from my neighbor. I should have known better 😥 I rinsed off the plants but there were so many and I was so tired that I didn’t wash with soap and water like I usually do. I lost five of my babies last night, maybe more today. I won’t post the photos of them since pesticides are so horrible that seeing what happens to the caterpillars is more traumatic than any horror movie. I’m so sad I almost stayed home from work.

I didn’t have all the babes together, so the smaller ones were not exposed.

Have some cute/happy gifs:

*sigh*

August 30, 2018

After days and days and days of nonstop anxiety attacks, FINALLY I came home to some good news. Two babies pupated safely! Three more are putting down their silk pads! They hadn’t eaten all their leaves!

Huge sigh of relief. You guys don’t realize how stressful the caterpillar life is. WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS??? Oh right, they’re cute and stumpy :3

August 30, 2018

Some momentary relief!!! Most of them are ready to pupate or have pupated already. Babes are still eating my milkweed to sticks (so hungry) and they are still cute and tentacly (??) buttheads.

August 31, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturali…

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I just found FIVE MORE QUEEN EGGS!!!

August 18, 2018

It gets better! First, I found six more eggs today:

Happy family 🙂

Second, I met the mom of at least some of them:

^^^ that’s not a queen! That’s a monarch!

August 19, 2018

7 of the eggs are hatching today!!!

August 21, 2018

The 7 that hatched are all monarchs!

While collecting food for the babies, I also brought in three more eggs. These babies are in the generation that will migrate to Mexico 😀

August 21, 2018

Stripes are in! Look how hungry!

August 22, 2018 (morning)

Since my last update, the number of Monarch caterpillars in my care has grown to more than 20 and I’m still finding more every day. With the Queens, I limited myself because I had finite milkweed and didn’t want to run out. But my milkweed plants have grown, and I know what to expect (these babes are very efficient!).

I updated my “tiny baby” habitat to keep them safer and the milkweed fresher. Working great so far! My oldest caterpillars are third instar now. The two close-ups of the baby show him after he molted. His old face is still next to him, and his tentacles hadn’t inflated yet (still curled up like they were under his old skin).

August 25, 2018

Peekaboo!

There are so many of these things. I am exhausted. The eat so much. They grow so fast. I can’t keep up with them.

August 26, 2018

I was able to give away about 15 caterpillars/eggs. So… 50 of these buttmunches. Well, maybe fewer because they KEEP EATING EACH OTHER STOP IT

August 27, 2018

Save me

They’re eating my milkweed faster than it can grow!!!! I came downstairs before dawn because I had nightmares they ran out of leaves and were starving. And my nightmares were almost true—only a few pieces of leaf left!

Thy are so fat and so hungry and they won’t stop! I’m going to need to find a wild milkweed source on a roadside somewhere!!

August 28, 2018

[note: I guess reblogs are broken now because most of the text from the previous post got cut off?? *sigh]

Drastic measures to be taken

When I got home, the babs had eaten EVERYTHING. NOTHING WAS SAFE. I am running out of milkweed. I don’t think I have enough to last *this* batch through adulthood, let alone the 30+ (save me) newborns. So I guess I’m going out tonight with a shovel and a flashlight trying to look 100% not suspicious as I dig up milkweed on the side of the highway.

August 28, 2018

Okay, slightly less panicking (although if you know me, that’s still a lot). (And also, can we talk about how absolutely horrible reblogs are now ??????)

One of my neighbors has milkweed and I can basically come over tomorrow morning and cut their entire plant to a stump since they didn’t get caterpillars (they probably did, but the wasps would have stolen them)

My Snowberry Clearwing Hookup Who Works At A Nursery thinks they might have received milkweed plants in stock and will text me in the morning to confirm/deny

A butterfly club member who runs a private nursery (no pesticides!!) has A Ton of milkweed plants which is good news for the 30 NEWBORN QUEENS. Downside: it’s outside of Killeen. For non-Texans, I will translate: two hours of driving with no traffic (so more like three hours in reality). This is in the morning on a work day. Work commute is just under 2 hours if I’m lucky.

I hope these sausages realize how LUCKY they are!!! (They don’t)

August 28, 2018 😩

EVERYTHING IS OKAY

Neighbor had a lot of milkweed plants!!! Hopefully I come home to chrysalis apocalypse instead of naked stems. These plants will only last so long, and I still have the batch of newborn baby Queens and Monarchs to feed.

So I bought more milkweed! My Snowberry Clearwing hookup got a ton of brand new beautiful swamp milkweed plants 😍 Hopefully they survive the caterpillars!

I lost a lot of sleep over these babes last night, but what’s new?

August 29, 2018

In mourning

There was pesticide residue on at least one of the plants from my neighbor. I should have known better 😥 I rinsed off the plants but there were so many and I was so tired that I didn’t wash with soap and water like I usually do. I lost five of my babies last night, maybe more today. I won’t post the photos of them since pesticides are so horrible that seeing what happens to the caterpillars is more traumatic than any horror movie. I’m so sad I almost stayed home from work.

I didn’t have all the babes together, so the smaller ones were not exposed.

Have some cute/happy gifs:

*sigh*

August 30, 2018

After days and days and days of nonstop anxiety attacks, FINALLY I came home to some good news. Two babies pupated safely! Three more are putting down their silk pads! They hadn’t eaten all their leaves!

Huge sigh of relief. You guys don’t realize how stressful the caterpillar life is. WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS??? Oh right, they’re cute and stumpy :3

August 30, 2018

Newborn Queen caterpillar cannibalizing unhatc…

Newborn Queen caterpillar cannibalizing unhatched sibling’s egg.

August 26, 2018

regnum-plantae: Raising Pieris brassicae When …

regnum-plantae:

Raising Pieris brassicae

When I sat one of the RHS horticulture exams last February I had to describe and illustrate the life cycle of the large white, a common pest of vegetables in the Brassicaceae family. Although I had to learn it from books, I had never had a chance to observe all its stages in person so, when I spotted one of these common butterflies taking shelter and depositing her eggs under the leaves of the nasturtium (Tropaleum majus) in my window boxes, I took it upon myself to try and raise them to adulthood. I had never raised butterflies before, so I was particularly excited. 

The tiny yellow eggs hatched in four days and the caterpillars started feeding voraciously on the fresh nasturtium leaves I was providing daily. They grew rapidly and soon started showing their typical mottled yellow/black/green colouration, which is supposed to discourage predators and warn them of their foul taste, acquired due to the mustard oil present in their preferred plants. After two weeks they started pupating: watching the pupae emerge from the skin of the last instar was incredible and something I had never seen before. The soft pupae, already showing the future wing structure, began hardening up and the first butterflies emerged after ten days. They seemed to wait until I wasn’t looking to pop out, so I only caught one halfway through the process and it happened so quickly I couldn’t take a photo. Last night, not long before sunset, I finally released all those that were ready to fly, exactly a month after the eggs were laid. Some immediately flew away, others seemed a bit torpid, probably due to the temperature excursion, so I left them in the shelter of some tall Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), hoping for the best. 

I said this before when I raised common frogs (Rana temporaria) last year: animal metamorphosis is an unbelievable natural process which is absolutely worth seeing with your own eyes, I have learnt so much and I can’t wait to raise butterflies again!  

They are so beautiful and I love them so much. Congratulations!!! 😭

August 24, 2018

Another day, another naughty caterpillar. This…

Another day, another naughty caterpillar. This one escaped and by the time I found him, he was prepupal and had already made his little silk pad—see the top photo between his 2nd and 3rd row of prolegs. Preupal caterpillars have already begun to develop their pupal anatomy (evidenced by their color change and change on body texture), and you can’t really mess with them at that point. At least with the silk pad there, I knew he wasn’t going to wander any more!

When I came back to check of him, he had moved up and was gripping his pad with his rear prolegs! As they prepare for pupation, they will suspend themselves from the pad, upside down for many species. He was starting the dangle, but wasn’t quite there yet. I left for a few minutes, and came back to a curious mid-dangle. On closer inspection, one of the little tiny hooks on a proleg had been caught on a single strand of silk he laid down earlier.

This is a kind of error that can result in tragedy—caterpillars who have unusual pupations are prone to injuries from falling or from their caterpillar skin getting stuck to their chrysalis, and these issues can result in disfigurement or worse 😥 But luckily all I had to do was snip that single silk strand with scissors, and everything was back to normal with a perfect-scoring dangle 😍

This is a Gulf Fritillary babe. My prior predictions of a barren passion vine were unfounded. My passion vine is so absolutely massive I had to spend all day Sunday building a new trellis for it, and I have fritillary cats coming out of my EARS. I will never tire of them, though. They are gorgeous.

August 22, 2018

Tawny Emperor pupation Top row: the night befo…

Tawny Emperor pupation
Top row: the night before
Middle row: the morning before
Bottom row: the evening after

If you look closely at the “before” photos, you can see the chrysalis developing under the prepupal caterpillar’s skin. Also, in the first photo, you can see the silk pad the caterpillar made to attach to after pupation. The tip of the chrysalis has microscopic hooks that attach to the silk like velcro.

August 16, 2018

Question Mark butterfly from this morning Aug…

Question Mark butterfly from this morning

August 15, 2018

So many moths / So little time | Bonfire

So many moths / So little time | Bonfire:

brynna:

nanonaturalist:

Moth Shirt Fundraiser, Y’all!

If you follow me you know (1) I am up to my neck in caterpillars (2) I LOVE getting people excited about bugs and nature, online, in person, and everywhere in between. 

If you know me in real life, you also know I am (3) up to my *ears* in car problems. Driving back and forth across Texas every week = CAR PROBLEMS holy carp. Please help support me through what I hope is my last car crisis (and get a cute/dorky moth shirt in the process). 

If I can meet my goal of 50 shirts, this fundraiser will completely pay off my mechanic bill. (hallelujah). Bonfire lets people set their own profits, and I priced these things as low as I could without giving them away for free at lower volumes. 

Fun fact! This campaign ends the same day National Moth Week starts: July 21! Learn more about National Moth Week here! [link] 

If you like what I do and want to support me, but can’t afford a shirt, please consider a reblob <3

Shirt: 10/10 Comfy, fits, very cute

Moth: 9/10 Very cute, small eye spots, looks soft, docked one point for being a dirty interloper in my home

image

My headless torso modeling a Gulf Fritillary flutterbutt + moth shirt

I love how LARGE the mothiness is

Unapologetically Pro-Moth

I approve

August 10, 2018