butterfly landing on person myth??

Doug Yanega dyanega at pop.ucr.edu
Mon Jul 12 14:44:29 EDT 1999

Apparently there is an ancient myth (from the Orient I believe) about the
significance of a butterfly landing on a person. It is apparently
significant spiritually or something.
Not sure about the myth, though I do recall something in the Tarot (the
card "The Fool" sometimes depicts a butterfly landing on him, indicating
spiritual metamorphosis) - but in *reality*, a number of Apaturid species
here (hackberry butterfly, tawny emperor) and elsewhere commonly land on
people to drink perspiration. They can be rather persistent, in fact. So,
at least the phenomenon does occur in nature commonly enough that the myth
has a basis in fact.
Doug Yanega       Dept. of Entomology           Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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