Greek Monarchs

The Greek symbol of Ouroboros—the snake eating its own tail—is said to be a symbol of eternal return or regeneration. I couldn’t help but think about that symbol when I saw what the Monarch butterfly caterpillars had done to their Milkweed host in the BBB garden: They ate it up, or at least chewed it down to the stems—the very plant they depend on for survival and regeneration!! Of course, there are a few green stems left indicating that, ultimately, the plant will likely regenerate like the butterfly, too.


It seems ironic, though, that the Monarch is dependent, in order to regenerate, upon the very bush that it consumes, almost, entirely. The problem, here, is I’m not sure if our wandering caterpillars ate themselves completely out of house and home, because I haven’t seen any chrysalidies (chrysilis: butterfly; cocoon: moth) in the BBB garden. There’s a well chewed Milkweed bush left behind and one or two caterpillars still, but not a chrysilis to be seen. Hmmm…I’ll have to do a bit more research on these guys to try to track em down. I have some information that says these caterpillars can apparently crawl 30 – 40 feet away to find a safe spot to pupate   –end- November 08 Duke


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