Sunday, May 30, 2010

a David Attenborough special - Beautifully Beastly Butterflies

Beautifully Beastly Butterflies. That is what Barb over at Haunted Design House is asking for. These Macabre Mondays really keeps your brains working overtime. How on earth do you turn a beautiful butterfly beastly? Simple... you turn to sir David Attenborough for inspiration.

So when David Attenborough made his LIFE series they decided to not air the last one in the series as not to have a massive panic on hands. If people knew what the average garden variety can turn into.....

So in a nutshell I will present for you the:


click on any of the pictures for a larger view
Not alot of people know that the day before a full moon the air is buzzing. The ions in the air does something to the innocence of butterflies. Some species grow fangs, others will have their skulls enhanced (yes they do have skulls, funny that), again others will get very aggressive and will pick a fight with birds. But they all do have a thirst for blood. There are those who will hunt alone, and there are those who will hunt in packs. The day after the full moon they have all regained their normal bodies as we all know them. Let us go over a few of them who hunt alone shall we?

The very common Papilio Camelopardus (aka the Giraffe Butterfly) will turn red and its distinctive markings will turn black and change shape. This is done in a matter of minutes the moments the ions appear. They will go after anything that flies wether it is a bumblebee or something larger like a bird. In this photo the Camelopardus picked a fight with a parrot. The parrot with its large beak is no match for the butterfly.

The Camelopardus is quicker and with its fangs it goes straight for the jugular. Once the jugular is slid the parrot will fall and the feasting begins. Lately it has been known to attack small animals like rabbits, squirrels and cats aswell.

The Papilio Albus Crocuta (aka as the Albino Hyena Butterly) will also grow fangs but does not fight. It solely feeds on leftovers that are no longer desired. In fact when you see a Albus Crocuta you better hide your pets because a Camelopardus will be near.

The Papilio Calva Caecum (aka the Unseeing Bald Butterfly) is blind and grows a skull. Not being able to see it must rely on other methods to lure a prey. The Calva Caecum buzzes and sprays a odor around himself. The buzz attracts cats and the odor will have them mesmerized long enough for the Butterfly to injects the animal with a poison to temporarily paralyze its victim. He then sucks blood till it is full. The feed will last him a few days.

Have you ever noticed how large quantities of cats are missing just before and afer a full moon....?
Now you know why.

This ofcourse is just a very brief synopses on the Life of Beastly Butterflies. If you want to see the full documentary go and catch a re-run on the BBC. This documentary will also get into the Butterfly families that hunt in packs like the Croseus Chiroptera shown below.

I made a shadowbox out of a cardboard box from the supermarket. I covered the shadowbox with heavy one color scrapbook paper. I used spraymount for this. After a while I got really dizzy. Wow, I mean really dizzy. Oh wait, thats why it says on the can to spray in well ventilated areas only! (note to self: NEVER use in living room again) I then layered it (5 layers) with photo's cut out from a variety of magazines. The pictures I glued on cardstock so they are sturdy. I then mutilated some Jolees to personalize the butterflies. And voila.

This was a fun challenge to do.


  1. OMGawd! This is hilariously stunning in it's beauty and informative value. I adore the altered butterflies (the Hyena one is my fav), but the back stories are what makes this truly brilliant! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  2. oKAY, i CAN'T even begin to compete with that glorious story. HOW Fabulous! xx D

  3. LOL! Bonus points for a beyond awesome fable :) Fabulous work, Renee, as usual... so much detail... thanks so much for playing along with Macabre Monday!

  4. WOW! How absolutely amazing! Love the narrative and the creation, WOW!!!