British Wildlife 26.5 June 2015

Lost language: the forgotton cultural lives of butterflies

In this second part of our series on mankind’s perceptions of butterflies, the author examines the meanings behind artistic representations of the insects.
Almost alone in the insect world, butterflies have brightly coloured wings, often with intricate patterns. Obviously enough, these colours serve a biological purpose. They might warn predators that the butterfly is toxic; or help it to attract a mate; or act as distractions, such as the little ‘eyes’ inset into the corner of the wings of some of the browns. 

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