Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Blood & Sex :)

The notion of vampire survival always involving blood and sex is apt because the vampire, as depicted by Bram Stroker's Dracula, must be physically alluring to enable the bloodsucker to get close enough to its intended victim in order to feed, something akin to what male milkweed butterflies do in drinking milkweed toxins in order to attract females, actions depicted in great detail in a Live Science article deliciously titled Milkweed butterflies tear open caterpillars and drink them alive.

Not all caterpillars grow up to be beautiful butterflies. Some become living milkshakes for their dads, who guzzle caterpillar body fluids to attract the ladies.

Recently, scientists reported the first evidence of butterflies sipping from the bodies of caterpillars — dead and alive. They observed adult milkweed butterflies in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, using tiny claws on their feet to scratch wounds in caterpillars' bodies so they could lap the liquid that oozed out. 

Male butterflies seek certain compounds produced by milkweed (flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae), which repel predators and help the butterflies produce pheromones that attract females. Since caterpillars are stuffed with juices from chewed-up plants, they make an easy target for butterflies looking to chemically boost their attractiveness to females. 

Blood and sex applies, does it not? :)

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