Origami Butterfly

"How dangerous can a butterfly be?" you ask. Well, considering that the males produces one of the most potent magical hallucinogens yet discovered and the females often deliberately disguise themselves as fruit and get eaten so their caterpillars can hatch inside a host to ensure adequate food and moisture, I would say fairly dangerous. Also, their wings are a tad sharp.
— Jasper Cameron, Leader of the Bronze Ravens.
    The following conversation was overheard at The Happy Cactus in Thunder Dunes. It took place between the elf druid Elmon the Mad and an unknown human female wizard. The wizard ventured into the Myrdhor on a research expedition the next week and was not seen in Thunder Dunes again.    Elmon: "You know, they really are quite beautiful, sort of like a dragon in flight, but smaller. Just, you know, dont lick one."   Wizard: "And why, pry tell, would I lick one?"   E: "Well, you are a wizard, and you are studying them..."   W: "Wait, how do YOU know not to lick them?"   E: "Have you heard the rumors of my lost years?"   W: "Yes, but... wait, you licked one of those and.... no, rumors said a spell was involved..."   E: "Just one lick, according to the dwarves I'm one of the lucky ones, most dont come back at all, at least not all the way."

Basic Information

Anatomy

It is, of course, a butterfly. Being an insect it has 3 main body parts, being head, thorax, and abdomen ,as well as 6 legs. It also has quite brilliantly colored wings. These of course, warn other creatures that it is NOT edible.   Of course the females, at first thought to be a separate species, can change the color and shape of their wings to match the look of fruit, which they do once a male has fertilized their eggs. They then allow themselves to be eaten, and the young hatch inside whatever unfortunate creature made the lethal mistake of eating a hollow "fruit."

Dietary Needs and Habits

While nectar of plants in the Myrdhor is the preferred food of the Origami Butterfly, were they to attempt to subsist on this alone they would surely have died out. Instead, like most everything else in the desert, they have found a way to get the moisture they need.   Usually by lofting up to a substantial height then "folding" their wings into a rigid harpoon-pyramid and falling from the sky to stab into their chosen meal/beverage.
Conservation Status
Dangerous
Geographic Distribution

Comments

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1 Aug, 2022 22:56

I love these dangerous butterflies. Particularly how the young hatch.

Choose your poison:   Phasmatum: An Afro-Solar-Fantasy world created for my epic novels.
Adazuri: A shonen-inspired magitech fantasy world home-brewed for 5e.
3 Aug, 2022 02:09

Ah, you stopped by the another of this summers "murder desert denizens." I would be lying if i said I wasn't looking for something to bring a bit of the Alien mythos into the Myrdhor, just substitute "egg" for "fruit" and "horrific monster" with "beautiful if deadly butterfly". Thank you for the reads

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.