A Battle for a Butterfly
By the side of a foot path, I noticed some commotion in the undergrowth. It was a rather ferocious battle of life and death. A butterfly, camouflaged amber as an autumn leaf, fluttered and spun, desperately trying to repel the pursuit of an eager wasp.
I was fixated in a kind of horror; it was remarkably gruesome for such a miniature scene. The pair would buzz and bounce around the floor, the butterfly trying to shake it off, the wasp trying to secure itself on the thorax of its prey.
Eventually the wasp was shaken off and the butterfly fell behind a small log, laying prone, and silent as a leaf. The wasp buzzed about in circles, seemingly lost. Just when I thought it might all be over, the butterfly was found again, and the battle re-commences.
This routine played out several more times. I must have been watching for about ten minutes. It looked exhausting. A frantic fight, a moment of nervous suspense, only for the violence to resume. Eventually, a second wasp came, my butterfly friend was doomed. They worked as a perfect team, one grappling with their prey, the other hovering above, keeping a watchful eye so as not to lose their lunch. The battle ended, and the buzzing stopped.
The above image is not of the butterfly in question and is for illustrative purposes only. "Hanging Out" by Swamibu is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
Author Bio: Dan Robinson is an Outdoor Educator and masters students of ‘Environmental Humanities’. He has been enchanted by the natural world since a child.