|'Earthly' Caterpillars (PD)|
In the hopes that butterflies will be around for years to come, U. S. Fish and Wildlife officials are taking steps to save the endangered ones.
Barbara Liston of Orlando Reuters reports, “Two species of butterflies that live in South Florida will be listed as endangered under federal law.” These species are the Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak and the Florida leafwing. It will therefore be illegal to “capture or harm” these species, “and their larvae.”
Sharon Peregrine Johnson of Baylor explains that “the winged form of a butterly was a symbol for the human soul” since ancient times. Aristotle named the butterfly “Psyche,” which
means “soul” in Greek. Russians have called these beautiful insects dushichka, derived from dusha, which also means “soul.”
Germans have gotten even more specific, thinking butterflies to be “souls of children.” In days gone by, the Irish tended to agree. During the 1600s, “killing a white butterfly” in Ireland was prohibited, “since it was believed to be the soul of a dead child.” The Irish also believed the butterfly to be “a symbol of transformation and creation.”
Christians have believed the butterfly’s three stages of development (caterpillar, pupa, winged creature) to be indicative of “spiritual transformation” (from earthly concerns, to the tomb, and finally to a heavenly rebirth).
Copyright September 20, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved