In the realm of the Purple Emperor
July 21, 2013 6:55 AM   Subscribe

In The Realm of the Purple Emperor: As I’m sure many of His Majesty’s loyal followers will agree, there’s nothing we love more than to roll around in the mud, dust, dung, poo, shrimp paste, flies, spit and wee to get those highly coveted photographs.

Purple Emperors are one of the UK's prettiest and harder to spot butterfly species. Loyal subjects of the Emperor seek him here and seek him there, that pretty, pretty, Emperor!
posted by Flitcraft (9 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
And here I was, expecting a Prince paparazzi post.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 7:23 AM on July 21, 2013 [6 favorites]

I thought I was the only one who could still sing verse from The Scarlet Pimpernel.
posted by mrfuga0 at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is utterly not my thing, but I find the breathless geekery of the text charming. Luring an emperor with dung, honestly, sounds like a moral lesson.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:05 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

We think of butterflies living on nectar, but they need stronger fare, poop and pee are full of minerals you see!
They need to be string to stay up in the air.
Such lovely butterflies.!
I saved a butterfly a few days ago and had the pleasure of seeing if frolicking happily in the garden yesterday,
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love the bloke getting all excited that his trousers are "seasoned" enough to attract the butterfly as he proudly declares he won't be washing them for the rest of the season! Oh my.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:42 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Now I kind of want to discover a butterfly, and name it "The King in Yellow."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:47 PM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Purple emperors are also mentioned in The Hobbit!
posted by Chrysostom at 5:34 AM on July 22, 2013

Thanks! I didn't notice that. Turns out it's in the next film too.

Bilbo and the butterflies in Mirkwood
posted by Flitcraft at 3:55 PM on July 22, 2013

When I first started feeding my puppy a raw diet, I discovered swallowtails would cluster on his leftovers. I guessed that the drying blood concentrated the minerals, and they were supping like they do at the edge of evaporating puddles - but it was still a jarring sight to have a black swallowtail clearly dining on rotted meat.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:57 AM on July 26, 2013

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