WARNING: Not Suitable for Vegetarians
The Meat Butterfly (vanessa buffetensis) is a little-known species of lepidoptera indigenous to the Languedoc region of the south of France.
First identified in 1769 by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffet, whence it derives its Latin name, the meat butterfly is rarely seen in the wild, probably because of its propensity to be instantly devoured by predators. However, it can sometimes be seen flexing its colourful meaty wings in its natural habitat: a rural wedding celebration.
These photographs afford some rare glimpses of vanessa buffetensis in its progressive stages of development:
Fig 1: Larva
Fig 2: Chrysalis
Fig. 3: Adult (rampant)
Fig. 4: Adult (couchant)
Vanessa buffetensis has been hunted almost to extinction by French wedding guests, who value it as a rare gastronomic delicacy. Appeals for the French government to declare it an endangered species have to date sadly been ignored.