What species is Eustace Tilley’s butterfly?
Back in May 2009 I posited the suggestion that Tilley’s nameless butterfly, which to me symbolizes creative inspiration, is a
Clouded Sulphur, whose scientific name is Colias philodice. The Clouded Sulphur’s range includes New York. Is it possible Rea Irvin had a specific butterfly in mind?
Perhaps not. Tilley’s Butterfly, of course, is a symbol rather than a literal depiction of a specific butterfly species, but it’s fun to play the amateur lepidopterist.
What do you think?
At Emdashes we like to speculate and theorize about things like this. It gives us wings. If any professional lepidopterists are reading this, we’d also love for you to share your thoughts.
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Emdashes, founded in 2004, is written and drawn by Emily Gordon, Martin Schneider, Pollux, Jonathan Taylor, and Benjamin Chambers, as well as occasional guest contributors. All posts before October 2008 are by Emily Gordon.