Sunday, May 3, 2009

Yes, M. Peevie, There is Butterfly Poop

Since so many recent Green Room visitors have arrived via a quest for information about butterfly poop (because of this tangentially-related post), I figured it's only fair to offer a primer on the digestion and excretory systems of insects.

As it turns out, yes, butterflies DO poop. The bowel movement of insects, including butterflies, is known as frass. I assume that's a made-up word that combines "fragrance " and "ass" into an optimistic euphemism for excrement.

I tried to find an image of butterfly poop, but all I came up with was this image from a two-year-old post in a fun blog. It seems that it shows up as a reddish-brown stain, which is precisely the last thing I need in my house, so I will not be inviting any butterflies to flit around my living room. It's bad enough that there are seven unmatched dirty socks, miscellaneous overdue school forms waiting to be filled out, and a shoe-store's worth of cleats and sneakers lying around.

In my research I also came across a related story about an unfortunate tattoo.

That's all I got on the topic.


Hector said...

The etymology of frass is the German "fressen", meaning "to devour".

E. Peevie said...

Wha? Cite source, Hec. 'Cause that's disgusting. I like my etymology better.