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February 01, 2006


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Red Rain- it has been well known in entomological circles (150+ years) that red rain is the concentrated excrement of butterflies-- nymphalid butterflies usually of the genus Vanessa (V. cardui, atalanta, and indica). Caterpillars form chrysalids. All of the metabolic waste accumulated during this stage of the insects life cycle is stored until eclosion. The butterfly emerges, moves to a perch to expand its wings, and just prior to its first flight- voids a reddish droplet. My first reaction to the original news story whas laughter. My second, more thoughful reaction was horror-- are we slipping back so far so fast?

Off topic post deleted by Skeptico

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