THE CERUWING BUTTERFLY

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR
DIET - MATING - USAGES - MYTH/LORE

The Ceruwing Butterfly is named for the flower whose nectar it feeds upon, the cerubell. These adorable little insects are never found very far from one another and are known for their elegant, romantic mating rituals. They are, in short, an elegant yet innocent creature gracing the banks of Northern and mid-Santharia.

The Ceruwing Butterfly
View picture in full size Image description: A Ceruwing Butterfly on a mural depicting a cerubell flower. Pic by Quellion.

Appearance. The Ceruwing are rather small little butterflies with a wingspan of between 3 nailbreadths and five nailsbreadths in length. Their wings can be two nailsbreadths to four and a half nailsbreadths in length. The Cerubell have beautiful cerulean wings that blend in perfectly with the cerubell flowers and are often times mistaken for just that. From a distance, one cannot tell a cerubell flower from a Ceruwing Butterfly. The wings of this elegant creature are rounded and not extremely detailed and intricate, giving it more of an innocent, simplistic feel and allowing the observer to gain more enjoyment in admiring its stunning blue color.

Like most butterflies, the body of the Ceruwing has tiny furs on it and it has six little legs with small hooked hairs to help it catch on to surfaces that aren’t perfectly horizontal. Because their eyes are located near the outside of their hair, they use antennae to sense things that may be in front of them. Like all butterflies, the Ceruwing also has a proboscis to suck up nectar from their only food source, the Cerubell.
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Territory. The Ceruwing Butterfly has a seasonal migration pattern. These small Butterflies travel in groups as large as 20,000! They spend the warm season basking in the sun around Eight Winds Bay and feasting on the cerubell nectar. It is here that the Ceruwings will find a mate and go about their elegant mating rituals. In mid to late summer, thousands upon thousands of these little creatures will swarm to the Aerelian Lakes by way of, first, following the Liben River until it connects with the Quest River, then following the Quest until it meets the Luquador River, which will lead them through the Celeste Mountains and eventually to Crystal Lake. From here they will either cut across the east side of Dragon Maw and follow the Rayne River to the Vandrina River and eventually to the Aerelian Lakes. Some might also take a different route from the Crystal Lakes, cutting across the west side of Dragon Maw and landing them at the Taiphra River and eventually cutting into Rayne River, then following the Vandrina River to the Aerelian Lakes.

The arrival of the Ceruwing is a much-celebrated festival connected to the annual harvest. For this reason, in this region, Ceruwings have an essential connection with Jeyriall, Goddess of the Harvest. These Butterflies have become an important part of life for the peasants as their coming signals when the harvest will take place. The Butterflies don’t stay long, though. They lay their eggs on the leaves of the Cerubell plant then seem to vanish all together into hibernation. Thousands of these innocent little creatures will die in the long winter, especially if they do not go into hibernation soon enough or if they go into hibernation too late. When mid to late spring comes, they awaken, then return to the cooler regions near the Eight Winds Bay. Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. These little insects prefer rather cold climates, but cannot withstand too extreme of temperatures. In years where the winter is especially severe, thousands and thousands of Ceruwings die. Also, the Ceruwings will rarely venture anywhere that the cerubells do not grow. The plant has become part of their very existence, critical in every stage of life, and for that reason the Butterfly will not leave it. Ceruwings are extremely social, preferring to travel in swarms of at least 2,000 or more, though there have been records of these little butterflies traveling in groups of 20,000.
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Diet. In both caterpillar and butterfly stage, the cerubell is the creature’s only food source. The Butterfly feasts on the nectar the flower produces while the caterpillar eats the leaves. Attempts to make this Butterfly drink the nectar of any other plant has proved unsuccessful - the Butterfly dies without ingesting a drop of the unfamiliar flower’s nectar.
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Mating. Mating season for these Butterflies occurs in early summer. During this time, observers may see thousands of little Butterflies seemingly dancing over the waters in Eight Winds Bay. They dip the tip of their long abdomens into the Bay, creating ripples across the water. They dance around each other, then meet in midair, connecting for a brief moment so that the male can insert his sperm into the female, then they part and flutter back into the gardens of wild cerubells.

After the seasonal migration to the Aerelian Lakes, these Butterflies lay hundreds of thousands of eggs on the leaves of the cerubell plants then go into hibernation. The eggs will hatch into caterpillars in late winter or early spring before their parents are migrating up north again. They eat the leaves of the cerubell until they are plump and large enough to spin cocoons for themselves. This usually takes place in the beginning of summer. The heat helps them to grow and develop within the cocoons. They will emerge from these cocoons in late summer or early autumn in time to feast upon the last of the cerubell flowers before going in hibernation with their parents. After this they will journey with their parents to Eight Winds Bay and become one of the group to mate in the coming year.
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Usages. The Ceruwings' main function for Santharian people is to calculate when the harvest will take place. Aside from that, Ceruwings are mainly admired for their innocent beauty. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. The Ceruwing is believed to have a close connection with Jeyriall, Goddess of the Harvest. In the regions near Crystal Lake, Jeyriall is rarely pictured without Ceruwings fluttering around her, usually adoring her auburn hair. Many believe them to be the creation of Jeyriall herself, saying that the little blue creatures emerged from her fingertips.
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Information provided by Rayne Avalotus View Profile