September 12, 2023

Smoking Butterfly and Caterpillars

A lot of people smoke butterfly to boost their energy levels and to help them sleep better. This herb is also believed to offer a range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and anxiety and stress relief. It also contains antioxidants, including kaempferol, quercetin, myirectin glycosides and gallic acid. It is also believed to provide protection against heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure and oxidative stress. It is also used in spiritual rituals to enhance intuition and connection with spirits.

The haze caused by forest fires in Southeast Asia is well known for its negative impacts on human health and local economies. However, the impact of the haze on insects, key players in food webs, is less well understood. We analyzed the effect of direct and indirect (ingestion of haze-exposed plant food) haze on larval and pupal survival, growth and development by rearing Bicyclus anynana caterpillars in smoke or in clean air, together with those raised in clean air but fed haze-exposed plants. Larval and pupal mortality, total developmental time and pupal weight were analyzed by Generalized Linear Mixed Models with the plastic container or group of caterpillars reared together as the random factor.

Trachea dissected from smoked and control caterpillars didn't show visible particles inside the respiratory tract, suggesting that the increase in mortality and the delayed development and reduced pupal weight weren't due to blocked airways. Instead, it was likely a combination of the toxic gases and chemicals from the haze-exposed plant food and particulate matter.


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