Involuntary and voluntary
Introduction and description
The Lepidoptera species of butterfly and moth has a rather unique place in the world of psychoactive effects. Very many Lepidoptera larvae seem to have a preference for the leaves, for example, of species of plants that contain toxins. They use the toxins as a defence mechanism secreting it in their spines or in their bodies.
These toxins seem to be almost exclusively' deleriants', so a lepidoptera butterfly is an indicator species for deleriants and deleriants - working as they do via poisoning – can give you hallucinations and near death experiences – as well as actual death experience – singular.
If you eat the larvae without the head [which is usually really poisonous], but with the intestines – which contains the drug, you can effectively obtain the effects of a deleriant. Instead of having to know your plants – you have to know your butterflies and the plants they eat.
The name "bicho de taquara" , for example, is still in use to describe a larvae capable of producing extraordinary out-of-body experiences. An example is provided in the observations. According to Ihering (1932) and Costa Lima (1936; 1967,) ‘bicho de taquara’ are the larva of the moth Myelobia (Morpheis) smerintha Huebner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae : Crambinae).
Another family of butterflies that may well produce larva that have hallucinogenic effects are the Nymphalidae family. In the text books I have seen at least seven of the species described as ‘psychedelic’ for this read deleriant. The following list shows the types of plants that each eats and thus give us a clue at whether it will or not. The list can be compared with the lists of plants, quite a number of the plants listed are indeed hallucinogens or more frequently deleriants – producing delerium by poisoning;
- Danainae - feed on Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae (subfamily of Apocynaceae), and Moraceae.
- Ithomiini - Host plants in the families Apocynaceae, Gesneriacea and Solanaceae.
- Tellervini - feed on Apocynaceae.
- Calinaginae – feeds on plants in the family Moraceae
- Charaxinae - Feeds on Annonaceae, Celastraceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, Piperaceae, Poaceae, Rhamnaceae, Rutaceae, Santalaceae and Sapindaceae
- Morphinae - feeds on Arecaceae, Bignoniaceae, Fabaceae, Menispermaceae, Poaceae, and Sapindaceae.
- Brassolini - feeds on Arecaceae, Bromeliaceae, Heliconiaceae, Musaceae, and Poaceae
- Satyrinae - feeds on Arecaceae, Araceae, Cyperaceae, Heliconiaceae, Poaceae, and Selaginellaceae
- Heliconiinae - feeds on Passifloraceae
- Acraeini - feeds on Asteraceae, Passifloraceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae and Urticaceae
- Apaturinae - feeds on Ulmaceae
- Nymphalinae - feeds on Acanthaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fagacea, Flacourtiaceae, Lamiaceae, Loranthaceae, Moraceae, Plantaginaceae, Poaceae, Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Urticaceae and Verbenaceae
Some example Lepidoptera species and plants is shown below
Example lepidoptera species
- Acacia species used as food plants by Lepidoptera larvae include
- Endoclita malabaricus
- Turnip Moth
- Artemisia species are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species
- Cestrum species are used as food by the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera.
- Glasswing (Greta oto)
- Manduca afflicta
- Erythrina leaves are used as food plants by the larvae of
- the swift moth Endoclita damor
- the woolly bears Hypercompe eridanus and Hypercompe icasia
- Eriogonum species used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera include:
- Apodemia mormo (Mormon metalmark) - feeds exclusively on Eriogonum
- Apodemia mormo langei (Lange's metalmark) - only known from Eriogonum nudum ssp. auriculatum
- Chionodes dammersi - feeds exclusively on Eriogonum
- Chionodes luteogeminatus- only known from Eriogonum niveum
- Euphilotes enoptes smithi (Smith's blue butterfly) - only known from Eriogonum latifolium and Eriogonum parvifolium
- Common foxglove - One of the indicators of its properties is that species of Lepidoptera [a butterfly] eat the leaves
- Persea species are used as food plants by the larvae of
- Giant Leopard Moth
- Coleophora octagonella (feeds exclusively on P. carolinensis)
- Hypercompe indecisa
- Salvia species are used as food plants by the larvae of
- the bucculatricid leaf-miner Bucculatrix taeniola which feeds exclusively on the genus
- the Coleophora case-bearers C. aegyptiacae, C. salviella (both feed exclusively on S. aegyptiaca), C. ornatipennella and C. virgatella (both recorded on S. pratensis).
- Scabiosa species are also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Pug and the Six-spot Burnet moth
- Silene species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species
- Urtica nettles are food for the caterpillars of numerous Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), such as the tortrix moth Syricoris lacunana and several Nymphalid
- Valerian is consumed as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species including Grey Pug
Many myths surround the popularity of the tequila worm. Many dares have been given and refused [me included] to eat the tequila worm! First, you won’t find it in a bottle of just any tequila. Its can only be found in mescal.
It is also not a worm but the caterpillar of one of several butterfly or moth species.
The coral tequila worm (gusano rojo) buries into the centre of agave plants. The gold varieties (gusano de oro) tend to feed on the outer leaves. Some gusanos are members of a subfamily of butterflies referred to as Hipopta agavis. Others are the caterpillar stage of the skipper butterfly (Aegiale hesperiasis) or may be identified as a carpenter worm (Comadia redtenbacheri).
And here we have a clue because some feed on cactus which provide psychedelic effects.
Know your caterpillar to get the effect.
The majority of caterpillars will have no effect because they feed on a non hallucinogenic plants – but afficianados know their caterpillars!! According to Christian Ratsch, however, you need several worms to have an effect, which is something of a drawback, as you would be paralytic on the tequila before you had eaten enough worms to have an effect..
How it works
Depends on what they've eaten..................
A sort of Grub based Russian roulette.