|Official Name||Regalian Lilaspitze|
|Common Nicknames||Imperial Monarchfly, Corpse Flowerfly|
The Regalian Lilaspitze is a purple butterfly well-known to the Regalian Archipelago in which it resides. While it was once heavily connected to the Emperor and royal power, it has since declined into a general symbol of Empire commonly employed by those not educated in its eating habits. The Lilaspitze moves from north to south with the changing seasons to avoid the cold, blessing many with the sight of a group of these winged insects fluttering through the air on their way to warmer areas or their old home.
The Regalian Lilaspitze has held a mostly insignificant, if not long history within the Regalian Archipelago. The Wirtemcaller Kingdom, Regalian Kingdom, Hacarian Kingdom, and others all were aware of the insect and left them be in their migratory routes up and down the Archipelago. With the rise of the Regalian Empire after the Cataclysm however, the insect’s purple coloration firmly tied them to the Empire and the Emperor himself. Unionism in particular accentuated this tie through several parables comparing the butterfly pollinating the flowers to the Emperor reaching out to his people. By 120 AC however, the direct association was severed when information about the actual diet of the butterfly was uncovered. In recent years however, some have come to view this diet as the perfect metaphor for the Regalian Emperor and the Empire as a whole, as a purple butterfly spreading its wings across Aloria and feasting upon the suffering of all they encounter. To others, primarily uneducated farmers and members of the lower class, it is a symbol of the Empire they are all apart of. The actual butterfly, meanwhile, continues on its merry path in life, unaware of all the metaphor they bring to those wronged by the Empire or those who serve it.
The Regalian Lilaspitze is a small butterfly, with a total wingspan of three to four inches with a small body less than one inch long. Their heads are very small, with a pair of yellow-green tinted compound eyes, two long and thin antennae as well as a short yellow-green proboscis. Their bodies are similarly colored and are supported by three sets of black insect legs. Their wing colors are pale or normal shades of purple bordered by white though their wing membranes are still black.
Unlike other butterflies, the Regalian Lilaspitze does not possess any clear distinction between the genders. As for their gender diversity, their species slightly favor males over females but this is rarely an issue for Lilaspitze populations.
Life Span and Development
The Regalian Lilaspitze is born close to the ground on the underside of large leaves in a small, millimeter sized egg. Within a few days, the insect has hatched and eats through the leaf with its fellow larvae before spreading out into the surrounding area. In their caterpillar stage, they are small, barely two inches, with green and yellow stripes and white dots. Their small heads also possess a small band or set of “horns”, semi-hard points that give them the appearance of wearing a diadem. After one week, they will chrysalis themselves and over the next week and a half, transform their pods to be green with purple streaks and white dots. Ultimately, the adult will then burst forth and fly upward into the tree canopy where they live. They live for up to four months and are able to mate after one month has passed. Females, once any mating has occured, go down to the forest floor or plants near the ground to lay her eggs before returning up to higher places.
Regalian Lilaspitzes demonstrate a basic butterfly intelligence as well as strong instincts that guide them in their lives. They are a migratory animal, moving south in the winter months of the Regalian Archipelago, streaming like rivers of purple from Anglia, Drixagh and Calemberg for areas like Girobalda, to wait out the cold weather. At one time, this was thought to be because of pollination but in reality it is a basic survival mechanism as the true diet of the Lilaspitze is not nectar but other liquids. While treesap is frequently eaten, they are also known to drink the juices from rotted fruit, meat, and bodies as well as natural animal byproducts. It was this discovery that prompted the quick severing of their affiliation with the Emperor and the Empire as a whole, because they feed on the waste of civilization and nature. Beyond these features, the Lilaspitze behaves like any other insect and lacks any real way to defend itself.
Territory and Groupings
Regalian Lilaspitzes are curious in that males often compete with each other in a sometimes daily shifting arrangement of territory up in the treetops or air of their inhabited area. Males, owning an area about the size of a school desk, compete with other males should any attempt to take this space from them or try to exert their own space over existing ones. Females meanwhile, flutter between these territories seemingly randomly, though their presence can also promote competition between males for territory.
- Their dark commoner name, Corpse Flowerfly, comes from the fact that some have reported groups of Regalian Lilaspitzes clinging to dead bodies found in fields and forests. This makes the Lilaspitze one of the main causes of lepidopterophobia (fear of butterflies).
- Jacobins frequently make use of the Regalian Lilaspitze for their propaganda purposes.
- Some believe that the Fleur-de-lys commonly associated with royalty in Regalia and recently in Ithania is a highly stylized Regalian Lilaspitze from the top down.