This Monday, we will be looking at hēimàijīnbāndié:
What is hēimàijīnbāndié? Here’s a hint:
This, obviously, is a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). The first two characters of the Mandarin word (hēimài) mean “black-veined”, and the third and forth together (jīnbān) mean “gold-spotted” or “gold-striped”. The last character (dié) is simply the second character in the word for butterflies as a group (húdié). I think this is quite descriptive and self-explanatory!
I caught (and pinned) the above specimen at the UM Biological Station, which I attended during the summer of 2010. I also got to see a caterpillar of this species develop into a cocoon and later hatch into the characteristic “black-veined gold-spotted” butterfly, which, needless to say, wasn’t as cool as ants. But it was cool.