Generally speaking, this fear doesn’t really affect my day-to-day life, especially living in NYC, which is fairly inhospitable to life in general.
Today I had every intention of sitting on my roof and reading a book. Unfortunately, when I got on the roof, a large butterfly was patrolling the roof top, filling me with nauseating fear that it might get me. So I retreated indoors and gave up.
In honor of this humiliating moment, I googled “world’s largest butterfly” and found this horrifying video.
When alarmed, resting adults exhibit a very striking defense mechanism: the body is hunched and the wings are flicked upwards to display a pair of glaring ‘eyes’, one on each side of the abdomen (which seems to resemble a beak at the presented angle). Following more disturbance a more dramatic scare tactic is used; this startling 'face’ is further enhanced by repeated lowering and raising of the forewings, causing a blinking effect to the 'eyes’.