What’s This? No. 32
What's Wrong with this Butterfly Puzzle?
What’s wrong with this puzzle? Lots. Among the 79 butterflies depicted in this otherwise lovely portrait, I’ve found no fewer than 14 errors. The puzzle is basically the natural science equivalent of fake news.
I noticed this wreckage of fact after some friends assembled the puzzle on Monhegan Island this fall. I snapped a quick photo of the box cover (below). So now, during these shortest days of the year, I bring you butterfly light — and the enlightenment of accuracy. (It’s one of those things I’ve been meaning to get to before year’s end.)
Some of the puzzle’s errors or misrepresentations are subject to debate. Most are no-brainers. Whoever can list the most blunders in here wins (as usual in my What’s This? challenges) fame, no fortune whatsoever, and $5 off any of my outings or workshops.
Added December 20: As I had expected, Sue Cloutier and Nick Block are our winners. Sue might have found a mistake that Nick and I each missed: what seems to be a Southern Dogface instead of the labelled Orange Sulfur (it’s a close call on that one,
but I’ll go with Sue on it). I now think Nick’s right: probably not quite right for Southern Dogface.
Below you’ll find the original image on the left and my corrected version on the right. Anything crossed out with an “X” has no business in New England; most of those are more likely to be found in Florida. Nor will they even be “exotic” — a designation included in the title by the puzzle company (Heritage Puzzle Inc.) perhaps as an afterthought to cover its butterfly blunders. The blue font corrects erroneously named butterflies. And that faint red X, covering Melissa Arctic, is because that is in large part a western montane butterfly — except for subspecies found in eastern Canada and here in New England only on Mt. Washington. Shame on Heritage Puzzle Inc. for not listing that subspecies (Oeneis melissa semidea).
For even more fakery, see my post on rapper Kendrick Lamar and a mutant butterfly.