Science Fantasy Flora and Fauna Vol 5: Moths and Butterflies


Butterflies and moths have played an important part in world cultures. Some people, including the Romans, believed that butterflies represented the soul of the recently deceased, while others have relied on moths as a food source. There’s no reason your story or game shouldn’t include them as well. I have taken four real world moth and butterfly species and given them a fantasy twist. As always, feel free to use them as you see fit.

Thysania Agrippina

White Witch Moth

Known for its beautiful, yet somewhat haunting, coloration, the White Witch Moth has been a staple in potion making for centuries. Its fairly fragile cocoon, once dried properly, is used as a material component for dark vision, feather fall, and even stealth. Many enterprising individuals have taken to breeding them and selling them in bulk to magical universities for quite a good profit.

Agrotis Infusa

Bogong Moth

Like its Australian cousin in the real world, the Bogong Moth is a food staple. Many cultures, such as the Svirnefblin, Drow, and even Halflings, make the somewhat dangerous trip into caves and mines to harvest them and their larvae. They are then either roasted and eaten on the spot, or ground into a paste into a ‘moth cake.’ Unpleasant as it sounds, they apparently taste quite good, almost like an almond.


Chrysiridia Animus

Sunset Moth

Sunset Moths, also known as Soul Moths, gather during the funeral proceedings of almost every culture. It is not known what attracts them to these gatherings, but it is said that they assist the soul in its ascent to heaven, or that the soul lives on in them for eternity. The truth isn’t known.


Haemactis Sanguinalis

Black Veined Skipper

Almost like an evil twin of the Sunset Moth, the Black Veined Skipper is attracted to the blood and gore of battlefields. They use the freshly spilled blood as a food source, while also planting their eggs in the mouths and noses of the recently dead. Many soldiers have been surprised when they went to retrieve a fallen comrade only to have their face explode with butterflies.

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