“I have always had a love for butterflies,” she said. “They have a very personal meaning to me. Before my mother died, almost 20 years ago, she said to me, ‘Romy, whenever you see a butterfly, know that I’m there with you, and that I love you.’”
Romy McCloskey is a professional costume designer and master hand embroiderer, so this was right up her alley. Her supplies included a towel, a wire hanger, contact cement, a toothpick, a cotton swab, scissors, tweezers, talc powder, and an extra butterfly wing from one of her little girls that died a few days before.
According to McCloskey, there’s no need to drug the butterflies when performing such a procedure. She compared their wings to human nails or hair: “They do not have pain receptors.”
“[P.S.] I feel it is important to note that the butterfly sustained his injury during pupating into his chrysalis. It was not a genetic defect or deformity due to the Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE) parasite that fatally infect Monarchs. I did have a lot of people asking why I would ever introduce inferior or defective genes into the butterfly gene pool. I had to explain to many that I did not. In fact, any caterpillars or butterflies that are infected with OE or Tachinid fly (T-fly) larva must be euthanized to stop any further contamination in the Monarch population.”
Scroll down to check out how the surgery went!