“Let me guess. What is that stupid beagle doing, looking for a butterfly to chase, maybe?”
My daughter recently got some monarch butterfly caterpillars from a friend, and we kept them until they hatched from their chrysalides and then released them once their wings had fully unfurled and dried. Here is what the caterpillar looks like:
Here’s one of the hatched butterflies as I released it onto hydrangeas in our yard:
I never thought of these butterflies as calico, or tricolor, but there you have it!
One resource I read notes that, “[t]he orange and black color pattern is often thought to be a warning signal to predators.” (www.monarchwatch.org/read/articles/nivosus.htm)
Monarchs are unpalatable to birds, “due to the ingestion of cardenolides from milkweed host plants” when they are larvae (ibid).
Now here is the next one ready to go out to the garden. I got it in the same picture with Callie without risking its life . . . which was easier said than done!
I said I’d post more photos of all the products I found in Petco using images of a calico or a tricolor dog or other critter, so here they are.
I guessed that about about 50% of the products for dogs use a tricolor dog. And out of that 50%, about 80% are images of beagles (if that makes sense!).
Since I can’t upload photos of 50% of the products for dogs that Petco carries, I’ll just share these. I’m short- changing the beagles just so I can show some other cute tricolor dog photos.
I’m also doing that because I live with a beagle (very trying sometimes) who happens to be the handsomest beagle alive (I’ve got the pix to prove it), so why post photos of beagles who aren’t as cute as mine!
When I went to Petco yesterday to buy Callie’s food, I saw for the first time that her Iams cat food has a calico pictured on the bag.
I wondered if this had been a subconscious influence on why I bought that particular “Hairball Control” version of the food. I wondered how often a calico’s image was used to push a product. I wondered if tricolor dogs were common in marketing dog food and supplies as well.
And of course there are the fish and the rodents! I decided to take a photo of every item for sale in my local Petco that featured a calico cat, or a tricolor dog or rodent on its packaging.
I suppose the pet food and products industry could tell me exactly how much calico or tricolor is worth in sales, but that’s not a research area of mine!
My amateur marketing study makes me think the industry thinks it’s worth about 30% of the cat market share, 50% of the dog market share, and yes, 85% of the guinea pig/hamster part of the pie!
Here are the first five products featuring calico cats.