in China, a symbol of everlasting love, especially in a pair. A jade butterfly may be given by a woman as an engagement present to her significant other.

An insect known for brightly colored wings. They flutter about, yet despite that, are strong fliers, Monarch Butterflies can migrate thousands of miles. The colors on their wings stem from microscopic scales that glimmer in the light. Moths are also of the same family, Lepidoptera.

A butterfly's life cycle consists of four stages:
  • Egg - A butterfly starts its life as an egg.

  • Larva - The larva (caterpillar) hatches from the egg and eats leaves or flowers almost constantly. Many butterflies (such as the Monarch butterfly), lay their eggs on a certain type of plant, to give the larva special nutrients found only in that specific plant. The caterpillar molts many times as it grows.

  • Pupa - The larva turns into a pupa (chrysalis). This is a resting stage. The pupa does not move or eat. This is the reason the larva ate so much: to allow for this period of rest.

  • Adult - A beautiful, flying adult, which does not resemble any of the other creatures that it used to be, emerges from the pupa. An adult butterfly does not grow. Typically an adult butterfly lives several weeks.
This brings us to a less known philosophical question: which came first: the butterfly or the egg? Or the larva? Or the pupa?
A type of swimming stroke which, along with front crawl, breaststroke and backstroke forms the four core strokes which are used in medley races at swimming competitions.

Butterfly is probably the most difficult stroke to master. It requires coordination, strength, flexability and good cardiovascular fitness. Without one of these four elements you may find that after just one length of butterfly you will be gasping for air while wondering how much dilute infant urine you have just ingested.

If you still fancy trying this stroke and are crazy enough to rely on the information from a peer managed collabarative database to teach you how to go about it then try this;

butterfly stroke


Add count: 3
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Jobs' Notation:

A leg over straight to a clipper delay. E.g.: From a right toe stall, set the footbag up and slightly in towards yourself. Jump off the right foot and use your hips to swing the left leg over the footbag. Plant the left foot and perform the delay on the inside of the foot in the cross body position (clipper delay).
Part of the Footbag Move List (under construction). =]

Common name for a kind of blood collection set used in most phlebotomy clinics. It consists of a small-gauge hypodermic needle embedded in a piece of plastic with two "wings" branching out that allow the technician to hold the device. The needle feeds into a ~10cm flexible tube that is then poked into the vacuum vial for collection.

Butterflies are usually used for blood draws from the lower arm and wrist. I prefer to call them "mosquito"s, as the name fits much better, but humorless phlebotomists might not understand what you are talking about when you request for them to use one, as I found out to my chagrin on my last doctor's visit.

The butterfly is the basic contact juggling move. It requires one ball, preferably about 3". Be careful when selecting a ball for contact juggling; one that is too large or small will be needlessly difficult to control.

The move is one in which you move your hand in a figure eight motion while the ball rolls on the top of your hand.

Practice each of the steps until you are comfortable with them before advancing to the next step. Make sure that both hands are equally trained. The whole learning process, from start to finish, will probably take you two months, although you can move much faster if you practice frequently.

Warning: Do not practice near computers, windows, delicate china, &tc. (Especially not if you live in the 18th story of a New York City skyscraper. Not that I'm speaking from prior bad experiences...)

  • Put your arm in front your chest. Position your arm as if you were saluting, but a foot lower. Practice balancing the ball on the back of your hand. You can let your middle three fingers dip slightly, but not so much that you have little control.
  • Balance the ball on the back of your hand and then throwing it several inches into the air and catching it on the back of your hand. (Although you are probably very good at catching with your palm, the back of your hand has no such skill naturally.) You can follow the ball with your hand slightly below it, if that helps. Practice until you can throw the ball a good nine inches.
  • Balance the ball on the back of your hand. Throw the ball twice the distance to your elbow, in that direction. Make a windshield wiper motion with your arm and catch the ball on your palm, which is now facing up. Then throw the ball back, make the reverse windshield wiper motion back, and catch the ball on the back of your hand.
  • Follow the ball with your hand and try to reduce the distance between the thrown ball and your hand, until the distance that you are throwing it is effectively zero and the ball is actually rolling along your hand as you do the windshield wiper.
  • Smooth the windshield wiper motion so that your hand follows a figure eight motion.
There you have it!


Laughter and happiness is what anyone can see reflecting from her eyes. Through the mirror that is all that can be seen, beautiful eyes. What he speaks is hardly relevant, it’s the sound of his voice that captures her into the world she is always drawn into when he is like this. She’ll sometimes get lost in the soothing tones of his speech.

Anyone can see, all she needs is him to pay attention to her, not to kick her in the gutter, to love her, as she loves him would maybe be too much, and she doesn’t pray for this. She is just a child, influenced at his every word. Spiraling love blasts from her like light shone from a star. Endlessly she fights the battle everyone knows is lost. Everyone is convinced she is wasting her time, she is convinced they are wrong.

He blasts her with more blows than he knows imaginable, in everyway he creeps into her being. She promises never to fall in love with a stranger, so she learns his name, learn all about him. And she never forgets

A butterfly with the most beautiful wings, flaps around her cage, slowly tiring, the steady beat of her flight slows, and she is caught in a net, pinned down in a photograph album. Captured, mesmerizing others, and she too is blind to what she does.

Whilst he speaks to her, when she see's his face, she finds all the flaws, and all his imperfections, and loves them. She snaps out of her trance when she realizes he is waiting impatiently for an answer, and she replies, anxiously waiting, he is pleased and so is she.

It’s her fault; she never lets the world know. Locks herself up in a land of make-believe and shuns every escape route away. He can see what the world can do, slowly without knowing how, she realizes she broke his heart too.

Like a firefly she lights up with a buzz when the phone rings, with his slow words, he’s putting out her flame. Every person says, please forget him, he is ripping your wings, he’ll break your heart, they don’t understand; he mends it.

“Good bye”

She whispers and she hangs up, his voice stuck in her head, his hand clutching her heart, and his not knowing, causing her tears.

He stares into the starry night, thinking of what is missing, and she never runs across his mind. She is but another subject in his grasp. He has control of her mind, yet he doesn’t know. Sometimes he hates her but he doesn’t know how to tell her, he plays with the idea but dismisses it, and lets it go like smoke. People tell him, all about how she is his, but he brushes the idea aside

“How ridiculous”

Life’s not fair, why do these temptresses tease me? SO out of reach, his thirst isn’t quenched. What of the fairy princess, who sits and sighs, until he calls upon her? What is she to him if not a princess? She is but an unwanted warrior with an authority, she is there for him to lean on. Whenever he needs her, to please her was but practice, what’s the real thing?

Like a roll of film, with a burnt out hole, a gap is still missing, at the end of the night, before he drifts into sleep, the thought of her may cross his mind…but weather he shields himself from her remains for him to explain to himself, in his dream, his shield keeps her sane, and keeps the demon unleashed

She wishes nothing more for him to be happy, and as he falls asleep, he is protected from the evil in her gaze, because of her love. The smile that plays across his lips as he dreams is what lets us know, but shhh and let it be untold.

In cooking, to butterfly something means to cut it down the centre almost, but not completely, through the item. The two halves are then pressed flat to make a butterfly shape.

Butterflying is often done to whole chicken, particularly small Cornish hens, and is easy to accomplish for the home cook. Simply cut out and remove the backbone using kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Then turn the bird breast side up and press down on the breast bone with the back of your hand to flatten the bird. A butterflied bird will cook more quickly than one that is left whole, and can be run under the broiler for a few minutes before serving to crisp the skin. A Cornish hen can be cooked completely under the broiler.

Shrimp can also be butterflied; it works best with larger ones. Cut them through the back as if removing the vein and then flatten; these will cook very quickly.

Butterflied pork chops are also common; the thick but tender boneless chop can be baked or grilled.


This writeup is on an option combination, or strategy, known as a butterfly. It is an option strategy that is used to make money when an underlying ends up exactly at a certain level at expiry, while maintaining a modest risk profile.

How to set up a butterfly?

An ordinary butterfly consists of three option positions on the same underlying with the same expiry, but a different strike. The call butterfly consists of:

  • One long call with a strike K - X
  • Two short calls with a strike K
  • One long call with a strike K + X
So, an example could be a long 40 - short 2 times 50 - long 60. Let's investigate the payoff of this thing, by considering various scenarios that may occur at expiry.
  • Below or at the lowest strike: All options expiry worthlessly. Payoff is 0.
  • Above the lowest strike, and at or below the middle strike: The long call is in the money. Payoff equal to the amount by which the underlying is above the lowest strike
  • Above the middle strike, but above the upper strike: The option with the lowest strike is in the money, but so are the two middle options. Exactly at the middle strike, the payoff is K; this goes down with 1 for each 1 the underlying goes up.
  • At the top strike: All options are in the money. Due to the choice of strikes, all payoffs cancel.

As such, a butterfly has the maximum payoff when the underlying ends up exactly at the middle strike. The minimum payoff, is, conveniently, 0. As such, a butterfly is never free, and one always has to pay for it. The payment is essentially equal to the chance the underlying ends up at or close to the middle strike, and depends chiefly on the strikes, the time to expiry and the volatility of the underlying.

It is noted that a similar construction that uses puts exclusively also can be made. The payoff is quite similar. For American options, there can be a difference in value between the two that is a result of the possibility of early exercise.

Iron Butterfly

This sounds like a psychedelic rock band, and actually, there IS a psychedelic rock band with that name. However, it is also a different way of building a butterfly. Instead of the options above, it consists of:

  • A long straddle at strike K
  • A short strangle with strikes K - X and K + X.
Here, the payoff is simpler to derive: it is 1 for each 1 the underlying is away from the strike of the straddle. The maximum, however, is X at the strikes of the strangle.

The iron butterfly is a such the "inverse" of a regular butterfly. Buying an iron butterfly indicates one hopes an underlying will move away from the middle strike, whereas with a regular butterfly, one hopes the opposite. Another way of looking at this is stating that a short iron butterfly is the same as a long regular butterfly, only for the iron butterfly, one does not have to pay up front, but at expiry. By selling it, one pockets the premium, with a maximum potential loss of X. In general, large trading companies prefer the iron butterfly over the regular one, as it does not require a usually illiquid in the money leg.

Butterflies in option theory

The butterfly plays an important role in option theory. As mentioned above, a butterfly is essentially paying for the chance an underlying ends up at a certain strike. Now, imagine it is possible to price options with any possible strike. By setting up a very narrow butterfly, of which so many are bought that the maximum payoff is 1, one can estimate the probability it ends up in that region. By taking mathematical limits, it is as such possible to compute the implied probability density an underlying ends up at a certain strike. Such an infinitesimal butterfly is called an Arrow-Debreu butterfly.

Use of butterflies in investing

Butterflies are not used extensively in investing. The main reason is that a butterfly has a high cost: one needs to trade either one liquid and two illiquid or 4 liquid options, for a relatively "flat" payoff. This basically means that if one would habitually trade butterflies, the combination of a rather efficient market in options and these high costs would likely mean that one would lose money in the long run.

Professional parties, that can trade at much lower costs, do trade butterflies. One of the reasons they can do this is because they don't trade the individual options, but rather the butterfly as a whole. A butterfly is not very risky - at most as risky as a straddle, but usually a lot less - and as such, they can trade them at sharp prices with market makers. Some exchanges offer the option to make so-called strategies, in which bid or offer in the whole butterfly can be made. This is preferable to having to trade the separate legs, because it is likely other market participants will recognize the trade as less risky and as such will do the trade more cheaply.


Butterflies are option constructions that can be used to profit from a scenario in which an underlying ends up exactly at a strike. As such, they offer a very finely tailored payoff with limited risk. The disadvantage is the relatively high costs needed to set them up. They can also be used as a tool to compute the probability density an underlying ends up at a certain strike at expiry.

Disclaimer: This writeup is not meant as investment advice. Don't take investment advice from anonymous strangers on the Internet.

But"ter*fly` (?), n.; pl. Butterflies (#). [Perh. from the color of a yellow species. AS. buter-fl�xc7;ge, buttor-fleoge; cf. G. butterfliege, D. botervlieg. See Butter, and Fly.] Zool.

A general name for the numerous species of diurnal Lepidoptera.

[See Illust. under Aphrodite.]

Asclepias butterfly. See under Asclepias. -- Butterfly fish Zool., the ocellated blenny (Blennius ocellaris) of Europe. See Blenny. The term is also applied to the flying gurnard. -- Butterfly shell Zool., a shell of the genus Voluta. -- Butterfly valve Mech., a kind of double clack valve, consisting of two semicircular clappers or wings hinged to a cross rib in the pump bucket. When open it somewhat resembles a butterfly in shape.


© Webster 1913.

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