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Butterflies drink what?

September 18, 2015

You know butterflies drink from flowers. But, did you know they drink from lots of other stuff too?

 

Some butterflies drink from rotting fruit, particularly rain-forest species. Most of our local residents drink nectar from flowers. BUT... they are happy to drink minerals out of a puddle, a dead animal carcass or even a pile of poop!

 

There are some nutrients that just cannot be obtained from sugary nectar. I took this picture in the Smoky Mountains. Look how many species of butterflies are here (I see at least 5 individuals here and 3 species!). Males especially cherish poop because it makes them more eligible as a mate.

 

Female butterflies can sense if a male has a more desirable nutrient pack than his competitors. She is especially looking for a "rich" male whose nuptial offering will sustain her and her young for the longest time possible. You see, after she mates, she won't have time to nourish herself. She will be busy finding the right places to lay her eggs.

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