Monday, July 5, 2010

Butterflies without nectar for days - what happens?

Q:  Are butterflies able to go days without nectar while it is raining for days on end with Alex stalled in the Gulf?

A.  Butterflies roost in the rain. Roosting is simply butterflies sitting with wings folded over their backs.  If water is within reach, as it would be in the rain, they can simply uncurl their proboscis and drink water.  It's not unusual for a butterfly to occasionally drink rainwater instead of nectar. 

If temperatures are cool, butterflies can live for quite a while without any water whatsoever. 

There are weeks in Florida where rain falls for a week, off and on.  It's so wet that butterflies won't fly for the entire week.  As soon as the sun is out and butterflies wings are dry, they'll fly to drink nectar.

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