the Bank of Streams or Moist Ground
Butterflies require minerals not found in a diet of pollen, so they often drink the water from stream beds, waterfalls, dripping faucets, or leaky pipes. They release the water again soon after drinking it, absorbing the minerals in the process. A wide variety of butterflies gather at damp surfaces, especially swallowtails such as the Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon) or the endemic Papilio hoppo, but usually, only the male butterflies drink. If urine is present in the water, it will attract even more butterflies!
To find butterflies in an orchard, make sure it has not been sprayed. Citrus trees often have sap leaking out of their trunks, which is a favorite diet of many butterflies, such as this striking Dichorragia nesimachus. Do not be surprised that many of the butterflies are well camouflaged, such as this Blue Admiral (Kaniska canace). The larvae of many kinds of swallowtails eat leaves of citrus trees, so swallowtail butterflies also gather in citrus orchards to find mates and to lay eggs.
Rotting fruit stinks, and the smell calls the attention of butterflies from long distances away. A lot of butterflies that like tree sap also like rotting fruit. Many of them, like these, are also well camouflaged, but not this magnificent pair of Stichophthalma howqua. A handful of rare species may also be lured out of hiding using rotting fruit.
Another stinking favorite of some butterflies--and flies too--is animal dung! The dung humans or animals leave behind often attracts butterflies once they pick up its "aroma." However, most of the butterflies here, such as this Great Nawab (Polyura eudamippus), would also be glad to visit orchards and rotting fruit, where it may be more pleasant for the observer!
Raising butterflies is often thrilling for children and adults alike.
Simple research will tell you the food plant of a butterfly's larvae. The
next time you go outdoors, examine the undersides of the leaves of the
food plant. With
luck, you may find some eggs or larvae. Carefully pluck the leaf with the
egg or larvae on it and keep it in a closed container. Clean out the container
and feed the larvae fresh leaves from the food plant every day. When the
larvae matures, it will become a motionless pupa on the side of the container.
Now, all you have to do is wait. The
rewarding experience of seeing your own butterfly emerge from its pupa
shell and spread out its gorgeous wings cannot be described with words.
After witnessing the struggles a caterpillar must overcome before finally
developing into an awe-inspiring creature, people will only feel deep respect
for these wonderful creatures.
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