You Would Not Believe What Butterflies Eat
Although it is arguable, there are very few people who would not consider butterflies to be the most majestic and beautiful of all insects, at least flying insects anyway. However, if you could peer into the life of a butterfly, you would see it doing some pretty gross things. Since there are too many gross insect behaviors to list in this article, I will just stick to the grossest things that butterflies eat.
Obviously, insects are not the cleanest of earth’s creatures. They route around in dirt and sometimes feces, and some will try to feed on our food. Despite the butterflies’ natural beauty, butterflies sometimes eat disgusting things, like mud. It may be true that butterflies enjoy feeding on nectar, but they cannot get all of their nutrients from nectar alone, and this is where mud comes into the picture.
After a rainstorm, butterflies can be seen collecting on mud as though they are sucking up the wet dirt. It turns out that this is exactly what butterflies are doing. This butterfly feeding behavior is called “butterfly puddling”, and researchers believe that they do this in order to suck up amino acids, salt, nitrogen and protein.
Butterflies also love the taste of urine. In fact, if butterflies have a strong enough craving, they will even drink their own urine. Butterflies are the only animals on earth that recycle their urine. I guess we know how butterfly collectors keep their butterflies fed now.
If urine consumption was not gross enough for you, then you should know that butterflies will also feed on both blood and feces. Believe it or not, if you were to injure yourself, a butterfly would happily drink the blood from your wound. And that is not all. You may not know it, but animal feces are loaded with minerals and nutrients, which is obvious when you think about it. This is why, like flies, butterflies have been observed congregating around dung collections for sustenance. Not exactly nectar, but it will do in a pinch I suppose.
Have you ever witnessed a butterfly feeding on anything? If so, what was it feeding on?