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How Do Butterflies Behave

As your butterfly garden begins to attract various types of butterflies, you’ll begin to spend more and more time watching them closely, studying them and involving yourself with these lovely creatures. You’ll soon notice the peculiar behavioral traits that these butterflies exhibit.
Nectar the sweet honeydew like liquid that flowers produce and which are available inside the bulb of the flowers called -nectaries’ is the primary source of food for butterflies. It’s this same nectar that humming birds, bees and other insects and bugs feed on. High in sugar, this nectar provides energy for the butterfly in its flights.
A butterfly does not have a mouth to chew with. In its place however, it has a long antennae-like straw called a proboscis and it’s through this proboscis that a butterfly sucks out the nectar from the flower. Interestingly, a butterfly first tastes its food – the nectar – with its feet. It lands on the flower and tastes the nectar before it begins to drink.
Butterflies also feast on rotten fruits, plantain, animal dung, pollen and water.
We human beings are warm blooded. Our blood and body temperatures are self-regulated. Which means we can function effectively even in cold climates. But even then, we all need the sun to warm us and give us energy, as do all animals and birds.
Cold blooded animals and other creatures however, do not have the luxury of a self-regulated body temperature. Hence they, more than any of us, need the sun’s rays to warm up the body, the blood and the muscles and draw much-needed energy to function normally.
Like the butterfly. Being cold blooded the butterfly must depend on the sun’s rays to warm up the body and the muscles in their wings and draw energy needed for flight.
Butterflies are not tolerant to extremes in temperatures. When it’s just warm, not too hot, they fly. Ideally, they prefer temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees. When the temperatures soar above that the butterflies seek shelter in the shade. But, if the temperatures dip below 70 degrees, the butterflies seek a warm rock or wall where they can bask in the rays of the sun.
Basking means, they sit with their wings flattened out and face the sun. The flattened wings position is the most common basking position and normally employed by butterflies with dark areas on their wings or with dark, black bodies or by those butterflies whose wing bases are darker than the edges. And then, there are some butterflies that have light colored wing edges who use their wings to reflect the sun’s rays to its body.
Besides nectar, butterflies need water, minerals, salts and nutrients. And how do they get the intake they need? They sit at the edges of small puddles, patches of wet mud and sand and obtain their requisite dose of these much-valued nutrients. This is called -puddling’.
These minerals, salts and nutrients are essential for successful mating and reproduction. Normally more male butterflies puddle than females, passing the nutrients through their sperm to the females who in turn use them for reproduction. Experts also claim that these nutrients also help in producing the sexual attractants – pheromones -that males use to attract females.