Butterflies with damaged wings - how can they still fly?

I see so many butterflies with damaged wings and I'm amazed that they can still fly. Here are my observations of butterflies with tattered wings. All but two (who were caught in spider's webs) were still able to fly:

I reached out to my friend @biohexx1 to get some insight about this phenomenon that has been puzzling me for years (he's so much better at searching the web than I am!) I'm recording his comments here so they're easy to find and review in future years.

@biohexx1 says:
" I think the biggest contributor to damaged wings are diseases of the pupae. The butterfly will come out with a deformed wing. The next biggest contributor are bird-strikes. Birds will take a nip at butterflies in flight like this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1IgsRxikv-o&pp=ygUWRGFtYWdlZCBidXR0ZXJmbHkgd2luZw%3D%3D

Bird-strike wings are probably seen the most since they are mobile, whereas butterflies born with malformed wings probably die soon since they are not able to get nectar. I think the third most common damaged wings are from just age. The wings start to degrade over a season; beautiful things do not last forever.

Having said all of that, I think there is a enough wing to allow #2 and #3 above to fly. They may have to expend more energy since they are not as aerodynamic as normal butterflies, but they persevere. I am always amazed at seeing them fly. For me, having been on hikes, I've witnessed sad events towards mid-to-late summer when flowers are all dried up here in San Diego. I've seen many Behr's Metalmarks on the trail without nectar to feed on and just flitting low to the ground. I knew their time was almost up. But again, beautiful things do not last forever. Appreciate them while they are here! And I do. I love butterflies."


Publicado el 10 de julio de 2024 a las 04:28 PM por truthseqr truthseqr


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