Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Puddling In The Parking Lot

Many species of butterflies gain nutrients and moisture from a behavior called "puddling".  Often it actually takes place around a puddle or damp soil.  The butterfly uses its long tongue to lap up water from a puddle or moisture from the soil and any nutrients in the water and soil.  Butterflies will also use this technique on rotting fruit and even animal dung.  I photographed this Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) butterfly puddling for nutrients in the dirt between the cracks of the asphalt parking lot at Fenner Nature Center.  It also found a place where the condenser of a car's air conditioner had dripped on the pavement providing it some moisture to collect.  I have seen other Hackberry Emperor butterflies puddling in the Fenner parking lot over the years, so there must be something there that they really like.

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