Butterflies are associated with beauty. Flowers are associated with beauty. Butterflies are associated with flowers. But one occasionally finds butterflies sitting on wet mud. Sometimes even on dung. One sees insects indulging in such behaviour. Insects are creepy. Insects are hairy. But butterflies…..!
This strange behaviour is mud-puddling. Butterflies feed on nectar. Nectar is low in salts. The butterfly needs salts, particularly sodium for a range of physiological functions and has a role in reproduction. Males dominate at mud-puddling sites.
Insects can be seen mud-puddling on wet soil, dung, carrion, tears or rotting fruit. Carrion feeders can smell and home on rotting meat.
Common grass yellow butterflies mud-puddling on wet soil at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mahim
Commander butterfly mud-puddling on wet soil at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mahim
Black Rajah Butterfly mud-puddling on wet-soil at at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mahim
Mud-puddelin is no limited to wet soil. This Dark Cerulean butterfly at Maharashtra Nature Park is mud-puddling on what appears bird excreta.
Ovalekarwadi butterfly garden has been developed by Mr Rajendra Ovaleker in village oval, Thane. He places rotting fruit to attract butterflies. This common baron butterfly is licking lacking rotten fruit.
See also: Mud-puddling at Wikipedia