UK butterflies mud-puddling

Matti Jantunen jantsa at
Mon Jul 27 14:39:45 EDT 1998

In article <199807241248_MC2-5421-12DB at>, MJRHEALY at COMPUSERVE.COM (Michael Healy) says:
>Another observation of mud-puddling by P napi, 5 of them this time, near
>Markyate in N Hertfordshire, TL081178.  Do P rapae ever do this?  They were
>very persistent, returning after I drove the car over their favoured spot. 
>Three of them were there an hour later, not mud-puddling though.  Why do
>they flutter their wings in an energy-wasting fashion?  Could it be to
>elbow the others aside?
>Michael Healy

I have heard one theory about mud-puddling.
The imago butterflies need some minerals, which they can filter from the water. Imago pump up
lots of water, which come out in the natural way. So it has to drink more than just fill up
its thirsty. It is obvious that there is not enough minerals in nectar.
The temperature and humidity plays also somekind of role in this case.

I have seen many butterflies doing mud-puddling specially many spieces from family Lycaenidae
and Limenitis populi (the poplar admiral).

The favoured spot you mentioned is very likely the place where is more minerals.

Energy-wasting flutter of wings can be a sing to other butterflies, that here is good place
to drink. (Communication). Or the butterflies are just in state of excitement.

Some spieces are very found of sweat, and they will drink it from humans skin, if not disturb.

>From the middle of thunder storm.
Matti :}

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