Top 10 Shockingly Surprising Facts About Butterflies
Butterflies are fascinating creatures, they are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. But every beautiful creature has its own nasty little secrets, the butterfly is no exception.
They are not any benevolent souls. There are darker shades behind those brighter wings. And the beauty you behold is an absolute deception.
Here are the top 10 shockingly surprising facts about butterflies that are far from the fairytale!
1. If a butterfly land or sits on you, it is not because it likes you or you are a pure soul with a positive aura. Actually, they land on you to feed themselves. Butterflies get attracted by the odor of your sweat and blood. They suck nutrients from your body surface that you hardly notice.
Butterflies suck nectar from flowers for nourishment and drink from puddles through a long proboscis for water. Butterflies do this, but flowers are not their only source of food. Human blood and sweat can also be their food, their proboscis is so negligible that you don’t feel when they feed off you.
2. Flowers alone do not provide enough sodium for butterflies, so they are attractive to salty things. Some species of butterfly are particularly attracted to human urine and for its sodium content. They even drink the tears of reptiles to get some much-needed sodium.
3. Some species feed off anything that has been discarded and rotten – including fruit, but more often poo and the flesh of dead animals and people. This behavior is called mud puddling. From mud puddling, the butterflies take salts, sugars, and proteins.
4. Some Butterflies are carnivorous. Some caterpillars kill for a living. The Harvest butterfly of North America lays its eggs on colonies of woolly aphids, and the caterpillars grow up snacking on the aphids, sometimes protecting themselves with the corpses of their victims.
5. The zebra longwing, Heliconius charithonia. It looks pretty innocent but hides the most disturbing secrets. They are cannibals in their caterpillar form. This means that they consume their own siblings. These might be the most shocking facts about butterflies.
6. Butterflies also indulge in something termed as “pupal rape” or “forced copulation.”
When the female butterfly is in its chrysalis stage, and yet to emerge as a butterfly. Once a pupa is a butterfly in its chrysalis—in between being a larva and an adult. As a female gets ready to emerge from her chrysalis, a gang of males swarms around her, flapping wings and pushing each other aside. The winner of this fight mates with the female, but he’s often so eager to do so that he uses his sharp claspers to rip into the chrysalis and mate with her before she even emerges.
7. The Maculinea rebeli butterflies trick ants into raising their young or let’s say babysit them.
The caterpillars of these butterflies make sounds and release chemicals that mimic queen ants. The small worker ants then pick them up and carry them into their colonies. Inside, they are literally treated like royalty, with worker ants supplying them with an unlimited amount of food. The nurse ants even sacrifice ant babies to feed them when food is scarce.
8. You can hear them when they poop.
The caterpillar eats a lot, they eat a lot that they almost continually defecate. When there are enough caterpillars eating in the same place, their defecation is audible. You can hear the poop! the defecation of the caterpillars in the forest sounds like rain.
9. Some species of butterfly will even consume their own bodily fluids: They’ll secrete a liquid onto dried up a sweat or a dried puddle of a larger animal’s urine so they can feed on the freshly dissolved minerals.
10. They can be poisonous.
A number of butterflies actually have evolved to be poisonous. No butterflies are so poisonous that they kill people or large animals. Merely touching them with a hand won’t harm you, but if you try and take a bite out of a poisonous butterfly, you’ll regret it!
Butterflies whose caterpillars eat poisonous plants such as milkweeds, pipevines, and passion vines. They retain some of these poisons as an adult. That is why these butterflies are distasteful and can cause birds who eat them to vomit or spit them out.