fivebar swordtail butterflyimage credit:

fivebar swordtail butterflyimage credit: Dhammika Heenpella, via Flickr

fivebar swordtail butterflyimage credit: Pangkin, via Flickr
Habitat: South Asia
Status: Not Evaluated

The Fivebar Swordtail butterfly really is a beautiful species, I’ll give it that. However, it does have one particularly nasty habit that makes me question its sanity. This type of butterfly is one of a couple of species that partake in mud-puddling.

What is mud-puddling you ask? Well, it’s when butterflies sip from puddles of water, mud, dung or god knows what else in order to take in water and essential nutrients. Male butterflies exhibit this behavior more often than females do and honestly that doesn’t surprise me. I see how my boyfriend’s frat house looks and I can tell you males have no sense of cleanliness.

During puddling, some species of butterflies appear to be really drunk, especially those that have been puddling for a good amount of time. The butterflies become intoxicated from whatever they were puddling from and become oblivious to their surroundings, making them especially vulnerable to predator attacks.

And of course, what goes in must come out. If you watch a particular butterfly for a while you will notice regular ejections of fluid that can sometimes be powerful enough to reach several body lengths away from the butterfly!

image credit:

So basically after writing this I’ve come to the conclusion that Fivebar Swordtail butterflies (and like species) are the animal equivalent to Frat boys. Getting wasted off of terrible drinks and then peeing everywhere. Yep. It all makes sense now.