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Adventure, Interesting Facts

Butterflies Mud-Puddling?

In the woods, sometimes, swarms of butterflies hover over a patch of earth. This behaviour is called mud-puddling, or just puddling, and is often seen in butterflies, a few months and other insects searching for moisture, salt and other nutrients.

It’s not simply damp patches of soil that draw butterflies.

Some are attracted by wet sand, dung or carrion.

Creating appropriate puddles is suggested as some way to lure attractive species to butterfly gardens.

In some species, males may hover over sodium- rich slough and repeatedly take up liquid, voiding it after absorbing the valuable salt.
Salt is otherwise scarce in a diet of plants and nectar. It is believed that the minerals may play a key role in mating and reproduction. Often the male transfers the salt to the female upon mating, to be incorporated into the eggs.

The transfer improves both mating success and egg survival.