Today’s Tuesday Photo is of an adorable little skipper butterfly, courtesy of Shubhada Nikharge. And yes, it is taking a drink from what you think it is–bird poop. Bird droppings have a lot of nitrogen, as well as salts and other minerals that butterflies need. Think of it as a rather splatty vitamin suppliment. Most plants don’t have high salt or nitrogen in their tissues or nectar, so butterflies seek it out from other sources. A little factoid to enjoy with your morning coffee.
Posted by Gwen Pearson
Entomologist. Educator. Writer. NERD.
I’ve always enjoyed seeing skippers — they really are different than other butterflies. You can recognize one from a distance sometimes.
Considering how “ew” an entomology picture can get, consider me greatly relieved (no pun intended). Nitrogen, yum. =) Lovely little creature.
Hah, eww. Reminds me of a Callopistromyia fly I shot a year or two ago. It was doing that courtship display that picture-wing flies do, dancing around with the wings held upright — but the other fly it was dancing in front of was in fact a dry bird turd.
“Poo, it does a body good!”
I have just discovered your blog. I am studying to be an entomologist myself. I like your pictures and writing. Thanks for this.
Just scrolling down after the “____gate” post, thinking of my personal pet peeve, CNN’s use of “factoid” and then what do I see?
So, is the above claim factual, or just factoid? ;)
Comments are closed.