A kaleidoscope, flutter, flight, wing, and rabble are all names for a group of butterflies. What brings them together on this riverbank?

IvoShandor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This kaleidoscope of tiger swallowtail butterflies is puddling! Butterflies, mostly males, use their straw-like proboscis to sip salts and minerals. These nutrients supplement their nectar-rich diet and are then transferred to females during mating. This “nuptial gift” has been shown to increase egg production in females. Look for butterflies puddling on dirt roads, and sandy shores where salts and minerals have been leached from the soil into puddles or moist dirt. Also keep an eye out for butterflies sucking up nutrients from poop!

Learn more grossly cool information about butterflies in the book, Butterflies are Pretty… Gross! by Rosemary Mosco.

USFWS Midwest Region from United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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