Sunday, October 16, 2016

07 - 10 Tips for...

          ...Attracting Butterflies to Your Backyard

Melanargia Galathea, Demi-Deuil, Marbled White

Make puddles
Butterflies need to drink, but they can't do so from birdbaths or fountains. Instead, they get their water by taking up moisture from mud puddles. Butterflies also get important minerals by drinking their water from puddles.

Melanargia Galathea, Demi-Deuil, Marbled White

Males pass these nutrients on to females through their sperm
Butterflies get most of their nutrition from flower nectar. Though rich in sugar, nectar lacks some important nutrients the butterflies need for reproduction. For those, butterflies visit puddles.
By sipping moisture from mud puddles, butterflies take in salts and minerals from the soil. This behavior is called puddling, and is mostly seen in male butterflies. That's because males incorporate those extra salts and minerals into their sperm.
When butterflies mate, the nutrients are transferred to the female through the sperm. These extra salts and minerals improve the viability of the female's eggs, increasing the couple's chances of passing on their genes to another generation.

Melanargia Galathea, Demi-Deuil, Marbled White

A complete butterfly habitat will include one or more puddling sites. Sink a dish tub or bucket in the ground, fill it with sand, and make sure to wet the sand down with your garden hose each day.

Melanargia Galathea, Demi-Deuil, Marbled White

Melanargia Galathea, Demi-Deuil, Marbled White

If you use drip irrigation to water your garden beds, this can also provide puddling sites for butterflies.

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