Story of the "Tame" Butterfly

For the most part it’s the furry, cute mammals that get all the attention. Puppies, kittens, ponies – almost anyone will stop to give them a cuddle and some baby-talk.

Insects, on the other hand, easily go about their day unnoticed. Perhaps a beautiful monarch, like the one above, will get a remark like, „Oh look! A butterfly!“ But will more than likely not receive a second glance from passersby. My point being that we really don’t stop enough to observe insects, and it’s rare that I hear anyone enthusiastically sharing a story about one. No one ever really says, „Man, you shoulda seen what I saw this honey bee do today!“ Not your average person that is…

So what really brought on this post was a story that my former employer, at a local honey and bee supply store, told me…

A woman had come in a few weeks earlier and began to tell of a butterfly she had rescued. The butterfly, I believe it was a monarch, was injured in a way that prevented it from surviving on its own. Perhaps a broken wing? Details weren’t shared, unfortunately.

The lady took this butterfly to a butterfly specialist and asked, „So… what can I do to help this creature?“ The assumed response was that there wasn’t much she could do except keep it safe and happy until it passed away. With a bit of information on „butterfly care“, aka what they require to survive, she took her new friend home!

Every morning she would carry the butterfly from his or her box to a flower outside that was freshly sprayed with water. The lady would then sort of „baby sit“ her patient by keeping an eye on it while it ate and hung out on the flower for the majority of the day.

Comments 4

  1. We got our son a butterfly kit and the first ones ‚hatched‘ yesterday, so I tried to put one outside this morning. He/She climbed onto my finger and I carried it to a flower. I got it to stand on the flower, but it was quite chilly and didn’t move or drink, although I left it for a bit. I had to leave for work and was worried about it, so I put my finger out and it climbed back on and I took it back to the butterfly habitat.
    This evening I took it out again and tried again, but he ended up coming back in. We are going to try again when it’s a bit warmer! He posed for lots of photos though!

  2. Yes I had one I raised from when he was a caterpillar. I found him in a spice bush I bought. He was afraid of me to begin with and would actually shake with fear the first times I moved him from the bush he had eaten up and to a fresh one – but then he lost his fear and calmly let me move him to fresh food. While he was frightened he would also roll himself up into a ball for protection – but once he felt OK about me he didn’t bother rolling (or shaking). Later he made himself a beautiful cocoon.

    When he had hatched he would fly towards me when I entered a room he was in and eat sugarwater from my hand. I can still remember the sound of his wings. He was a beautiful animal. He lived with me until his death. (I did the same as the lady in your story and asked a specialist how to care for him.) I could not let him out for it was winter and frost outside.

    I was very impressed that he was able to recognize me and let go of his fear.

    1. We took a caterpillar off a celery plant in are garden this summer.
      We put it in a little bug catcher box with some celery leaves and sticks.
      Within a few days it developed into a cacoon, yesterday I checked the box as I did often and there was a beautiful swallow tail butterfly looking very healthy and fluttering his wings. We were wondering if we could keep it in the house or should we let it go.
      I went to the computer and found your story of your butterfly. Would appreciate more information from you as to what combination of water and sugar you used and how long did it live.

  3. Hello!

    I’m living in Hamburg Germany, and some days ago i had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was on the subway coming back home from my work when I saw a butterfly on the shoulders of a man! In the begining I wont to believe in what I was looking… It was really unsolit! I thought first that maybe it was just a toy or something like that so without life but then the butterfly start to move… when I left the subway I asked the guy if he knew what was happening in his shoulders and he said yes. Really amazing

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