Mud-puddling behavior in tropical butterflies: in search of proteins or minerals?

  title={Mud-puddling behavior in tropical butterflies: in search of proteins or minerals?},
  author={Jan Beck and Eva M{\"u}hlenberg and Konrad Fiedler},
Abstract We experimentally investigated the attraction of adult butterflies to moist soil and dirt places (a behavior termed `mud-puddling') in two species-rich tropical communities on the island of Borneo. At a rain forest site, 227 individuals (46 species) were attracted to the baits, compared to 534 individuals (54 species) at a farmland site. With one single exception, all attracted butterflies were males. Of various salt and amino acid solutions, only sodium was accepted, but overall… 

Resource Specialization in Puddling Lepidoptera

The results indicate that lepidopteran species specialize on different puddling substrates, likely obtaining different arrays of nutrients, and suggests that there are species- or family-specific roles for puddle nutrients in the overall nutrient budget of the insects.

Puddling: from natural history to understanding how it affects fitness

Puddling is rare or absent in immature stages and there is some evidence that nutrients from puddles increase female reproductive success, but strong evidence for the widely cited hypothesis that sodium from puddingles is used to enhance neuromuscular activity is still lacking.

Mud-puddling behaviour of butterflies in the Soraya research station, district of Subulussalam, Aceh, Indonesia

Butterflies, mostly the male congregate and uptake the sodium and amino acids from the mud, dung, and urine of mammals or decaying flesh and then transferred to the female during mating. This

Chapter 215 – Puddling Behavior

Bait Selection of Butterflies at Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex World Heritage, Thailand

Fermented fish mixed with fermented pineapple is recommended as a bait to attract fruit-feeding butterflies in the tropic, since it contained both sodium and amino acids.

Habitat and altitude preferences of butterflies in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala

The present paper deals with the occurrence and diversity of butterfly populations in different altitude levels in a tropical rain forest ecosystem of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, South India.


— A survey of Lepidoptera using pairs of baited traps, one with fermenting banana and one with rotting prawn heads, was conducted for just over a year at fi ve sites at the Genting Tea Estate in

Is male puddling behaviour of tropical butterflies targeted at sodium for nuptial gifts or activity

Investigation of puddling behaviour of males and females on carrion and dung together with sodium preferences, polyandry, relative wing-size, sexual size dimorphism and sodium concentrations in the bodies and spermatophores of several species show that sodium as a nuptial gift can explain the sexual division in puddle in some species, but not in all.

A comparative palynological study on butterfly mud puddling localities and surface forest samples: a case study from northeast india

This paper presents a palynological examination of surface soil samples procured from butterfly mud puddling locations in northeast India and its comparison with forest surface samples from the



Mud puddling by butterflies is not a simple matter

Two sets of hypotheses based on sodium limitation have been proposed to explain the sexual dimorphism in puddling hchaviour, which suggested that males have a greater need for sodium in neuroniuscular activity because they spend a larger time in flight than females.

Puddling in butterflies: sodium affects reproductive success in Thymelicus lineola*

Sodium ions are the only known stimulus present which cause males of at least two lepidopteran species to drink for extended periods and could be of considerable importance given that an average egg complement contains >50% of the total body sodium of females at emergence.

Nectar sugar and amino acid preferences of Battus philenor (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)

Butterflies of Battus philenor were tested for their preferences for nectar sugars and amino acids in an outdoor cage experiment and clearly preferred both sucrose and fructose over glucose.

The butterfly species (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) of Kinabalu Park, Sabah

Compiled records of 625 butterfly species from the area of Kinabalu Park in Sabah, Malaysia, on northwestern Borneo are presented in a systematic arrangement. The list is based on published records,

Why do male butterflies visit mud puddles

This study is the first to demonstrate that Na budgets of male and female Lepidoptera differ, and it is suggested that feeding from soil may help restore losses of Na in males.

The chemistry of sexual selection.

  • T. EisnerJ. Meinwald
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1995
The moth Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) is protected against predation by pyrrolizidine alkaloids that it sequesters as a larva from its foodplants, and females reinforce after copulation the choice mechanism they already exercise during courtship.

Male reproductive reserves in relation to mating system in butterflies: a comparative study

  • B. Karlsson
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1996
The result, obtained by using both directional and non-directional phylogenetic methods, shows that males in polyandrous species have higher amounts of nitrogen in their abdomens.

Pollen feeding and reproductive biology of heliconius butterflies.

  • L. Gilbert
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1972
Butterflies of the neotropical Genus Heliconius feed on pollen. This is the first known instance in butterflies of a habit that is well known for other insects. The butterflies remove amino acids and

The Cost of Prolonged Life: An Experiment on a Nymphalid Butterfly

The results suggest that the structures of organisms are adjusted to their life expectancies, and, everything else being equal, longer-lived organisms will have less resources for producing offspring than those with shorter life- Expectancies.