We all know butterflies as beautiful colorful insects that love flowers and are completely harmless. So it might be surprising to you when I tell you that butterflies actually drink human blood if they have the chance.
As a whole, butterflies drink human blood but they don´t sting. Their long mouthpiece is too weak and thin to break the skin. Butterflies drink blood to get minerals that they would usually not get from nectar. Butterflies also drink urine, tears, sweat, and moisture from mud to get minerals.
So you don´t have to be afraid of butterflies. They won´t attack you and they are not capable of hurting you in any way.
The behavior of butterflies drinking blood, tears, and other liquids that have important minerals in them is called “Mud Puddling”
Butterflies Do Something Called “Mud Puddling”
Mud puddling is not only done by butterflies but also by other insects.
Insects often have a hard time getting minerals that they usually need to build their eggs or supply their brood with nutrients. That is because most food that insects consume doesn´t have any minerals in them.
So in order to get the necessary minerals insects often do something called “Mud Puddling” where they usually suck moisture from mud puddles to get the minerals present in the dirt.
But these insects also drink other liquids that can supply them with the needed minerals such as blood, urine, sweat, tears, and so on.
That´s why you can sometimes see butterflies sitting around a mud puddle or on sports equipment in the summer.
You can read more about mud puddling right here on Wikipedia.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂