Saturday, August 3, 2013

Common Bushbrown Butterfly - The Butterfly Dowry

On an early morning stroll yesterday, I spotted two butterflies courting about a bush! Drab brown in colour, many may conveniently ignore them, over their more colourful cousins. A closer look at them though reveals the beautiful patterns they carry. The 1st light brown, I believe is the female and the lower light brown the male.
Male butterflies give a 'dowry' to the female before they mate!! The dowry is sodium and essential minerals, which are 'presented' with the sperms to the female during courtship. These minerals are necessary for the eggs to hatch and in some cases for fertilisation to be successful. The males get these minerals from puddles of animal urine or droppings. Hence if you spot a butterfly on dung or urine puddle, it is accumulating its dowry. The importance of these minerals is such that the females choose males with larger sodium loads or bigger dowry.

1 comment: