Friday, September 12, 2008

Successful Giant Swallowtail wing repair

Last year, I found this video about how to repair a butterfly wing. (on a live butterfly) This morning, I actually had a chance to put that lesson to use, and it worked!

I found this Giant Swallowtail on the grass. It had a chunk missing out of its left hind wing, and couldn't fly. (I know it's hard to see it in the picture.) First, I put it up in a bush, where it would be a little safer. Then, I watched the video to refresh my memory,

Did I ever mention that I have two containers of butterfly wings? Someone donated them to the arboretum, and I sort of inherited them. I never knew what I should do with them, except maybe use them in some kind of craft project, but a piece of one came in handy for me today.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the actual repair as I was doing it. I thought about it, but decided I needed to give my full attention to the butterfly. It was much more squirmy than the monarch in the video. There was no exact match among the stash of wings. I went with a small, dark one that seemed sturdy enough. (Some of the wings were brittle. I have no idea how old they are.)

I followed the instructions on the video, and in spite of his wiggling, I got the wing patched up. I took him outside, opened my hand, and up he went. Up, up, and away!


  1. From one butterfly lover to another: Thanks. Way to go, Cindy.

  2. You are so cool...who would ever think (or know) such a thing would be possible! And WHO INHERITS a bunch of wings??? LOL...only a bug lady, for are the best!

  3. Quite interesting. But I am not sure if this was the right thing to do. Here are my thoughts.

  4. Eh, well I think the butterfly appreciated it.

  5. You see a homeless person, you hand him a sandwich. You go on your way, agonizing about whether you have enabled his ongoing homelessness or simply assuaged his immediate hunger.

  6. Good on you Cindy. I've done this with monarch butterflies also :)

    By the way, love the toy insects too!

  7. I left Aydin a comment. I can't think of one negative thing that can come from repairing a butterlies wing...only good. Sorry. I think you did the right thing, and I admire someone who would do it...take the time to learn, and with spare wings in hand...DO IT!!! I say go for it. If I were that butterfly, I would be so grateful! LOL :)

  8. Great Post :D
    thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly's tale~
    Bright Blessings
    elf ~


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