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!
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