WHAT DO BUTTERFLIES DO WHEN IT RAINS?


Michael Raupp, professor of entomology at the Universuty of Mayland, offer this answer.



What butterflies ultimately do in the rain is avoid it.


A storm is no trivial matter—for a 500-milligram monarch butterfly, getting hit by a 70-milligram raindrop would be equivalent to you or me being pelted by water balloons with twice the mass of small bowling balls.


Storms may also hinder a butterfly’s mobility. In preparation for flight, these aerial acrobats expose their wings to direct sunlight, which rapidly warms their flight muscles. Overcast skies block the solar radiation they need to take wing.


Thus, when the sky darkens, butterflies seek shelter in their roosts: protected locations such as tall grasses or leafy plants. But when sunshine returns, they often resume patrolling and courting within minutes. So the next time thunder rumbles, take a cue from the butterflies: find shelter, but as soon as the sun comes back, go out and enjoy.



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