What do Butterflies Eat?


What do Butterflies Eat?

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Some of the most exquisite creatures in the world are butterflies. They can fly effortlessly through the air while looking for good food thanks to their lovely wings. These creatures go through various stages of development. In each stage of their insect life cycle—egg, larvae, pupae, and butterfly—they can appear and behave extremely differently.

You didn’t see those stunning, vivid colors on their wings by accident. They are multifaceted creatures that use their wings to either frighten away their prey or blend in with their surroundings.

Over 20,000 different butterfly species have been identified worldwide. They don’t eat nearly as much or as frequently as they did as caterpillars when they became adult butterflies. Here is a brief list of some of the best meals that these animals enjoy eating.

What do Butterflies Eat?

What do Butterflies Eat?


A pleasant sap called nectar is created by flowering plants. Almost all butterfly species like sipping nectar. However, certain butterfly species prefer particular flower kinds over others.

Tree sap

Although nectar is an excellent source of energy, butterflies also require other types of food in order to obtain other essential elements like nitrogen, salts, and amino acids. For butterflies, tree sap is a highly common source of food. These insects will swarm close to avian damage to trees, such as woodpecker holes.

The sap of overripe or rotten fruits

Fruits are a constant supply of nutrition for butterflies since they require a lot of fluids to stay hydrated. Butterflies may sip some juice from soft, overripe, or rotten fruits but they cannot bite into hard fruits.

Moisture from mud

After a storm, butterflies frequently congregate around puddles because these areas provide an excellent source of food for the insects. Butterflies take in a lot of metal, salt, nitrogen, protein, and amino acids while soaking up moisture from mud.

Sweat and tears

Because they require a lot of salt to keep hydrated, these insects are frequently drawn to the smells of perspiration and tears. Salt is abundant in sweat and tears, which can serve as a good source of fluids. When a butterfly chooses to sit on you, you might assume that it likes you, but in reality, it only sees you as a nice food.


Numerous butterfly species enjoy consuming urine. Even their own bodily fluids will be consumed by some species. To absorb some of the minerals released into these places by urination, they frequently perch on dried pee patches.


Blood is one among the less appealing feeding sources for these lovely and graceful insects. Butterflies will perch on bloody puddles to eat any remaining blood traces. When they visit blood patches on the ground, they eat minute amounts of protein and iron.


Their capacity for feces consumption is one of their less than graceful trades. You might occasionally spot a stunning butterfly perched atop some animal waste. They take in a lot of nutrients and moisture from animal dung.

Decaying flesh

A lot of different butterfly species love rotting meat. Because they lack teeth and must lick up the decayed flesh, they prefer it over fresh meat. Similar to blood, rotting flesh is rich in nutrients that these insects love to consume.

Diet Variations

Since they can’t eat solid foods, butterflies must drink a lot of liquids to stay hydrated. The very thing that drives them to disgusting food sources like decaying meat, excrement, and pee is their ongoing need for nourishment. Some butterflies may consume jelly when visiting human goods.

How To Feed Butterflies

How To Feed Butterflies

What do Butterflies Eat in the Wild?

Butterflies consume any liquids they can find in the wild. Typically, these consist of things like honey, mud, urine, feces, corpses, and blood. The majority of butterfly species don’t even really care what kind of food they eat.

What do Butterflies Eat in Captivity?

You can put water on a sponge and feed a butterfly in a container. You might also give it rotting flesh, a lot of flowers, dirty ponds, or overripe fruits. If you give your pet butterfly a range of “tasty” meals to eat, it will be happy even though you might find these foods repulsive.

What do Baby Butterflies Eat?

Caterpillars are butterflies’ young. In their life cycle, butterflies pass through four stages: the egg stage, the worm stage, the pupae stage, and the butterfly stage.

Different worm or caterpillar species may consume different kinds of food. However, the majority of them are herbivorous creatures that can seriously harm crops. Worms and caterpillars like to consume fruits, vegetables, and soft green leaves. They like consuming a wide variety of things, including fruits and vegetables, grains, shrubs, and many kinds of local plants.

How often do Butterflies Eat?

While most mature butterflies only eat liquids, some butterflies don’t feed at all. Before they pass away, finding a mate and having offspring is their only goal.

When butterflies do eat, they don’t eat nearly as much as they did when they were caterpillars. Their bodies can survive on the microscopic nutrients and moisture they take in. However, they do typically eat pretty frequently. The majority of butterfly species will hydrate during the day.

Do Butterflies Eat Meat or Blood?

Yes, butterflies do take nutrients from blood and rotting meat. Additionally, they require protein and minerals like salt and iron, and as a result, they enjoy eating decayed flesh.

Do Butterflies Drink Water?

Butterflies do take in water and other nutrients from muddy puddles, but they are less likely to drink straight from a water source. Other sources, including fruits, provide them with moisture as well.

Do Butterflies Eat Poop?

Although these insects may be delicate and lovely, they are also rather repulsive. Butterflies require a lot of the nutrients and minerals found in animal waste. Poop contains a variety of minerals, including salt, iron, protein, and many others.

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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author