Frayed Fritillary

by Steven Seidell August. 22, 2021 89 views

I enjoy taking pictures of butterflies and am excited when I come upon a “perfect” specimen. Butterflies, however, do not have an easy life and it is not unusual to see ones with damaged or torn wings. Their wings actually wear out when they fly. When a butterfly emerges out of the chrysalis the wings are small, crumpled and wet. The abdomen is swollen with fluid. The butterfly pumps this fluid into double tube veins in the wings. The wings expand until they are flat and then they hang until the wings are dry. Once the wings are dry they are dead tissue and cannot be repaired. The wings are covered with tiny modified hairs or scales and as the butterfly flaps and flies the scales fall off so their wings wear out over time. Depending on how active the butterfly is dictates how long the wings last. A nervous flighty butterfly will only live a few weeks, where as a butterfly which is more relaxed about life can last quite a lot longer.

Camden, Maine

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