Being Slightly Imperfect

Today I am going to talk about a subject that  I know a little bit about.

FizzWe can’t all be perfect.

FizzActually, you can shut up! I am talking about Butterflies.

FizzAt least the Dog is enjoying herself.

A few years ago I found this Dragonfly.

Black-tailed SkimmerIt is a female Black-tailed Skimmer and one of it’s wings is badly misshapen, at the time I didn’t know why but I found out.

Black-tailed SkimmerYesterday I found this beautiful Butterfly in a similar situation.

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock ButterflyWhat has happened is that her wing has failed to inflate properly.

When a Butterfly emerges from it’s chrysalis it’s wings are crumpled and folded against it’s body. It has to find a place to hang and it pumps fluid through the wings to inflate them and once inflated  the excess fluid is drained off and the Butterfly has to wait for it’s wings to dry. The whole process can take several hours.

Small TortoiseshellThis time something has gone wrong and one of her wings has failed to inflate properly.

Peacock ButterflyThis Butterfly could still fly though and it didn’t seem too troubled by it’s slight imperfection.

Here is the perfect state, the imago.

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Okay, I have just got to take the Dog for a walk…. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Being Slightly Imperfect”

    1. Thanks HJ 🙂 I totally agree. I might have to do a post about torn wings soon. I am guilty myself of looking for that perfect specimen to photograph and turning away in disappointment when I realise that the butterfly that is sitting perfectly for me has only got half a wing left.


  1. I’ve never seen that before. She’s beautiful just the same. It should be a lesson to those of us with imperfections: It is what it is and we just need to do the best we can with what we have and move on. Happy trails!


    1. Thanks RR 🙂 Yes butterflies can take a lot of damage and still be able to fly. I think that they only have such big, colourful wings to divert predators.


  2. We raised Monarch butterflies several years ago and when some of their wings didn’t inflate properly it was so hard for the kids to watch them struggle. Several of them ended up dieing because wasps attacked and killed them. Nature can be cruel sometimes.


    1. Thanks Tilly 🙂 I have had problems raising butterflies from the wild only to find that a lot of them had fallen victim to parasitoids before I collected them. Collect the smallest ones that you can find, seems to be the best advice, they have had less exposure to the risks.


  3. I was pleased to hear that the butterfly coped and could still fly. I hope the dragonfly did too? Love the new photo header of you Colin. 🙂


  4. Really interesting: I hadn’t realised that this could happen. Is this the first step on a very, very long evolutionary journey? Especially if the butterfly could fly OK.


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