Big Butterfly Not Flying

  • Creator
  • #59046


    Hi everyone,
    Yesterday I had a very big beautiful butterfly enclose. Her wings are gorgeous and she looks very healthy.
    She was out in the sun yesterday afternoon but hadn’t taken off when the sun went down so I brought her inside with the intention to put her back out again to warm in the morning sun and take off.
    I’ve then noticed that her wings don’t close together when she is resting. She has them spread slightly open (social distancing wing style). It is the default setting for her which I haven’t come across before. She is now out in the sun today but instead of opening her wings fully to soak it in the sun her wings are still held just slightly apart. She seems to have no interest in flying and is quite stumbly and panicky if the wind moves her or I pick her up to help her. She doesn’t want to fly.
    Because I haven’t come across this before I wondered if holding the wings slightly apart is normal (even while resting)? Or is this an indication something is wrong.
    Thanks for your help.

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  • Author
  • #59093


    Thanks Jacqui. Her wings don’t look deformed at all but she just doesn’t seem to be able to fly. I have read your newsletter thank you! I will send of a sample as described because it will be interesting to find out if this is the problem.
    Thank you!



    Hello Quiescent

    We are now working with a scientist on a project to identify Oe, a monarch parasite. Your butterfly may have this… and it might be helpful. Please watch out for the e-news I hope to get out later today.




    Thanks for your reply LeslieD. Yes I have noticed the increase of caterpillars and chrysalis not making it lately. Its still hard even though you know its part of nature. I have brought her inside again tonight and given her a feed which she took to straight away. I will try again tomorrow as it is meant to be sunny day here again and hope that she gets her strength or confidence to fly. Thanks again.



    does not sound too hopeful really. But you could try giving it a feed of nectar/ honey and water. Its that time of year when the fails are more common even when the butterfly looks perfect. I’ve noticed an increase in butterflies that look fine but lack vigour. Those ones usually die and if they do eventually fly off i’ve no confidence they will survive the winter.
    Its just how it is. but I’ve had three lovely ones the last few days and that helps make up for it 🙂

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