How to Feed Butterflies

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Feed butterflies by providing a wide variety of nectar-rich flowers or by placing a sugar solution on a sponge. Learn how butterflies use a straw-like proboscis to suck up nectar with information from an entomologist and insect specialist in this free video on butterflies.

Part of the Video Series: Insect Information
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn. Been a entomologist for twenty years, and we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center, in Austin, Texas to talk about how to feed butterflies. Basically, butterflies have a straw-like proboscis and that is the way that they feed on nectar. And so, having abundant nectar rich flowers is the best way to feed a wide variety of butterflies. If you're indoors you want to have the plants near the windows, as they'll produce more nectar in the sun than they will in the shade. And if you're really constrained indoors you can provide a twenty percent sugar solution. And typically, I put this on a sponge, a plastic sponge-like scrubber, and butterflies'll land on that and they'll sense the sugar with their feet, and then they'll extend their proboscis, and that's the way, in a emergency, you can feed them indoors. So, those are some of the ways to feed butterflies.

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