Refrigerated Butterflies   Leave a comment

Yup – refrigerated butterflies!

Maybe you’ve noticed an increase in the number of butterflies camping out in your house this winter and perhaps you’ve noticed them flapping around this last month or so. We certainly have. The current count is 5 peacock butterflies. Unfortunately there was no happy ending to their stay with us and this prompted us to investigate further.

Apparently butterflies hibernate throughout the cold months. Now that’s something I’d never really thought about; you know, where they all go in winter. I was ruling out flying south to warmer climes and generally hanging out somewhere warm with their buddies playing cards and drinking tequila late in to the night.

 

Banstone peacock butterfly WEB

 

We’d noticed our inhabitants with wings neatly folded, motionless in the corners of rooms or in the gap of a window pane, but when the weather turned warmer they started to wake and become active. The weather would then change again (its England remember) turning colder, and they’d die off. We’d find them, wings akimbo, on the floor. The next time we found one flapping around we quickly and carefully caught it and ushered it in to some cool dark corner. This didn’t seem to work at all. Nope. We’d find them back out in the light of day stuck to a window frame again and then later dead on the floor.

Despair! Butterfly carnage in our house. So of course off we went to the Interwebs ‘cos when you need to know something fast Google is your friend (other Browsers exist, apparently). It would appear that the thing to do – get this –  is catch the blighters, and then pop them in the fridge for half an hour (yes, in the fridge) and then take them off to a cool, dry and dark place, along with a sugary drink supply, to resume their hibernation.  So, not that far away from a holiday with tequila after all.

So, now you know what to do with those winter insomniacs when they wake prematurely from hibernation. Just don’t forget to take them back out of the fridge, okay!

 

 

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