Cow dung or a flower?
The choice may seem obvious: the flower.
Wrong… if you are a butterfly. That’s right; to a butterfly cow dung, elephant dung or dung from any herbivorous animal serves up a far better meal than a flower.
Sukanta Das, the resident naturalist at The Serai Kabini, a picturesque river-front wildlife lodge on the outskirts of Kabini Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, says so. The dung would have to be soft and moist – a fresh deposit or sprinkled with morning dew – for the rainbow-on-wings to feast on its rich store of nutrients and minerals. And there is a lot of that stuff in the beastly droppings… more than a butterfly would find in a flower.
Don’t get us wrong: butterflies love flowers but the supply of honey in each bloom is limited. It’s like fluttering around snacking at different cafes. Animal dung is a proper sit-down, wholesome meal at a fine dining restaurant… from a butterfly’s point of view.
Yes, its a matter of beauty loving the crap.
PS: And talking about dung: you won’t believe what a fuss they make about tiger droppings on a wildlife safari… Read all about it in our next blog tomorrow.