Thursday, March 27, 2008
(A Common Mormon, Male preparing for Nuptial gift)
( A Map Butterfly busy in Mud puddling. Infact Mud-puddling forms an important behavioral aspect of butterflies.)
Mud-puddling is an interesting phenomenon observed in certain butterflies and involves their aggregation on wet soil, dung and carrion to obtain nutrients such as sodium and amino acids.
Not all species puddle regularly and this behaviour is restricted to males in many species and in some species the presence of butterflies on the ground acts as a stimulus for their aggregation. In tropical India this phenomenon is mostly seen in the post-monsoon season. The groups can include several species including the Papilionids and Pierids.
Two distinct feeding periods can be distinguished in the life-cycle of Butterflies: larval and adult. Essential resources for survival and reproduction are available in different amounts in larval and adult food. As a result, some resources will need to be stored in the larval phase, while others need to be supplemented in the adult stage.
In most sexually reproducing organisms, the sexes differ in the way they achieve reproductive success. In general, males allocate a high proportion of their resources to maximizing the number of eggs they fertilize, whilst females invest a significant proportion of their nutritional resources in the offspring.
In many species, males provide more to female partners than sperm. One form of male contribution is the "Nuptial Gift". In butterflies , males transfer a spermatophore during copulation, which contains sperm and accessory gland products. Since the spermatophore can contain substances that are useful for the female it is usually considered a nuptial gift.
(A battle of Common Emigrants Busy with the act of collecting minerals)
A potential explanation the puddling behaviour is that sodium collected by the male is transferred to the female in mating and that females are thereby freed from the costs and risks associated with puddling, it is likely that adult puddling serves to compensate for the low sodium reserves in the larval diet probably because sodium levels in plants are quite low.