Aug 6, 2015

Picture of the Day: Butterflies Drinking Tears from Turtle Eyes

A_butterfly_feeding_on_the_tears_of_a_turtle_in_Ecuador

 

In this remarkable capture, Julia Butterflies (Dryas iulia) are seen drinking the tears of turtles in Ecuador. The turtles placidly permit the butterflies to sip from their eyes as they bask on a log. This “tear-feeding” is a phenomenon known as lachryphagy which is a type of mud-puddling.

As per Wikipedia:

 

Mud-puddling, or simply puddling, is behaviour most conspicuous in butterflies, but occurs in other animals as well, mainly insects; they seek out certain moist substances such as rotting plant matter, mud and carrion and they suck up the fluid.

 

The incredible photo was recently named Wikimedia Commons 2014 Picture of the Year.

 

 

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