<< Previous Next >>

Common Mormons Mud Puddling

Common Mormons Mud Puddling
Photo Information
Copyright: Haraprasan Nayak (haraprasan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1570 W: 101 N: 5421] (20403)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix E5600
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/49 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-07-28 5:36
Viewed: 2897
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Common Mormon

Papilio polytes
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Genus: Papilio

Wing span: 3.5 - 4.25 inches (90 - 115 mm)

Habitat: The Common Mormon is primarily found
in the open plains, especially in areas where the host
plant is found. The Common Mormon seems to do
very well in urban situations.
Host Plant: Citrus trees are the primary host plant
but they will also feed on a variety of species in the
family Rutaceae.
Life History: The male and female adults tend to
be very active fliers especially while nectaring.
After mating, the females visit host plants, laying
their eggs one at a time. The larvae feed on the host
plant until they pupate in that host plant.
Adult Food Source: The adults will feed on a Range:
variety of diffrent flowers.
Flights: There are multiple broods each
year making it possible to find adults flying
almost all year round.
Fun Facts: The Common Mormon is
sexually dimorphic meaning the males and
females look different from each other.
Etymology: The genus Papilio is Latin for butterfly.
Poly in the species is Greek for many or more.
Along with being sexual dimorphic the
females are known to come in 3 different
forms. One of those forms mimics
Pachliopta aristolochiae (Common Rose)
which is distasteful to predators.

Source: www.reimangardens.iastate.edu

Mud Puddling

Mud-puddling is the phenomenon mostly seen in butterflies and involves their aggregation on wet soil, dung and carrion to obtain nutrients such as sodium and amino acids. This behaviour has also been seen in some other insects, notably the leafhoppers. Sweat on human skin may also be attractive to butterflies due the sodium in it.

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 members of the Papilionidae and Pieridae.

Males seem to benefit from the mud-puddling behaviour with an increase in reproductive success. The collected sodium and amino acids are often transferred to the female with the spermatophore during mating as a nuptial gift. This nutrition enhances the survival rate of the eggs. Some species, especially those that are attracted to dung seem to be prefer ammonium ions rather than sodium as in most Pieridae.

Some moths, notably of the tribe Calpini are noted for their tear-drinking habit. The moth Hemiceratoides hieroglyphica of Madagascar has been noted to visit and suck tears by inserting their proboscis into the closed eyelids of roosting birds. This habit of Ophthalmotropy (=eye-attraction) or Lachryphagy (=tear drinking) is noted in a number of moths which visit mammals including humans.

Source : wikipedia

angybone, mayuresh, jaycee, pankajbajpai, gannu, nglen, gracious, oscarromulus, Kathleen, marhowie, valy67 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jaycee: Thanksharaprasan 1 07-28 08:03
To Argus: Thanksharaprasan 1 07-28 08:02
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Very interesting! I love it that you captured these "twins" facing the same way, in the same basic pose. Puddling is a great little habit - I've photographed so many this way. :)

Hi haraprasan,
Good capture and well sharp,
well done.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-07-28 7:18]
  • [+]

Hello Haraprasan,
You captured this puddling behaviour well in a fine composition.
I have never seen Swallowtails do this, including Common Mormons. Here in N. Europe this behaviour tends to be with blues, though other species also get moisture and minerals this way.
Excellent sharpness and lighting for both specimens.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Hi Haraprasan,

How wonderful to find these two in identical positions! The black and white is excellent and the details of the butterflies are sharp and clear. It looks very muddy!!!


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-28 8:51]

Friend, Wonderful shot and what a great POV. Ganesh

Hi Haraprasan,
Nice composition with this two butterfly, good colors and sharpness,
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-07-28 10:29]

Hi haraptasan. a very good shot of the unusal looking butterflies one i have not seen. good detail and colours. They are enjoying the mud. well done TFS. good notes too

Dear friend, Haraprasan,
It is always worth visiting your site.
Great images; however, your notes are OUTSTANDINGLY EXCELLENT.
Warm regards from your 'jathwallah'.
And keep up your lovely work.
It's a real joy.

Hello friend Haraprasan,
two in one with perfect sharpness, true and vivid colour with much details!
the mud is really well seen!
great composition indeed and well done
greeting to you always

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-07-29 0:37]

Hi Haraprasan,
Wonderful scene you have captured of this couple mud-puddling. Very sharp image with fine focus and perfect use of natural lighting. The sheen/glaze on that muddy/sticky surface also adds a nice effect. I like your POV to portray the scene and the superb composition. Kudos.

Hi Haraprasan, splendid couple of butterflies, excellent sharpness and good details, very well done, have a nice week end, ciao Silvio
:) tomorrow

Hi Haraprasan.
Great notes and image to go with them. Never knew about butterflies mud-puddling.

New Zealand

Interesting composition Haraprasan, I like the view of the two in identical pose and angled postions..Good color and detail,
Well done!

hi haraprasan,
interesting notes, liked the composition, never seen any butterfly doing this here,
well captured,
tfs & regards

Hello Haraprasan !
You have captured a great momet here, I didn't know that some b'flies were doing this 'mud puddling'. Once again, I have learned something from TN ! :-) What I like is that both b'flies look identical, they even have the same pose. Beautiful composition and POV, nice natural colors, maybe the picture is a bit soft but really not a big problem. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2007-07-29 10:46]

hi mr.HP,
a very good capture of this mudpuddling mormons.
very well composed and xcellent details.

Calibration Check