Why did this butterfly die so fast?

I recently saw a Red Pierrot (Talicada nyseus). It was dead under a pot with two living individuals nearby. How did it die? It had no signs of injury, had two detached wings which weren’t torn or broken.


Sorry, but I can’t explain this to you, since I myself have no idea ! Maybe @firos_ak can explain us ?

if you didnt do anything to it, i cant imagine you did anything to make it die faster

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Maybe it was a known individual and it maybe died of age?


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Injury maybe, or it might be a fungal thing, or perhaps a parasite… or maybe it had completed it’s mating cycle and was momentarily contemplating the meaning of it all… It would take some investigation to establish what is actually happening.


Let’s end this post. I now think that may be another individual? Because, it would have been in one piece if it just died and I saw the two pierrots again. So, I conclude that that was a wrong-place-wrong-time scenario and the dead guy was another individual.

No. Let’s investigate how the other one died. Before I could photograph it the main body flew in the wind, but I still have one wing. It was in a peaceful death position and had no signs of fungi.

I agree with @kuchipatchis - if you did nothing drastic to it you had nothing to do with it’s death. @kiwifergus has a good suggestion - contemplation of the meaning of life! The cause of death would be hard to determine without physically examining it.


It was in a peaceful curled-up position, had no visible injuries and two wings had detached. It was very light.

Two detached wings suggests that it had been damaged in some way before you got there.

They perfectly intact, not one visible tear.

I just googled “butterfly wings detach,” but there was no indication of how this could happen. Interestingly, there was a wikihow article on how to reattach a butterfly’s wing.

oh wow… but that’s got to be for setting purposes, right?


butterfly 1: “Dude, what happened to your right forewing? IT’S BACKWARDS!”

butterfly 2: “Yeah, I was mid-migration and a bird ripped my wings off… thoought I was a gonner for sure, but then this human scared away the bird and glued my wings back on.”

butterfly 1: “But… Dude… IT’S BACKWARDS!”

butterfly 2: “Oh man, do you have to go on about it… I’m trying to just be grateful that I’m alive…”

butterfly 1: “But… how are you gonna find a mate looking like that? I mean, you show your wings, right, and even if she’s ok with that… I mean, you got to fly and keep up with her, right?”

butterfly 2: “You are so shallow… real beauty is on the inside…”

butterfly 1: “Well, it was before we pupated… that’s why we liquify our insides and reconstruct them man, to get that beauty to the outside, where the ladies can see it…”

butterfly1, butterfly 2: awkward silence…

I know… I should be careful what I write, there are a lot of larva that aren’t aware what’s in store for them…


I think there is a language problem here. To me, detached means they have come off the thorax, which indicates damage. What is your native language, and perhaps if I use google translate we can approximate what is going on!

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No, actually it wasn’t. It was about helping an injured butterfly.

oh, double wow…

then I would say it’s less about helping an injured butterfly, and more about making the repairer feel good… it’s akin to feeding dying bees honey to keep them alive…

disclaimer: that’s my personal view, I appreciate others will disagree


I have actually done this before on some butterflies. It definitely helps them since I always make sure they are ok by observing them in a large mesh cage for a day or 2 (they do great most of the time).

If it was light it was long dead and dried up already.

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