Why does this butterfly have crumpled wings like this?

Hi, so my girlfriend found this butterfly. It has very crumpled wings, not sure why. She kept it on a plant and has been feeding it Guava juice and Sugar water every few hours. She’s hoping it’ll heal but I think it’s a deformation from inside it’s “cocoon(?)”

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Could be totally wrong, but I know that when they come out of the chrysalis they still need to uncrumple the wings by pumping fluid from the abdomen into the wings through a series of tubes, if the wings are still crumpled, perhaps the tubes are damaged?


@bendunsford is correct. Moths and butterflies need to let their wings expand after emerging and I believe they usually do this by resting vertically so the wings drape down with gravity as they expand. If they don’t get to hang down then the won’t have the space to expand correctly.

If you find one like this that looks like it just emerged, you should find it a sheltered place to hang and dry. I usually place them under a leaf in a bush.


if the wings are crumpled but still soft, that means it needs more time for them to expand. if crumpled and hard, then it might have encountered some eclosion issues preventing the wings from fully unfurling. The only consequence this has would be the inability to fly, but it should be able to feed and walk about.


It is a fairly common problem encountered by butterfly growers. I’ve encountered a few in the butterflies I raised. What I feel is that the butterfly must not fall off its perch when it comes out of its pupa case. This can be accidental or the butterfly is weak. Once it falls, the wings will be deformed. In some cases, the deformation is slight or partial. To prevent that, butterfly growers should provide good quality leaves and not disturb the larva too much. Butterfly growers are often young kids, so they have a tendency to play with their pets. Plastic walls are not good for emerging butterflies to cling on to. Difficulty to emerge may be due to weather, such as very dry environment or simply the larva did not have enough food.

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