Butterfly gets new wings
A zoo volunteer used glue, tape and pins to help an injured insect fly again after attaching a wing from a dead lookalike.
The volunteer was able to save the life of a fragile butterfly by performing a wing transplant and intricately attaching a piece from a dead lookalike. Katie VanBlaricum, 36, spotted a Monarch butterfly with a piece of its wing missing while working at her local zoo in Kansas.
She immediately decided to repair the damaged insect after fearing it would need to be put down.
VanBlaricum, from Kansas, usually works with dead butterflies for her business Insect Art in which she creates jewellery and frames using dead insects.
volunteer managed to attach the wing with glue – after it was damaged by school children trying to get it out of a net.
A butterfly has four wings, two fore-wings and two hind-wings which are attached to segments which use its strong muscles to move the wings up and down.
After the swift but successful procedure to repair the butterfly’s left forewing, VanBlaricum let it go and watched in awe as it flew up into the trees.
Butterflies have taste receptors on their feet to help them find their host plants and locate food. A female butterfly lands on different plants, drumming the leaves with her feet until the plant releases its juices.