Have you noticed butterflies visiting fox dung in your garden, as well as butterfly-friendly plants? Richard ‘Bugman’ Jones explains why, in this Quick Tips video guide.
We normally think of butterflies as flower-visitors, but it’s common for them to visit fox dung too. This widespread behaviour is usually overlooked, unless you’re specifically out looking for dung beetles maybe. Tropical butterflies commonly visit muddy pond edges where grazing animals have splashed dung and urine. It’s called puddling, and there can be hundreds of them, in clouds, many different species. They appear to be after minerals, salts and other micronutrients they can’t readily get from nectar. In Britain it’s fox, dog and sheep dung which are regularly visited, but also, sometimes, cow pats or fresh rabbit pellets.