deformed butterfly – what to do??

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  • #47268


    Hi all,

    I have just recently got interested and raising monarchs. we have had one that had a strange looking chrysalis which has produced a butterfly that is very small and the wings are all shriveled and non-functional. I don’t know why it has happened, but I would love to know what to do with it. I don’t want to just kill it unless I have to. Is there a way to keep it kind of as a pet and feed it something (what??) knowing it will not be able to fly? If I have to kill it, what is the best way to do that? I hope there is something we can do for the poor thing!

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #47542

    Bron and Camryn

    Butterfly babysitting all sorted. 🙂


    Bron and Camryn

    Hi Ainslie, just on my way out so perhaps give me a call on my cell 0220734980



    Bron and Camryn

    Hi Ainslie,

    Yes, is there a way we can private message address details on this forum?

    I’ll be out this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon but will be home the rest of the week.



    Good afternoon Bron

    I am so touched by your kind offer to look after this butterfly.

    Are you able to forward your street address so I can drop him to you?

    Thank you very much again



    Bron and Camryn

    ainsliecat, if you haven’t gone away yet and need someone to look after your butterfly I can do that.

    laurellbarr, yes, it is possible to keep a damaged butterfly as a pet. My butterfly Camryn (the other half of my username) also came out with deformed wings and couldn’t fly. I made a netting caterpillar castle for her and put it in a spot with sun and shade inside the house. You can feed them 1 teaspoon honey + 1 drop soy dissolved in half a glass of water. Alternatively they like slices of older very ripe fruit such as bananas, oranges and melon. Also flowers from the garden although Camryn never liked those. Every day I let her out for a “fly” and she would promptly climb up my leg and sit on my t-shirt for the afternoon. Definitely a great way to get to know about butterflies close up and she seemed pretty happy.

    This is what I did:

    Happy cuddly butterfly



    I have had a monarch for 2 weeks who landed on his wet wings and they set deformed so he has never flown.

    I put him on a plant in the front porch overnight then on a flower each morning and he seems to hop about crawling over plants.

    Other monarch fly and dive bomb him quite roughly each day! I think they are trying to tell him to get moving!

    I did glue a dead monarch wing on the worst side but that has since been ripped off but he seems quite happy.

    We are going away and I wonder if someone could take over his care? We live in Epsom Auckland



    Different people handle this in different ways, Laurel.

    Firstly, it’s great to hear that you care. It is easy to be cold and clinical and say “where there’s life, there’s death” and that another deformed butterfly is just a statistic.

    It is probably nothing that you did wrong. There are always weaker specimens and some also don’t choose a space where they have enough clearance to pump up their wings.

    Some people do keep them as pets as you’ll find out from various posts over the past ten years in the forum here. Hopefully some people will give you good advice over the next few days.

    If you choose to euthanase it (my preference) then putting it in the freezer means its system will slowly shut down and you can then dispose of the lifeless body.

    Hope that helps.


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