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Monarch and Water

What happens when you put a Monarch butterfly under water and let it go?

It 'flies' to the surface and flys away!

Click on any photo to enlarge.

A Monarch is lowered into water ...

... and pushed to the bottom of the container.

Letting the Monarch go ...

... her hand is pulled out of the water.

The Monarch starts rising to the surface ...

... 'flapping' its wings as if flying under water.

With a 'flap' of its wings, it lifts out of the water ...

... and flies away!

Butterflies are used to water. It is essential to thier well-being. Without water they dehydrate and die.
Butterflies live through severe storms and downpours, flying around when the sky clears to nectar again.

Butterflies are fragile like Grandma's china treasures. If they're not handled wrong, they will not be hurt!

When under water, a butterfly's wings are encased in a 'blanket' of air.
Their wings repel water creating a transparent silver coating.

Don't use a bowl which curves inward above the water line to watch your butterfly shoot out of water.
It is harder for them to fully lift out if they have a glass ceiling!

Tattered older butterflies find it more difficult to lift out of the water.
Don't use cold water; they are cold-blooded animals. Use strong healthy butterflies; like all animals, weak older ones are not the best choice for underwater swims.
We've 'bathed' several species of butterflies (Julia, White Peacock, Gulf Fritillary, and more) and find that all had no trouble rising and flying away.