Back to Top
Utility Nav Top Nav Content News Nav Site Search
Close Main Menu

Dean's research published in scientific journal

Butterflies attracted to urine
Butterflies puddle at urine in Borneo. Dr. Mike Bodri, dean of UNG's College of Science and Mathematics, had his research about the kind of urine that is most attractive to butterflies published in a scientific journal.

A University of North Georgia (UNG) dean’s research on what type of urine butterflies prefer for "puddling" or "mudding" was published in the June issue of the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society.

Dr. Michael Bodri's research compared whether butterflies were most drawn to the urine of a herbivore (cow), carnivore (mountain lion) or omnivore (himself). Bodri is the dean of science and mathematics at UNG.

"Carnivore urine was significantly more attractive to puddling butterflies than herbivore or omnivore urine," according to the article's abstract. "This study was unable to determine if puddling butterflies were capable of seeking out sand with a specific sodium content or if amino acids and/or volatiles influenced their choice."

Bodri concluded that butterflies are attracted by smell "cues unique to nitrogen and/or sodium rather than visual cues."

He had observed puddling on many occasions, particularly in the tropics.

"They puddle at lots of things most often for (presumably) sodium. How they know it is there is still a mystery," Bodri said. "I was just curious if they can discern between urine from different types of mammals based upon the diet."

Bait stations demonstrated that butterflies can not only detect but can distinguish between urine from mammals of different feeding classifications, according to his research.

The research was reported on by Discover magazine.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.
Please note that some of the images and videos on our site may have been taken before social distancing, face coverings and restricted gatherings were required.

Back to Top