View Full Version : Basking wall for butterflies

07-Apr-2011, 10:53 PM
Hi there,

I am thinking of building a sort of "resting/ basking wall" for the butterflies but I'm not sure if it would work. Hope that someone out there can give me your opinions

Assuming that
1) First, nectar producing plants are planted in the surrounding area so as to attract the butterflies
2) Next, host plants that serves as larval/ caterpillar food are also planted thus encouraging the butterflies to stay on
3) Understand that butterflies are also cold blooded and would rest on places where they can bask in the sun such as flat stones.
So if I were to build a simple wall made of concrete blocks or breeze blocks on which butterflies can rest on to bask in the sun, do you think these measures would work?

Another question is how big a garden would that require in order to attract many butterflies?

Does anyone knows? Would appreciate your feedback very much!!

Thank you

Grass Demon
08-Apr-2011, 01:37 AM
This is a butterfly wall, but alas it is in a butterfly park enclosure in Canada near Niagara Falls.

Where are you from?

10-Apr-2011, 08:21 PM
Hi Stehsi,

The British Butterfly Conservation Society (BBCS) launched the National Butterfly Survey in 1990 with the main objective of making up the perfect garden for attracting butterflies, at the same time also monitors, quantatively, the year-by-year status of butterflies in typical British gardens (Vickery, 1995). Just sharing some points with you:

1. Garden environment:-
- According to the BBCS survey, there is a steady increase in number of species recorded from urban garden through suburban to rural.
- Some suitably managed urban gardens not near to any wild habitat have recorded some species more often than those near to the wild habitat.
- There is no connection between garden size and number of species, but BBCS survey showed that large garden always recording more species than small one, although the difference is greater for rural than for suburban gardens.
- A greater number of species can be expected if garden completely surrounds the house than garden facing only one or two directions.
- A garden mostly open to the sun has a greater chance to record more species than the one shaded.

2. Garden design:-
- Gardens brake up by internal borders or hedges attract more butterflies than those containing large areas of hard surface.
- In large garden, butterflies prefer to fly along the side of hedges or over areas of mixed vegetation and that large area of close-cropped turf acted as a barrier to flight.

3. Nectar plants:-
- It is generally agreed that butterflies visit gardens primarily in order to feed on nectar plants, therefore it is important to provided an abundance of nectar-rich plants through the butterfly season. BDF, NPark website, books..etc always contain list of nectar plants for reference. (Note: Will Butterflies of Singapore - 2nd edition provide a list of local nectar plants for readers/users?)

4. Breeding in gardens:-
- In general, species are reported breeding mostly in large, rural gardens, but incidence showed that breeding also occured in some urban gardens when suitalbe host plants were cultivated. Courtney (1981) found that survival of ova and larvae in gardens was lower than in non-garden habitats.

Moreover, the mobility of butterflies and duration of stay may varies between species, although reports showed that some butterflies stay several days but most of them may seldom stay longer than few hours.

It is interesting to note that butterflies are quick to colonise many an area of waste grassland and some species prosper when man ceases to cultivate areas. If favourable conditions are provided, man-made habitat like gardens will colonise too.

Steven: Please add on if I miss something.

Teo T P

12-Apr-2011, 01:20 PM
Thank you Steven and Teo for the photo and the insightful reply. Much appreciated!

21-Apr-2011, 10:02 AM
Hi Steven and Teo,

Another question popped into my head. Butterflies bask on the wall in Canada, but in tropical Singapore, where it's always hot and sunny, do you think they would behave in this way?


28-Apr-2011, 03:54 PM
Dear Stehsi,

I answered this question before.

It related to the thermoregulation of butterflies. Please refer to "Butterfly Ecology, Behaviour & Evolution" under the thread "Sun Bathing butterflies - by Great Mormon".

Teo T P