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Repairing a Butterfly's Wing

(Image credit: Romy McCloskey)

Romy McCloskey raises butterflies. She's also a costume designer. One of a crop of ten butterflies emerged with a torn wing, caused by her cat playing with the chrysalis. She knew it would never fly on its own. So McCloskey got her tools together and repaired the wing, using a wing from another butterfly that had died. A wing transplant, so to speak. It sounds really risky, but without a new wing, the butterfly's chances of flying, or even surviving, were zero.

(Image credit: Romy McCloskey)

Ta-da! He's finished! You can see that the black lines in is upper right wing don't match up 100%, and if you look at his lower right wing is missing the black dot that indicates male gender. Oh, and the white on his wing is the talc used to make sure any stray glue doesn't make the wings stick together.

McCloskey shared every step of the process at her Facebook page, including a video of the butterfly's first flight with his prosthetic wing. You can see those posted all together at Laughing Squid.

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