Here is Psyche butterfly resting during night captured using Captured using Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
Butterflies don’t actually sleep. Instead they rest, or become quiescent, at night or during the day when it’s cloudy or cool. They rest with eyes open, as they don’t have have any eyelids. They typically hide amidst the foliage and hanging upside down from leaves or twigs in trees and shrubs. They almost always ‘sleep’ hanging upside-down and underneath a leaf. This hanging requires minimal energy, as their tarsi (aka ‘claws’) can grasp on to the leaf with little effort, opposed to standing right side up.
They also gain protection from the rain that often falls at night. Secondly, they are more hidden from early-rising birds looking for a meal that may be active before the butterflies are warm enough to take off.
There’s really no use in being active at night for most butterflies – they can’t see each other to mate, and empty flowers are restocking themselves with nectar for the following day. So, it makes sense that they would go into this ‘sleep’ state which likely helps them digest the day’s feed, produce eggs/sperm, and basically take advantage of a time in which there is nothing better to do.
During this nocturnal state they are still capable of flying off if disturbed. If you are wondering do butterflies dream? I think not 😉
Check my earlier post of Psyche Butterfly to know more about this butterfly.