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Just a thought...


AlexW
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After watching the chickens desperately squawk for hours in their cage from boredom (yes this is actually a common problem), I had a thought: What about flying insects such as flower beetles or butterflies? They may be lower animals, but perhaps they become distressed from having limited flight space? Darklings and ground beetles probably can do all that they want.

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Even if they did not feel distressed, I would think that limiting their flight space to the point where they batter themselves to injury or earlier than normal death would be reason to try to either provide them with enough room to have relatively unobstructed flight or give them so little room that flight is not possible. My experience is that most beetles will only attempt flight when they feel there is enough room to spread their wings due to space they cannot travel by just crawling along, so keeping your beetles in an enclosure where they cannot grasp at empty air should prevent them from taking flight and experiencing the stress and injuries of having of limited flight space if you cannot provide them with a very large enclosure.

Butterflies are similar, but will attempt flight more frequently even in small enclosures due to flight being their normal mode of locomotion. If you count battering themselves against surfaces they cannot fly past or grasp as a sign of distress, then they show quite a bit of distress in certain enclosures. The best way to prevent butterflies from bashing against the sides is to have an enclosure in which they can grip on all surfaces--any smooth surfaces will cause them to attempt flight to get across anything that prevents crawling locomotion. Providing them with a fairly close, non-moving artificial light source will help pacify them and their desire for flight. Allowing them to see natural sunlight as it moves away from them will cause them to fly fervently towards brighter areas than the inside of their enclosure in an attempt to move with the sun. Even the largest butterfly enclosures will end up with most butterflies bashing themselves against the sides in an attempt to follow brighter light sources, so your best choice is to keep them under non-moving lights and away from natural light source. An exception would be butterflies that have adapted to living in areas with dense plant life such as zebra longwing butterflies that are capable of hovering and have the ability to avoid obstacles and enclosure walls--as long as you give them enough room, they will be fine following natural light around as they will usually avoid colliding with the walls. Of course, you'll also have to take into account that if you're breeding butterflies, many have courtship behaviors that just won't be able to happen in a small enclosure.

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