Repairing a Torn Wing

September 12, 2017


My husband takes the public bus to and from work every day.  When he got off the bus today he noticed a Monarch on the ground, not able to fly.  Being my husband, he picked it up and carried it home on the short walk he has from the bus stop.   I looked it over and noticed that it did not have a hole in its wing, as my husband originally thought, but a rather large tear on its right forewing.  


I fretted about what to do since everything I read suggested an auto repair tape called contact tape, but I had no time to get to a store to buy it.  I instead used clear scotch tape, the kind that is really sticky.  I cut a small piece that was about the size of the tear, and then cut another one the same size.  Grasping the Monarch by the hind wings I gently pressed the tape onto the outside of its forewing.  I noticed that it was going to stick to the hindwing so I gently grasped it again, opening its wings, and put the other piece of tape on the inside over the tear.  I then trimmed off the excess.  He could fly!!  He held very still for me, probably from exhaustion and defeat, so it really was not that hard.  I released him immediately and he flew high into the sky.  I did not take any photos of this because my main concern was getting the repair done properly.  If I ever encounter this situation again I will try to have someone take photos. 




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Elisabeth Finstad


September 12, 2017

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© 2019-20 by Elisabeth Finstad.  For photo permissions please email

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