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Repairing a Torn Wing

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.

Elisabeth Finstad



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