Can butterflies hear? Do they make sound?

Most butterflies are quiet. But some, surprisingly can hear and “speak.”

A butterfly’s ear

A few species of butterflies have an “ear” on their wings called Vogel’s organ. It’s a sac filled with liquid that vibrates with sound.

Some butterflies can tell the difference between high and low pitched sounds.

Making sound

Some butterflies, like the Hamadryas feronia in the picture, make a clicking sound with their wing when following another butterfly around. The Hamadryas butterfly’s sound is loud enough for humans to hear and gives the butterfly its nickname of “cracker” butterfly.

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More information

A picture of Vogel’s organ

Sound production and hearing in the blue cracker butterfly

Wing-click sounds of Helioconius cydno alithea butterflies

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