Is it true that Powder of Butterfly / Butterfly Dust can cause blindness?

When I was young, my Mother forbid me to touch butterflies because according to her, the dust could enter my eyes and blind me. Of course, I still touched butterflies but I was extremely careful not to rub my eyes when I did handle them.

Can it really cause blindness?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    While the "powder" on a butterflies wings, which is really minute scales, is extremely important to the butterfly, they do not cause blindness.

    If the butterfly looses too many of these scales however, holes will easily form in the wings and the butterfly will be unable to fly.

  • pogue
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Butterfly Dust

  • 1 decade ago

    The dust on butterfly wings are modified hairs called scales.which create the colors and patterns we see. These scales are the "dust" that comes off a butterfly wing if you touch it.

    I do remember too being told by my mother that butterfly wings dust will cause blindness. There is no proof for it however, I loved butterflies when I was young and had its wings dust came to my face including my eyes several times but I still have pretty good sight till now. (I had mild allergic reaction for few times though,)

    I would say it is more of a folkloric myth and belief.

  • 1 decade ago

    Butterflies belong to a family of insects called Lepidoptera, which means "scaled wings." The scales on the wings are what you see as "dust." they are delicate and are shed from the wings very easily. They do not cause blindness.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, but there are some species capable to cause serious conjunctivitis.

  • 1 decade ago

    There seems to be no basis for that belief, so I would consider it an old wive's tale.

  • 1 decade ago

    Lies! All lies!

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