According to entomologists, butterflies do not feel pain. Many of us keep our doubts simply because we see them react to touch. They do feel! But do they feel PAIN?
Do caterpillars writhe in pain response to insecticides? They writhe, that is for sure. But why? Many insecticides act in a way that when a caterpillar is exposed to those insecticides, they will writhe. They have no choice. It affects neurotransmitters.
We’ve watched butterflies with missing abdomens (eaten by mice at night) fly and drink. Other than falling on their faces when they land, due to the imbalance of weight, they ate totally normal. Males with abdomens try to pair with females without abdomens. (We added Grandma Kitty to the farm staff and she keeps mice from eating butterflies. Go Grandma Kitty!)
Although we are not scientists that do this type of research, we have researched the topic and talked with lepidopterists, entomologists, pathologists, and other scientists about this topic.
After careful observation and discussion, we personally believe that they do not feel pain. Many people disagree and we’re thankful that people do disagree. It’s when we don’t agree that more research is initiated. It is then that scientists communicate more.
Experiencing surgery while totally awake helped convince me.