Did you know: Facts about butterflies

Most butterflies feed on nectar from flowers.—Unsplash photo

Butterflies are insects.

A butterfly’s life cycle is comprised of four stages: egg, larva (caterpillars), pupa (chrysalis) and adult.

Butterflies attach their eggs to leaves with a special glue.

Most caterpillars are herbivores, or plant eaters.

Fully grown caterpillars attach themselves to a suitable twig or leaf before shedding their outside layer of skin to reveal a hard skin underneath known as a chrysalis.

An adult butterfly will eventually emerge from the chrysalis. It then waits for a few hours as its wings fill with blood and dry, before flying for the first time.

Butterflies can live in the adult stage between a week and a year, depending on the species.

Butterflies have four wings.

Butterflies often have brightly colored wings with unique patterns made up of tiny scales.

Most butterflies feed on nectar from flowers.

Butterflies have taste receptors on their feet.

Scientists estimate that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 different species of butterfly.

Birdwing butterflies have large, angular wings and fly in a similar way to birds.

Monarch butterflies are known for their long migration. Every year the species travels a great distance — often more than 2,485 miles. The females then lays eggs and a new generation of monarchs will travel back, completing the cycle.

The eyes of a butterfly are made up of 6,000 lenses and can see ultraviolet light.

Butterflies are found on every continent except Antarctica.

Despite popular belief, butterfly wings are clear — the colors and patterns we see are made by the reflection of the tiny scales covering them.

Butterfly wings move in a figureeight motion.

Butterflies vary in size — the largest species may reach 12 inches across, while the smallest can measure half an inch.

A group of butterflies is sometimes called a flutter.

Skipper butterflies fly so fast they could outpace a horse, but most butterflies fly at 5 to 12 mph.

Puddle clubs are groups of butterflies that gather on wet soil to suck up salts and minerals.

Scientists thought butterflies were deaf until the first butterfly ears were identified in 1912.



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