Facts & Info About Butterflies Increase your knowledge of Facts about the Butterfly with some brief, but essential information & fast facts about this popular insect. Important facts, data and info containing details of the description, name origins and habitat of Butterflies. Details of the size, height and weight. Where they live and what they eat! Discover what their lives are like! A mixture of Factual information together with cool, fun, strange, amazing, weird and even funny facts about Butterflies. A detailed Fact Sheet covering a whole host of topics and Butterfly facts! Have Fun!
Description of Butterflies The Butterfly is described as an insect of the order Lepidoptera. Butterflies alone are called Papilionoidea. Butterflies characteristically have slender bodies, knobbed antennae, six legs and four broad, usually colorful wings. The thorax is the point of attachment for the two pairs of wings the forewings and hindwings. The Butterfly has a segmented body in which there are three body parts - a head, a thorax and an abdomen. On the head are the eyes, antennae and proboscis -- the long, flexible "tongue" used to sip nectar and other liquids. The origins of the name come from their membranous wings which are covered with tiny scales.
Species of Butterflies There are nearly 18,000 species of butterflies. The order Lepidoptera consists of of four suborders More than 98 percent of the species are in one, the Ditrysia, which includes all the butterflies and higher moths.
Facts about the difference between Butterflies and Moths Butterflies are day-flying whilst moths generally fly at night Butterflies have brightly coloured wings Antennae - Butterflies always have threadlike antennae that have a knobbed tip. Moths can have many types of antennae: feathery, hairy or threadlike but always without the knobbed or clubbed tips.
Facts about where Butterflies live and what they eat! Butterflies are native to all continents except Antarctica The habitat of Butterflies are found in a variety of different climate environments. They can be found in Tropical areas, forests, marshes, rivers, swamps, meadows, farmlands and gardens Butterflies sip nectar from flowers, juice from rotting fruit and drink water
Basic Facts about Butterflies
The name of a male is referred to simply as a male The name of a female is referred to simply as a female The name or offspring, or a baby Butterfly, is larva and caterpillar The collective name for a group of Butterflies is a flutter Facts about the Size of Butterflies The largest butterflies (bird wings of Melanesia) have wingspans of up to 25 cm (10 inches) The smallest (pygmy blues) wingspans are 1 cm (0.4 inches)
Facts about the life and Metamorphosis of Butterflies
Butterflies undergo a series of physical transformations known as metamorphosis
The lifespan - metamorphosis - of a butterfly is in four stages which make up the full life cycle of a Butterfly:
Pupa (cocoon or chrysalis)
Females usually lay eggs on a plant that will act as as food source for the larvae when they hatch
Larvae have cylindrical bodies, simple eyes, chewing mouthparts. The larvae eat and shed their skin continuously
Larvae grow to hundreds of times their original size
Once fully grown the Larvae spin cocoons and become Pupae (Pupa,cocoon or chrysalis)
During the pupae stage internal systems are reorganized and adult external structures are developed
Metamorphosis complete the adult butterfly breaks the pupal case and emerges
The butterfly expands its wings by pumping blood into the veins of its wings
When the wings have dried and hardened the blood is pumped back out of its wing veins leaving the wings strong and light ready to fly
Cool and Fun Facts about Butterflies Some fascinating information & facts about the Butterfly:
The average lifespan for an adult butterfly is just 20 to 40 days
The minimum lifespan of a butterfly is as little as three or four days
The maximum lifespan of a butterfly is six months
The English naturalist and explorer Henry Bates (1825–1892) discovered Batesian mimicry
Batesian mimicry is a process in which edible butterflies have evolved wing patterns mimicking inedible species and thus gaining protection for themselves against predators.
Another mimic process has also evolved called Mullerian mimicry in which several species fly together, sharing a similar coloration but different markings thus giving predators fewer patterns to remember
Some species possess eyespots that draw the attention of enemies away from their vital body parts to their wings
Butterflies sip nectar from flowering plants then carry pollen from plant to plant thus aiding plant reproduction
Diapause - In temperate habitats butterflies enter an inactive stage, or diapause, during their development thus avoiding severe weather conditions
Diapause may occur in each of the life cycle stages - the egg, larval, pupa or adult
Male butterflies are often attracted to females by the release of a powerful chemical from special glands
Monarch Butterflies migrate thousands of miles
Endangered Species The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists seventeen species of butterflies as endangered, two as threatened. An “endangered” species is one that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The Causes of a species of insect becoming endangered are due to Habitat Destruction, Introduction of Exotic Species, Disease, Pollution, and Over exploitation. Endangered Species Organizations are dedicated to saving and preserving the world's most endangered wildlife. Interesting facts about Endangered Species.
Butterflies Facts and Information about Butterflies We hope that the selection of Facts about Butterflies has provided you with the information you have been searching for! A mixture of Factual information together with cool, fun, strange, amazing, weird and even funny facts about this amazing insect. A detailed Fact Sheet covering a whole host of topics information and facts about Butterflies. We believe that the concise and fun facts provided are full of interesting information about this popular insect! The internet is a great resource for information - you don't even need to go to the library to get fast facts about Butterflies! No more fines - just select a topic - read it, get your facts and then throw it away - better still create your own folder, or book, of interesting information about Butterflies! Great for homework, or projects, an ideal Educational Resource for facts about Butterflies!