Interesting Facts About Butterflies

There are about 28,000 extant species of butterflies that are divided into 30 orders, the main basis of classification being their wing structure.

Butterflies and moths belong to an order called Lepidoptera. Butterflies are found worldwide except in Antarctica. Butterflies’ sizes vary from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches. They have 6 legs, one pair of antennae, a segmented body that has three distinguishable parts: a head, a thorax and an abdomen. Butterflies have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. Though they don’t have lungs, butterflies breath through openings in their abdomen called “spiracles”.

Butterflies are cold blooded and it is necessary for them to warm up their flight muscles. This is done by stretching out in the sun in order to absorb heat. However, if their body temperature drops below 86 degrees they have to wait until they warm back up.

All butterflies have complex eyes made up of about 60,000 lenses and there are certain species of butterflies that have thousands of eyes. Butterflies can see color such as green, red and yellow and they can even see ultraviolet light.

Butterflies smell with their antennae, “taste” with their feet and drink nectar and juices through their proboscis (straw-like structure). They Butterflies have a preference for flowers that are red, yellow, pink, or purple and have single petals.

The Cabbage White Butterfly

The Cabbage White Butterfly is the most common species of butterfly around and are found mostly in vegetable gardens. Its caterpillar that is green in color blends in perfectly with the cabbage leaves.

The Queen Alexandra Birdwing

The Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is the largest and also the rarest extant species of butterfly. It is native to Papua New Guinea where it inhibits rain forest. An adult female’s wingspan can reach 26 cm.

The Pygmy Butterfly

The Pygmy Butterfly earned the honor of having the shortest wingspan at 11 mm. Eastern Tailed Blue, Marine Blue, Eastern Tailed Blue, Small Checkered Skipper and the Bog Elfin all share top honors for Canada’s smallest butterflies with wingspan of 16 mm.

The Painted Lady Butterfly

The Painted Lady is the most widespread butterfly species that are found in all parts of the world except in South America and Antarctica.br />
The Brimstone Butterfly

The Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepterix rhamni) lives the longest among all butterfly species. Typically, adults have a 10 month lifespan.

The Spring Azure

The Spring Azure is one of the shortest lived butterflies lasting only a couple of days.

The Giant Swallowtail

Around 700 species of butterflies are found in North America, but only a few species feed on agricultural crops. The Giant Swallowtail is the largest butterfly found in Canada. Its wingspan can reach up to 5 inches.

The Mourning Cloak

The Mourning Cloak has been known to play dead in order to escape predators. Mourning Cloaks and Compton Tortoiseshells frequently feed at Sapsucker drillings.

The Northern Pearly Eyes

Northern Pearly Eyes Butterfly flies at night and have ears on their wings so they can avoid bats. Also, theses butterflies are territorial hence they will attack other male intruders.

The Milbert’s Tortoiseshell

Milbert’s Tortoiseshells (Aglais milberti) lay eggs in clusters containing a thousand or more .

25 thoughts on “Interesting Facts About Butterflies

  1. tess

    Amazing indeed.I got some pictures taken from my old place.I got one that looks different, probably an old butterfly.

  2. sayitnessie.com

    I love butterflies. Since my real name is Vanessa, and it means something about a colorful butterfly. Haha!

  3. Justin Buenagua

    cool… first time to learn that butterflies are actually cold-blooded.. really like the spring azure.. 🙂

  4. ♣ lily ♣

    I really love butterflies especially the colorful ones. When I was younger, there was a specie that even breeds on our farm. However, I rarely see them these days…

  5. MaryJane Tauyan

    the giant swallow tail looks so gorgeous! i haven't seen much of butterflies this past few days xx

  6. Rochkirstin Santos

    It's very rare that I see a butterfly in the city. Today I saw one with black and blue wings. Butterflies are such wonderful creatures 😉

  7. Mark Joseph Gesite

    I rarely see butterflies around in Cebu City now, I remember during the time we used to catch butterflies with our net catcher… too bad

  8. cheerful

    butterflies are lovely as always, i love them and my daughter loves them, too. 🙂 thanks for sharing all these info about each kind, learn something new again.

  9. Claire

    God is truly amazing! Butterflies have beautiful wings and at the same time uses them as their defense for preys.

  10. Alley

    Butterflies are really beautiful! I like the first photo. That butterfly with transparent wings is unique!

    Thanks for sharing facts about this beautiful creature! tc po! 🙂

  11. betchai

    learned a bunch again from you Donald, did not know butterflies don't have lungs and breathe through the openings in their abdomen. love the photos too, interesting read.

  12. Ria C

    It's interesting to know these information about the various butterflies you featured in your article. Two of them even looked like a moth and the other one looked like a leaf! Only proves that God's creation are indeed unique and beautiful at the same time.

  13. Nova Hedges

    ever since, i am fascinated with how beautiful this creatures are, how they make the garden looks pretty and how the flowers even look great…through your post i have seen more of their kinds and it makes my day…

  14. Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

    I like the morning gloak. with the appearance of its wings, it can really escape the predators.

  15. MaryJane Tauyan

    giant swallow tail looks amazing and beautiful!! i've learned something today about butterflies! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *