Butterfly Facts and Information

Butterfly Facts and Information

The following butterfly facts and information should get you intrigued about these fascinating insects, that are known for their astounding transformational life cycles...
The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity. - Attributed to George Carlin

Butterflies come from the group of Lepidoptera, which moths belong to as well. The word lepidoptera, which is a Greek word, translates into 'scaly wings'. Moths are commonly mistaken as butterflies of some sort, but are in fact closely related, with some very noticeable differences. We'll come to that in a bit. The stages of the life cycle of butterflies is one that is both aesthetically pleasing to witness, and a process that is hard to fathom, wherein a caterpillar emerges into a butterfly complete with wings, containing striking color combinations.

A butterfly's life cycle consists of four major stages, namely - the egg, larva, pupa and adult stage. This process is known as metamorphosis. People often mistake the hard outer casing of a caterpillar to be one that was spun by the insect, but is in fact just the shedding of its skin that forms what is called the pupa. This then hardens to form what is called a chrysalis, that protects and encapsulates the transformation process. There's a cornucopia of details that we look further into, that will help one understand better about the nature of these creatures. All is revealed in this write-up on butterfly facts and information.

Difference Between a Moth and a Butterfly

Here's giving you the distinct differences between the behavioral traits and features of these two insects.

Difference Between Butterflies and Moths
Blue morphosilk moth
Butterflies tend to sit with their wings in an upright position, that is at a 90°angle. They outstretch them when in the sun sometimes.Moths on the other hand sit with their wings outstretched.
Butterflies have antennae that are plain, with club like protrusions.Moths have antennae that are fuzzy in nature.
Butterflies are more colorful than moths, and come in a more varied number.Usually dull in color, moths have colors as well but are usually seen in dark brownish and dark green tinges.
Butterflies are active during the day normally.Moths are more active during sundown.

Types of Butterflies

A butterfly habitat is one that has a lot of sunshine, with little or no wind. People construct little houses like bird houses for butterflies, to attract these beauties when they flutter by. The lifespan of butterflies ranges from a mere week or two, with some butterfly species making it to as far as 9-10 months. We will now look into some of the many types of butterflies that are out there, that multiple and grow worldwide in different sizes and colors.

Butterfly Species
American ChopperBuckeye
Cloudless SulphurCommon Checkered Skipper
Cabbage WhiteCheckered White
Clouded SulphurEastern Tiger Swallowtail
Eastern Black SwallowtailDogface
Great Purple HairstreakGreen Comma
Giant SwallowtailGray Hairstreak
Great Spangled FritillaryMourning Cloak
Orange SulphurPearly Crescentspot
Painted LadyPipevine Swallowtail
Question MarkRed Spotted Purple
Red AdmiralSpring Azure
Silver Spotted SkipperSpicebush Swallowtail
Tailed BlueViceroy
Zebra SwallowtailZebra Longwing

Butterfly Information and Facts

With so many butterfly species teaming within the ecosystem, it's no wonder why there are so many interesting facts revolving around them; let's take a look.
  • Butterflies cannot take flight if their bodies have a temperature that is less than 86°C.
  • Butterflies don't have lungs.
  • Some butterfly species can fly up to 25 miles/hr.
  • Butterflies can taste using only their feet.
  • The spectrum of colors that a butterfly can see, are yellow, red and green.
  • Monarch butterflies can fly a thousand miles without pausing for rest.
  • A transparent membrane is left if you remove the colorful scales that tinge the wings.
  • Butterflies breathe through little openings called 'spiracles' present on the abdominal region.
  • Due to a butterfly's skeleton being outside its body, called the 'exoskeleton', it is able to keep water within the body without drying itself out.
  • There are approximately 24,000 species of butterflies and about 140,000 moth species worldwide.
  • There have been no recordings of butterflies found in Antarctica, probably because of frigid weather conditions.
  • Butterflies are cold-blooded insects.
  • The Kallima inachus butterfly species resembles the color of a green leaf, and acts as a camouflage in its surroundings.
  • A lepidopterist is one who collects butterflies as a hobby.
These butterfly facts that are all about butterflies and how this insect evolves and re-creates itself so to speak, should give you a good inside idea of how these insects cope within our planet.