Top 7 Facts about Butterflies

Facts about Butterflies
Everybody is familiar with butterflies, but you would be surprised by how much you don't know about them. There are tons of different distinctions between the nearly 17,500 different species of butterfly, from the patterns on their wings to their color to their size. But there are also many things that butterflies as a whole share with one another.



Enjoy these fun facts about butterflies!

1) Butterflies Taste with Their Feet


This may seem weird, but it actually makes sense when you think about what a butterfly does. The taste sensors on a butterfly’s feet help it to identify its host plant and to locate its food source. The butterflies use these organs to taste dissolved sugar on food sources. They also help females to identify the correct place to lay their eggs, as receptors on their legs indicate that the plant they've landed on is right.

2) Butterflies Eat Only Liquids


Adult butterflies can only eat liquids, as their mouths are developed enough to drink but have no mechanism to chew foods with. They have a proboscis, which is an elongated appendage that basically functions as a straw. It is usually tucked up under their chins. But once butterflies find a nectar source (or another source or nutrition), they use this organ to suck their food out.

3) Butterflies Drink from Mud Puddles


Speaking of the straw that butterflies have attached to their faces, they sometimes use it for things that we wouldn't necessarily expect. Butterflies, like people, need more than sugar to survive. One of the places that they get other minerals from in a natural environment is from mud puddles, which are rich in salts and minerals. This practice is especially prominent in men, who need the nutrients for their sperm. The nutrients are then passed on to the female, increasing the viability of the future children.

4) Butterflies can't fly if it’s cold outside


Butterflies are cold blooded, which means that their body temperature is entirely dependent on the outside temperature. This works great if the temperature outside is about 82-100 degrees Fahrenheit. But, if the external temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, butterflies can hardly move, let alone fly.
 

5) It takes them awhile to Fly


As we know, Butterflies are a later form of caterpillars. They are born as caterpillars, stock up on nutrients, and spin themselves a chrysalis, which they live in for about 2 weeks. But, once they emerge from the cocoon, it still takes butterflies a little while to be able to fly. The wings start out almost completely non-functional but, after the get stretched out, get some blood pumping through them, and wait a couple hours, they are ready to fly.

6) Butterflies don't live for very long


On average, butterflies only live for 2-4 weeks. And, because of the brevity of their lives, they focus all of their energy on eating and making babies. Some kinds of butterflies, however, can live much longer. For example, Monarch Butterflies can live up to 9 months.

7) Butterfly wings are Transparent


Even though butterfly wings are very colorful, what we see are scales that grow on top of the wings. The wings themselves, along with the rest of a butterfly’s exoskeleton, are made out of chitin, which is a transparent material.

Submitted by : This article is contributed by John Monts from Cloverlawn Butterflies. John is currently a student at UC Davis, studying Political Science and Economics.



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