Interesting Facts
 
  • Butterflies taste their food through their feet not their proboscis (straw-like structure), which they use to drink nectar and juices.
  • Butterflies don't have mouths that allow them to bite or chew.
  • Adult butterflies do not go to the bathroom. If they drink too much they will emit a fine liquid spray from the tip of their abdomen but it is almost pure water.
  • Butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators...next to bees.
  • Butterflies don't have lungs.
  • Butterflies breathe through openings in their abdomen called "spiracles".
  • Butterflies use their antennas to smell.
  • Two of the most serious threats to butterflies is wind and man.
  • The largest threat to butterflies is loss of habitat.
  • When it rains butterflies find shelter in crevasses, in dense undergrowth and tree cavities.
  • Butterflies have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton.  This protects butterflies and keeps water inside their bodies so they don't dry out.
  • Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.
  • Since butterflies are cold blooded (they do not produce metabolic heat like humans) it is necessary for them to warm up their flight muscles.  This is done by  basking in the sun in order to absorb heat.
  • Most butterflies need temperatures of at least 60-65 degrees to fly.
  • Butterflies range in size from 1/8 inch to almost 12 inches.
  • There are over 20,000 species of butterflies. 
  • The fastest flying butterfly is the Monarch, which has been clocked with a speed as high as 17 miles per hour.
  • Butterflies generally fly only during the day, at night they sleep between blades of grass or find the underside of a leaf.
  • Some butterflies, such as the Northern Pearly Eye, will fly at night.
  • Night butterflies have ears on their wings so they can avoid bats.
  • Caterpillars feed mainly on plant parts while adult butterflies eat liquids to maintain their water balance and energy stores.
    They sip flower nectar and imbibe fluids from sap flowers on trees, rotting fruits, bird droppings, or animal dung. 
  • Butterfly life span varies greatly.  It averages from about 2 to 4 weeks after they emerge from the chrysalis. Some species life longer depending upon the region in which they inhabit.
  • Some butterflies have "eyespots" on their wings, which look like real eyes.  These are used to fool their predators.  Birds, especially, may think twice about grabbing something that looks like an owl.
  • The butterfly has long been a Christian symbol of resurrection, for it disappears into a cocoon and appears dead, but emerges later far more beautiful and powerful than before.
  • The largest butterfly is the Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly from Papua New Guinea.  The wingspan of the butterfly can reach to be almost one foot.
  • A butterfly can see the colors red, green, and yellow.
  • The original name for the butterfly was 'flutterby'.
  • Most butterflies live for only 2-3 weeks as adults.
  • A butterfly can fly with half a wing.
  • Butterflies use mud puddles like birds use bird baths.
  • Female butterflies usually are bigger and live longer than male butterflies.
  • A butterfly has compound eyes: each eye is made up of about 6,000 tiny parts called lenses, which let in light.
  • Most butterflies make no sound, but some in Florida and Texas make a loud clicking sound with their wings.
  • Butterflies do not get bigger as they age - a young butterfly is a caterpillar.
  • Butterflies weigh only as much as two rose petals, but can fly thousands of miles.
  • Butterflies can't hear, but they can feel vibrations.
  • Many butterflies are territorial and fight, chasing others out of their territory.
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Magical Butterfly Releases 2012
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