Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
How many butterflies are there?
about 20,000 butterfly species in the world. We have over 650 species in the
Are butterflies insects? Yes, butterflies are insects.
Insects have three body parts; a head, thorax and abdomen. They
have six legs and four wings attached to their thorax.
There are two
wings on each side of their body, a fore-wing and a hind-wing, a total
of four wings.
(Spiders have two body parts and eight legs.)
How long do butterflies live? Most butterflies live only a few
days to a few weeks.
The Zebra Longwing is a happy exception to this butterfly fact. It eats pollen in addition to flower nectar. This enables it to live about six months.
The Monarch Butterfly is another exception; they live as long as eight to ten months.
Fun Facts About Butterflies
Butterflies have scales on their wings. No - not like fish scales. The scales are fine as dust and they protect their wings.
One of the most unknown facts about butterflies is their wings are transparent.
The butterfly's color is on their scales. Their color comes from the food their caterpillars ate.
handle butterflies gently
Common Blue Butterflies
Don't try to catch butterflies with your hands. It is best to let a butterfly land on you.
If you do handle butterflies, do it very gently, so you don't rub off
One of the facts about butterflies is if they lose too many scales, they won't be able to fly.
Butterflies are typically bolder and brighter on the top side of their wings.
Notice the color difference from the top and bottom sides of these Common Blue Butterflies.
Do Butterflies Migrate?
One of the interesting facts about butterflies is many migrate between the United States and Mexico.
Painted Ladies travel great distances every year from Canada to Mexico.
Queen Butterflies and Monarchs migrate in huge numbers.
Sulphurs, Buckeyes, Mourning Cloaks, Red Admirals, Question Marks, Gulf Fritillaries and some Skippers migrate in the spring or fall.
Many Hummingbirds Migrate, also.