People love watching colorful butterflies float from flower to flower. From the tiniest blues to the largest swallowtails, how much do you really know about these insects? Here are 20 fascinating facts about butterflies.
- There are over 17,500 recorded butterfly species in the whole world. Out of this number, 750 can be found in America.
- Butterflies belong to the Lepidoptera class of insects which are characterized by their large scaly wings.
- The Cabbage White specie of butterfly is the most commonly found in the US. While they are called Cabbage White, they are characterized by their two black markings at the top of their wings.
- Monarch butterflies migrate to escape from the cold, not to procreate contrarily to popular belief.
- Monarch butterflies are the only insect in the whole world that travels over 2,500 miles on average every winter.
- However, while the Monarch is the only butterfly to cover this wide a distance, many butterfly species flee weather conditions in the winter, such as the Clouded Skipper, Red Admiral, Cloudless Sulfur and American Lady just to name a few.
- The North American Monarch is one of the species that has been the most severely impacted by recent climate changes, with their numbers seeing dips and spikes over the last few years.
- Butterflies don’t taste with taste buds, but rather sensors located under their feet.
- A group of butterflies is known as a flutter.
- Butterflies can see beyond the ultraviolet spectrum and their eyes consist of a network of 6000 lenses.
- Did you know that many adult butterflies do not excrete waste at all? As a matter of fact, many adult butterflies use everything they eat as energy.
- Contrarily to popular perception, the wings of butterflies are totally clear and the colors we see are the effect of light reflecting on the tiny scales covering them.
- The wings of butterflies move in a figure 8 motion.
- Butterflies can vary greatly in size. The biggest butterfly specie has a 12 inch wingspan, while the smallest ever recorded only covers half an inch.
- Some butterflies can be very picky about where they lay their eggs. As a matter of fact, some butterflies will only lay their eggs in one type of plant.
- The first thing a caterpillar eats after it hatches from its cocoon is usually the shell of the cocoon itself.
- In some places, you can find so many caterpillars feeding on plants that you can actually hear them munching.
- The time it takes a caterpillar to evolve into a butterfly is usually between 10 and 15 days depending on the particular specie.
- Butterflies are cold blooded creatures for the most part.
- Some butterfly species are extremely fast. As a matter of fact, the Skipper Butterfly can fly faster than a horse can run.