Fun Facts about Butterflies

Butterflies are some of the most interesting insects around. Here are some fun facts that I have learned over the years about them:

  • Butterflies have very cool eyes.They can see in a mosaic type of view around them. They can see red, green, and yellow. They are also very good at sensing light and dark, which is helpful when trying to avoid prey. They can sense a shadow and get out of the way! They also see each other in a UV pattern that is invisible to humans. It helps them choose a mate.
  • Female butterflies are capable of recognizing plants by their leafshape and color. This helps them when they are laying eggs so that they can provide a good location for their babies to find food. This will give their caterpillars a larger chance for survival.
  • Because they are insects, butterflies have three pairs of legs. You often have to look closely near the front of their bodies to see the first pair of legs. Some species have developed these legs so that they are very tiny and useless as legs, but they are still there.
  • Butterflies can feel vibrations in their legs. This acts as an early warning system if animals or birds are approaching. Most will fly away, but some have markings on their wings that look like eyes that they will display if they feel threatened. These markings trick predators into thinking that the butterfly is something else and is much larger.
  • Many types of butterflies can taste with their feet. This is another way they can make sure they lay their eggs on the right plant.
  • Butterflies use their antennae for a few reasons. They can detect scent. The males can use them to find the pheromones in potential mates. They can also use their antennae to find nectar. Butterflies also put their antennae onto soil or leaves. This helps them detect the minerals in the ground. The males need sodium, which they will then pass on to the females. They may be able to use antennae to communicate with other butterflies.
  • The tongue of the butterfly is called a proboscis. It looks like a long, curled-up straw that they can unravel and ravel up again. It is actually made up of two channels that link together to form a tube. Drinking from flowers and fruits can be sticky, so the butterfly can actually separate the sections and clean them!
  • Most butterflies will drink nectar from flowers or fruit. However, there are some butterflies in more tropical climates that will actually drink from carrion—the bodies of dead insects or animals.
  • Sometimes you can spot butterflies drinking at the edges of rain puddles. They get minerals this way. They can also drink from urine puddles or even dung.

Every fact that I have learned about butterflies has made them even more fascinating to me and I will continue to find out cool things about them to share on this blog! If you know any other facts about butterflies that you would like to share, let me know!