Butterfly Facts

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Butterfly Facts

By Fluttertime

What colors can butterflies see?

Butterflies, being insects, have compound eyes and see very differently than we do. Testing from major universities has demonstrated that butterflies can only see red, green or yellow. Much like a color blind person, all other objects either appear gray or are composed of varying hues of the colors that they can see.

Do butterflies get cold?

Butterflies are a cold-blooded animal like lizards and snakes and need heat to regulate body temperature. If a butterflies internal temperature falls below 86 degrees it will lose its ability to fly.

How many butterfly species are there?

Over 24,000 butterfly species have been cataloged. Moth species are even more numerous with over 140,000 distinct species that heve been recorded on every continent with the exception of Anarctica where no butterflies or moths have ever been found.

What is the oldest butterfly art ever found?

Butterfly pictograms have been found in pre-historic caves dating back over 120,000 years. The oldest butterfy paintings are from Egyptian frescoes in a shrine to the god Horus at Thebes dated at 3,500 years old.

Can all butterflies fly?

The overwhelming majority of butterflies have wings and the ability to fly. The female of one species of moth does not have wings and can only crawl along the ground.

Do butterflies and moths eat?

Butterflies eat by extending their proboscis ( a straw-like appendage ) into flowers to sip the flowers necter. Moths on the other hand have no proboscis or mouth parts and sustain themselves on fats stored within their thorax that were built up when they were catepillars.

How do butterflies taste?

Very good actually! Especially dipped in chocolate! Just kidding! Butterflies do not have a tongue with taste buds like humans do. Instead they have highly sensitive taste receptors located on the bottom of their feet. Female butterflies use their feet to taste different plants and only lays eggs on the plant that their catepillars will eat called a host plant.

Do butterflies have bones?

Butterflies do not really have bones. Like crustaceans, butterflies have a hard bone-like exoskeleton that helps them retain moisture within their bodies so they don't dry out.

How can you tell if a butterfly is male or female?

Generally male butterflies tend to have more angular wings, thinner bodies and have brighter color patterns on their wings. A few species also have more subtle differences. A Monarch butterfly male has small black spots on its back wings called scent scales that release pheremones to attract a potential mate. If observed in the wild, males tend to actively patrol a certain territory that they will defend against other males. Females are more sedentary and usually stay closer to the host plant for their particular species.

What is the most widespread butterfly in the world?

The Painted Lady is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world. It is native to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, Venezuela, Europe, Asia, Africa, Madagascar, the Azores, the Canary Islands, the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Austrailia and Sumatra. The main reason for its large population is the fact that it has over 20 host plants where femals will lay eggs and that its catepillars will eat.




All of the butterflies used in our butterfly frames are inspected by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and we never use endangered species. Each framed butterfly comes from butterfly farms located around the world mostly from ranching operations in South America, South East Asia, Africa and the Amazon River basin.

These butterfly farms provide the native peoples with an excellent source of income and prevent them from destroying the rainforest to clear cut land for cattle raising and logging.

For more information on how the farms are helping to revitalize rainforest habitat, please click on the
Butterfly Farms menu link.

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