Butterflies bring feelings of joy and happiness to many that see them, but there’s much more to these wonderful insects than meets the eye. Below, we list 24 fun and interesting facts about butterflies which you can use to better acquaint yourself with these amazing creatures.
1. Butterflies are a part of the Lepidoptera class of insects, which are characterized by their large and scaly wings.
2. There are over 17,500 butterfly species currently recorded. 750 of these species can be found in the United States.
3. Contrary to popular belief, monarch butterflies migrate to get away from the cold and not to mate.
4. The Cabbage White butterfly is the most common butterfly in the United States. They’re called Cabbage White because they’re characterized by the two black markings on top of their wings.
5. Apart from the monarch butterfly, many other butterfly species flee cold weather conditions. Some of these are the Clouded Skipper, Red Admiral, Cloudless Sulfur and American Lady.
6. Butterflies don’t have taste buds, but they do have sensors at the bottom of their feet that act a lot like taste buds.
7. The North American Monarch is one of the species of butterfly that has been the most affected by climate change. Their numbers dip and spike rapidly over the past few years.
8. A group of butterflies is called a “flutter.”
9. Butterflies have eyes that have a network of 6,000 lenses. They can see far beyond the ultraviolet spectrum.
10. Most butterflies don’t excrete any waste as they use everything they eat as energy.
11. The wings of a butterfly move in a figure 8 motion.
12. The wings of a butterfly are actually clear, the colors that we see are an effect of the light reflecting on the tiny scales that cover them.
13. Butterfly species vary widely in size. The biggest butterfly has a 12 inch wingspan, while the smallest butterfly has only a half an inch wingspan.
14. Butterflies are extremely picky about where they lay their eggs. In fact, some butterflies will only lay their eggs in one specific type of plant.
15. The very first thing that a caterpillar eats after it hatches from the cocoon is the shell of the cocoon itself.
16. In some places, you’ll find such a vast number of caterpillars eating plants that you’ll hear them munching.
17. It takes 10 to 15 days for a caterpillar to evolve into a butterfly, but it depends on the species.
18. The Skipper butterfly can fly faster than a horse can run.
19. Butterflies have very long tongues, shaped like tubes, which gives them the ability to soak up food instead of sipping it.
20. Male butterflies engage in “puddling,” where they get their nourishment by drinking water from mud puddles.
21. A group of male butterflies puddling together is called a “puddle club.”
22. Somewhat like vampire bats, some species of butterfly drink blood from open wounds they find on animals.
23. Most butterfly species are polymorphic and have the ability to blend in with their environment.
24. Since butterflies are cold blooded, they can’t regulate their body temperature, making them immobile in cold weather. This is why they can’t fly when the temperature falls under 55 degrees Fahrenheit.