Butterflies are gorgeous creatures – fluttering, fancily colored, and always fun to watch! However, these mini-beasts are perhaps a little more impressive than you imagine! Stick with us, as we have rounded up a list of fun facts about butterflies to wow you.
1. Yes, moths and butterflies are related.
Moths and butterflies are indeed part of the same insect family. They belong to the Lepidoptera family – and their main differences are the fact that butterflies are active during the daylight hours, while moths are active at night.
2. There are many, many butterflies out there.
Butterfly species number more than 17,500 – a mind-boggling number. No wonder so many people enjoy spotting as many as possible!
3. Gotta travel to see them all!
In the US, you’re only likely to see around 750 of these butterfly species indigenous to the nation. Therefore, to complete your spotting guide, you’re going to need to travel!
4. The fact about butterfly feet? It’s not a myth.
It’s true – butterflies taste with their feet. That’s because they have their own equivalent of tastebuds underneath. Weird but true!
5. What’s the smallest butterfly on the planet?
The Western Blue Pigmy holds the (small) honor of being the tiniest butterfly species on the planet. That’s because it’s only 2cm from wingtip to tip – blink, and you’ll miss it!
6. A flutter or two!
Butterfly groups have apt names – they’re known as flutters, believe it or not!
7. Monarch butterflies go the extra (several) miles.
Monarch butterfly migration patterns are seriously amazing. They remain the only insect that’s willing to go the distance – as far as 2,500 miles or more – to get to where they want to be once winter rolls around!
8. How do butterflies grow and develop?
Butterflies grow in four distinct stages. They’ll emerge as a caterpillar from an egg, before cocooning as a pupa and then emerging as a butterfly.
9. They are worth studying!
Butterfly wings are very odd if you look at them up close – they are actually made up of many different scales!
10. Butterflies need to be warm to survive.
Butterflies are dependent on heat and light. They’re solar-powered – meaning if you ever see them pause to take a break in the sun, it’s because they are effectively charging their batteries! If their bodies reach lower than 86 F in temperature, they can’t fly.
11. It’s far too chilly for them!
You’ll never see a butterfly in Antarctica – but you’ll find them everywhere else on Earth.
12. They’ve lived among us for a long time.
Butterflies have been around for thousands and thousands of years. In fact, we can see butterfly drawings on ancient Egyptian frescoes – making them at least 3,000 years old.
13. Jeepers, creepers – where’d you get those peepers?
Butterflies have incredible eyesight, in the sense that they can see UV light and much, much more. If you thought you had impressive eyesight – the butterfly has over 6,000 separate lenses! No sneaking up on these creatures, then!
14. Butterfly egg nests really do vary.
Butterflies don’t always lay their eggs in the same places. Many are very choosy and only like laying in specific plant species.
15. Butterfly ears? They do exist!
Weirdly, we all thought butterflies were completely deaf until 2012! It took us that long to find the butterfly’s ears – pretty well hidden, then!
FAQs about Butterflies
What does a butterfly normally symbolize?
The butterfly can symbolize many different things! However, they are often regarded as symbols of rebirth.
What do butterflies have to do with love?
Butterflies are commonly associated with feeling nervous - for example, you may have butterflies in your stomach if you feel nervous around seeing someone you have a crush on! This is sometimes known as just feeling butterflies!
Can butterflies see their own wings?
Yes! Butterflies are able to spy their own wings and see how wonderfully colorful they are - thanks to their incredible 270-degree vision and thousands of eye lenses!
Do you know any fun facts about butterflies? Share them in the comments below!