Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to share with you some beautiful facts about butterflies to help remind ourselves of springtime!
1. There are 24,000 different species of butterflies all over the world, except for in Antarctica. Close to 1,000 of them can be found in the United States.
2. Many butterflies can see colors that are outside the range of visible light for humans. These species of butterflies have wings that don’t look very colorful to us but are actually patterned with these ultraviolet colors.
3. The fastest speed at which a butterfly can fly is 12 miles per hour.
4. Some species of butterflies are only able to eat one type of plant as a caterpillar. If they do not hatch on the leaves of that one type of plant, they won’t be able to live long enough to turn into a butterfly. These plants are called host plants.
5. Butterflies cannot self-regulate their body temperature and so some species migrate south during the winter. Though many people believe that butterflies migrate to breed, they are actually just escaping the cold weather. Butterflies are not capable of flight if their body temperature drops down below 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. The collective word for a group of butterflies is called a flutter.
7. Monarch butterflies feed on milkweed plants, which have a very bitter taste and have a low level of toxicity. This makes them undesirable to predators. The Viceroy butterfly has coloration which mimics the Monarch butterfly and therefore predators leave the Viceroy alone, too.
8. The smallest butterfly is the Western pygmy blue, which has a wingspan of just three-quarters of an inch wide. Conversely, the largest butterfly is the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing, with a wingspan of about a foot wide.
9. Most adult butterflies are able to use 100% of the food they consume and turn it all into energy, meaning that they don’t have to excrete waste at all.
10. In locations that have a dense caterpillar population, the sound of the caterpillars eating can actually be heard.
11. Some butterflies engage in an activity called “puddling”. This describes when they drink water from mud puddles in order to get minerals and nutrients. When a group of butterflies is puddling together, they are called a “puddle club”.
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