Butterfly Life Cycle, Species, Types, Facts, Stages, Habitat, Diet, Reproduction, Lifespan, and the much more detailed information are available on this page.
- 1 What is a Butterfly?
- 2 Types of Butterfly
- 3 Life Cycle of a Butterfly
- 4 Butterfly Facts
What is a Butterfly?
Butterflies are the most beautiful creation in the world. These are the flying insects with the large scaly wings. It has the six jointed legs, three body parts, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, and exoskeleton as like the other insects have. The three body parts of the butterfly are the head, thorax, and the abdomen. The body of the butterfly covered with the tiny sensory hairs. The four wings and the six legs of the butterfly are attached to the thorax. The thorax contains the muscles that help to move legs and wings.
There are many people who relate the butterflies to angels and fairies and send signals and validations to guide us through life. Some peoples found it the spiritual sign when the butterflies follow or sit on you. Butterflies are the best to quiet your mind.
Butterfly Scientific Name
Butterflies are Insects belonging to the macolepidopteran clade Rhopalocera from the order Lepidoptera. This also includes moths. Adult butterflies have large colorful and bright wings. The scientific name of the butterfly is Rhopalocera. Some rumors are that the original name of the butterfly is ‘Flutterby’ not butterfly. But later, somehow it changed.
Types of Butterfly
There are thousands of types of butterflies exists on the planet. The butterflies have the Eight families. The family has the different requirements to belong. Here are the butterfly families and their common names:
- Hedylidae – American Moth-Butterflies
- Hesperiidae – Skippers
- Lycaenidae – Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks
- Nymphalidae – Brush-footed or Four-footed butterflies
- Papilionidae – Swallowtails
- Pieridae – Whites and Allies
- Riodinidae – Metalmarks
Numerous butterfly species can be found almost everywhere in the world. The color and the butterfly habits can be varied as per change in habitats and locations. The species adapt to the environment and survive. Here are the different species of the butterfly that commonly sees in the different regions:
- Brush-Footed Butterflies
- Red Admiral Butterflies
- Painted Lady
- Fritillaries Butterfly
- Milkweed Butterflies
- Monarch Butterfly
- Blue Butterflies
- Copper Butterflies
- Harvester Butterfly
- Hairstreaks Butterfly
- Morpho Butterfly
- Orange-Tip Butterflies
- Sulfur Butterflies
- White Butterflies
- Cabbage Whites
- Swallowtail Butterflies
- Tiger Swallowtail
- Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
Life Cycle of a Butterfly
There are four stages in the butterfly life cycle. All butterflies have ‘complete metamorphosis’. The butterfly goes through the four stages before getting the adult. The life of the butterfly starts from egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Each stage of the butterfly has the different goal. The life cycle depends on the butterfly species. In few species, it can life cycle time can be one month to the whole year.
The lifespan of the butterfly depends on the various things which included the size of the butterfly, the species of the butterfly and the time when it became an adult. The average lifespan of the butterfly is one month. Some species in the wild hardly live up to one week due to predators.
The habitat of the butterflies can vary for the different species of the butterflies. To understand the habitat of the butterfly, you have to understand the adult butterfly habitat. The different specie s of the butterflies can be found in the various habitats. The butterflies are cold-blooded and hardly found in the cold regions. But some species adapt to the environment and live in it.
Stages of a Butterfly
There are total four stages to become egg to adult butterfly.
- The First Stage: Egg
A butterfly starts life as a very small, round, oval or cylindrical egg. You also can see the development of the tiny caterpillars inside it. The egg shape depends on the species of the butterfly lay eggs.
- The Second Stage: Larva (Caterpillar)
When the egg finally hatches, the larva comes out which is better known as the caterpillars. They start eating after hatchling and start eating leaf on which they born. Caterpillars need to eat to grow quickly.
- The Third Stage: Pupa (Chrysalis)
The pupa is the one of the coolest stages in the butterfly’s life. When the caterpillar finishes their growth and reached to its full length/weight. They form themselves into a pupa which also known as a chrysalis.
- The fourth Stage: Adult Butterfly
Finally, the caterpillar finishes its forming and changing inside the pupa. If you are lucky then you will get see an adult butterfly emerge. It gets wings inside the pupa.
- There are more than 17000 species of butterfly exist in the world.
- Monarch Butterflies migrate to escape from the cold, not to procreate contrarily to popular belief.
- Monarch butterflies are the only insect that travels every winter more than 2500 miles on average.
- Butterflies don’t have the taste buds rather they have sensors on their feet.
- A group of butterflies is known as a flutter.
- Butterflies can see beyond the UV spectrum.
- The butterflies wing move in a figure 8 motion.
- The butterflies can vary greatly in the size. The biggest butterfly species ahs a 12-inch wingspan.
- Butterflies are cold-blooded insects.
- The species Skipper butterfly can fly faster than a horse in a run.
- Butterflies have the long tube-shaped tongue that helped them to soak up food instead of sipping it.
- Some butterflies species also soak blood from the open wound of animals.
The butterflies get the important nutrients from drinking. They have the long narrow tube in their mouth called a proboscis-like as the straw. They set it on the top of the flower and drink the nectar. Butterflies taste from their feet as they have six legs and each has the sensors at the end to know the flower tastes. Butterflies can eat everything that can dissolve in the water. They generally drink the flower nectar but sometimes also eat tree sap, dung, pollen, or rotting fruit. The sodium attracts the butterfly found in salt and sweet.
Why are butterflies called Butterflies?
It is not yet clear as the word in the English language for centuries. It is called ‘buterfleoge’ in old English, which today we read ‘butterfly’ in modern English. There is a myth that witch gets the shape of flies and stole butter and milk from the houses. So, the peoples start calling it ‘butterflies’.
Is a butterfly an Insect?
Yes, the butterflies are insects. Because they have three main body parts which classified as head, thorax, and abdomen. They also consist of six legs. The butterflies have so many similarities with the insects. So, it will be good to say butterflies as insects.
Where do butterflies live?
The butterflies are cold-blooded. So, it is found in the warm climate. You will found most of the butterflies in the tropics, but that does not mean that you will never see a butterfly in cold countries. But it is true that you will never see a butterfly in Antarctica or in some arid deserts.
Is a butterfly an Animal?
Yes, the butterfly belongs to the Animalia kingdom, Euarthropoda clade from the class Insecta and Lepidoptera order and of Rhopalocera suborder. The butterflies are also counted in the insects due to many physical similarities. The butterfly can be found across in the world except for some rough conditions like arid deserts and Antarctica.
Is a butterfly a bug?
Bugs, insects, arachnids etc. all animals belong to the living organisms that consume other organic things available in their surroundings to survive and grow. The butterfly comes under the Animalia Kingdom which includes Phylum Arthropoda and class insect with order Lepidoptera.
Where Do Butterflies come from?
Butterflies are the results of the diversification of butterflies through geologic time and over a large portion of the earth’s surface. The earliest known butterfly fossils are from the mid-Eocene epoch, 40 – 50 million years ago. The development of butterflies closely linked to the evolution of flowering plants. Since both adult butterflies and caterpillars feed on flowering plants. There are more chances that the butterflies evolved from the moths.
Butterfly goes through various stages of transformation before becoming an adult butterfly. The transformation of the butterfly start from the egg then larva and pupa and finally, it becomes the butterfly with wings. After getting out from the pupa, butterfly takes three to four hours to learn fly. The butterflies get the nutrients from by soaking the nectar from the flowers and even some species of the butterfly drink blood from the open wound of the other animals.
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