Butterflies Are the True Fairies of the Wild with an Amazing Life Cycle

Out of the more than 10 million species of insects that experts believe to be existing on our planet, only a million of them have so far been identified, according to the Royal Entomological Society.

And yet, even if we’re only a bit ahead in insect research, the world is already deeply grateful for its discovery of butterflies! Among the most beauteous of winged creatures, butterflies have long fascinated people, from their life cycle to their vast and amazing variety. Presently, there are 17,500 butterfly species found in different parts of the globe.

Photo: YouTube/The Dodo

These butterfly facts from ThoughtCo will surely fascinate you:

  1. Butterfly wings are made of scales, but you can see through its wings when the scales fall off once a butterfly gets old. That’s because underneath the scales are very thin layers of protein, the same stuff that an insect’s exoskeleton is made of.
  2. Butterflies’ sense of taste is on their feet. Located on the spines of their back legs are chemoreceptors, which help these insects find food and the right plants for egg-laying. Butterflies also step on their food to identify plant sources through dissolved sugars.
  3. Photo: YouTube/The Dodo
  4. Butterflies cannot eat solid food, but they survive by drinking up nectar and other liquids through their proboscis.
  5. A butterfly’s proboscis must be assembled hastily upon coming out of the pupa. Upon its emergence, a butterfly’s mouth is not yet complete. It has two parts that must be put together to form the proboscis. Only then can it drink and survive.
  6. Just like other living creatures, butterflies need salt and other minerals, and they get these by drinking from mud puddles.
  8. Being cold-blooded animals, butterflies can only fly when air temperatures range between 82 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s cold, these insects warm themselves by basking in the sun or shivering.
  9. A newly-emerged butterfly cannot quickly fly away, since its body and wings are still wet from its chrysalis. It takes hours for it to dry completely and for its wings to harden for flight.
  10. Some butterflies live only for a few days or months, focusing their lives on eating and reproduction. However, migratory butterflies like the Monarch can live for several months.
  11. Photo: YouTube/The Dodo
  12. Butterflies can see up to 12 feet, and they can discern more colors than humans. They can see ultraviolet rays, and it is believed that their wings have UV marking for easier identification and location of mates.
  13. To ward off predators, butterflies also use camouflage and toxins like other insects. Some butterflies can blend into their environment, while others have bright colors that warn predators of their toxins.

Come and watch this video of how a voracious baby insect becomes a sleeping beauty, then turns into a fairy of the wild!

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