audreydobson382 (audreydobson382 ) wrote,

What is a Butterfly

Butterflies are beautiful, flying insects with large scaly wings. Like all insects, they've six jointed legs, 3 parts of the body, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, as well as an exoskeleton. The 3 parts of the body are the head, thorax (the chest), and abdomen (the tail end).

The butterfly's body is covered by tiny sensory hairs. The 4 wings and also the six legs from the butterfly are affixed to the thorax. The thorax contains the muscles that make the legs and wings move.

FLYING
tiger swallowtail
Swallowtails are strong fliers.
Butterflies are extremely good fliers. They have two pairs of large wings engrossed in colorful, iridescent scales in overlapping rows. Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are the only insects that have scaly wings. The wings are attached to the butterfly's thorax (mid-section). Veins offer the delicate wings and nourish all of them with blood.

Butterflies can only fly if themselves temperatures are above 86 degrees. Butterflies sun themselves to warm up in cool weather. As butterflies age, the colour of the wings fades and also the wings become ragged.

all about butterfly

The speed varies among butterfly species (the poisonous varieties are slower than non-poisonous varieties). The fastest butterflies (some skippers) can fly at about 30 mile per hour or faster. Slow flying butterflies fly about 5 mph.

LIFE-CYCLE Of the BUTTERFLY
life cycle
Butterflies and moths undergo complete metamorphosis by which they go through four different life stages.

Egg - A butterfly starts its life being an egg, often laid on the leaf.
Larva - The larva (caterpillar) hatches from an egg and eats leaves or flowers almost constantly. The caterpillar molts (loses its old skin) often because it grows. The caterpillar will increase up to thousands of times in dimensions before pupating.
Pupa - It becomes a pupa (chrysalis); this is a resting stage.
Adult - A beautiful, flying adult emerges. This adult continues the cycle.


DIET
Monarch larva Caterpillars spend the majority of their time eating leaves using strong mandibles (jaws). A caterpillar's first meal, however, is its own eggshell. Several caterpillars are meat-eaters; the larva from the carnivorous Harvester butterfly eats woolly aphids.

Butterflies and moths can only sip liquid food utilizing a tube-like proboscis, which is a long, flexible "tongue." This proboscis uncoils to sip food, and coils up again into a spiral when not in use. Most butterflies live on nectar from flowers. Some butterflies sip the liquid from rotting fruits and a rare few prefer rotting animal flesh or animal fluids (the Harvester butterfly pierces the bodies of woolly aphids with its sharp proboscis and drinks the body fluids).

all butterflies

HABITAT
Butterflies are found around the globe and in all types of environments: hot and cold, dry and moist, on the ocean level and high in high altitude. Most butterfly species, however, are located in tropical areas, especially tropical rainforests.

butterflyMany butterflies migrate in order to avoid adverse environmental conditions (like cold weather). Butterfly migration isn't well understood. Most migrate relatively short distances (like the Painted Lady, the Red Admiral, and the Common Buckeye), just a few (like some Monarchs) migrate a large number of miles.

CLASSIFICATION
Butterflies and moth belong to the order Lepidoptera. Lepidos is Greek for "scales" and ptera means "wing". These scaled wings are different from the wings of any other insects. Lepidoptera is an extremely large group; there are other types of butterflies and moths than you will find of any different kind of insects except beetles. It is estimated that there are about 150,000 different types of butterflies and moths (there may be many more). There are about 28,000 butterfly species worldwide, the remainder are moths.

BUTTERFLY FOSSILS
Butterfly fossils are rare. The first butterfly fossils are from the first Cretaceous period, about 130 million years back. Their development is closely linked to the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms) since both adult butterflies and caterpillars feast upon flowering plants, and the adults are important pollinators of numerous flowering plants. Flowering plants also evolved throughout the Cretaceous period.
Tags: all about butterflies
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