Many people enjoy watching a butterfly that flutters lightly and gracefully in the air, displaying its beautiful wings while giving the beholder a sense of enchantment. How does a humble insect like a butterfly attract and draw attention? Well, not everyone would understand and know about it. It’s innate and only you can tell yourself why. For sure, you know much information about butterflies but are you aware of these cool and interesting facts about these lovely creatures?
Thousands of Butterfly Species
According to entomologists, there are more than 20,000 species of butterfly. Out of this number, around 575 species fly in most states of the US. Taking the time to memorize each of them may seem difficult. Why not just focus on the ones that frequently fly around your garden in the summer and springtime?
Wings are Transparent
A butterfly’s wings are colorful and teeming with unique patterns and designs too. However, these lovely wings are actually transparent. Anatomically speaking, a butterfly’s wings are covered with thousands of scales that reflect various colors, and those wings themselves are composed of a protein known as chitin. This type of protein which is also transparent forms the insect’s exoskeleton.
They are Short-lived
Although this may seem so disheartening to know, butterflies are created to live a life that’s short-lived. According to insect experts, butterflies often have a life span of three to four weeks. The only consolation every butterfly lover has is to think that their favorite insect’s life cycle actually lasted anywhere from 2 to 8 months. But there is one kind or species that only lasts for just about a day! On the other hand, the North American Monarch species can live up to nearly 8 months!
Butterflies Use their Feet to Taste
The life of a butterfly is often focused on eating and mating. When it lands on something even for a short span of time, it means that it is using its taste receptors to detect food or a partner and this often requires landing. These taste receptors are found on a butterfly’s feet and they help the insect in locating plants and proper nutrients in order to survive. So, when a butterfly lands on you, this only means that it must be hungry.
Some Butterflies are Migratory
There are some butterflies that migrate from cold places to warmer regions. Cold temperatures can immobilize a butterfly, gradually killing them in the process. However, there are species that recognize the dropping of temperatures as a signal to fly away and search for warmer temperatures and of course, sunshine. Again, the North American Monarch species can travel up to 2,500 miles or more!
Cabbage White Butterfly
No, it’s not what you think. Cabbage White is actually the name of America’s most common butterfly species. This type of butterfly often comes with white markings and hints of green and yellow like a cabbage. It may not be a colorful butterfly but it’s simply the most common type flying in most gardens and yards in the United States. While a male Cabbage White has 1 black spot on each of its wings, the female has 2.
Butterflies Have Four Wings, Not Two
A butterfly is often described and illustrated as an insect with two wings. This is not true. A butterfly literally has four wings. These four separate wings are divided into two pairs: the 2 forewings which are closest to the head, and the 2 hindwings which are found in the insect’s rear part. The thorax of a butterfly has strong muscles that allow all of its four wings to flutter and move in unison and synchronously during its flight.