Everyone loves to seek the flapping of the butterfly wings together, the true symbol of love, care, and faith. Butterfly, the word is enough to reflect how beautiful this creature is. Are they not attractive? Of course, you get addicted to this adorable creature when you spare enough time with it. 

Who could not imagine the roaming and dancing of the white butterflies here and there representing their colorful wings and in the blossoming flowers of the spring season? Let us take you to the beautiful butterfly world where you can take the ideas on their fascinating traits and the facts. 

Butterfly | Image Credit – Pixabay
  1. Butterflies eat poop and urine. Astoundingly, they eat the reptiles’ tears intended to get the sodium from the tears. It gets attracted to the saliva-soaked tissue because it resembles bird poop. Thus they stick around to get sodium and other nutrients.
  1. Some butterfly species feed upon targeting only one plant species or small plant group. For instance: let us consider the Karner blue caterpillar feeds on only one plant, viz. Wild blue lupine. Additionally, the larvae of monarch butterfly species consume only the members of plants known as milkweeds. 
  1. The dependency on the specific plant species varies according to the butterfly species. The Hessel’s hairstreak consumes Atlantic white cedar, abundant in the threatened wetland.
  1. The butterfly family members are inferred as Lycaenids, or gossamer wings, depending on the ants to care for their young ones. Most of the caterpillars apply some special chemicals to attract ants. The ants carry the babies on their back and take them to their nest with rearing and caring like their own babies. 
  1. Aimed to avoid matching the caterpillars; signals most of the ant species which take care of the butterflies’ babies alter their communication chemicals gradually with the passing of the time—the ants later their home locks. 
  1. The butterfly species Adeloptypa annulifera use the ant babysitters. When this species grows with time, it steals food from ants. 
  1. The way we visualize the globe differs from the butterflies. They could not seek the world ideally as their eyes are not adapted to seek details. Usually, the major butterfly species create ultraviolet pigments in their wings. Because of this reason, most of the butterfly’s pattern is invisible to our human eyes. Those ultraviolet pigments are utilized to detect a suitable mate for them. 
  1. Next to their butts, the butterflies hold the false heads, targeted at the spiders and many more hunters. It aimed to trick their predators into adapting themselves. When the predators attack, the butterflies point the head upwards and wiggle out the antennae, thinking its false head is the real head, the predators get tricked. Most troublingly, there is no effect when the butterfly bites the butterflies. 
  1. The butterflies are not severed upon biting in the wings; instead, the sense organs. Despite biting the butterfly wings by the predator, the butterfly could undoubtedly escape with its real head, and on the next day, it could fly without the wings.
Butterfly using its feet
Butterfly using its feet | Image Credit – Pixabay
  1. It may shock someone that for the taste, butterflies use their feet. The taste receptors assist them in selecting the right plants for them and fulfill the basic nutrient requirements. You may wonder why the butterfly lands despite flying. The crucial reason is that it lands for food when hungry. 
  1. Adult butterflies have a brief life span. On average, they thrive for roughly three to four weeks. But the life spans may range between two and eight months. Unfortunately, one butterfly species survives for around 24 hours. The migratory butterfly such as the North American Monarch thrives for approximately eight months. 
  1. The food source of the butterfly is liquid. Utilizing its proboscis, it drinks nectar or some other liquid substances.
  1. It could be astounding that the butterflies bear four wings. These wings are located in the head and the rear. The wings found in the rear are the hindwings and the head as the forewings. Because of the strong muscles in the thorax, they can quickly move up and down the four wings in an eight shape pattern during their flight. 
  1. Butterflies are cold-blooded naturally. Some butterfly species require an ideal body temperature having roughly 85 degrees for activating their flight muscles. They wander to thrive in the sunshine upon the weather pattern alteration. It could be surprising to insist that the North American Monarch butterfly could travel 2500 miles on average. 
  1. Besides sugar, a butterfly requires minerals too. They sip from the mud puddles enriched in salts and minerals. Such sipping behavior is inferred by the term “Puddling,” which often could be visualized in the male butterfly. The obtained minerals are used for sperm production and are transferred to the female during the mating process. Undoubtedly, it improves the female’s eggs viability.
  1. The butterfly can’t fly conveniently once the air temperature reaches below 82 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, they cannot fly during massive colds and need to warm up in the sunshine. There are two options left for them: shivering or basking in the sun.
  1. The butterfly eyesight is considered well within a distance of roughly 10 to 12 feet. Unfortunately, it does not possess perfect sight beyond this distance. Shockingly, they seek ultraviolet colors that the humans could not visualize. 
  1. As a result, because of the ultraviolet markings on their wings, they could identify one another and undoubtedly could point to their potential mates. Flowers significantly contribute to displaying ultraviolet colors or markings to the visitors like butterflies.
  1. You may wonder whether the butterfly farts or not. Of course, it farts. Since it possesses the sorts and a rectum, gasses emerge because of the digestion rate, and as a result, they fart. Most importantly, Monarch butterflies are inferred by “Kings of Farts.” 
  1. The moth butterfly inhabits Asia and Australia. Its caterpillar resides in the ant nests and feeds upon the larvae. Once the caterpillar reaches the butterfly stage, it seems suddenly soft and vulnerable. 
The butterfly book
The butterfly book | Image Credit – Flickr
  1. The North American butterfly lays its eggs on the wolly aphids colonies, and the caterpillars developed from the eggs grow and consume the aphids. But sometimes, they could protect themselves from their victim’s corpses. 
  1. Butterfly caterpillars are very selective and particular about what food to consume. Because of this significant reason, the female butterfly lays eggs on the particular plants. Ideally, the mother butterflies know what food could serve her hungry caterpillars, hatched from her eggs being laid. 
  1. For the mating, the male butterfly is attracted by the female’s colorfulness and the pattern of the wings. Upon finding a suitable partner, it releases a particular chemical known as pheromones once both are closer. Interestingly, intending to attract the female, it does a special “courtship dance,” thereby involving the flight pattern. After mating, the male butterfly dies more often. 
  1. The butterfly species known as Zebra Longwings feeds pollen which roams around the proboscis to check whether the pollen sticks to the flower. Undoubtedly, the saliva of butterflies permits them to digest the pollen. It could be a crucial reason why the lifespan of Zebra Longwings is longer compared to other species of butterflies. 
The longest-lived butterfly
The longest-lived butterfly | Image Credit – Flickr
  1. The longest-lived butterfly, commonly inferred as the brimstone butterfly, requires approximately two months to develop a caterpillar from an egg to a pupa and adult. To sum up, the adult usually spends seven months because it undergoes hibernation. 
  1. Since its wings resemble the leaves, it could perfectly cling to a tree branch for the long term during hibernation. The clinging to a tree branch could assist them in warding off the predators since the predators could not seek them due to the camouflage adapting method. 
  1. Some of the butterflies do possess the sounds and make noises. Let us consider one example of a cracker butterfly. The male butterfly makes a cracking sound while defending its territory from its enemies or attracting a mate. Since the male holds a rounded shape, and the dark wings have metallic blue, it makes a pleasant sound by clapping the wings together. Moreover, the females crack the noise. 
  1. One butterfly species, 88 butterflies, bears 88 on both sides of its hindwings. The forewings are brown with a white band embedded while orange with brown and the white bands in the hindwings. It is recorded that the 88 butterfly holds a wingspan of 1.5 to 1.75 inches and inhabits South America and the rainforests of Central America. 
  1. Skipper butterflies could fly as fast as 37 miles per hour. But noteworthy to mention, that some butterflies are slow flyers that reach their flying speed of fewer than 12 miles an hour. The speed varies according to the butterfly species. 
  1. Despite most butterflies drinking nectar such as tears, urine, sweat, or blood, they do not defecate. Aiming to ingest the energy, it utilizes its all digestion process. Most of the liquid it drinks is almost water. 
  1. Outside of the butterfly bodies, it holds the skeletons named an exoskeleton. The exoskeleton protects the insects. Additionally, the most concerning fact about the butterfly are that they get rid of wetting their bodies, thereby keeping the water inside their bodies. 
caterpillars use their food plants to absorb the poisons and use the poisons, and defend themselves from their predators
caterpillars use their food plants to absorb the poisons and use the poisons and defend themselves from their predators | Image Credit – Flickr
  1. Some of the caterpillars use their food plants to absorb the poisons and use the poisons, defend themselves from their predators. For instance: Monarch butterflies collect and deposit the milkweed toxins to make themselves less tasty for predators such as birds and spiders. To sum up, Queen Alexandra’s birdwings use the same technique on the specific toxic vine.
  1. Once the swallowtail butterfly caterpillar feels threatened, it sticks out a stinky organ known as osmeterium possessing bright color. It permits its body to be less tasty for other predators like insects. Additionally, the Pokemon Caterpillar too hails the permanently visible osmeterium, which has an odor, and through the powerful odor, they defend themselves from their predators. 
  1. A fascinating trait that the butterfly holds is from the hatching to pupation stage; a butterfly caterpillar does increase its body size around 30 000 times or over. 
  1. Butterflies don’t sleep. It is very active during the day. They get to rest in a cool or cloudy environment. Opening their eyes, they rest during the day, hiding by hanging upside down from leaves in threes and other shrub species. They drowse at night in broad leaves, trees, bark pieces, shrubs, rocks, crannies, etc. 
  1. There are four stages of butterflies in their life cycle: the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The research laments that the caterpillar stage of the butterfly is regarded as the most dangerous stage within their entire life cycle because mortality rates seem very high. 
  1. They could be the victims of diseases, parasites, numerous weather challenges, and predators during this stage. Unfortunately, despite laying hundreds of eggs by the mother butterfly, only a few of them thrive to reach the adult stage.
  1. The butterfly comprises both heart and the brain. It looks shocking to reveal that it hails a long chambered heart, thereby running the length of its body on the upper part. Moreover, hemolymph (lacing the blood-red color) is pumped out by it. The central nervous system is situated in the thorax; instead, it is the head. 
  1. It looks pretty well sense that the butterfly could remember their memories from their days as caterpillars. The mushroom bodies in the butterfly’s brain, which link learning and taste, could be no doubt retained during its metamorphosis phenomenon. It permits them to remember inedible foods and dangerous acts while having the caterpillar stage. Such ability to quickly remember is embedded in “fear conditioning.” You could salute such a trait of the butterfly.
Asterocampa leilia
Asterocampa leilia | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons
  1. Some butterfly species, such as the empress Leila (Asterocampa leilia), seek around 344 degrees in the horizontal plane surface. Concerning the vertical surface, it comprises almost 360 degrees. Notably, the human body consists of only 190 degrees visually on average. Undoubtedly, such a fantastic vision trait of this butterfly species assists them in adapting and protecting them from predators from a far distance, which is impressive in actuality.  
  1. The prioritized monarch butterfly research depicted that caterpillars of monarch butterflies push each other very aggressively out of their way when there is a scare in the food resources. There is a positive correlation between the food scare and the aggressive behavior of the monarch caterpillar. 
  1. Some butterfly species, such as Queen Alexandra’s birdwing, possess a foot-long wingspan. The western pygmy blue butterfly species holds wind and roughly three-quarters of an inch at the maximum. The three-quarters of an inch seems ridiculous when the wings are spread to a full extent.
  1. You can often see that the butterfly holds the wings and bright colors that attract everyone. But there are some butterfly species whose color seems transparent. For instance, glass winged butterflies have their wings colored, but they resemble colorless wings because of the passing light. 
  1. Some butterfly larvae, primarily in the tropical regions, resemble likely bird droppings, preventing predators from attacking. Additionally, some may even present like the dead leaves on a twig. 
  1. Adult butterflies are too selective in their food for consumption. Contrary to caterpillars, they roam a lot for suitable food and seek it, thereby covering a broader territory. This unique trait of the adult butterfly relies and feeds on the liquids found in the rotting fruit, animal dung, and much more in most cases. 
  1. Because of the presence of compound eyes (360-degree view), there is no doubt that butterflies could seek their wings, which possess a variety of patterns and are colorful. 
  1. Entomologists stressed the statement that the butterfly species do not feel pain ever. Because of the absence of pain receptors in their nervous system, they could know when they feel pain. Surprisingly, the butterfly could survive for roughly 18 hours without an abdomen, thereby eating, flying, and acting normally. 
  1. The entomologists during their study detected that the male adult butterfly would mate with the female butterfly without abdomens without realizing that the females missed abdomens.

Wrapping Up

All are attracted by the butterflies’ colorful wings and the patterns they possess in their wings. Did you grab some of the information targeting the butterfly, its life cycle, fascinating traits, and much more from this article? You may share your butterfly information with us. Let’s always love this majestic creature to the fullest and protect it for us and our future generations. If you want to know about another majestic creature that lives in the water, go to the embedded link.

(Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Kalpana Ghimire holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from Nepal. She possesses numerous research experiences working in water pollution, community forestry, environment conservation status, and wildlife ecology. She was an internee in the Department of Environment (EIA monitoring and auditing section) under the Government of Nepal. Kalpana Ghimire is an avid traveler, an enthusiastic wildlife researcher, and has a huge passion for working in the environment sector. She loves far traveling to the natural areas, conducting field wildlife research and reading the novels.