Lets meet our most common butterflies:
Hello! In this guide, we will introduce you to some of our most common butterflies and help you learn a little bit about them. Are you ready? Let’s meet them…
What are butterflies?
The scientific classification of butterflies is as follows:
- Common name: Butterfly
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
What is the buttefly’s life-cycle?
The life-cycle of butterflies goes through four main stages:
The adult butterflies mate and the female lays eggs on the caterpillars food plant. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars emerge and gorge themselves on leaves, growing bigger and bigger, until they are ready to pupate and prepare for their next stage. As they grow bigger, they must molt or shed their skins (called an instar). The, once they are mature enough, they have cocoon themselves in their chrysalis, they undergo an amazing transformation – they turn from wriggly caterpillars into beautiful, winged butterflies.
How long do butterflies live?
Most butterflies only live for between 2 weeks to a few months in their butterfly form. But, their whole life-cycle, from caterpillar to adult butterfly, can take up to a year.
Do butterflies hibernate?
Yes. Some butterflies hibernate over winter in their caterpillar form, while others migrate to warmer climates.
Why do butterflies migrate?
Much like birds, butterflies migrate mainly in search of food and also because, being cold-blooded creatures, they cannot survive in cold temperatures.
What do butterflies eat?
Butterflies feed on trees and plants and each butterfly has its own favorite food source. As caterpillars they tend to eat leaves, munching merrily through them. But, as adult butterflies, they drink nectar and liquids, sucking it up through their straw-like tongue or proboscis.
What is the anatomy of a butterfly?
At a glance, butterflies are made up of a central body (usually slender), including their head, thorax and abdomen; four wings, including two fore-wings and two hind-wings; six legs; and two antennae (often clubbed).
There are six butterfly families:
- Swallowtails (Papilionidae)
- Brush-foots (Nymphalidae)
- Whites and sulphurs (Pieridae)
- Gossamer wings (Lycaenidae)
- Metalmarks (Riodinidae)
- Skippers (Hesperiidae)
Whites and sulphurs