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Beautiful Butterflies: Fascinating Facts, and Great Pics of a Butterfly

Updated on April 4, 2017
angela_michelle profile image

Angela, an animal lover, has a passion for learning and understanding God's creatures. As a born teacher she enjoys sharing her knowledge.

Fun Facts About Butterflies

There are nearly 24,000 different species of butterflies. Most of these species are found in Central and South America, as well as the Amazon basin, due to the butterflies ability to best survive in warm moist climates. Although the largest and most stunning of these delicate creatures call Asia home.

This is probably the most beautiful butterfly I have ever seen. It is hard to capture a shot with them with their wings opne, but when you do it's priceless. They are beautiful to watch fly around the gardens.
This is probably the most beautiful butterfly I have ever seen. It is hard to capture a shot with them with their wings opne, but when you do it's priceless. They are beautiful to watch fly around the gardens. | Source
This is the blue morpho with it's wings closed, notice how it blends much better with it's surroundings. It's very difficult to get a picture of a blue morpho with it's wings open since it rarely sits with them open.
This is the blue morpho with it's wings closed, notice how it blends much better with it's surroundings. It's very difficult to get a picture of a blue morpho with it's wings open since it rarely sits with them open. | Source
This is a Blue Clipper.  Most butterflies enjoy sweet smells. This butterfly landed on a kitchen sponge soaked in sugar water.
This is a Blue Clipper. Most butterflies enjoy sweet smells. This butterfly landed on a kitchen sponge soaked in sugar water. | Source
Butterflies are the second largest pollinaters next to bees!
Butterflies are the second largest pollinaters next to bees! | Source
This is a Scarlet Mormon.  Butterflies don't have lungs.
This is a Scarlet Mormon. Butterflies don't have lungs. | Source
This is a Hecale Longwing. The biggest threat to butterflies is loss of habitat.
This is a Hecale Longwing. The biggest threat to butterflies is loss of habitat. | Source
Butteflies are often attracted to beautiful colors. I had found that they often landed on flowers of their same color, I was wondering if this was coincidental or if there is some scientific reason behind it.
Butteflies are often attracted to beautiful colors. I had found that they often landed on flowers of their same color, I was wondering if this was coincidental or if there is some scientific reason behind it. | Source
This is an Emerald Swallowtail.  Although butterflies taste with their feet, they smell with their antennae.
This is an Emerald Swallowtail. Although butterflies taste with their feet, they smell with their antennae. | Source

Life Expectancy of a Butterfly

A butterfly has a very short life expectancy. Some that live in the tropics can live up to a year, whereas, there are some that only live a few months, weeks, and even hours. Butterflies are generally fragile creatures; therefore if an area has an abundance of butterflies you can assume that the ecosystem is healthy and well cared for.

If butterflies begin to die or disappear, then there might be a change in the environment that is causing an unhealthy ecosystem. This is dangerous since they are a valuable source of food for many birds and assist in the pollination of flowers as well. Butterflies are drawn to beautiful colors of flowers, which is a main source of food for most butterflies. By flying from flower to flower, they assist in fertilization due to pollen sticking to one of their six legs and landing on the next flower.

How Do Butterflies Taste?

Probably the most surprising fact about butterflies and their diet is that butterflies do not "eat" anything once they have left the caterpillar stage. Although they do drink nectar and fluids from fruits. While they are still in the caterpillar phase they will eat plants, leaves, and fruit. Part of why, butterflies do not "eat" anything is because they have a unique straw like structure in their mouth, so there is no chewing, just swallowing. This straw like structure does not do the tasting it is their feet that allows them to taste. Most butterflies love the taste of sweet nectar, although there are some that love the taste of rotting food and animal dung. Yes, you can say it. GROSS!

Even the butterflies who do like rotting meat and animal dung are an important part of our ecosystem. That is why it is important that we be careful using pesticides, herbicides, or any other chemicals that would be harmful to the natural environment.

Save the Butterflies

Some butterflies are becoming so rare that they are almost extinct due to their diminishing habitat. Fortunately, there are some conservation places like Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that supports the healthy living of butterflies in a nice warm environment. From March to April, they hold a butterfly show that allows butterflies who have a short life expectancy to live in their gardens. It is a beautiful show, and just captures the attention of people of all ages. All these pictures were taken there throughout the years.

Habitat for Butterflies

I have to admit I cannot stay long with the butterflies, because butterflies need to live in hot climates. The rooms are incredibly hot to assist in their survival. If their body temperature falls below 86 degrees, they become unable to fly. This is why butterflies are most plentiful in the tropics and you usually do not see them fly at night, because that is when they rest. Some are even migratory, and will fly to warmer lands during the winter, then come back in the spring when it is warmer.

Butterfly Chrysalis

As everyone knows, butterflies begin as caterpillars which makes chrysalises, which transforms a caterpillar into a butterfly. In places that assist in the preservation of rare butterflies like Frederick Meijer Gardens, they hire professional caretakers that will bring the chrysalises to the gardens just before they are about to break free. They don't usually bring them at the caterpillar phase.

There are such a wide variety of shapes and sizes for chrysalises. Each blend in with their natural habitat so well that prey are rarely able to spot them in the wild. Chrysalises are often mistaken as cocoons. Cocoons are covered in silk with a chrysalis inside. They are created by silk moths.

Anatomy of a Butterfly

The interesting thing about caterpillars is they have absolutely no bones, but do have over a thousand muscles in their body. A caterpillar will grow 27000 times it's size from the egg phase to right before they build their cocoon. An adult butterfly does not grow in size as it gets older. The size they come out of the cocoon is the size they will live the rest of their lives. Therefore, all the growing of their wings occurs in the chrysalis.

The wings of a butterfly are actually completely see-through. Little scale-like structures add color and beauty to the wing. There is at least one butterfly whose wings do not have these scale-like structures and is completely clear, with the exception of the tops of the wing. It is fascinating to look at. Although I have seen this butterfly, I have not been able to capture it on film. The designs on each of the butterflies are intended for camouflage purposes.

Importance of a Butterfly

The survival of a butterfly is a sign that our world around us is healthy. To maintain that healthy atmosphere we need to take care of our world. Each of these butterflies that I took a picture of were found in one of the preservation systems like that of Frederick Meijer Garden. I encourage you to go to one, it is a rare treat to see so many butterflies in one area.

More Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is a Small Postman. There are other ones that look very different from this one. It has larger wings with similar markings to a monarch. This is a Hecale Longwing. There are many type of longwing butterflies. They are named, as you would expect for the legnth of their wing in comparison to it's narrow shape. Apparently, predators do not like the taste of these butterflies. I am not 100% positive, but I believe this is a Tropical Swallowtail. This is possibly a tropical swallowtail. Swallowtails are named for what appear to be a tail that hellps in gliding. Birds sometimes mistake the tail for the head. This is beneficial, because they are only eating a part of the wing. This is a Sara Longwing, you can see it landed on my daughter's finger below. I am not sure, but I think this is a Postman. They vary in looks a lot, but I can tell for sure that it is a longwing butterfly. They are known for having bright colors to ward off potential predators of their bad taste. I thought this was really cool, that my daughter got a Sara Longwing to land on her finger.
This is a Small Postman. There are other ones that look very different from this one. It has larger wings with similar markings to a monarch.
This is a Small Postman. There are other ones that look very different from this one. It has larger wings with similar markings to a monarch. | Source
This is a Hecale Longwing. There are many type of longwing butterflies. They are named, as you would expect for the legnth of their wing in comparison to it's narrow shape. Apparently, predators do not like the taste of these butterflies.
This is a Hecale Longwing. There are many type of longwing butterflies. They are named, as you would expect for the legnth of their wing in comparison to it's narrow shape. Apparently, predators do not like the taste of these butterflies. | Source
I am not 100% positive, but I believe this is a Tropical Swallowtail.
I am not 100% positive, but I believe this is a Tropical Swallowtail. | Source
This is possibly a tropical swallowtail. Swallowtails are named for what appear to be a tail that hellps in gliding. Birds sometimes mistake the tail for the head. This is beneficial, because they are only eating a part of the wing.
This is possibly a tropical swallowtail. Swallowtails are named for what appear to be a tail that hellps in gliding. Birds sometimes mistake the tail for the head. This is beneficial, because they are only eating a part of the wing. | Source
This is a Sara Longwing, you can see it landed on my daughter's finger below.
This is a Sara Longwing, you can see it landed on my daughter's finger below. | Source
I am not sure, but I think this is a Postman. They vary in looks a lot, but I can tell for sure that it is a longwing butterfly. They are known for having bright colors to ward off potential predators of their bad taste.
I am not sure, but I think this is a Postman. They vary in looks a lot, but I can tell for sure that it is a longwing butterfly. They are known for having bright colors to ward off potential predators of their bad taste. | Source
Source
I thought this was really cool, that my daughter got a Sara Longwing to land on her finger.
I thought this was really cool, that my daughter got a Sara Longwing to land on her finger. | Source

A National Geographics View of Butterflies

© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz

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    • profile image

      happyhobby 3 years ago

      i see some differences from the butterflies of philippines http://mindnetworks.blogspot.com/2013/09/picture-o...

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 5 years ago from United States

      Butterflies only make chrysalis. It was my error when I wrote that. Thank you for pointing this out to me ragsysfriend.

      Thanks Apostle Jack! :)

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 6 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      They are "off the hook".

    • profile image

      ragsysfriend 6 years ago

      That was a fascinating piece. I do have some confusion though. You mentioned that the silk worms have cocoons, not butterflies, and that butterflies have chrysalis. But then a few times later you refer to "it's cocoon" (the butterflies). Please advise! Thanks!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

      They are quite majestic, I think that's why fairies wings resemble butterflies rather than like a flies or something.

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 6 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      You did it well.They are the wonders of life.Majestic beauty in a dark place.Thanks for sharing.

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks so much for the great compliment Fluffy!!!

    • Fluffy77 profile image

      Fluffy77 6 years ago from Enterprise, OR

      Great hub for us nature lovers, oh what beautiful butterflies you have here. They are so magical to me still too. Thanks for sharing this, voted you up here.

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

      Oh thanks for sharing that with us!!!

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 6 years ago from The Zoo

      Nice hub and awesome photos! I read the comments about the Monarchs and I've got another great website for ya:

      http://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks so much for the nice comment!

    • A la carte profile image

      A la carte 7 years ago from Australia

      Some really good information..and weird facts like butterflies don't have lungs..fascinating. Loved reading this and the pics were terrific.

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much all. :)

    • profile image

      Ali 7 years ago

      Good pictures!!!!!!!Pr

    • profile image

      Julia 7 years ago

      I like the pictures%3Pr

    • profile image

      David 7 years ago

      It looks REALLY good i like the pictures!%3Pr

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Aloha! I see that you actually live somewhere where you might actually see some of these butterflies in the wild. Man, am I jealous! Thank you for the nice compliment!

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Glad I found your hub on butterflies. They are one of my favorite things. Great pictures and info. Aloha!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much!

    • celinewayne profile image

      celinewayne 7 years ago

      good job angela,

      those butterflies are all amazing.

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Justmesuzanne,

      I know what you mean about the Monarchs, there was actually this website that a person had suggested to me. Here's the link!

      http://www.xomba.com/50_percent_less_monarch_butte...

      If you click on the link that is in this message, you can read on why there are less monarchs this year than past. Personally, I find this very sad!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Pisethz! Thank you so much!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

      Lovely photos! I get lots of butterflies in my yard every spring and summer. Sadly, the number of Monarchs has dwindled badly.

    • pisethz profile image

      pisethz 7 years ago

      Wow, nice butterfly. Lovely

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you all for whoever voted for my hub! I just found out I won the hubnugget award with 23 percent of the votes! YAY! I guess I'm not the only one fascinated by these awesome creatures! Again thank you all so much! YAY!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much Money! I actually just found I won, so your good luck must have helped me!

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      I love butterflies and have come to over the years to really appreciate just how special they are. Congrats on being selected as a candidate to the HubNuggets Wannabe nomination. Good luck to ya!

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much! They are very adorable!

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 7 years ago from Chennai, India

      Wonderful hub and fantastic pictures. Butterflies are adorable creatures. Thank you for giving an informative article.

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much!

    • mhuze profile image

      mhuze 7 years ago from USA

      Loved the pictures of the butterflies. Very informative.

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you charanjeet for the very nice comments. I know, I wish we could see butterflies more places, but like I said in the article, few butterflies means that the habitat is not healthy... Sad, but true!

    • charanjeet kaur profile image

      charanjeet kaur 7 years ago from Delhi

      Thank you so much for showing a side of nature we hardly see in the pollution and the city traffic. It reminded me of good times, the snaps are just awesome. Love the photograhy and the way you captured these beautiful creatures. Congrats on the nomination, a well deserved one.

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much moesky!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Faybe, that is really a cute story. It made me giggle. :) Especially that you bought it a rose. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Moesky 7 years ago

      What a nice colorful Hub. Well worthy of the Hubnugget nomination. Congratulations.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

      People laughed at me when I saved a Monarch (I think it was although I know Monarchs have mimics) It flew at the window of our store and hit the ground. I went and got it. It was very windy and a storm was brewing so I brought it in, made a soft bed in a box and bought it a rose. Silly. A few hours later, everyone thought it would soon die. Then it stood up and flew all around the store. We ran and opened the doors. The storm had run it's course, and after making a couple of circles around us, it flew out the open double doors. It circled the parking lot twice, went higher and higher, then back down and towards us, then flew away. I felt on top of the world. My boss just said: "Well, you did it girl!" But he was beaming, I think it made his day too that the butterfly lived after all.

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks!

    • changtian profile image

      changtian 7 years ago

      +++++++++++++++++++

      +++++++good++++++++

      -------------------

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Rembrandz, I'm so glad it allowed you to reminisce. I think it would have been so cool to be blessed by living in the country. I grew up in the cities where the most wild-life creature we saw was my dog. I guess it's a toss-up.

    • rembrandz profile image

      Remy Francis 7 years ago from Creative Zone Dubai

      Hi Angela

      I really enjoyed your hub. I love butterflies and they made my childhood very colourful. My summer holidays were almost always spent running behind them, to watch their movements. I even enjoyed watching the life cycle from the egg to when the new butterflies came to be. This hub made me finally look at the facts. And it made reading it even better when it brought back those days. Thanks

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks Pamela, I'm actually just learning how to use my camera better. The top pictures I took last year, the bottom ones this year, you can see a big difference in my ability!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Shazwellen, you are so right!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Christina, that is so awesome you hae the opportunity to see those. I would love to see many more. Each year they have different butterflies, and I get excited seeing new ones each year. There are many I would love to see in real life. Although I think the Blue Morpho will always be my favorite.

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      ainehannah, yes I truly do appreciate them. I rarely find them in the neighborhood where I live, so it's a real treat to be able to go to the gardens and see them!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Sage, thank you so much, I was so surprised when I got nominated. I am so glad others are enjoying this hub!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Gorgeous pictures of the butterflies and I enjoyed this hub. congratulations on you Hubnugget nomination.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      I love butterflies and it is up to us to keep their habitats alive! Well done :)

    • ChristinaScibona profile image

      Christina 7 years ago from The Heart of the Finger Lakes

      This was a great read! Thank You. I live in Ny and at one of the Museums in the area there is a butterfly garden with butterflies from all over the world. They had many of the butterflies that you showed. Congratulations on your nomination! Good Luck.

    • ainehannah profile image

      Aine O'Connor 7 years ago from Dublin

      The pictures are beautiful and your appreciation of them made for a really enjoyable read too. Thanks

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Very informative and beautiful pictures. Butterflies have always been one of my favorites.

      Congratulations on being nominated for a HubNugget and Welcome to Hubpages!

      Sage

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Oh wow thanks for nominating me. That is totally awesome! I appreciate your nice comments!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Angela_michelle! I loved your butterfly hub as I enjoyed looking that the photos and the way you wrote this hub made it easy for me to read and understand. Thank you for writing about one of my favorite creatures on earth. :)

      Butterflies are in and you are a Hubnugget Wannabe! Yes, you have been nominated! Go check it out: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/A-HubNuggets-... Be sure to look for the pets & animals category and of course take the time to read the other hubs as well. Enjoy soaring with wings as light and free!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you! I have been trying my hand at photography. My pictures are not yet crystal clear, but I'm learning!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Fantabulous photos! Great information! I love it! Thanks!

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you. :) They are my favorite subjects to take pictures of. :)

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Gorgeous photos!!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thank you. :)

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      What beautiful pictures!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 7 years ago from USA

      Beautiful pictures and a great article.

    • angela_michelle profile image
      Author

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks. :)

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 7 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      I have always loved butterflies. I used to collect them as a kid, but now I just enjoy watching them fly free and wild. Good hub! I had no idea about how many muscles caterpillars have. Fascinating!

    • angela_michelle profile image
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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Thanks... I love butterflies!

    • alexandriaruthk profile image

      alexandriaruthk 7 years ago from US

      beautiful, isn't it, and I like your conclusion, Thank you for your visit on my hub!