The facts about butterflies and their types

A butterfly is a mainly day-flying beautiful and colorful insect with two pairs of scale-covered wings.

The butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

A group of butterflies is called a flutter.

Butterflies have three basic parts like other insects; the head, thorax and abdomen. Butterflies do not have jaws and instead sip liquid food through a tube-like tongue called a probosics.

Butterflies exhibit polymorphism (showing differences in appearance) , mimicry and aposematism(tendency to become highly noticeable and distinct from harmless organisms).

Butterflies are good fliers and fly only during the day. The fatest butterflies can fly about 30 miles per hour.

Many butterlies fly very well, North American monarch butterflies fly to Mexico to spend the winter they fly 1180 miles in three weeks.



The coloration of butterfly wings is created by minute scales. These scales are pigmented with melanins that give them blacks and browns, but blues, greens, reds and iridescence are usually created not by pigments but the microstructure of the scales. This structural coloration is the result of coherent scattering of light by the photonic crystal nature of the scales.

Adult butterflies do not need to grow, so their food need are form of energy rather than protiens. The typical butterfly food is from nectar from flowers however some feed on sap oozing from trees, from rotting fruit and some from dung.They also take in salt from mud.

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is the largest butterfly in the world. Female Queen Alexandra's Birdwings are larger than males with markedly rounder, broader wings, the female can reach a wingspan of 31 cm, a body length of 8 cm and a body mass of up to 12 grams.

It is native to the rainforests of northern Papua New Guinea and is an endagered species.

The female Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing lays about 27 eggs which are blue is color during its entire lifespan. Newly emerged larvae eat their own eggshells before feeding on fresh foliage. The time taken for this species to develop from egg to pupa is approximately six weeks, with the pupal stage taking a month or more. The caterpillar of this butterfly eats the pipeine plant, which contains poison and makes the caterpillar poisonous from predators.

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing

Goliath Birdwing

The Goliath Birdwing is a birdwing butterfly found in New Guinea, and is the second-largest butterfly in the world.

It has a wingspan up to 28 centimetres . This makes it the world's second largest butterfly, after the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing. The African Giant Swallowtail reached an almost equal wing span.

The males have black, yellow and green wings and a yellow and black body, while the females are brown and white on the top wings and yellow on the bottom wings. The female is typically larger than the male.

The Goliath Birdwing takes an approximate 15 minutes to emerge from its chrysalis because of its large wings.

Goliath Birdwing
Goliath Birdwing lives in rainforests of New Guinea and adjacent smaller islands. Some subspecies are found in northern Irian Jaya and adjacent Islands.

Giant African Swallowtail

Giant African Swallowtail with a wingspan between 18 and 23 centimetres , it is the largest butterfly in Africa and among the largest butterflies in the world.

Giant African Swallowtail lives in the tropical rainforests of West and Central Africa.

The male is larger than the female and can often be seen in groups at nectar.The females show themselves less, continually flying high above the tree tops.

The butterfly has no natural enemies because it is very toxic, perhaps the most toxic of all butterflies.

Giant African Swallowtail

Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly


The Western Pygmy Blue is one of the smallest butterflies in the world and is the smallest in North America. It has a wingspread of about half an inch.

It is found in costal regions throughout the southern United States. I has brown dorsal wings which become blue closer to the body.

The caterpillar of this butterfly feed on saltbush pickleweed and pigweed.

Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Common Lime Butterfly
Small White Butterfly
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Common Lime Butterfly
Small White Butterfly
Green-Veined White Butterfly
Common Jezebel Butterfly
Red Pierrot
Green-Veined White Butterfly
Common Jezebel Butterfly
Red Pierrot Butterfly
Plum Judy
Duke of Burgundy Butterfly
Plum Judy Butterfly
Duke of Burgundy Butterfly
Insects and Spiders

The facts about butterflies
The life-cycle of a butterfly
Difference between Butterflies & Moths
The facts about ants
The facts about bees
The facts about beetles
The facts about grasshoppers
The facts about pest insects
Interesting facts about insects
The facts about spiders

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