Posts tagged ‘Butterfly’

Do butterflies taste with their feet?

Butterflies taste with sensitive taste organs on the soles of their feet, not with their tongues.  Butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers and other plant liquids.  A butterfly cannot bite or chew.  It has a long coiled tube, called a “proboscis,” which it uses like a straw to suck liquids into its mouth.

When the butterfly lands on a flower, its feet taste the flower’s sweetness. When a butterfly finds nectar in a flower, it uncoils its long, hollow proboscis and sucks in the liquid.  The proboscis coils back up out of the way when the butterfly is finished.–Dick Rogers

How do butterflies get their color?


The colorful pattern on a butterfly’s wings is formed by thousands of flat scales as fine as dust.  The tiny scales overlap each other like shingles on a roof, and cover the butterfly’s wings.  With the help of a magnifying glass you can see that the scales make the colorful patterns.

The soft scales easily rub off as a powdery “butterfly dust” when something touches the wings.  Then the wings look pale and transparent.  A butterfly’s color helps it blend in with its surroundings.  The butterfly escapes its enemies by means of this protective coloration. – Dick Rogers

Do insects have bones?


If you could look inside an insect’s body, you wouldn’t see any bones. But insects do have skeletons!  Insects differ from creatures with back-bones, such as humans, horses, dogs and fishes.  These animals have hard skeletons inside their bodies. Your skeleton is made of bone, and the rest of your body is shaped around it.

An insect’s skeleton though, is a tough outer shell.  It provides support and protection for the insect’s soft insides.  Some insects, especially beetles have hard, heavy skeletons.  Others, such as butterflies have light, thin skeleton. – Dick Rogers

How did the butterfly get its name?


No one knows for sure how the butterfly got its name.  But there are many popular ideas.  One is that the butterfly’s name came from “flutterby,” so-called because of its fluttering flight.  Some people believe that the insect is so named because many butterflies have the color of butter.

Yet another idea is that the belief that butterflies stole milk and butter.  The scientific name for the butterfly family is “Lepidoptera.”  This name comes from Greek words meaning “scaly wings.”  The wings of butterflies are covered with dust-like scales. – Dick Rogers

How are butterflies born?

Birth of a Butterfly

Every butterfly goes through four stages in its life.  These four stages are eggs, larva, pupa and adult.

The story of the butterfly begins when the female lays her eggs on a plant that the young insects will use as food.

From each eggs hatches a tiny larva called a caterpillar.  It is hard to believe that this wormlike creature will turn into a graceful butterfly.

The caterpillar is always hungry, and spends most of its life eating and growing.  It grows to fast that it outgrows and sheds its skin several times.  When the caterpillar has reached its full growth, it is ready to turn into a pupa.

The caterpillar spins a button of silk on a twig or leaf and hooks itself to the button.  Hanging head down, it sheds its old caterpillar skin.  Not it is a pupa.  The pupa’s soft skin hardens to form a case called a chrysalis.

Protected by the chrysalis, the pupa changes into a butterfly.

After about two or more weeks, the chrysalis spills open and the adult butterfly emerges its limp, moist wings spread and dry.  Then it flies away.

How do butterflies eat?

Butterflies are gaily colored insects we often see on summer days.  They flutter from flower to flower drinking the sweet liquid called nectar.

Butterflies have no chewing mouth parts.  They cannot bite or chew.

Instead of the usual insect mouth, the butterfly has a long, slender tube which is used to suck up nectar and other liquids the way you sip through a soda straw.


When the butterfly is not eating, the long tube curls up like a watch spring under the insect’s head.

A butterfly’s taste buds are on the soles of its feet.  When it alights on a flower, the sweet taste causes the insect to uncoil its sucking tube.

When butterflies go from one flower to another for the sweet nectar, they also pick up some pollen on the hairs of their legs and bodies.

A little of this pollen brushes off as they visit each new flower.  It helps the flowers’ seeds and fruit to grow. – Dick Rogers