Fascinating Butterfly Facts
Butterflies need our help to survive as they rely on flowers and other natural sources for survival. We can help them by planting more flowers.
- There are more than 20,000 types of butterflies worldwide.
- Their wing spans can range from 1/2 inch to 11 inches.
- Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year, depending on the species.
- Many butterflies migrate over long distances. Particularly famous migrations are those of the Monarch butterfly from Mexico to the northern USA and southern Canada, a distance of about 2500 to 3000 miles.
Butterflies are potentially poisonous. Moths and butterflies are potentially dangerous to people in one context: eating them. While most butterflies and moths are likely non-toxic to hungry humans, a few species — like the familiar monarch butterfly (Family Nymphalidae) — feed on poisonous or unpalatable plants as larvae.
The Monarch Butterfly
A monarch’s brilliant coloring tells predators: “Don’t eat me. I’m poisonous.” The butterflies get their toxins from a plant called milkweed, which is their only food source in the caterpillar stage. An animal that eats a monarch butterfly usually doesn’t die, but it feels sick enough to avoid monarchs in the future.
This can range from about seven days to more than a year, but for a large number of species it is less than 30 days. The well-known monarch butterfly, for example, spends between nine and 14 days in a chrysalis, while the painted lady butterfly spends only seven to 10 days in the chrysalis.
Photo from: TexasHillCountry.com