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National Butterfly Day | March 14

Fascinating Butterfly Facts

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.

How long does it take for a butterfly to come out of its cocoon?

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.
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Photo from: TexasHillCountry.com