Skip to main content

Fascinating Facts About Butterflies

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


There are nearly 24,000 different species of butterflies. Most of these species are found in Central and South America and 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.


Life Expectancy

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

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


Butterflies Taste With Their Feet

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. Butterflies do not "eat" anything 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 allow them to taste. Most butterflies love the taste of sweet nectar, although some love the taste of rotting food and animal dung. Yes, you can say it. GROSS!

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


Butterflies Becoming Endangered

Some butterflies are becoming so rare that they are almost extinct due to their diminishing habitat. Fortunately, some conservation places like Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan, support the healthy living of butterflies in a pleasantly warm environment. They hold a butterfly show from March to April that allows butterflies who have a short life expectancy to live in their gardens. It is a beautiful show and captures the attention of people of all ages.



I have to admit I cannot stay long with the butterflies because butterflies need to live in hot climates. The rooms are incredibly warm to assist in their survival. If their body temperature falls below 86 degrees, they become unable to fly. As a result, 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.



As everyone knows, butterflies begin as caterpillars, making chrysalises and transforming into butterflies. 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 get them at the caterpillar phase.

There is such a wide variety of shapes and sizes for chrysalises. Each blends in with their natural habitat so well that prey can rarely spot them in the wild. Chrysalises are often mistaken as cocoons. Silk covers cocoons and has a chrysalis inside. Silk moths create them.



The exciting thing about caterpillars is that they have absolutely no bones but have over a thousand muscles. A caterpillar will grow 27,000 times its size from the egg phase until immediately before building its 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 entirely see-through. Tiny 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, except for the tops of the wing. It is fascinating to watch. Although I have seen this butterfly, I have not been able to capture it on film. The designs camouflage the butterflies.


The 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 nature. Each of these butterflies that I took a picture of was found in one of the preservation systems like Frederick Meijer Garden. I encourage you to go to one. It is a rare treat to see so many butterflies in one area.

A National Geographics View of Butterflies


  • "10 Super Cool Facts About Butterflies." EcoWatch. June 30, 2016. Accessed February 27, 2018.
  • Butterfly Facts for Kids. Accessed February 27, 2018.
  • Hadley, Debbie. "10 Fascinating Facts About Butterflies." ThoughtCo. Accessed February 27, 2018.

© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz


Rahul Sharma from Manchester, UK on April 07, 2020:

It such beautiful Hub i ever seen. Butterflies are self propelled flowers!

happyhobby on October 04, 2013:

i see some differences from the butterflies of philippines

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on October 08, 2011:

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 from Atlanta Ga on July 31, 2011:

They are "off the hook".

ragsysfriend on July 30, 2011:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on May 11, 2011:

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

Apostle Jack from Atlanta Ga on May 10, 2011:

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

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on April 12, 2011:

Thanks so much for the great compliment Fluffy!!!

Fluffy77 from Enterprise, OR on April 11, 2011:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 12, 2011:

Oh thanks for sharing that with us!!!

Mrs. Menagerie from The Zoo on March 11, 2011:

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

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on September 09, 2010:

Thanks so much for the nice comment!

A la carte from Australia on September 09, 2010:

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

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 26, 2010:

Thank you very much all. :)

Ali on May 26, 2010:

Good pictures!!!!!!!Pr

Julia on May 26, 2010:

I like the pictures%3Pr

David on May 26, 2010:

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

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on April 12, 2010:

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!

Elayne from Rocky Mountains on April 12, 2010:

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

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on April 07, 2010:

Thank you so much!

celinewayne on April 07, 2010:

good job angela,

those butterflies are all amazing.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on April 01, 2010:


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

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 Schultz (author) from United States on April 01, 2010:

Pisethz! Thank you so much!

justmesuzanne from Texas on April 01, 2010:

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

pisethz on March 31, 2010:

Wow, nice butterfly. Lovely

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 31, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 31, 2010:

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

Money Glitch from Texas on March 31, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 31, 2010:

Thank you so much! They are very adorable!

Rema T V from Chennai, India on March 31, 2010:

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

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 31, 2010:

Thank you very much!

mhuze from USA on March 30, 2010:

Loved the pictures of the butterflies. Very informative.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 28, 2010:

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 from Delhi on March 28, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 28, 2010:

Thank you so much moesky!

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 28, 2010:

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

Moesky on March 28, 2010:

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

Faye Constantino from Florida on March 27, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 27, 2010:


changtian on March 27, 2010:




Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 27, 2010:

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.

Remy Francis from Dubai on March 27, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 27, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 27, 2010:

Shazwellen, you are so right!

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 27, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 27, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 27, 2010:

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

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 27, 2010:

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

shazwellyn on March 27, 2010:

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

Christina from The Heart of the Finger Lakes on March 27, 2010:

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.

Aine O'Connor from Dublin on March 27, 2010:

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

Sage Williams on March 26, 2010:

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

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


Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 26, 2010:

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

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 26, 2010:

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: 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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 22, 2010:

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

James A Watkins from Chicago on March 22, 2010:

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

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 20, 2010:

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

Gloria Siess from Wrightwood, California on March 20, 2010:

Gorgeous photos!!

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 18, 2010:

Thank you. :)

Renee S from Virginia on March 17, 2010:

What beautiful pictures!

Barbara Badder from USA on March 16, 2010:

Beautiful pictures and a great article.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 16, 2010:

Thanks. :)

Silver Poet from the computer of a midwestern American writer on March 15, 2010:

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 Schultz (author) from United States on March 15, 2010:

Thanks... I love butterflies!

alexandriaruthk from US on March 15, 2010:

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