Ecology

The Butterfly belongs to Lepidoptera Order

Did you know? Butterfly belongs to Lepidoptera Order

We all know that a butterfly is gorgeous, flying insect that has big scaly wings. Butterflies, like all insects, have three body parts, six jointed legs, compound eyes, a duo of antennae, and the exoskeleton. Their three body parts comprise of the head, thorax, and abdomen.

Their body has miniscule sensory hairs. Their four wings and six legs are joined to the thorax. The muscles of the thorax make the movement of the legs and wings possible.

Butterflies as fliers

Butterflies are excellent fliers. Their two duos of big wings that have colorful, lustrous scales in rows that overlap. Lepidoptera is the single order of insects with scaly wings. The veins support the subtle wings and with blood for nourishment.

Butterflies cannot fly when they have a body temperature of below 86 degrees. Butterflies stay under the sun for warming themselves up when the weather is cold. With age, their wings fade in color and turn ragged.The velocity at which they fly differs with butterfly species. The butterflies that fly the fastest have a speed of 30 miles/ hour or even faster. The butterflies that fly slowly have a velocity of approximately five mph.

The Lifecycle of a Butterfly

Butterflies undergo a total metamorphosis that includes four stages. These stages are as follows:

  • Egg – Butterflies start their lives as eggs, usually laid on leaves.
  • Larva – The larvae hatch from eggs and eat flowers or leaves nearly continuously. The caterpillars shed their old skin numerous times as they grow. The caterpillars will grow in size by several thousand ahead of pupating.
  • Pupa – The caterpillars turn into a pupa, which is an inactive stage.
  • Adult – Gorgeous, flying adults emerge, and they carry on the cycle.

Some facts about their diet

While the first meal of caterpillars is their egg shells what they eat is dependent on the species. Some caterpillars eat meat, an example being the harvester species.

Butterflies cannot have anything other than liquid food. They do so with a proboscis that resembles a tube and is a long, supple “tongue.” The proboscis uncurls for sipping food, and curls once more into a spiral. A good number of butterflies survive by having nectar from flowers. Certain butterflies drink the liquid from putrid fruits and a select few fancy putrid animal flesh or fluids.

Their habitat and migration

Butterflies exist all over the earth and in all sorts of settings that include hot and cool, dry and damp, at and high above sea level in the mountains. However, the habitat of the most species is in the tropical regions, particularly tropical rainforests.

Numerous butterflies travel for avoiding unfavorable ecological conditions.  However, butterfly migration is a subject that remains mostly unknown. While a good many species migrate short distances some travel thousands of miles.

Butterflies are a part of the Lepidoptera order. The scaled wings of butterflies are unlike the wings of other insects. The estimated number of species of butterflies that exist across the Earth is 28,000.

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Amit Mukherjee

Amit Mukherjee is an author and the staff member of Nature Talkies.

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