Q:

What are some adaptations of butterflies?

A:

Quick Answer

Some adaptations of butterflies include wing colorings that mimic the colorings of toxic species, clear membranes that allow butterflies to fly even after the scales of their wings have been rubbed off. Butterflies also move to shaded areas when the temperature is hot.

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Full Answer

The wing colors and patterns of butterflies are one of their most visible adaptations. Some butterflies have wing patterns that allow them to blend into their surroundings, while others have colorings that make predators believe they are poisonous. Still other butterflies have wing patterns that look like eyes, making them appear larger and scarier to enemies.

Although many children are told that touching a butterfly's wings ruins them and makes it impossible for the butterfly to fly, that is not true. Butterflies have adapted to have a clear membrane underneath their wings, and this protects the integrity of their wings.

As butterflies deal with rising temperatures, many of them adapt by seeking shelter in cooler habitats. Others expand their range into cooler areas or higher altitudes. However, only a small portion of butterflies are making this adjustment. Scientists in Spain have discovered that for every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature, approximately 1 percent of the butterflies hide in cooler areas.

Butterflies adapt relatively quickly, making them an ideal subject for studies about evolution. Scientists examine how butterflies develop different mate preferences, and they argue that this leads to adaptations that go much deeper than just color variation.

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Related Questions

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    What are some adaptations of Monarch butterflies?

    A:

    Monarch butterflies have developed two main adaptations for survival: warning coloration and toxicity, explains National Geographic. As a caterpillar, monarchs eat a diet mainly of milkweed. Milkweed contains a toxin that causes discomfort in potential predators. To avoid ingesting the toxin, predators often leave the monarch caterpillar alone. The brightly colored wings of the adult monarch suggest, to potential predators, it is dangerous to eat.

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    Are butterflies herbivores?

    A:

    A butterfly is usually a herbivore because they eat plant nutrients such as nectar, however, there is one species of butterfly that eats meat. The butterfly known as the harvester butterfly eats other insects when it is at a larvae stage.

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    How do butterflies move?

    A:

    Butterflies move by using their wing muscles to fly. However, butterflies cannot move if their wing muscles get too cold. Their bodies work most effectively at an internal temperature of approximately 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Butterflies must use their surroundings in order to maintain their body heat. During the day, butterflies bask with their wings open to absorb warmth from the sun.

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    What do butterflies eat?

    A:

    Most fully grown butterflies extract and eat nectar from flowers by using their tongue as a straw, while a smaller minority of butterflies consume tree sap, organic material and rotting animal matter. Some butterfly caterpillars eat leaves, while others feed on seed pods, seeds and flowers.

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