Butterflies use muscles to move their wings and take flight. The wings are made of a thin, translucent material called chitin that covers a framework of small veins. Butterflies need the correct weather conditions because their muscles must be warmed up before they can fly. Because the scales on their wings are used to absorb heat, butterflies take shelter during severe weather to avoid damaging them.Know More
Butterflies have evolved to know when to avoid harsh weather conditions, as there is no way for them to repair their wings if they are damaged. Additionally, the muscles used to control their wings are paralyzed when the weather is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning they would be unable to escape from predators or find food if it was too cold.
To fly, a butterfly must obtain warmth from the sun by basking and exposing its thorax, where the muscles attach, or creating warmth with rapid movements (much like humans warm up before exercising). The best temperature range for flight is 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Flying also takes a lot of energy for butterflies, so they must find energy-rich sources of food, including sugar from flower nectar, and salt and nutrients from small puddles of water.Learn more about Butterflies & Moths
A butterfly has four wings, or two sets of wings. Butterflies belong to the order Lepidoptera, which also includes moths and skippers. When not in use, butterfly wings fold together in a vertical fashion.Full Answer >
A group of butterflies is officially called a kaleidoscope, although they are sometimes referred to as a swarm. Groups of caterpillars are called an army.Full Answer >
Monarch butterflies live on top of milkweed plants and they will not live in a place that does not have milkweed plants. Milkweed plants are poisonous to most animals, but the monarch has glycoside toxins that protect it from the poison.Full 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.Full Answer >