Monarch butterfly larvae feed on milkweed and a few closely related plants, whereas adults forage for nectar. Although both larvae and adults are toxic and bad-tasting due to the presence of stored cardiac glycosides in their bodies, they are still preyed upon by birds, mice and praying mantises.
Birds that eat monarch butterflies include brown thrashers, grackles, robins, cardinals, sparrows, scrub jays, pinon jays, black-headed grosbeaks and orioles. Some of these birds avoid eating the parts of the monarch with the highest levels of glycosides, which is a strategy also used by the Chinese mantis. Others have a high tolerance for the toxins, which is a characteristic shared by some mice. Asian lady beetles eat monarch eggs and newly hatched caterpillars.Learn More
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.Full Answer >
An underwing moth is a flying insect belonging to the genus Catocala. They have brightly colored and boldly pattered hindwings. When at rest, the dull grayish brown fore wings mask the boldly colored hindwings underneath, which is why the moth is called the underwing.Full Answer >
Butterflies live all over the world, except in Antarctica and the harshest deserts. Many butterflies live in tropical climates like those found in Hawaii and Mexico.Full Answer >
Butterflies live in different habitats, including mangroves, salt marshes, lowland forests, sand dunes, wetlands, mountainous regions and grasslands. Rocky areas and bare ground give larvae a place to find adequate food and adults to lounge in the sun.Full Answer >