is a Butterfly?
Butterflies are beautiful! Butterfly members of
the Order Lepidoptera are characterized by tiny
colored scales that cover their delicate wing
surfaces. The arrangement of the scales determines
the color and characteristics of each species.
Butterflies get their name from the yellow brimstone
butterfly of Europe that is first seen in the
early spring or "butter" season. Like
all insects, butterflies have six jointed legs,
3 body parts, a pair of antennae, compound eyes,
and an exoskeleton. The three body parts of a
butterfly is their head, thorax (the chest), and
abdomen (the tail end). They also have a coiled
tongue called a proboscis, used to imbibe sweet
nectar from flowers or lick minerals from the
butterfly groups fly during daylight hours. Butterflies
and moths are found on all land masses except
Antarctica. There are between 15,000 and 30,000
species of butterflies worldwide. Of that about
725 species reside in the United States and Canada.
Over 2,000 species have been found in Mexico alone.
About 80% of all butterfly species are in the
tropics. Our beautiful framed butterflies and
moths are excellent for insect collectors and
the electronic moving butterflies with their wing
shapes, colors and movements make them look like
What is the Difference Between Butterflies
Moths and butterflies are insects
from the great order of scale-winged insects called
Lepidoptera. Both species are very similar to
each other but differ slightly. However, they
can be distinguished by certain general characteristics
such as that
butterflies fly by day and moths fly by night.
All higher butterflies go into a state of chrysalis
without making a silken cocoon, while most of
the higher moths make cocoons. Butterfly bodies
are usually slender, while those moths are larger
and much more stout. The antennae of butterflies
are generally slender and enlarged at the tips
making them look like miniature clubs. While the
antennae of moths are feathery, long, and slender
gradually tapering towards the tip.
Butterflies Fly Great Distances?
Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui Linnaeus)
are highly migratory butterflies that can be found
all over the world. These butterflies can travel
over immense oceans and even over entire mountains.
The process of traveling when it comes to butterflies
is called migrating. Another species that migrates
great distances is the Monarch butterfly (Danaus
plexippus). In the fall it departs Canada and
migrates to the United States, Central America,
and as far South as South America. It goes South
to find warmer weather and some of them live long
enough to lay eggs and migrate back North again
before they die. Newly hatched adults also make
the trek North and they will follow the same migratory
path every year in huge swarms for up to 3,000
miles roundtrip. Monarch butterflies have crossed
the Pacific Ocean to Australia and New Zealand
and have even established non-migratory butterfly
populations in Hawaii and many other Pacific Islands.
Monarchs and Painted Lady butterflies are available
as electronic butterflies for moving indoor nature
displays and they are also available live for
butterfly release with guaranteed overnight delivery.