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Fun facts

  • Some kinds of butterflies live for just two weeks while others may live up to nine months.

  • A butterfly has four wings.

  • The brightly coloured wings are made up of tiny scales.

  • Scientists thought butterflies were deaf until 1912 when they found they had ears.

  • Most butterflies feed on nectar from flowers.

Brown caterpillar on a leaf
Close up of butterfly head
  •  If a human baby could grow as fast as a monarch caterpillar, in just two weeks it would be as big as a double-decker bus.

  • We don’t recommend this, but if you lick a chrysalis and it is warm, then it is not alive.  If it is cold, it is alive and well.

  • Many butterflies never go to the toilet – they use up all they eat to make energy.

  • A butterfly drinks through a ‘straw’.  Its long tube-like tongue (curled up when not in use) is called a proboscis. 

  • A caterpillar is an eating machine and a butterfly is an egg-laying machine.

  • The largest butterfly in Australia is the Cairns Birdwing.

  • Butterflies taste with their feet.

  • Monarch butterflies can fly up to 4,000 kms to escape the cold winter  (eg Canada to Mexico).

  • Butterflies mostly fly during the day and moths at night.

  • Butterflies sometimes drink moisture and minerals from wet soil or even manure. 

  • Butterflies attach their eggs to leaves with a special glue.

  • A female butterfly may lay more than 100 eggs.

  • A butterfly is very fussy about the kind of plant it will lay its eggs on.  It tests the leaves by tasting them with its feet.

  • When a tiny caterpillar emerges from its egg, its very first meal is its eggshell.

  • When big caterpillars are feeding, you can sometimes hear them munching.

  • When a caterpillar gets too big for its skin, it sheds it to reveal a brand new skin underneath.

  • When a caterpillar is very big, it attaches itself to a leaf or twig and sheds its last skin to reveal a chrysalis underneath.

  • A butterfly’s life cycle is made up of four parts, egg (ova), caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa), and butterfly (adult).

  • A newly emerged butterfly sucks in air and the fluid in its body is pumped into its tiny wings until they expand to full size.

  • The butterfly’s wings dry and harden for an hour or two then the butterfly can fly.

  • Butterflies are mostly cold-blooded.

  • Most butterflies fly at 8-20 km/hr

  • A group of butterflies is sometimes called a flutter.

  • A butterfly eye is made up of 6,000 lenses and can see ultra-violet light. 

  • Butterflies are wonderful, peaceful, beautiful, amazing, awesome!

  • Butterflies are a sign of joy, peace and happiness.

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