Monday, April 13, 2009

Butterfly and Moths Facts

Butterflies get their name from the yellow brimstone butterfly of Europe that is first seen in the early spring or "butter" season.

Female Queen Alexandra butterflies, from Papua and New Guinea, are the largest in the world, some with wingspans larger than 26 cm.

Butterflies and moths are found on all land masses except Antarctica.

The atlas moth, one of the largest silk moths, can be mistaken for a medium-sized bat when flying.

There are over 2,000 species of butterflies in the rainforests of South America.

Butterflies belong to, alongside with moths to an order called Lepidoptera.

The fastest flying butterfly is the Monarch, which has been clocked with a speed as high as 17 miles per hour.

Butterflies are further divided into 30 orders, the main basis of classification being their wing structure.

The main features of butterflies have in common are:
6 legs
one pair of antennae
a segmented body in which three body parts, a head, a thorax and an abdomen can be distinguished.

Night butterflies have ears on their wings so they can avoid bats.

A butterfly's taste sensors are located below their feet.

The color in a butterfly's wings does not come from pigment. The color is produced prism-like by light reflected by their transparent wing scales.

The largest butterfly is the Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly from Papua New Guinea. The wingspan of the butterfly can reach to be almost one foot.

A butterfly has to have a body temperature greater than 86 degrees to be able to fly.

A butterfly can see the colors red, green, and yellow.