Surprising facts and curiosities about butterflies


With the exception of Antarctica, these particular invertebrates can be found all over the world, as they need warmer temperatures to thrive and grow. Butterflies, belonging to the group of holometabolous insects, are classified as "higher" species due to their notable series of transformations throughout their life cycle, which distinguish them in the world of insects. Today we are going to tell you some of the surprising facts and curiosities about butterflies.

If you want to know the best facts and curiosities about butterflies, this is your post.

Characteristics of butterflies

huge butterfly

The physical attributes of these creatures, including the division of their body into three distinct parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), place them in the arthropod classification along with other insects. Besides, Their impressive wings adorned with scales classify them as lepidopterans, which increases their intrigue.

The appearance of these creatures has a unique meaning. Like most insects, they undergo a transformative journey known as metamorphosis. However, its journey is characterized by multiple distinct stages of development: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis (a protective covering for the larva, called a pupa in other insects), and imago (the mature adult stage). Throughout these various phases, your natural instincts, behaviors, and activity levels undergo significant and distinct changes.

Surprising facts and curiosities about butterflies

butterfly on leaf

They are nocturnal

While it is commonly believed that butterflies are active during the day, making their appearance more noticeable, the reality is that most of these beautiful creatures are actually nocturnal, and finding them during daylight hours is simply a matter of coincidence.

Life expectancy

When it comes to lifespan, it is essential to recognize that most butterflies have a lifespan of only 2 to 4 weeks, although there are exceptions to this rule. It is important to note that butterflies do not live more than a year. Interestingly, the monarch butterfly, which is a widely recognized and familiar species, stands out for its impressive lifespan of almost 10 months, making it one of the longest-lived butterflies.


Butterflies depend mainly on the liquid food they obtain through their proboscis, a tongue-shaped structure, which allows them to absorb nectar from flowers and internal water from plants.

The largest butterfly in the world

The colossal butterfly, discovered deep in New Guinea, holds the title of being the largest known species of its kind. With an impressive wingspan that reaches up to 31 cm, this magnificent creature is called Ornithoptera Alexandrae. Interestingly, it has been observed that females of this species exceed their male counterparts in size.

butterfly species

Butterflies, with a staggering total of 165.000 identified species, occupy the second largest number of known species within a single group, showing remarkable diversity. These species are classified into 127 families and 46 superfamilies.

Unique characteristics of its wings

The delicate wings of butterflies have a transparent quality, However, we can perceive its vibrant and diverse colors due to the presence of tiny scales that provide protection and reflect light. These scales also serve to keep the butterfly's body temperature regulated.


Its flight speed ranges between 8 and 20 kilometers per hour.


surprising facts and curiosities about butterflies

Butterfly vision may not be incomparable, but it is undeniably extraordinary. They possess the ability to detect colors and patterns of light that are beyond the capabilities of the human eye. Additionally, they excel at tracking moving objects, even fast-moving ones, and have the remarkable ability to perceive polarized and ultraviolet light.

Temperature range

Butterflies thrive in regions with consistently high temperatures, as they cannot survive in colder climates. The optimal temperature range for butterflies is usually between 27ºC and 38ºC.


Have you ever wondered what the purpose of a butterfly's legs is? Surprisingly, butterflies have taste receptors located on their legs. This means that when they want to determine if something is edible or attractive, they use their legs to make contact with the plant.

They eat mud

The consumption of mud is a common practice among them. The mud provides them with essential mineral salts that effectively complement their diet.

Young and eggs

The number of eggs a butterfly can produce at one time varies depending on the species. However, Research has indicated that the upper limit is about 500 eggs. It is important to note that not all of these eggs successfully hatch into adult butterflies.


A variety of predators pose a threat to them, including, but not limited to, wasps, ants, birds, snakes, toads, rats, lizards, dragonflies, monkeys and occasionally frogs, spiders and certain species of flies.


The reason they are so difficult to hunt is due to their exceptional camouflage expertise. These individuals have an extraordinary talent for integrating perfectly into their surroundings, to the point of appearing almost invisible.


The impressive hues displayed by these creatures are not intended for mere display, but rather serve as a means of protection against potential predators. Consequently, certain species employ eye-like patterns (such as the owl butterfly), while others They boast vibrant colors as a misleading warning of their supposed toxicity.

Perfect temperature for flying

Butterflies need a particular temperature of 29,4ºC to be able to raise its wings and take flight. Unlike warm-blooded creatures, they lack the ability to regulate their own body temperature, so they instinctively gravitate toward the warmth of the sun when it's cold and seek shelter in the shade when it's scorching hot.

Defense body

As a means of self-preservation, certain species of caterpillars have a defensive structure on their heads that emits a very unpleasant odor. This remarkable organ, commonly known as the osmeterium, serves to deter potential predators.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the surprising facts and curiosities about butterflies and that you have learned something.

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