One of the nicest things about being outside in the Summer is seeing beautiful butterflies fluttering around the garden or the park. Conveniently, today is National Learn About Butterflies Day, so you and your kids can learn in time for the warm weather!
We’ve put together a list of five facts about them to help you learn about these amazing insects before watching them outside!
1. A butterfly’s lifecycle is: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult
Butterflies leave their eggs on leaves, attached with a glue. The eggs then hatch, then they become caterpillars. When they are ready to become butterflies they attach themselves to a twig or leaf. They shed their outside layer to reveal a hard skin underneath known as a chrysalis.
The adult butterfly will emerge from the hard chrysalis shell. After a few hours, its wings are ready and it can fly for the first time.
2. Many butterflies feed on flower nectar
Butterflies have taste receptors on their feet. They fly down and feed on the sweet nectar. If you have lots of flowers, especially Buddleia plants in your garden, you may be visited by a butterfly.
3. There are lots of different species
Keep an eye out for all the different types of butterflies that flutter through your garden and local park. Scientists estimate there are well over 15,000 different species of butterfly, ranging in size from a small 1/8 inch to a gigantic 12 inches!
4. Butterflies can be found almost everywhere in the world
The only continent in the world in which no butterflies (or even moths) have been found is Antarctica. Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 30°C.
5. Some butterflies are super fast!!
Skipper butterflies are fast. They can fly up to 37mph, but most fly at 5-12mph.