Butterfly Trivia

Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.

Representations of butterflies are seen in Egyptian frescoes at Thebes, which are 3,500 years old.

There are nore than 700 species of butterflies in North America, but only a handful feed on agricultural crops.

Some people say that when the black bands on the Woolybear caterpillar are wide, a cold winter is coming.

The top butterfly flight speed is 12 miles per hour. Some moths can fly 25 miles per hour!

Monarch butterflies journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring.

The smallest Lepidoptera are moths of the family Nepticulidae, with a wingspan of less than 2 mm (their caterpillars are very tiny also).

During the time from hatching to pupation, a caterpillar increases its body size more than 30,000 times.

Millions of shingle-like, overlapping scales give butterfly and moths wings their colors.

Butterflies range in size from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches.

Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.

The largest Lepidoptera is the South American owlet moth Thysania agrippina, which has a wingspan of 32 mm (slightly over one foot).

It takes about ten pounds of mulberry leaves for silkworms to be able to manufacture 1 pound of cocoons, which can be spun into a silk thread over 100 miles long.

The wings of some butterflies and moths are marked with patterns that look very much like letters of the alphabet, as well as numerals.

Antarctica is the only continent on which no Lepidoptera have been found.

There are about 24,000 species of butterflies. The moths are even more numerous: about 140,000 species of them were counted all over the world.

The Brimstone butterfly (Gonepterix rhamni) has the longest lifetime of the adult butterflies: 9-10 months.

Many insects can carry 50 times their own body weight. This would be like an adult person lifting two heavy cars full of people.

There are over a million described species of insects. Some people estimate there are actually between 15 and 30 million species.

Most insects are beneficial to people because they eat other insects, pollinate crops, are food for other animals, make products we use (like honey and silk) or have medical uses.

Monarch butterflies regularly migrate beween southern Canada and central Mexico, a total distance in excess of 2500 miles. They onlt weigh 1/50 of an ounce yet travel at 20 mph and reach altitudes of 10,000 feet.

Members of the silkworm moth family have been raised in China since 2697 BC, where the methods are silk production had been a closely guarded secret. Anyone caught removing these insects from China was executed! However, in 55 AD two monks managed to hide some silkworm moths in their walking canes and smuggle them to Constantinople.

"Puddle clubs" are groups of butterflies (usually males) that gather around mud puddles and other moist areas of soil to suck up salts and other minerals dissolved in water.

Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. This protects the insect and keeps water inside their bodies so they don’t dry out.

Some Case Moth caterpillars (Psychidae) build a case around themselves that they always carry with them. It is made of silk and pieces of plants or soil.

The caterpillars of some Snout Moths (Pyralididae) live in or on water-plants.
The females of some moth species lack wings, all they can do to move is crawl.

The Morgan's Sphinx Moth from Madagascar has a proboscis (tube mouth) that is 12 to 14 inches long to get the nectar from the bottom of a 12 inch deep orchid discovered by Charles Darwin.

People eat insects – called "Entomophagy"(people eating bugs) – it has been practiced for centuries throughout Africa, Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and North, Central and South America. Why? Because many bugs are both protein-rich and good sources of vitamins, minerals and fats.

YOU can eat bugs! Try the "Eat-A-Bug Cookbook" by David George Gordon , 10 Speed Press. Don’t want to cook them yourself? Go to HotLix for all sorts of insect goodies! My favorites are "Cricket-lickit’s" – a flavored sucker with a real edible cricket inside.

Some moths never eat anything as adults because they don't have mouths. They must live on the energy they stored as caterpillars.

Many butterflies can taste with their feet to find out whether the leaf they sit on is good to lay eggs on to be their caterpillars' food or not.

There are more types of insects in one tropical rain forest tree than there are in the entire state of Vermont.

In 1958 Entomologist W.G. Bruce published a list of Arthropod references in the Bible. The most frequently named bugs from the Bible are: Locust: 24, Moth: 11, Grasshopper: 10, Scorpion: 10, Caterpillar: 9, and Bee: 4.

The chrysalises (pupae) of some gossamer-winged (lycaenid) butterflies are capable of producing weak sounds to scare off potetial enemies. They do this by flexing and rubbing together body segment membranes.

In some moths the wings are mostly transparent (scales only along the wing veins) and they are mimics of wasps.

The fastest Lepidoptera are the sphinx moths. Some species have been clocked at 60 kph (37 mph). Many of these same moths are also capable of hovering in the air like a helicopter.

Many caterpillars are covered with stinging (urticating) hairs which carry a toxin that can be quite painful to humans if touched.

Adult butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers, but may also be seen feeding on rotting fruit, tree sap, fluids from animal carcasses, and mud puddles.

The yucca plant and the yucca moth are totally dependent upon one another for their existence - a relationship known as mutualism.

The organs used to taste food are not located on a butterflies head - they are located on the terminal segments of the leg (tarsi).

The silkworm, Bombix mori, is the only truly domesticated insect. The adult moths are so tame they can barely fly and they must be hand fed.

The irridescent colors found on the wings of many Lepidoptera are produced by bending light, not by pigmentation.

The vampire moth of Asia has a stiff proboscis that enables them to suck juices from thick-skinned fruits, but occasionally they can be found sucking the blood from a water buffalo or deer.
Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl