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What do butterflies eat

What do butterflies eat

What do butterflies eat and how their life works (duration and life cycle). Curiosity, how long a butterfly lives and what it eats.

Let's face it, when we think of insects we always perceive "a certain annoyance". Let's imagine cockroaches, hornets, wasps ... in this dense scenario, however, there is an insect that just never disappoints us: the butterfly! Indeed, among all insects, probably only butterflies and ladybugs can feed our sympathies.

Here, after seeing what ladybugs eat, let's seewhat butterflies feed on!

Life cycle of the butterfly:

First let's say that thebutterflyit faces different stages of development and in each of these it has different aspects and behaviors. The development stages of the butterfly are:

  • Egg
  • Caterpillar
  • Pupa orchrysalis
  • Butterfly

What does the butterfly caterpillar eat? Eggs represent the first food resource for the butterfly. The caterpillar, in fact, pushing itself out of the egg is very vulnerable and what remains of the egg provides it with the necessary nutrition for survival until the moment it reaches its host plant.

If the butterflies are beautiful to look at and useful for the vegetable garden, the caterpillars are less so. The caterpillar of the butterfly, in fact, feeds on the plants until it swells. When the caterpillar has reached its maximum size, it will begin to mutate and take the shape ofchrysalis.

The chrysalis uses the resources accumulated by the caterpillar to carry out its metamorphosis. The waste products of the chrysalis metabolism are emitted outside just before the flickering and are called "meconium".

Here we come back to the crucial question:what do butterflies eat?The adult butterfly has a completely different type of life from that of the caterpillar. If the caterpillar lives mainly on a host plant, the butterfly spends its time onflutter.

The caterpillar is not always as harmless as everyone thinks. Some caterpillars have very showy colors but they don't comeeaten by birds or other predators because they are toxic, the toxic substances are obtained by feeding on certain host plants.

What do butterflies eat

After hatching, the butterfly remains with its wings folded and dangling. The butterfly is able to expand its wings by pumping the hemolymph into the wing ribs. This phase is very critical because if the butterfly fails to expand its wings quickly, they harden and prevent its flight: the wings would remain permanently deformed.

What do butterflies eat? While the caterpillar feeds on leaves, thebutterfly spends its life sucking nectar from flowersand to reproduce so as to carry out the laying of the eggs by the following autumn.

So yes, the butterfly eats the nectar of flowers!

The largest extant butterfly is the Ornithoptera alexandrae orQueen Alexandra butterfly. This butterfly can reach a wingspan of 31 cm, a body length of 8 cm and a weight of up to 12 grams. Even if theQueen Alexandra butterflyis the largest, certainly the most popular butterfly in Italy is the swallowtail butterfly. Among the different species of butterflies, it amazes for itsmaddening migrationtheremonarch butterfly.

When butterflies live

The monarch butterflies (they live between the United States and Mexico), made known to the mass through the show Under the Dome,they are famous for theirsmigrations: they manage to migrate thousands of kilometers and can live from two weeks to eight months.

Native to Costa Rica, there are butterflies thatthey liveonly two days while the butterfly Vanessa antiopa can live up to a year.

It is important to say that the question“How long a butterfly lives"Is a bit ambiguous. Because when we talk about butterflies we are referring only to the adult stage of an insect that also experiences other stages (caterpillar and chrysalis). Some butterflies can take several years to reach maturity. There are cases in which the chrysalis stage can last up to 30 years before leading to adult flicker. For more information on thelife span of a butterflyI refer you to the in-depth study dedicated to how butterflies live: how long a butterfly lives.


Video: How to Feed a Butterfly (July 2021).