Butterfly Facts

Butterflies play an important role in pollinating the plants, flowers and vegetables that we need on the earth. There are so many types of butterflies and many have unique ways of surviving.

Butterfly Facts for Kids

  • Butterflies are insects
  • Butterflies flap their wings about five times every second.
  • During the winter some butterflies like to hyphenate. They will hide in safe places like under leaves, in caves and even inside your home.
  • In America the monarch butterfly migrates 1800 miles every fall to the warmer climates of California and Mexico.
  • Butterflies taste their food with their front feet.
  • There are about 17,500 different species of butterflies.
  • Unfortunately, some species of butterfly are endangered, and some have already become extinct.
  • Butterflies have many different sizes and colors. The smallest butterfly is only about 1/8 of an inch whereas the largest butterfly is nearly 12 inches.
  • Butterflies are insects and are born as a crawling ‘caterpillar’.
  • There are four lifecycle parts to a butterfly: egg, larva (known as a caterpillar), pupa (known as a chrysalis and adult (known as a butterfly).
  • Butterflies have the ability to see the colors green, red and yellow. This is useful for them when finding flowers.
  • A majority of butterflies actually eat the nectar inside of flowers.
  • Butterflies, like many insects have their skeletons on the outside of their body. This is called ‘exoskeleton’ and protects their inner bodies so the moisture doesn’t dry out.
  • When you look at a butterfly you might think it has only two wings, but it actually has four wings.
  • The wing of a butterfly is very colorful. The wings are actually made up of very tiny scales.
  • The highest speed of a butterfly is twelve miles per hour.
  • Only one species of butterfly flies in the same manner as a bird: the Birdwing butterfly
  • Temperature is important to a butterfly as they do not have the ability to fly if their body temperature reduces below 86 degrees Fahrenheit.



Monarch Butterflies for kids

Monarch butterflies have one of the longest journeys of any butterfly and travel from the Northern Great Lakes area of the United States and Canada all the way to the Gulf of Mexico (about 1,800 miles). The journey can’t be accomplished in one generation, so along the way they lay eggs which hatch and then once the next generation becomes a butterfly, they continue.


Scientists are concerned about the Monarch butterfly as their numbers are decreasing more and more each year. It is believed that so much of the land that used to be wild and filled with their favorite food, the milkweed, has been replaced with farmlands and towns.

Many people in the United States have started planting ‘butterfly gardens’ and included the milkweed plant to help the Monarch butterfly. They are using plants purchased from natural growers because the big box and chain stores add chemicals to the plants to keep away all insects, including butterflies.

  • Butterflies lay eggs on trees and branches that are glued with a special kind of adhesive that they make in their bodies.
  • Once a caterpillar has eaten and eaten, it attaches itself to a strong branch or plant with a kind of hook that is part of its body, it then sheds its outer skin and the inner skin hardens until it becomes a kind of protective shell. It is at this time that a butterfly is called a chrysalis. It then undergoes what is called a ‘metamorphosis’, in which inside the shell it changes its body from the caterpillar into a butterfly.
  • Once a butterfly emerges, it will let its wings dry and fill with blood before it tries to take flight.

Butterflies are found on every continent of the world except Antarctica.

  • The butterfly species is one of the greatest species of insects, with about 24,000.
  • Images of butterflies have been found as far back as 3,500 years in ancient Egypt.
  • The longest living butterfly is the Brimstone butterfly. It can live up to nine or ten months.

Some species of butterflies actually have the ability to ‘taste’ with their feet. They use this trait to tell whether the leaf will be good food for the caterpillars that will hatch from the eggs that they lay.




Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links