Butterflies are insects that feed on substances from the flower. They have a parallel origin to that of flowers, due to the importance of their close relationship. It is an insect that receives the name Lepidoptera because the wings they have are covered by tiny scales. There are two groups of butterflies, the diurnal and the nocturnal, which depend on their eating habits.
Diurnal butterflies have vibrant colors and rod-shaped antennae, with wings in a vertical orientation. The nocturnal butterflies are characterized by having spongy antennae, without the shape of a rod; a thicker body than the diurnal butterfly, with muted colors and wings that close down instead of meeting. One of the species of nocturnal butterflies is moths.
What does the butterfly eat?
Its life cycle consists of four forms, which are the egg, larva, chrysalis, and adult. As for its survival, we must say that it is uncertain since it does not have weapons for its defense and it can be easily knocked down and annihilated. Having bright colors helps them camouflage and hide. The greatest enemy of butterflies is usually the bat, but it is ensured that the butterfly has the ability to hear their screeches and run away from them.
There are believed to be about 17,000 species of butterfly in the world, the largest being native to Melanesia, measuring about 25 cm in wingspan.
Anatomically, the butterfly has two eyes, a pair of antennae, three pairs of legs, and a powerful exoskeleton. The body is divided as in most insects, into the head, thorax, and abdomen. Although their wings are covered in scales, their body and legs differ, as they are covered by hairs or soft hairs. The tongue is very rare, in the shape of a trunk, which is kept rolled up most of the time under its head.
In order to reproduce, they begin with courtship, using their nose and wings. Females lay eggs on plants. At birth, the caterpillar or worm is formed which later turns into a chrysalis or pulp. The latter ends up breaking, finally releasing the butterfly.
Their habitat usually ranges from Antarctica to a forest or tropical jungle. In tropical climates, butterflies fly most of the year.
Due to the great changes that our environment and ecosystem undergo, the survival of the eggs is difficult and the butterflies are less and less. Another factor for its poor reproduction is its short life after being released from the pupa.
Nature is necessary for the life of butterflies, although unfortunately their life expectancy sometimes does not exceed one day.
Butterflies feed taking into account the phase in which they are. The caterpillar feeds on flowers, leaves, stems, and plant matter, both flowers and other plants. Cereals such as seeds and grains, in addition to flours, can also be an alternative source for the caterpillar. Already in the adult stage, the butterfly feeds on fungal spores, nectar and pollen, and even some fruits in a state of decomposition or rotten, such as watermelon, banana, and orange.
Showy flowers are their favorites and where they generally get their nectar, which gives them energy by being their dietary form of carbohydrates. Animal waste such as manure is the source from which they obtain the necessary minerals. Sodium is obtained from the sweat of our skin, for that reason they can settle on it and extract it. Another food is sap, commonly called tree juice.
The trunk or tongue of the butterfly is its main weapon when it comes to feeding. This unrolls to penetrate some of the structures and absorb the nectar of the plants. Solid structures are difficult to vacuum. Any substance that butterflies breathe in must be in a liquid state or suspended in water.
During the winter they drink a lot of water and the availability of the vital liquid is important where they are. In some species of the butterfly, the male does not feed to survive, as it does so by collaborating with reproduction.
The time of day they use most often for feeding depends on what type they are. However, most species prefer the night, to fly and feed, than the day. At night they can better hide from any danger, and they also rely on their nose to overcome the dense darkness of the night.
The relationship of butterflies with flowers and plants is more than clear because in them the butterfly performs two of its activities necessary for its survival; laying eggs and obtaining their nutrition, so their survival depends directly on the vegetation.