What Does the Butterfly Do for Nature?



  • When an adult butterfly lands on a flower to suck some delicious nectar through its proboscis, it accidentally gathers pollen on its body as it rubs against the anther. The butterfly rubs some of the pollen on the next flower it moves to and collects some more. Through this process, the butterfly is able to pollinate numerous flowers as it moves along. Pollination allows plants to reproduce by producing seeds. Of course, some seeds are protected inside delicious fruits that we enjoy eating; others are housed in vegetables. Butterflies seem to prefer pink, red and purple flowers. Because a butterfly cannot smell it does not care that the flowers it pollinates are odorless. Its long proboscis allows it to access flowers that a bee could not, and its light weight allows it to land on the most delicate of plants. The larvae of butterflies, also known as caterpillars, are important to farmers and gardeners in helping to control plant growth. Because the butterfly is sensitive to ecological changes, its lifespan helps indicate to scientists the current health of the ecosystem.

Provide Food

  • The stages of a butterfly’s growth provide food sources for many insects, birds, spiders, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. There are ants that consume butterfly eggs. The larvae stage of the butterfly provides food for insects and many kinds of birds. Even the chrysalis and caterpillars provide an occasional meal for scorpions and ants. The adult butterflies provide meals for bats, lizards, birds (including beautiful songbirds), spiders, big wasps and frogs. Some parasites live inside a caterpillar’s body and feed on it. These hatch from eggs laid by some types of flies and wasps.

Add Beauty and Magic

  • You may think about the butterfly as a living flower, displaying its beauty wherever it goes. The vivid bright colors stand out against the blue sky and green foliage, attracting its mates. The bright colors deter some potential predators by suggesting bad taste or poison. Before winter, the fragile Monarch butterfly actually migrates up to 2,000 miles, forming huge colonies in Mexico and parts of California. They head north and east when spring arrives, laying their eggs along the way before they die. Though butterflies make the trip only once, they magically know where to go. Metamorphosis is pure magic in nature when a beautiful butterfly emerges fully formed from a chrysalis that was spun from a crawling caterpillar. The butterfly begins life as an egg that hatches into a larva or caterpillar. The caterpillar grows and then creates a protective case known as a chrysalis, which is the pupa stage.

Related Searches

  • Photo Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/hape_gera/193869094/
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • What Do Butterfly Eggs Look Like?

    Butterflies mate then lay eggs on host plants. Host plants are plants that provide food for the caterpillars of a specific butterfly...

  • Why Do Bees Pollinate Flowers?

    Pollination is the term used for the sexual reproduction and fertilization of one plant by another. Most plants require pollination from another...

  • How Do Ladybugs Help the Environment?

    Ladybugs, also known as lady beetles or ladybirds, are among the most familiar beetles in the world. Their orange-red and black bodies...

  • Role of Butterflies in the Ecosystem

    The butterfly is a diverse insect, found in many colors and sizes. Worldwide, there are more than 28,000 species of butterflies, with...

  • When Do You Plant a Butterfly Bush?

    The butterfly bush, or buddleia, is a native of China that was introduced in England in the 1700s. It grows easily and...

  • Flowers That Butterflies Like

    Butterfly gardens are particularly fun to create because the flowers are extremely fragrant and unique. Once they have matured and the plants...

  • What Do Butterflies Do When it Rains?

    When it rains, butterflies seek shelter under tree branches, in a rock crevice or in a wood pile, often hanging from the...

  • How to Feed Butterflies

    Feed butterflies by providing a wide variety of nectar-rich flowers or by placing a sugar solution on a sponge. Learn how butterflies...

  • What Do Butterflies Do for the Environment?

    Butterflies help the environment by pollinating flowers and providing food for nestling songbirds as caterpillars. Discover how critical butterflies are to the...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!