Photos and article by Kathryn Mann
The top speed of an average butterfly in flight is 12 miles per hour.
During rain butterflies find protection in trees, tall grass, and shrubs, though many die in a major storm.
A butterfly uses its feet for tasting and antennae for smelling.
Only 2% of eggs that butterflies produce ever become butterflies. Insects eat most of their eggs. At the caterpillar stage of their life birds and other predators eat them.
Their tongue – the proboscis, is used like a straw to get nectar from flowers. It curls up when not in use.
Butterflies are cold blooded and don’t become active until the temperature is 70° F (21° C).
Butterflies make no sound and cannot hear, but can feel vibrations.
They emit odors called pheromones to attract mates which can be detected more than a mile away. During mating the male and female connect at their abdomens for between 15 minutes and three hours.
Butterflies breathe through a series of tiny openings on their sides called spiracles that bring oxygen into their body. They have neither a nose or lungs for breathing.
A butterfly emerges from a cocoon full sized. It will never get any larger.
Butterflies do not have a mouth.
There are about 15,000 species of butterflies. About 700 of those can be found in the United States and Canada.