By: Vivienne Wellet

Butterflies are extremely prominent, with about 17,500 different species in the world and 750 in the U.S. Their colors can vary in red, blue, yellow, and green but some can mix to make new colors. Interesting facts about butterflies are, they smell with their antennae, if you look at the wings and tell if it is a male or a female, and they can fly as fast as 37 miles per hour. They are as “small” as ⅛ of an inch to as “ huge” as 12 inches.Some people might like them because they symbolize angels,ephemeral beauty, Immorality, and joy. According to scientists, if butterflies are around it means that you will have a big transformation and personal growth. 

It can happen in different colors too, for example, If you see an orange butterfly then you will have joy in the future, if you see blue then it’s a reminder to be at peace with your life, and if you see green then it means it’s a sign of wealth, success, and prosperity. The smallest butterfly ever recorded on the globe was the Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly with the wingspan of 0.5 inches and is native to North America As well as Mexico, Venezuela and as far up north like Oregon.

The biggest butterfly ever recorded is the Queen Alexandra Birdwing that had a wingspan of 30 cm and almost 10 times bigger than normal butterflies. The Queen Alexandra Birdwing is native to Papua New Guinea which is an island off of Australia.  Some of the rarest butterflies in the world are the Island Marble, Sinai Baton Blue, Schaus Swallowtail, and the Palos Verdes Blue. Native butterflies in Florida are Mourning Cloak, Common Buckeye, Zebra Longwing, and the most common ones are the Miami Blue and the Monarch Butterfly. Birds, snakes, lizards, rats, and monkeys are all animals that can eat a butterfly. Small and new butterflies like to eat nectar which can come from plants. Adult Butterflies do like nectar but prefer rotting fruit. The Fruits they like to eat are bananas, apples, pears, strawberries and passionfruit, watermelon,and peaches. 

Butterflies aren’t just born as butterflies, they are catepillars. They go through a series of different steps to become butterflies. First they are eggs which are  from an adult female butterfly. Next they are larva which means caterpillars and they eat a lot . After they turn into larva they turn into a pupa and make themselves like a little shelter and they stay there for a couple of weeks or up to a month. Lastly, after they had their time in the cocoon they eat themselves out and turn into beautiful butterflies and once they are adults they repeat the process. 

The Way we can help protect butterflies is that we could not touch them because they have the powdery stuff that lays on their wings so it protects them and stays waterproof and if they don’t have it they can drown. We can avoid using pesticides on our gardens, humans can work together to stop climate change, and avoid genetically engineered foods. Threats to butterflies are habitat change and habitat loss, fragmentation, natural enemies, and pesticides.

Image from Kennedy-Center.org

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