Related topics: species ยท climate change

Beating the heat in the living wings of butterflies

A new study from Columbia Engineering and Harvard identified the critical physiological importance of suitable temperatures for butterfly wings to function properly, and discovered that the insects exquisitely regulate their ...

Subtle changes, big effects

"Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?," Edward Lorenz, once famously wondered at the 139th meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Scientists have recently ...

Is evolution predictable?

An international team of scientists working with Heliconius butterflies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama was faced with a mystery: How do pairs of unrelated butterflies from Peru to Costa Rica ...

Millions of monarch butterflies killed on Texas highways

Monarch butterflies are moving south through Texas on their annual autumn migration to overwintering sites in Central Mexico, but millions die in collisions with vehicles while flying low across Texas highways. Monarch numbers ...

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Butterfly

A butterfly is an insect of the order Lepidoptera. Like all Lepidoptera, butterflies are notable for their unusual life cycle with a larval caterpillar stage, an inactive pupal stage, and a spectacular metamorphosis into a familiar and colourful winged adult form. Most species are day-flying so they regularly attract attention. The diverse patterns formed by their brightly coloured wings and their erratic yet graceful flight have made butterfly watching a hobby.

Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea). Butterflies exhibit polymorphism, mimicry and aposematism. Some migrate over long distances. Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. Butterflies are important economically as agents of pollination. In addition, a few species are pests, because they can damage domestic crops and trees in their larval stage.

Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA