Amazing facts about butterflies

  • Butterfly on fowerButterflies can't hear, but they can feel vibrations.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet.
  • Butterflies don't have lungs.
  • Butterflies breath through openings on their abdomen called 'spiracles'.
  • Butterflies smell with their antennae.
  • Millions of shingle like overlapping scales give butterfly wings their colour.
  • Butterflies are still able to fly if their scales are removed, they are just less colourful!
  • Butterflies are divided into two main groups called skippers (hesperioidea) and true butterflies (papilionoidea).
  • Female butterflies are usually bigger and live longer than male butterflies.
  • The Queen Alexandra's birdwing from the island of New Guinea is the largest butterfly - it can have a wingspan of 27 cm!
  • Butterflies are related to crabs and lobsters! Why? Because they have skeletons on the outside of their bodies (exoskeletons).
  • There are about 24,000 species of butterfly.Australia has 385 species of butterfly, nearly 70% of which are found in the rainforests of the Wet Tropics.The Painted Lady is the most wide spread butterfly species in the world, occurring on all continents except South America and Antarctica.
  • Antarctica is the only continent on which no Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths & skippers) have been found.Look but don't touch - many caterpillars are covered with stinging hairs which carry a toxin that can be quite painful to humans if touched.
  • Some butterflies, such as the Northern Pearly Eye, will fly at night.Butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators, bees are the largest.Monarch butterflies have been known to migrate over 3000km.
  • The largest threat to butterflies is loss of habitat.