Studying butterflies is enlightening and relaxing. Their gentle nature and beauty
enhance our world. There are thousands of species scattered all over the world. Just
like any other living being, different butterflies need different climates and plant life to
survive. They migrate just as birds do.
There's much to learn about butterflies. Did you know monarch butterflies eat
milkweed? The plant contains poisonous alkaloids that helps repel enemies. Certain
butterflies like certain plants and become accustomed to certain plants in their
respective parts of the world. You have to learn what each species prefers.
Learning to recognize eggs and types of caterpillars can be educational and rewarding.
Classifying butterflies can be a little complex because of their similarities to each other.
You will discover that there are suborders, super-families, and "true" butterflies.
There are at least six different main families of butterflies: skippers, gossamer wings,
brush-footed, swallowtails, whites and sulphurs, and metalmarks. Their antennae are for
smelling. Since they have no noses, this is nature's way of equipping them with another
useful feature. They resemble moths, which makes it hard to tell the difference
between the two. But if you are able to get a close look at a butterfly, you'll see the
club shaped ends of their antennae. A moth has feathery, tapered ends on their
antennae. Their "noses" are also shaped differently! This is one example of how
butterfly watching can be both educational and rewarding.
Butterfly watchers may easily become discouraged if they are new and don't know where
to get the most butterfly action. Although it may seem like a boring past time, it proves
very useful in the scientific world. Entomologists study the butterfly, along with many
other helpful insects. There are many other people who don't find butterfly watching
Just as different birds are native to different areas, so it is with the butterfly. This is a
hobby that seems simple on the surface, but once you dig a little deeper, you can
discover much that isn't general knowledge. You can use this information to help you
meet other people and as a way to start conversations. Other nature lovers would be
happy to share their experiences once they discover that they share something in
common with another person who also fosters a passion for nature.
Butterfly watching does not have to be expensive. You can invest as much or as little as
you choose as your interest grows. You may choose to have a career that leads to a
more extensive knowledge or perhaps have just enough interest to enhance your garden
with this simple little insect in mind.