1st June marks Butterfly Education and Awareness Day. Founded by the charity, Association for Butterflies, the day aims to make the public more aware of butterflies and their importance as pollinators and their place in nature. It’s a fun opportunity to get outside with your kids and go butterfly spotting, or get the books out to discover more about these beautiful insects. To get you started, here are some fun facts about butterflies from The Butterfly Site that ought to intrigue!
1. Butterflies range in size from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches.
2. Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.
3. The top butterfly flight speed is 12 miles per hour. Some moths can fly 25 miles per hour!
4. Monarch butterflies journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring.
5. Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.
6. Antarctica is the only continent on which no Lepidoptera have been found.
7. There are about 24,000 species of butterflies. The moths are even more numerous: about 140,000 species of them were counted all over the world.
8. The Brimstone butterfly (Gonepterix rhamni) has the longest lifetime of the adult butterflies: 9-10 months.
9. Many butterflies can taste with their feet to find out whether the leaf they sit on is good to lay eggs on to be their caterpillars’ food or not.
10. Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. This protects the insect and keeps water inside their bodies so they don’t dry out.