Did you Know?

  • A fully-grown monarch caterpillar can weigh 2000 times more than when it first hatched from the egg
  • Monarchs that fly to Mexico and return in the spring can live up to 9 months
  • It takes at least two months for monarchs to fly from the north to the overwintering areas in Mexico. The overwintering sites were not known to science until 1975
  • 1 in 3 bites of food we eat is courtesy of insect pollination
  • A monarch butterfly weighs, on average, about half a gram (which is 0.00110231 pound).
  • Butterflies hatch from a chrysalis, a life stage made of a hardened protein. A cocoon is spun from silk and surrounds the pupa of many moths.
  • Butterflies DO NOT form cocoons, no matter what The Very Hungry Caterpillar says! However, not all moths form cocoons, either! Some moth species pupate underground instead. These caterpillars burrow into the soil or leaf litter, molt to form their pupa, and remain underground until the moth emerges.
  • Butterflies have the broadest visual spectrum of any known animals, and can see more colors than you can! They can see UV light, which humans can't.
  • There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world. About 725 species have occurred in North American north of Mexico, with about 575 of these occurring regularly in the lower 48 states of the United States, and with about 275 species occurring regularly in Canada. Roughly 2000 species are found in Mexico.
  • An adult butterfly probably has an average life-span of approximately one month. In the wild, most butterflies lives are shorter than this because of the dangers provided by predators, disease, and large objects, such as automobiles. The smallest butterflies may live only a week or so, while a few butterflies, such as Monarchs and Mourning Cloaks can live up to nine months.


Pollinators are vital to creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems that many animals rely on for food and shelter. Worldwide, over half the diet of fats and oils comes from crops pollinated by animals. They facilitate the reproduction in 90% of the world's flowering plants.
Pollination is important because it leads to the production of fruits we can eat, and seeds that will create more plants. Pollination begins with flowers. Flowers have male parts that produce very small grains called pollen. Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from one flower to another.
Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.
A pollinator is an animal that causes plants to make fruit or seeds. They do this by moving pollen from one part of the flower of a plant to another part. This pollen then fertilizes the plant. Only fertilized plants can make fruit and/or seeds, and without them, the plants cannot reproduce.
Pollinators transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so it can grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world's crops and 90 percent of our wild plants to thrive. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants—including food crops—would die off.
The vast majority of animal pollinators are insects such as beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies and moths; of these, bees pollinate the largest number of plant species. About 1,000 species of pollinators are hummingbirds, bats, and other small mammals.
Depending on the plant species, a flower can produce male, female, or both structures. Pollination can also occur within the same flower. Most flowering plants (90 percent) depend on animals to make the vital pollen-grain delivery.
Pollinators contribute more than 24 billion dollars to the United States economy, of which honey bees account for more than 15 billion dollars through their vital role in keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets.
As far as we know, butterfly speed has not been measured! Certainly, some fast-flying skippers can fly 30 miles per hour or faster. Slow flying butterflies probably fly five miles per hour or a little faster.
During fall migration, migrating monarchs have been seen flying by tall buildings at more than 1,000+ feet. Butterflies are picked up by storm fronts and moved hundreds of miles, probably at altitudes of several thousand feet.
Monarchs are inactive when it's dark, but they can't shut their eyes, because they don't have eyelids.
Yes, they have chemoreceptors at the ends of their antennas and on the bottoms of their "feet!"
Mostly adult male butterflies like to gather around these wet spots -- a behavior known as "puddling." The males take in salts and minerals from the wet soil, which strengthen their sperm and encourage breeding. The nutrients are then transferred to the female through the sperm, thereby improving the viability of their eggs. Much like the highly concentrated nutrients in dried fruits (as compared with fresh), the nutrients in mud puddles become even more concentrated as the water evaporates. Consequently, butterflies often continue visiting these puddling sites until they are nearly dry.
One of the easiest ways to tell the difference is to look at the antennae. A moth's antennae are feathery or saw-edged. Butterflies and moths have many things in common, mainly scales that cover their bodies and wings. Moths tend to have stout and hairy or furry-looking bodies, while butterflies have slender and smoother abdomens. Moths have larger scales on their wings which makes them look more dense and fluffy.