Butterflies are the beautiful and colorful creatures that are seen flying around and flapping their wing. Whenever you catch a glimpse of them, do you ever wonder what they eat and what eats them and why? A small creature yet a life that is full of surprises for the humans. If you are still wondering the answers to the questions asked before, then this article is going to answer all your thoughts with interesting and astonishing facts that must surprise you in shocking ways.
What is a butterfly?
The butterfly is an insect that is not born as a butterfly. Just like humans, they go through different stages that mature them into these beautiful and colorful creatures that mesmerize our eyes. They are actually the mature flying stage of particular insects that belong from a kind of species known as Lepidoptera. This word means “scaly wings” which seems to perfectly fit them. Why do you ask? Because of the fact that butterflies’ wings are covered in petty scales that are overlapping in rows.
A fun fact here, these tiny scales are different for every butterfly. Just like human DNA. Every human being has a DNA that no other human on this can have. This is what makes us humans so different yet unique in so many ways. No two humans have the same thinking or want. Our ways are so much different. Our appearance as well. This same is for the butterflies. The variance is what gives butterflies their uniqueness and makes me appear more beautiful to the naked human eye as well as their predators.
What butterflies eat?
Like all living creatures, butterflies too need food to survive and live. Have you seen butterflies roaming here and there on flowers? Their food is found there, mostly.
Talking about food, mature butterflies were once caterpillars and their food choice are quite different from the mature butterflies. The reason being the difference in mouthparts. The caterpillars have chewing mouthparts, called mandibles, whereas the butterflies have a tube-like tongue known as a proboscis.
Caterpillars eat plants while the food of butterflies resembles a human just out of surgery. Meaning liquids. What did you think I meant?
The food of adult butterflies includes a liquid. They tend to feed on flower nectar. Not only that but liquid in rotting fruit, ooze in trees and in the dung of animals are few other options they have for food.
What Eats Butterflies?
Moving on, butterflies are food for a lot of creatures. Some of the predators that like to chew up a butterfly include snakes, birds, monkeys, rats, and lizards. These are few to name.
There are insects present that will attack the butterfly. Ants, wasps and parasitic flies are few to name. There are so many others as well.
Predators’ choice for butterflies?
A weird question yet an imperative one for predators. Butterflies like meat come two forms. One is the delicious one and the other one is not so delicious form. Predators are just like humans are. Preferring the ones that they like. Ask yourself, which one would I prefer? Your answer is the answer to any predator. The ones that are delicious to eat. Likewise, the predators prefer the ones that are yummy to consume. Life is too short to consume what does not satisfy our taste buds, right?
You may be wondering what the most enjoyable one has to be the one that catches the eye. Isn’t that our perception that what attracts the eye has to be good in taste. Just like a plate of chocolate cake. However, the butterflies that look tempting to the naked eye are the ones that don’t taste so good. This was the last thing that you were expecting. This one fact about butterflies may remind you of the common phrase we hear, “not all good looking things are good” or even “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. See, not everything that shines outer shines from inside.
Anyway, moving on, not only these beautiful butterflies are not good in taste but they are dangerous to the health of the predators. Yes, that’s right. If they are consumed, they release this toxic that can make you sick. Not you. But wait. Move on to the next heading for a twisted fact.
Do humans eat butterflies?
The answer to this question is, I am sure, very surprising and astonishing for you. It was for me, that I can tell you.
Do we know that butterflies are a source of food for a lot of predators but are humans one of them? The answer to this question is yes. You may not be but there are humans that like to eat butterflies for dessert.
Read Also: What do Moths Eat?
These humans are found in Mexico, Africa, and Southeast Asia. These are just a few countries where we can find butterflies on their menu for humans to order.
So, by chance, you get to or want to order a butterfly, for whatever reason, be careful to order the one that’s not that beautiful or you may get sick.
How butterflies save themselves?
To save themselves from predators from catching, hunting, harming and eating them up, butterflies have some smart moves. What are they? Keep reading to find out.
Butterflies have fakes eyes. Yes, that new for you as well, am I right? They use these fake eyes to pretend to be some they are not. Letting their predators believe they are someone or something they might not be interested in or something that might scare them off. Clever, right?
Who thought, those tiny yet beautiful and mesmerizing creatures could be this intelligent. First, they disguise their appearance then if you have the chance to eat the most beautiful butterfly they will take their revenge so beautifully. Just by being the worst taste in the mouth of their predators and then by intoxicating their poison in the body of predators, making them sick. Also, never let them or their friends as well as their family, having the taste or even thought of having any more of their fellow butterfly.