Butterfly & Insect links & articles

Butterfly and Insect Articles

Browse our collection of helpful, educational articles on butterflies and other insects.

atala hairstreak (Eumaeus atala)

The world’s largest butterfly is the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing.  It has a wingspan of 12 inches and is native to Papua New Guinea.  The world’s smallest butterfly is the  Western Pygmy Blue.  It has a wingspan of  0.5 to 0.75 inch and is native to the western U.S.  The world’s […]

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Kallima paralekta butterfly

Butterfly wings are made of two protein membranes that are covered in thousands of scales and tiny hairs. These wing scales are overlapping pieces of the protein chitin and are modified, plate-like setae. The colors and patterns of butterfly and moth wings come from these layers of tiny scales. There […]

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Papilio Troilus butterfly spreading it wings after emerging from pupa.

The process of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis is called eclosion.  Eclosion is controlled by hormones.  These hormones are released to soften the chrysalis and to trigger the central nervous system begin the movements needed to complete the emergence process.  If you look closely at a chrysalis you can […]

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Being able to tell the difference between male and female butterflies and moths can be easily determined or difficult depending on the species.  Some species such as the Painted Lady butterfly look the same in color and markings and can only be differentiated by examining anatomical structures.  Males tend to […]

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It is hard to give a quick response on how long a butterfly or moth might live as it varies greatly from species to species.  It is also important, when talking about longevity of a butterflies or moths, to consider the times of all four of their live stages and not […]

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Fishtail Palm Caryota mitis Asia                   Chenille Plant Acalypha hispida Australia                   Maidenhair Fern Adiantum fragrans Central and South America                   Bromeliad Aechmea ‘Chocolate’ hybrid   […]

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Death as we all know is part of the life cycle for all creatures.  Everyone is always curious about what happens to all of our butterflies when they die.  Picking up the dead is part of our daily routine in the lab.  On average 20-25 butterflies are picked up each […]

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Butterflies and moths both belong to the order of insects called Lepidoptera.   It is difficult to draw a distinct dividing line between the two groups.   Many people refer to butterflies as being diurnal, active during the day, and moths being nocturnal, active at night.  There are many exceptions to this […]

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Using the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) as a model we will look at the four different stages of the butterfly or moth life cycle. Eggs: Female butterfly oviposits on the larval host plant. Eggs hatch within days, many caterpillars eat the eggshell upon hatching. Eggs can be laid singularly or […]

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