6 Fascinating Facts about Butterflies

Eva Niessner

6 Fascinating Facts about Butterflies

One of our favorite signs that warm weather and blooming flowers are coming soon is seeing a butterfly! Butterflies are beautiful and helpful little creatures that come in every size, shape, and color. We love them so much, we've made a variety of Maryland flag butterfly products! In honor of these insects, we've assembled a few fun facts about butterflies -- how many of them did you know?

1. Butterfly wings are covered in scales

They're too small for us to see when they flutter by, but yes, butterfly wings are covered in scales! These scales are often highly pigmented, giving the butterflies the bright colors that we know them for. They're also used for camouflage and can help the butterflies escape from sticky spiderwebs.

2. Butterflies taste with their feet

Can you imagine tasting anything that you walk on? Well, butterflies do it every day! Their taste receptors are located on their feet, helping them know as soon as they land on a plant if it's the right one to collect nectar from. 

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3. Mud puddles are tasty for butterflies

Have you ever seen butterflies gather at a mud puddle? You may wonder what they're doing when they're standing in the mud. Amazingly, the answer is that they're getting a drink! Muddy water gives them the salts and nutrients that they need to thrive. Despite the fact that we associate butterflies with sipping flower nectar, they also enjoy drinking other salty or sugary liquids.

4. Maryland has its own state butterfly

We love our local pollinator wearing our local colors! The Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly wears black, white, and orange-gold -- sound familiar? These beauties help pollinate local plants and wouldn't look out of place at a baseball game. In 1973, the Baltimore Checkerspot was officially designated Maryland's state insect.

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5. One species of butterfly is carnivorous

There are thousands of species of butterflies on Earth, but only one will actually go out of its way to eat other animals. That's the harvester butterfly, and its snack of choice is the wooly aphid. Since wooly aphids can spread diseases and damage plants, you should thank a harvester butterfly for keeping these pests under control! 

6. Around the world, butterflies represent transformation

It makes perfect sense, doesn't it? A little caterpillar, after a period of total transformation, becomes an elegant, free-flying butterfly. In cultures all over the world, butterflies represent how we can also change and become the best possible versions of ourselves. Dreaming about a butterfly may indicate that you're going to undergo some major changes in your own life.

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