What do butterflies eat

As described in the article butterfly life cycle, there are four different stages in the development of the butterfly. During the egg stage and the pupal stage there is no need to uptake food. The answer to the question what do butterflies eat consists of two parts. On the one hand, the food uptake of a caterpillar, on the other hand, the food uptake as an aldult butterfly.

What do caterpillars eat

A caterpillar only eats leaves of plants. The caterpillar is a real “eating machine”. He eats as much food as possible. Especially to grow but also to have a spare source for the next stage, namely the pupal stage.

What do butterflies eat

As soon as the adult butterfly is formed, it switches on a juice diet. The butterfly drinks all kinds of sweet juices. His mouth parts were transformed so that the butterfly can form a kind of straw with his mouth parts. These mouth parts are also called “proboscis”. The most known juice, that butterflies absorbe, is nectar.

Nectar is secreted by plants and contains a lot of sugars. In addition, nectar contains small amounts of protein, vitamins and various flavorings. Plants attract butterflies by producing nectar. There is also a reason, because while the butterflies absorbe nectar, the pollen of the plant keeps sticking to the legs of the butterfly. This pollen is carried to another plant to be fertilized with that pollen. Besides nectar, the butterfly also drinks juice of trees, fruit juice or even dung.

How long do butterflies live

There is no clear answer to the question how long do butterflies live. There are quite a few different aspects that influence the length of the life of a butterfly.

First of all, there are big differences between the various butterfly species. As discussed in the article types of butterflies, there are more than 18,000 species of butterflies.

The climate also affects the length of their lives. Although there are butterflies that survive the winter, most of them die when the temperature drops. Usually, butterflies hibernate as an egg, a caterpillar or a pupa. These are the other life stages discussed in the butterfly life cycle. As an egg or caterpillar, they are much better protected against the cold temperatures. Another possibility is that the butterflies migrate to the south. Finally, I would also cite that a lot of butterflies die because they are a victim of predators.

As you can see, there is no simple answer to the question how long butterflies live, but in general we can assume that an adult butterfly can live for a month. If you add the other stages of the butterfly life cycle (egg, caterpillar, pupa), they can survive up to a year.