National Learn About Butterflies Day is on March 14, another day to celebrate and learn about one of the most beautiful and colorful creatures in the world — butterflies! Butterflies are important creatures because they help to pollinate flowers. But, more than that, they are pleasing to the eyes, and we love seeing them around us.
History of National Learn About Butterflies Day
Butterflies are flying insects with wide, delicate wings. Their colorful wings and body make them popular amongst everyone, including adults and children who chase and play with them. A butterfly’s life cycle or metamorphosis is very interesting as they transition through four phases to become the beauty we all see and love.
A butterfly starts as an egg. The egg hatches within three to seven days into larva, depending on the species of butterfly. The larva or caterpillar feeds on leaves or flowers, losing its skin several times as it grows; the process is called molting. The larva grows steadily over several weeks till it is several times the original size and then turns into a Pupa. Many of these Pupas are suspended under a branch, hidden in leaves, or buried underground, and they become parts of the adult butterfly when they finally break free within 10 to 15 days.
Historically, scientists in their study of evolution believe that butterflies evolved from moths during the Cretaceous period some 40 million to 135 million years back, and they have gone through several evolutions over the millennia to become the butterflies we see today.
National Learn about Butterfly day is an initiative to sensitize and educate everyone, young and old, about butterflies and their importance to the ecosystem. More than their beauty, a teeming population of butterflies signifies a thriving ecosystem due to their role as predator and prey.
National Learn About Butterflies Day timeline
Artists use butterflies in Ancient Egypt; they are carved on temple walls, buildings, pieces of jewelry, and incense burners.
In the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Sir John Tenniel draws an illustration of Alice meeting a caterpillar seated on a toadstool and smoking a hookah.
This is a photographic artwork by Kjell Bloch Sandved, a Norwegian naturalist about finding all 26 letters of the Latin Alphabet and Arabic Numerals zero to nine on the wings of butterflies.
Ehrlich and several other researchers and their studies from fossils reveal the evolution of butterflies from moths about some 40 million years back in relation to the birth of flowering plants on the earth.
National Learn About Butterflies Day FAQs
Are butterflies insects or birds?
They are insects of the order of Lepidoptera and Phylum of Arthropoda.
Where do butterflies stay at night?
Butterflies perch under a leaf, crawl in between blades of grasses, a crevice, or somewhere safe to sleep at night.
What do butterflies eat?
They feed on nectar from plants. Their straw-like mouthpart called proboscis affords them the ability to reach for it deep within the flowers.
How To Celebrate National Learn About Butterfly Day
Plant a butterfly garden
Butterflies love nectar-producing flowers because it serves as a source of nutrition. So, plant flowers in your garden to attract them in their numbers and feast your eyes on their aesthetic beauty.
Learn something new about butterflies
Just like you are doing now, go online, open your textbooks, and learn something new that you never knew about butterflies. Share this knowledge with others, especially kids, to share in the fun.
Create your own butterfly
Get your spouse, kids, family, or friends, and make butterflies with the most creative materials you can find. It can be a food butterfly, a painting, whatever.
5 Important Facts About Butterflies
Species of butterflies
There are more than 20,000 types of butterflies all over the world.
Butterflies can live between a week to a year, depending on the conditions and species.
Tears of turtles
Butterflies drink tears of turtles and have been captured in the process several times in the Amazon.
Tasting with their feet
Butterflies taste with their feet, which have taste sensors.
Butterflies can migrate for long distances, with an example of the Monarch butterfly, which moves from Mexico to the northern U.S. and southern Canada, a journey of over 2,500 miles.
Why We Love National Learn About Butterfly Day
Butterflies are loveable insects
Their beauty and harmlessness make us fall in love with them. Everyone, both children and adults, love butterflies and would readily burst into a smile if they landed on our hands or clothes.
An important part of the ecosystem
Butterflies signify a thriving ecosystem. They are food for bats and other birds in both their adult and caterpillar form, and they also feed on some smaller insects that affect plants.
Butterflies pollinate plants which in turn support the growth of many plant species. Their act of cross-pollination has also led to several crossbreeds of plants, bringing new discoveries to science.
National Learn About Butterflies Day dates