Scroll down this page for answers to all your Butterfly questions.
View striking images of these captivating creatures from all over the world.
Also find related links to coloring pages, crafts, educational opportunities, and more about the world of butterflies.
Shown above: This peacock-inspired Butterfly has landed on a leaf.
Be sure to check back often, as new coloring pages, drawing tutorials, and many more cool design themes are being added here all the time.
Q: What is a Butterfly?
A: A Butterfly is a flying insect that is scientifically classified in the same category as a moth.
Q: What is the study of Butterflies called?
A: The study of insects (which include butterflies) is known as Entomology. Scroll down for detailed reports on the Top 30 US colleges for Entomology studies.
Q: What is the difference between a Butterfly and a Moth?
A: Among other differences, moths are more plentiful than butterflies, and tend to be less colorful.
Another key difference is that butterflies fold their wings vertically up over their backs, while moths tend to position their wings downward like a tent, covering their abdomens.
Q: How many types of Butterflies exist?
A: Research scientists have identified about 17,500 Butterfly species. Roughly 750 of these are native to the United States.
By comparison, there are known to be roughly 160,000 species of moth.
Q: What are the most common types of Butterflies?
A: The most commonly known species of Butterfly found in North America is the black and orange Monarch Butterfly.
Other common North American Butterfly species include the Black Swallowtail, the Cabbage White, the Comma, the Grey Hairstreak, the Mourning Cloak, the Question Mark, the Spring Azure, the Tiger Swallowtail, and the Viceroy.
Q: How did the Butterfly get its name?
A: Some folklore sources indicate that this insect was originally called a "Flutterby," for more obvious reasons.
It is unclear when the name got changed (perhaps by a printing error?) to Butterfly.
Q: Are Butterflies dangerous?
A: An abundance of Butterflies is generally a sign of a healthy ecological system.
The only thing known to be dangerous about butterflies is that certain species can be toxic if ingested.
Luckily, this is rarely a problem, as most people don't eat butterflies.
Q: Will a Butterfly die if you touch it?
A: Butterflies are delicate creatures that can easily sustain injury and/or death if you try to handle one.
But if you sit still in a garden full of butterflies, some of them might decide to land on you.
Q: Why are Butterflies so colorful?
A: The color of a Butterfly provides an excellent camouflage effect against the bright flowers from which the butterfly draws its nectar.
Q: How big is the largest Butterfly?
A: The largest known Butterfly is the Queen Alexandra Birdwing.
The largest known moth is the Atlas Moth.
Above: Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly
Above: Atlas Moth
Q: How small is the smallest Butterfly?
A: One of the smallest known Butterfly species is the American Pygmy Blue, with a wingspan of only about 1/2 an inch.
Q: How long does a Butterfly live?
A: On average, an adult Butterfly has a life span of about 2 weeks.
Q: What do Butterflies eat?
A: Most Butterfly species drink nectar from flowers using their tongues, although some species feed on tree sap or other organic matter.
Top 30 US Colleges to Study Entomology