Peepal Prodigy CBSE school Coimbatore
Peepal Prodigy CBSE school Coimbatore

GLAD TIDINGS – Do Butterflies Sleep?


Butterflies are tiny colorful flying insects. They have brightly colored wings which are highly attractive and appealing for sight. Like all insects, a butterfly has four wings, six joint legs, and three body parts (the head, the thorax and the tail end), a pair of antennae called as the proboscis, compound eyes and an exoskeleton.


Where did they get this name from ?

Many people believe that a butterfly got its name from a German word ?milchdieb? which means milk thief. Scientists believed that butterflies came flying into the kitchen windows to drink milk from the kitchen. Some also think that the name is derived during the pre-8th century, from the word ?buturfliog? which means butter and fly.


How do they communicate?


Butterflies communicate with other butterflies by means of sound. They also flatter their wings to give chemical signals to others. This is prominent among male butterflies which will produce the pheromones. These act as a triggering mode for the behavioral responses from other butterflies.


How many kinds of butterflies are there?


Butterflies are plenty in number. They differ in their size, color, habitat, and shapes. There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world. They can be classified into true butterflies, moth butterflies and the skippers. They live in many different places, and they come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Antarctica is the only continent which doesn’t have any butterflies living there. All other continent are filled with? these colorful tiny insects, making the environment colorful and appealing. Scientists are still under exploration of more number of butterflies which has not been described so far.


What are the activities they engage in?


Unlike bees, butterflies also wander about keeping themselves busy. Butterflies involve in hibernation, basking, puddling or migrating. A butterfly rests with outstretched wings in the sunshine in order to absorb as much heat as possible. This is termed as Basking.


What food they feed on?


Caterpillars are super-tasters. They are very specific about the food they eat, this is the main reason for the butterflies to lay their eggs on very specific plants which they feel that would to sufficient for the caterpillars to feed upon. The main work of a caterpillar is to eat sufficient which will be required for the rest of their life time. They chew the leaves with the help of mandibles.

How long does a butterfly live?


A butterfly ha an average life span of one month. Smaller butterflies live only for a week. But some rare species like the monarchs are tropical heliconians may live up to nine months. Since the risk of the predators are high in the wild areas. So the life span of a butterfly may be comparatively less.


How do they fly?


An adult butterfly has four wings: a fore wing and hind wing on both the left and the right side of the body. Their scaly wings are attached to the butterflies thorax. The veins support the delicate wings and nourish them with blood. They can fly only if their body temperature is more than 86 degrees. The flying speed among the butterflies vary. The fastest butterfly can fly at a speed of 30 miles per hour. Slow butterflies can fly up to 5 miles per hour. As the butterflies gets older, their bright colored wings gets faded.


Do butterflies sleep?

They rest but do not sleep. All the sleep that they needed they get from when they were changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly… When butterflies cannot keep their temperatures at activity levels, when it’s cloudy, or at night they become quiescent. This quiescence, or resting, is not equivalent to human sleep. Butterflies always have their eyes open, since they do not have eyelids and they probably do not dream. Butterflies sleep on their window sill on their back.?They sleep by hanging upside-down, underneath a leaf. This hanging requires minimal energy, as their tarsi (aka ?claws?) can grasp on to the leaf with little effort, opposed to standing right side up. Some butterflies require outside heat-energy to become active.?During this nocturnal state they are still capable of flying off if disturbed.