Sources for the word "butterfly"
- English: Possibly from the genus Colias which are commonly called sulphurs. It is thought that the bright yellow of many Colias species may have reminded someone of ‘butter flying’ by.
- Spanish word for butterfly is mariposa.
- French word for butterfly is papillon.
- German word for butterfly is schmetterling.
- Swahili word for butterfly is kipepeo.
- Butterflies are important as pollinators and as a food source for other animals such as birds, lizards, frogs, ants, paper wasps, mantises, and parasitic flies.
- There are approximately 20,000 species of described butterflies worldwide.
- Butterflies range from the Arctic Circle to the southernmost land extensions in the Southern Hemisphere in habitats as diverse as tundra, desert, grasslands, and all types of forests.
- Butterfly color comes from minute scales that cover both sides of the wings and their bodies.
- Butterflies are restricted to a liquid diet and some species do not feed at all.
- Largest Species: Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) from Papua New Guinea. Females can have up to 31 cm (>12 inches) wingspan.
- Smallest Species: Western Pygmy Blue (Brephidium exilis) with a wingspan of 12-19mm (0.5-0.75 inches).