What Do Butterflies Eat and Drink
Actually, butterflies do not eat at all. Well, at least not in the traditional sense. What do butterflies eat? Instead of eating, butterflies get their nourishment from drinking. They have a long narrow tube in their mouth called a proboscis that acts as a straw.
They usually set on top of a flower and drink the nectar. To see a congregation of many kinds of butterflies together they feed on small puddles on the ground or wet areas on leaves and plants. See the section below if you are interested in what Caterpillars eat.
Did You Know?
Butterflies can taste with their feet. They have six lets and they each have sensors on them that can tell just by landing on a flower what it taste like.
Butterflies can eat anything that can dissolve in water. They mostly feed on nectar from flowers but also eat tree sap, dung, pollen, or rotting fruit. They are attracted to sodium found in salt and sweat. This is why they sometimes even land on people in Butterfly Parks. Sodium as well as many other minerals is vital for the butterflies reproduction.
Create your own Butterfly Garden
A butterfly garden is nothing more than growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and beautiful creatures. Not only will your garden be a delight to look at and enjoy, you will also create a safe habitat for them.
When considering which flowers to plant keep in mind that butterflies like nectar plants like the butterfly bush, purple coneflowers, sage, beauty bush, sunflowers, lilacs, snapdragons, and zinnias. Try staggering the wild flowers with the cultivated plants. You will also want to stagger the blooming times (time of the day and year) to keep your garden active longer. Keeping groups of the same plants together will make it easier for the butterflies to see than singly planted flowers.
Another way to attract adult butterflies to your yard is to offer places for females to lay their eggs.
These are called host plants. Some females are pickier about which host to lay their eggs on than others. You will need to find out what kinds of butterflies are native to your area to know which types of host plants you will need to grow.
What do caterpillars eat
Before butterflies and moths get their wings, they spend their lives on the ground as caterpillars. After a caterpillar hatches from an egg, it spends the next two weeks to the next month of its life eating. During this stage of its life, a caterpillar focuses on eating because it needs to grow as much as it can in a short period of time. What do caterpillars eat? Caterpillars use their strong mandibles, or mouth and jaws, to chomp on leaves of trees and plants with flowers. Since caterpillars start out as eggs on leaves, they usually eat from the plant or tree on which their lives began. Sometimes, caterpillars can be picky eaters, and will only eat one type of leaf for their entire life. When caterpillars are thirsty, they don’t drink water the way a human would. Instead, they just eat more leaves. This is because leaves contain all the water a caterpillar needs.
Caterpillars eat mostly leaves and other various plants parts. Each species of caterpillars eats only a few kinds of plants or plant parts. That is why finding good host plants to grow in your butterfly garden can be unique to what types of butterflies are native in your area.
What do woolly bear caterpillars eat
One species, or type of caterpillar is called the woolly bear caterpillar. This caterpillar looks fuzzy and is usually brown and black. It likes to eat the leaves of plants that grow close to the ground. Examples of what to feed a wooly bear caterpillar include strands of grass and clovers. The woolly bear caterpillar can absorb chemicals from the plants they eat that make them taste bad to other animals. In other words, the caterpillar’s diet is also a source of protection!
What do monarch caterpillars eat
Another species of caterpillar is the monarch caterpillar. This caterpillar is not fuzzy like a woolly bear caterpillar, and it is covered with yellow, black, and white stripes. Monarch caterpillars are picky eaters, and will only eat the leaves of a milkweed plant. Milkweed also contains toxins that can help protect a caterpillar. When the monarch caterpillar feeds on milkweed, the toxins transfer from the plant to the caterpillar. These toxins do not taste good to predators, and can even cause vomiting. For these reasons, predators have learned to leave monarch caterpillars alone.
Butterfly life cycle
Before a caterpillar becomes a caterpillar, it starts out as an egg that is laid on the leaf of a plant. When the egg hatches, out crawls a caterpillar. This is an important stage in the butterfly life cycle. A caterpillar’s job is to eat and grow as much as it can before it sheds its exoskeleton and turns into a pupa. A pupa is what a caterpillar is called while it is wrapped up in a cocoon. Inside the cocoon, the caterpillar’s body is going through many changes. The caterpillar might stay in the cocoon for weeks or even months. When it finally leaves the cocoon, it has wings, and flies away as an adult butterfly or moth. Eventually, the butterfly or moth will lay eggs on a plant, most likely the plant that the newborn caterpillar will eat, and the butterfly life cycle will start all over again.
What Do Moths Eat
Moths are a type of Lepidoptera which is a of class Insecta. There are more than 150 thousand known species in this group. Moths are divided in different families and each of these families like to eat different things. Most moths are pest of plants which means they mostly suck nectar. Moths of family Tineidae are pest of woolen and silken cloths while the silk worm moth eats Mulbarry leaves.
Most adult moths do not eat at all. Instead of eating most moths like butterflies get their nourishment from drinking. They use a proboscis, a long narrow tube in their mouth, that acts like a straw. They usually set on top of a flower and drink the nectar.
So in short, what do moths eat? They eat anything that can dissolve in water, They mostly feed on nectar from flowers but also eat tree sap, bird droppings, animal dung, pollen, or rotting fruit. They are attracted to sodium found in salt and sweat. This is why butterflies sometimes land on people in Butterfly Parks. Sodium as well as many other minerals is vital for their reproduction.