Where do butterflies live

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Some interesting facts about where butterflies live

The question of where do butterflies live is not so easily answered. This is because the answer is “all over the place” (except maybe Antarctica or the very arid desert regions of the world). Different species of butterflies flourish in different seasons and they are cold-blooded creatures, which means that tropical climates are the most suitable. That doesn’t mean however, that you won’t find them milling around a spring garden in Michigan or even New York. Butterflies are known in every state and every country of the world.

Although there are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world, their origins are mysterious. No one really knows where the word came from either, but it is possible that it arose from the butter-yellow color of common European butterflies called sulphurs. About 725 species have occurred in North America north of Mexico, with about 575 of these appearing regularly in the lower 48 states of the United States, and about 275 in Canada. Roughly 2,000 species are found in Mexico.

What factors answer the question of where do butterflies live?

1- Temperature changes and migrations

Where do butterflies live is a question that embraces thousands of miles of migration in search of constantly warmer temperatures. Almost like the swallows returning to Capistrano, so do the butterflies, to places like New Jersey in the month of May. They settle back to their point of origin when the temperature climbs. Many butterflies that spend the summer in temperate North America cannot survive northern winters. Each year, as the weather becomes warmer, butterflies from Mexico and the southern United States fly north to repopulate these regions. Species that move northward each year include Cloudless Sulphur, Little Yellow, Gulf Fritillary, Painted Lady, American Lady, Red Admiral, Common Buckeye, Long-tailed Skipper, Clouded Skipper, Fiery Skipper, Sachem, and Ocola Skipper.

2- Food sources

Where do butterflies live is a question that is related to the available food source. If you wish to attract butterflies to your garden, plant many flowers, not only for the butterflies but also for the caterpillars, as they eat plant matter. Their diet consists of mainly leaves, but some species eat seeds and seedpods, and butterfly caterpillars are not agricultural pests; in fact, they eat those. If caterpillars are destroying your garden, they are probably not butterflies. Most adult butterflies drink nectar from flowers through their tongues, which function much like straws.

The answer to the question of where do butterflies live concerns one of many important factors that determine their life span. The size of the butterfly is significant, as well as what time of year it becomes an adult. If a butterfly is of the smaller version, it will probably live about a week, while a larger one may live about a month. Mourning Cloaks, some tropical Heliconians, and Monarchs are some of the only butterflies that have an average life span of about nine months.

Butterflies are popular because of their beauty but they are also important ecologically as they are one of the major sources of pollination. Look out your window in the spring and you will find the answer to the question of where do butterflies live. They  are loved and admired wherever they go, and butterfly watching is a popular pastime.

There goes on now, flitting past my window pane….

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