Butterflies (Encyclopedia of Science)
Butterflies are popular, well-known insects with large, colorful wings covered with tiny scales. Together with moths, butterflies make up the order Lepidoptera, which contains over 150,000 species or kinds. Scientists estimate that about 15,000 butterfly species exist worldwide. During its life cycle, a butterfly undergoes a complete metamorphosis (pronounced met-uh-MORE-fuhsiss) during which it changes from a leaf-eating caterpillar to a nectar-sipping butterfly.
Beauty with a purpose
Butterflies are one of our very favorite insects. The fact that they do not sting or bite, are brightly colored, and do not become pests in people's homes has something to do with why most people enjoy seeing them fly around and would seldom think of killing one (as one might do with other insects thought of only as "bugs"). Most people think that butterflies simply make the world a prettier place. However, like other life forms in the world, they have a place and serve a purpose. For the plant world, butterflies pollinate or carry pollen from plant to plant, helping fruits, vegetables, and flowers to produce new seeds. From the...
(The entire section is 1466 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!