Butterflies Essay, Research Paper


Butterflies are flying insects, which comprise the order Lepidoptera with. There are about 15,000 to 20,000 kinds of butterflies. Butterflies are holometobore insects. The largest butterfly ever found is the Queen Alexandra?s butterfly.

Scientific and non-scientific vocabulary words which must be learned before reading this section in alphabetical order:

Abdomen: (noun) 1. The part of the body in mammals, that lies between the thorax and the pelvis. 2. In arthropods the major part of the body behind the thorax.

Appendage: (noun) (1. Something attached to a larger entity.) 2. A subordinate or derivative bodily part

Conceal: (verb) to keep from observation, discovery, or understanding.

Exceedingly: (adj.) Extreme.

Minuscule: (adj.) Minute.


Proboscis: (noun: plural). A long, flexible snout.

Pollinator =* Pollinate: (verb) to fertilize by transferring pollen from an anther to a stigma of.


Simultaneously: (adj.) Happening, existing, or done at the same time.

Spherical: (noun) 1. A three-dimensional surface all the points of which are equidistant from a fixed point. (2. Ball.)


Stimulate: (verb) stir


Valve: (noun) 1. A membranous bodily structure that retards or prevents the return flow of a fluid (2A. A mechanical device that regulates gas or liquid flow by blocking and uncovering openings. 2B. The movable control element of such a device. 2C. A device in a brass wing instrument that permits change in pitch through rapid variation of the air column in a value. (noun) 1. A fair equivalent or return for something. 2. Monetary or material worth.)

MODULE 1:Butterfly Physiology

Butterflies are insects, which belong to order Lepidoptera. Their body divides into three segments: abdomen, head and thorax. Usually adult butterflies contain antennae, compound eyes, six pair of legs and a hard exoskeleton with their head, thorax and abdomen. Also micro sensory hairs cover butterflies? outer bodies and scales cover the wings, which is rarely seen. Now let?s get back to our body segments.

The most important parts of the head are:





The antennae are used for two important jobs:

$ It?s used for balance in flight. Because butterflies have fragile (breakable) wings, they can easily be worn out in daily use and when they are attacked by other species, which attack their wings rather than their body. When this happens, a butterfly can keep flying because of their antennae fix its balance.

$ They are also helpful for the sense of smell. Female butterflies release kind of scents (pheromones) into the air which male butterflies can detect even from 2 kilometers away. These scents help the butterflies to find and mate each other.


Eyes are very big and spherical organs in butterflies. Butterflies have compound eyes ?containing thousands of hexagonal shaped omatidea.?* Each omatidea (or minuscule sensor) is located at a small different angle from the others. They are directed in every direction so they?re able to see every direction simultaneously. But because of this advantage, nature gave the butterflies a big disadvantage: they have exceedingly small brain and omni-vision, which enables them to focus: the clearest vision they can see is blurred.

Butterflies? eyes are sensitive to three basic visions:


2.movement (motion)

3.and color

Butterflies can separate night from day, but cannot distinguish (ex.) red from purple. They don?t have enough ability to specify who or what is in front of them.

*From http://www.butterflyfarm.co.cr/farmer/bfly2.htm


Butterflies? feeding mechanism is a long double-barreled tube, which is named as ?proboscis?. They feed with liquid substances, so their mouths are shaped like a straw. People generally think of butterflies as feeding from different kinds of nectars, but they also include mud, cow dung, water and tree sap in their diets.


The thorax is the middle part of the body, which connects the appendages (four wings and six legs).

$ The butterflies? ears are located in the thorax, also. They?re made of tight membranes, which is similar to the human eardrum. Just under the membranes, there are hairs but they cannot be seen from outside. The membrane vibrates when a sound wave hits the membrane, which leads the membrane to touch the hairs. Then, the hairs sense the vibration so they send a message to the brain indicating the location of the sound.


Abdomen is also a very important part of a butterfly?s body. It includes the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems.

$ Respiratory system: Because butterflies feed liquid substances, the only thing they excrete is liquid also. The anus is located at the end of the abdomen and hidden (concealed) well.

$ Circulatory system: Circulatory system is very simple in butterflies;

? The heart is a pump attached to a long tube that extends from the abdomen to the head. The blood is pumped through this tube and released into the tissues. Through a pressure gradient, the blood seeps through the tissue back to the abdomen. There it is sucked back into the heart and pumped forward again. There is no transportation of oxygen in the blood. Butterflies have valves called spiracles along either side of their bodies. Some of these spiracles, located mostly along the abdomen, allow oxygen to enter. Other spiracles exhale carbon dioxide. In this way oxygen will enter the body directly. Once inside, there is a network of tunnels similar to the network of veins in the human body. Oxygen will travel directly to where it is needed and pass into the tissue.

? Butterflies have four wings. They have many kinds of wings in many different colors, which even sometimes can make up a picture. Usually, the pair of wing on the front is bigger than the second pair of wings, which are located at the back of the butterfly.

MODULE 2: Reproduction

The only thing that the butterflies earn is that they reproduce.


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