Trivia and Interesting Facts

Did you know.....

Butter-coloured Fly

Butterflies are the most colourful of all the insects and it has been suggested that in England, many centuries ago, they were called the butter-coloured fly (hence butterfly) after the yellow butterfly Brimstone.

How Many ?

Of the estimated 20 000 species of butterflies worldwide only about 420 are found in Australia. Of these almost half are endemic i.e. they are not found anywhere else.

Feet sensors

Sensors in the feet of the last pair of legs allow butterflies to taste things, such as the correct larval food plant.  This enables the females to lay their eggs on a plant that the larvae can eat once they hatch.  Also these 'sensors' allow butterflies to 'taste' liquids before drinking them.

Tracking Device

In 2004-5 Scientists in the UK attached tiny tracking devices to the bodies of butterflies to track their movements for two weeks around a field.  This study showed that far from moving around at random the butterflies often identify suitable flowers from which to collect nectar at distances of more than 100m and will fly in a direct line without stopping to get there.