Butterflies are insects of the order Lepidoptera. Most butterflies are active during the day and have colorful or bright wings. They drink nectar from flowers and help plants pollinate. They lay eggs on plants which hatch into caterpillars, which eat plants before forming a chrysalis. The chrysalis is a type of protective shell that protects the caterpillar as it turns into a butterfly.
We did more on the butterfly life cycle here.
Butterflies have taste buds on their feet to help them find the right flowers and nectar to feed on. They have six legs which come out of their thorax, four wings, two antenna and two eyes. Like all insects they have three body parts: head, thorax and abdomen. Many have a specialized mouth called a proboscis, which acts like a drinking straw. Some do not have any mouth parts and do all their eating as caterpillars.
Many are poisonous if eaten, this is why they are so colorful to warn predators not to eat them.
They are closely related to moths, their nocturnal cousins. Butterflies tend to be larger, more colorful and fold their wings vertically. Moths are most active at night and have connections between their front and rear wings. Instead of chrysalises, moths make cocoons when they change from caterpillars.