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 which helps to pollinate flowering plants. They lay their eggs on plants. These eggs hatch into caterpillars. The catterpillars become eating machines who eat leaves and plants until they form into a chrysalis. The chrysalis is a type of protective shell that shields the caterpillar so it can turn into a butterfly.
Find out more about the butterfly life cycle here.
Butterflies have taste buds on their feet that help them find the right flowers and nectar to feed on. They have six legs which come out of their thorax, four wings, two antennae 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 butterflies are poisonous if eaten. This is why they are so colorful to warn predators not to eat them.
Butterflies 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.