Noted for their large, colorful wings, butterflies are insects with a distinctive fluttering flight. Many people associate butterflies with flowers, but where do butterflies live? Butterflies are found almost everywhere in the world, living on every continent except Antarctica.
Butterflies are ectothermic, or cold-blooded, and regulate their body temperature by taking in heat from or releasing heat into the environment. For this reason, most butterflies live in temperate or tropical regions. Many species of butterfly migrate to avoid extreme environmental conditions. While most migrate short distances, some migrate thousands of miles.
Butterfly habitats vary, and include environments as diverse as tropical forests, grasslands and tundra. A butterfly begins life as an egg deposited on a host plant. Once hatched, caterpillars feed on the host plant until ready to complete the transformation to butterfly. Adult butterflies may perch in one place for part of each day, soaking in heat from the sun, before setting out to find food.
Curious what do butterflies eat as they travel throughout the day? Adult butterflies eat only liquids, using their proboscis like a straw. Butterflies drink nectar from flowers, sap, and fruit juices. Some butterflies drink water from puddles to absorb needed salts.