Butterfly Facts

Here are some of the lesser known facts about butterflies.

How long does a butterfly live?

The life span of a butterfly varies between species. Small species may live for several days whilst other species of butterflies may live for a few months. The species we have on display have an average life span of 4 weeks.

Do butterflies grow?

Butterflies don’t grow – it is the caterpillar that does all the growing. When the caterpillar pupates, the size of the butterfly has already been determined.

What do butterflies eat?

Butterflies feed naturally from the nectar of flowering plants such as pentas or buddleia. In The Butterfly House we manufacture an artificial nectar solution for them made from sucrose, glucose, fructose and water.

How many eggs can a female butterfly lay?

A female butterfly can lay between 100 and 300 eggs either individually or in groups.

How many kinds of butterflies are there?

It is estimated that there over 15,000 species of butterflies in the world. New species are regularly found and classified. In Australia we have over 420 different species of butterfly but not all of them are indigenous to Australia.

What are the main differences between moths and butterflies?

Butterflies and moths belong to the same order, Lepidoptera, although there are real differences in their anatomies and habits. A butterfly’s antennae are knobbed at the ends, while a moth’s antennae are straight or feathered. Most butterflies rest with their wings upright over their backs, while most moths keep their wings flat when in a resting position. Butterflies are active during the day, while most, but not all, moths are active at night. We often think that butterflies are beautifully and brightly coloured and moths are dull but there are some moths that are beautifully and vibrantly coloured as well.