Wellness of Life

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Wellness of Life

文章 admin » 週二 6月 18, 2019 11:33 pm


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Re: Wellness of Life

文章 admin » 週四 3月 19, 2020 3:54 pm

The Natural History of Butterflies:


Butterflies are among nature's most beautiful creations. For thousands of years, they have captivated and intrigued artists, writers, scientists, and others the world over.

Coloration
Butterfly colours are much more than just pretty patterns. Complex colouration helps butterflies identify prospective mates and, in some species, serves as a warning to predators of toxins in the butterfly's body. Some sneaky butterfly species mimic these warning colors to avoid being eaten. Cryptic coloration fools predators by allowing a butterfly or caterpillar to hide in plain sight.

Body Structure
Like all insects, the butterfly has three body sections. The head is the command center, with a brain and organs for sight and smell and a long coiled proboscis that is used to suck fluids. Densely packed with flight muscles, the thorax has six legs and four wings. The abdomen contains the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems.

Butterfly Plants
Plants are essential to all stages of the butterfly life cycle. Adult butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers and lay their eggs on the leaves of host plants. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars feed voraciously on the host plant, sometimes stripping its leaves in a matter of hours.

Distribution and migration
Butterflies are distributed worldwide except Antarctica, totalling some 18500 species.

Many butterflies, such as painted lady, the monarch, and several danaine migrate for long distances. These migrations take place over a number of generations and no single individual completes the whole trip.


Behaviour

Butterflies feed primarily on nectar from flowers. Some also derive nourishment from pollen, tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, decaying flesh, and dissolved minerals in wet sand or dirt. Butterflies are important as pollinators for some species of plants. In general, they do not carry as much pollen load as bees, but they are capable of moving pollen over greater distances. Flower constancy has been observed for at least one species of butterfly.

Adult butterflies consume only liquids, ingested through the proboscis. They sip water from damp patches for hydration and feed on nectar from flowers, from which they obtain sugars for energy, and sodium and other minerals vital for reproduction. Several species of butterflies need more sodium than that provided by nectar and are attracted by sodium in salt; they sometimes land on people, attracted by the salt in human sweat. Some butterflies also visit dung, rotting fruit or carcasses to obtain minerals and nutrients.

Butterflies use their antennae to sense the air for wind and scents. The antennae come in various shapes and colours; the hesperids have a pointed angle or hook to the antennae, while most other families show knobbed antennae. The antennae are richly covered with sensory organs known as sensillae. A butterfly's sense of taste is coordinated by chemoreceptors on the tarsi, or feet, which work only on contact, and are used to determine whether an egg-laying insect's offspring will be able to feed on a leaf before eggs are laid on it. Many butterflies use chemical signals, pheromones; some have specialized scent scales (androconia) or other structures (coremata or "hair pencils" in the Danaidae). Vision is well developed in butterflies and most species are sensitive to the ultraviolet spectrum. Colour vision may be widespread but has been demonstrated in only a few species. Some butterflies have organs of hearing and some species make stridulatory and clicking sounds.


Heteronympha merope taking off
Many species of butterfly maintain territories and actively chase other species or individuals that may stray into them. Some species will bask or perch on chosen perches. The flight styles of butterflies are often characteristic and some species have courtship flight displays. Butterflies can only fly when their temperature is above 27 Degree Celsius; when it is cool, they can position themselves to expose the underside of the wings to the sunlight to heat themselves up. If their body temperature reaches 40 Degree Celsius, they can orientate themselves with the folded wings edgewise to the sun. Basking is an activity which is more common in the cooler hours of the morning.

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