What Do Butterflies Eat



What Do Butterflies Eat?

If you have a garden or love the outdoors you have probably asked yourself, what do butterflies eat?  Well, it depends on what stage of their lives they are in.  What is consumed by butterflies is going to change as they grow from a caterpillar into a real butterfly.  You are going to obtain a level of understanding related to what butterflies eat as you read this brief article.

What do butterflies eat as caterpillars?  Most of the time they are only going to eat plants and leaves.  They are going to eat a lot until it is time for them to make a cocoon.  Most of the time, they are not going to be eating the leaves and flowers in your garden.  If you are experiencing these types of problems, you are most likely going to be dealing with a moth, not a caterpillar.

So, what do butterflies eat?  They actually do not eat anything, they drink.  The butterfly has a long tube within their mouth and this is used to suck numerous types of liquid.  This tube will curl into the butterfly’s mouth and when he or she is ready to drink something it will uncurl so that it can be used.  On hot days may male butterflies will engage in an activity that is called puddling.  During this activity, many of the butterflies will drink and produce hormones.  These hormones are important for helping the male attract female butterflies in the process.   

If there is no water for the butterflies to drink, they may land on the ground and use their long tube like tongues to drink from the soil.  He or she may also engage in an activity that is called nectaring.  This is when they drink nectar from the flowers.  This is important for the environment as well because they help to pollinate the flowers when they do this.

What do butterflies eat when there are no flowers around?  Well, these beautiful creatures are very resourceful and they will find water and sweet juice just about anywhere.  They can drink from fruit, manure and even sap from trees.  They will find a way to crave their thirst no matter what it takes.  They really only need to find something that is going to dissolve in water.  It is interesting to know that flowers are the only way that the butterfly is going to get the nutrients that he or she needs to survive and be healthy.

If you collect butterflies as pets you are going to need to feed it.  You will begin by getting water that does not have chlorine in it.  You will measure out 19 spoonfuls of this water and then add one level teaspoon of the sugar to the water.  Mix it well.  You can put this water into a bird feeder for your butterfly.  It is going to eat once it has digested its last meal.  The butterfly’s brain will notify it that he or she is hungry and it will then eat again.

What do butterflies eat is not really a hard question as you can see but it could be a trick question.  They really do not eat at all, they drink.  You have learned that the butterfly has a tongue that curls and it is just like a straw that we may use when we are thirsty.  It is interesting how much you can learn by simply spending some time reading a brief article.  If you are interested in owning or raising butterflies you can spend some more time learning about other things they may enjoy feasting on besides sugar water.  You may find out that it is very easy to care for these beautiful creatures.