What Do Butterflies Eat

what do butterflies eat

The butterfly is one of the most majestic creatures on the planet. Some species, such as the Monarch, are exceptionally beautiful and can have a positive impact on your mood.

There is something that is almost magical about watching the calming flutter of this insect’s wings.

Butterflies actually eat several different types of food. It’s important to realize that these insects actually start out as caterpillars, and during this form, they eat nothing but the leaves of plants.

Once he has become an adult, a butterfly will start eating water, nectar and fluids from various types of fruits. One of the fastest ways to bring butterflies into your backyard is to plant several fruit-bearing trees and flowers.

Since butterflies are quite small, most people don’t know that they consume food through a narrow tube, which is called a proboscis and resembles a straw.

You can’t actually see the eating process, but most butterflies love to sip on nectar, and the bulk of their diet consists of fluids.

Some of the most well-known types of butterflies are the Monarch, Lady, Shallowtail, black, Tiger, blue, white, viceroy, Morpho, Peacock, Zebra, Buckeye and Owl.

Monarch Butterflies

Like most other butterflies, this particular species cannot consume food particles, so it’s limited to a diet of only liquids. You can find the Monarchs sipping on liquids from flowers, plants and fruits. They can consume natural juices found in watermelon, oranges and bananas.

They love to drink the tasty nectar out of different types of plants. They really enjoy the nectar because it’s a sugary, sweet liquid that is produced by plants. In the same way that humans get energy from sugar, Monarch butterflies get energy from drinking sugary nectar.

Painted Lady Butterflies

This type of butterfly actually uses its feet to taste food. Although that might seem weird to us, it’s perfectly natural for this beautiful little creature. Sensors on its legs act like taste buds.

The straw-like feeding tube that this little bugger has resembles a paper horn used for birthday parties.

The shape of this creature’s straw lets it drink food particles rather than chewing them. Like other species, the Painted Lady loves to consume nectar from various types of plants. It enjoys eating everlastings, marigolds and giant goldenrods.

Shallowtail Butterflies

These stylish little creatures are quite large and colorful. There are over 550 species, but most of them are tropical and inhabit almost every continent. If you’re wondering what they eat, you’ll find that their food sources are very similar to what other butterflies eat.

You can find these guys munching on a variety of garden plants. The enjoy feasting on plants from the fennel, dill, parsley and carrot families.

The adult versions of these creatures feed on flower nectar, but they’ve also been known to consume mud and manure.

Blue Morpho Butterflies

They like to eat different types of food at different points in their life. For example, as caterpillars, they only eat the leaves of plants. They actually prefer the pea plant family. Since an adult Morpho is unable to chew, he must use his straw-like feature to drink food.

He uses his proboscis like a drinking straw and regularly feasts on the juices of rotting fruit. He might also drink from the corpses of decomposing animals.

The Morpho has even been known to drink from wet mud and tree sap. Like other species, this guy has sensors on his legs, which he uses as taste buds.