Tiger Butterfly

October 21st, 2007

The tiger butterfly, named for its yellow color with black stripes, is mainly found in the forests of Central America. Other locations for the tiger butterfly include the Eastern United States and Canada. This particular species of butterfly loves the warm, moist air as well as plenty of food. They need to bask in the sun in order to be able to fly as their wings will only work if their body temperature is above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. They are among the fastest species of butterflies, with a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.

Their favorite food is the nectar from the abelia shrub. It is also a very strong butterfly with wings that flutter almost effortlessly through the air. They are commonly referred to as swallow tails because they feature long, pointed tails on their hind wings.

The Tiger butterfly has very bright colors, but it doesn’t have to worry too much about predators. This is because eating this particular butterfly will leave them very ill. While it won’t kill them, they definitely remember the affects and avoid eating it again. Their main threat is actually humans because the Tiger butterfly is often sought by collectors.

The Tiger butterfly is very popular throughout the United States. In fact, it is the state insect of Oregon, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Delaware. The wings of a Tiger butterfly are much stronger than many other species. Some scientists believe this is because of the fennel that they eat. It also helps them to survive in harsh winds and even through difficult winter months.

At one time the Tiger butterfly was dwindling in numbers. This is because in the caterpillar stage it was not able to blend well, resulting in being eaten by predators. To protect its existence, they were populated in butterfly gardens in various locations. The best protection was offered to help them thrive.

Today, the number of Tiger butterflies is back on a good note, but they continue to be a favorite in butterfly gardens because of their unique yellow and black stripes. You can tell the age of a tiger butterfly by their coloring. Older ones feature faded colors instead of a bright, vivid yellow. They also have wings that appear to be ragged.

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September 21st, 2007

Butterflies are very colorful and intricate creatures that flutter freely among the beautiful flowers and shrubs on warm days. There are many varieties of butterflies, but the most colorful and popular is the Monarch. The butterfly has one of the most unique life cycles of any creature on Earth. Each one goes through a variety of physical changes, starting out as only an egg and ending as a beautiful butterfly.

A butterfly may lay a single egg or several eggs.  The better health a butterfly experiences, the more eggs she will lay at a time. The eggs are laid on various food plants, in areas that are well hidden to protect them from the elements and predators. Most eggs will hatch in approximately ten days, with a small green caterpillar emerging from it. The egg’s shell serves as the very first meal for these young caterpillars.

A small caterpillar can consume quite a large quantity for its size on a daily basis. The jaws of a caterpillar are very powerful and is not picky when it comes to nibbling on a variety of foods and plants. A caterpillar will eat about anything organic.  As it grows larger, the caterpillar will shed its skin. This will take place several times in its life as a caterpillar.

After a caterpillar has become fully grow, it will enter the next stage of life called pupation. During this time the caterpillar spins a silk pad and then hangs upside down from it. A hormone in the caterpillar begins to make physical changes take place. The caterpillar will remain in this state for approximately two weeks. What emerges is a unique butterfly with wings ready to continue life in this new stage.

Regardless of the species of butterfly, each one lives a very remarkable life featuring dramatic changes that very few creatures go through. The metamorphous of a butterfly from a caterpillar that hatched from an egg is a spectacle to observe. It does make you stop and watch in awe as this new life form emerges.

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