What Eats Butterflies
Butterflies are considered stately, regal, and somewhat majestic creatures. There is no denying that they come available in a wide range of beautiful and vivid colors.
When paired together, hanging in trees, or simply in flight flapping their wings, these creatures can be beautiful and will change the feeling of the entire environment they occupy. Some people have been collecting, studying, and researching different species of butterflies for a number of years now.
And, over the years a lot of interesting things have been uncovered. Take the fact that these creatures are prey to some predators. That’s right, there are some animals that need to make a meal out of butterflies in order to survive.
As a human or collector, you probably cannot imagine attempting to eat such a beautiful and important creature. Unfortunately, this is the case, but what animals do so?
What Exactly Is The Butterfly
Before you start learning all about the butterfly and its list of predators, it is pertinent to maintain a better understanding of the butterfly. Most people know the butterfly as an insect.
And, that’s exactly what it is. However, it is not born a butterfly. Just like the human, they have to transform through different stages in order to reach the butterfly stage. In technical terms, the butterfly is the mature flying stage of the insect known as the Lepidoptera.
Lepidoptera is another word for scaly wings, which fits the butterfly more than perfectly because that pretty much describes it right down to the letter. The butterfly’s wings are covered in pretty overlapping scales.
Another fun and interesting fact are that these scales are different for each different butterfly. It is also like the DNA of a human. No two humans can possess the same DNA.
This is just one of the many things that make the human race so unique and diverse. The same can be said for the butterfly as well. It is this variance along with other factors that make them unique and beautiful to the eye. Unfortunately, they are also unique and beautiful to some predators.
What Do Butterflies Eat
You likely do not need anyone to tell you that butterflies need sustenance as well. You’ve likely seen them flying around flowers or hanging out in gardens. If this is the case then it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that this is where most of their food comes from.
However, going back to evolution, butterflies used to once be what are known as caterpillars. Their food preferences during this time were much different. The reason for this, their mouths.
Caterpillars have working mandibles, whereas the butterfly has a tube-like tongue commonly referred to at a proboscis.
Thus leaving caterpillars to snack on plants while butterflies are left to the liquids. Butterflies like to drink the nectar from plants as well as the juices from rotting or fresh fruit. When the options get scarce they’ll even opt for the ooze in a tree or the dung of another animal.
What Snacks On Butterflies?
Now, you know a little bit more about the butterfly and its lifestyle. Its time to take a look at its predators. The very things that threaten its lifestyle. Some of the biggest predators for butterflies are spiders,snakes, birds, monkeys, rats, and lizards.
Of course, these are not all of them. This is just to name a few. There are also those insects or animals that are natural enemies to butterflies. They will attack the butterfly but aren’t so as much concerned with eating it. This would be the ant, the wasp, and the parasitic fly. Once again, this is just to name a few.
There are several more that will be more than happy to start a fight with the butterfly for no known reason, other than that it doesn’t like it.
You might be surprised to learn that butterflies are meat. This is why snakes and other related reptiles go after them. They go after them for their meat parts. However, here comes the really interesting part.
These butterflies come in two different grades of meat. This would be the meat that tastes good and the meat that doesn’t taste so good. Predators are just like humans, given the fact that they prefer what they prefer. They are only going to want to eat what gets them excited, but which butterflies would this be?
Believe it or not, it certainly isn’t the pretty butterflies with all the attractive colors. You’ve heard the phrase- don’t judge a book by its cover or not all good looking things are good?
The butterfly is the perfect example of this. Moving on, it is the butterflies that are beautiful in appearance that don’t make such good meals.
They are not only nasty in meat, but they are dangerous to eat. That’s right, it is possible that when eaten they will disperse toxins. Toxins that can make predators sick or even kill them.
Human Consumption Of Butterflies?
As was mentioned much earlier in this article, it would probably be hard for you to imagine eating a butterfly. Well, this is not entirely the case for many individuals.
There are some individuals out there that like to consume butterflies for dessert. This is a practice that takes part mostly in Mexico, Africa, and Southeast Asia. In fact, there are certain restaurants in these areas where butterflies can be found on the menu.
If you happen to be in one of the areas and want to give butterflies a chance, you might want to make sure you opt for the ones that look less appetizing because you might end up with a small dose of poison.
Of course, a restaurant isn’t going to serve something that will deliberately poison you, but it is possible.
Majestic, stately, regal, beautiful, or whatever you want to call them, there is no denying that there is more to meets the eye when it comes to butterflies. This is especially true for the beautiful ones.
As you can see, a butterfly’s life a unique and vivid life for as long as they can. They not only have natural predators, but they have natural enemies that will just attack them for being a butterfly. The life of a butterfly is not an easy one, but it certainly is a unique one.
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