Butterflies Actually Help Plants!

Butterflies are beautiful insects. The various colors and variation of their wings are great appreciated and help in the nomenclature of butterflies. Most butterflies are rumored to have been eating the fruit and flowers of plants thus damaging the plants aesthetic appearance and destroying function. However recent studies have shown that butterflies do help plants in unimaginable ways and are a good alternative to areas where bees cannot exist.

The number one way that butterflies help plants is by ensuring pollination of the plant. Butterflies tend to rest on large flower heads when they travel from plant to plant. This in turn means that they collect pollen on their legs and body as they search for food. Thought the size of the butterfly is makes way for less pollen to get collected on their leg and body, they still manage to be some of the best pollinators in areas where there are no bees.

Another interesting example is that of the state butterfly of Florida, the Zebra Longwing. These butterflies live more than 6 months longer than their counterparts because of the ability of the polled to get attached to its proboscis. Zebra Longwings develop the ability to absorb this pollen and then tend to break it down to amino acids which are the basic units of protein.

Unlike bees, butterflies have the ability to pollinate during the day as they can understand colors better than bees or even humans. They can see red, their favorite color, while bees cannot. Butterflies also have the ability to find their nectar using ultraviolet markings hence it becomes easier for them to pollinate specific plants. Butterflies are marvelous insects and they help plants just as much bees in pollination.


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