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By
Timmy Test
3rd grade
Mr. Jensen, Ridgewood Elementary
03/30/2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A.
Why I chose butterflies
a. How does it connect to our Research Topics?
b. I learned during my research…
B.
What is a butterfly?
a. Similarities with other insects
b. Differences with other insects
C.
What is a moth?
a. Difference from a butterfly
b. Pest or friend?
D.
What do they look like?
a. Body Parts
b. Shape, colors, size
E.
What do they eat
a. Pollen, leaves, or liquid
b. Proboscis and feet
F. Where do they live and how can I attract
them?
a. Where can they be found
b. Risks in their environment
c. How do I attract them?
G.
H.
I.
1
GLOSSARY
REFERENCES
Audience Questions
WHY DID I CHOOSE BUTTERFLIES?
Have you ever wanted to have a butterfly find you? Did you ever wish that
you could attract them to your yard so you could enjoy their beautiful colors
and graceful flight? I did, after doing the research for my class topic on
allergies,
While I was
researching allergies, I also
read a
section on allergies to
insect’s
bites and stings. When I
further
read about bee stings, I
also
discovered that bees are
very
valuable to the food we eat
because
they pollinate the flowers of
plants
important to us like fruits and
vegetables. I was
surprised to learn that butterflies are also
pollinators like bees, and they don’t sting!
When reading about butterflies, I discovered that I wanted to learn more
about all types of butterflies. For
example, did you know the Monarch
Butterfly migrates just like birds do?
I decided to find out what makes them
different from other insects, what they
eat, how they are different than other
flying insects like moths, and where they
live. I was also very interested in trying
learn how I could attract them to my own
yard. In the following essay, I will
attempt to inform you about these and
many other intriguing facts about what makes
butterflies the coolest “bug” on the planet earth!
2
to
WHAT IS A BUTTERFLY?
Butterflies are magnificent flying insects with large scaly wings and a vibrant
array of colors over their bodies. Butterflies have smooth, slender bodies,
knobbed antennae, rest with their wings held upright, and fly during warm
weather.
They are considered an insect like bees, ants, dragonflies, and moths
because they have six legs, three body parts, a pair of antennae, compound
eyes, and an exoskeleton.
The butterfly, like some
insects, also has wings. Not all
insects can fly like a butterfly,
and not all flying insects are
a butterfly; a dragon fly or
mosquito for example.
Some people think a
butterfly and and a moth
are
the
same
insect, but they are not. Although
similar, each species has things
that make it different and unique. I
will explain the differences
between a moth and butterfly in
the next paragraph.
3
HOW IS A MOTH DIFFERENT THAN A BUTTERFLY?
Although the rules for distinguishing moths from butterflies are not simple,
one very good guiding principle is that butterflies have thin antennae and
(with one exception) have small balls or clubs at the end of their antennae.
Moth antennae can be quite varied in
appearance, but lack the club end and can look
feathery.
Moths are also nocturnal, and tend to be less
colorful. Moths like to eat wool and cotton
clothing. Some species can even harm trees.
Moths also rest with
their wings spread out
and can easily blend
into where they land
with a camouflage effect.
Some will even have what look like eyes on their wings
when
open to make predators think they are a bigger animal and not a moth.
4
The Differences Between Butterflies and Moths
CHARACTERISTIC
Antennae
BUTTERFLIES
Club-like with a swollen tip
Color
Usually bright colors
Resting Stance
Period of Activity
Pupa
MOTHS
Feathery
Usually less bright than
butterflies
Wings erect and Wings open and folded over its
held together back while resting, looking like
while resting
the train of a wedding gown.
Usually active during the day
Usually active at night (and
attracted to light)
Pupate as an unprotected
Protected by a cocoon or pupate
chrysalis hanging from a
underground or on the ground
branch or other support
How the Forewing and
With an enlarged humeral lobe
Hindwing are Held Together
on each hindwing
in Flight
With a frenulum (bristles or
spines on each hindwing)
When I lived in Texas, I thought a bat had entered my house. When I
turned on the light I was
surprised to discover a
giant Black Witch moth
flying around my room.
I quickly got a container
and was able to
capture it and then
safely release it
outside.
The Giant Black Witch
Moth can measure over
seven inches across its
wings. It often
mistaken for a bat.
A picture of a Giant Black Witch Moth
5
WHAT DOES A BUTTERFLY LOOK LIKE?
Like all insects, butterflies have:
Six jointed legs
Three body parts
A pair of antennae
Compound Eyes
An exoskeleton.
The three body parts are the head, thorax (the chest), and abdomen (the tail
end).
The butterfly's body is covered by tiny
sensory hairs.
The four wings and the six legs of the
butterfly are attached to the thorax.
The thorax contains the muscles that
make the legs and wings move.
Butterflies come in an almost infinity of
colors, shapes and sizes.
6
WHAT DOES A BUTTERFLY EAT?
How a butterfly eats is a question often asked and just as often missed. As
a caterpillar it eats the leaves of the plant it hatches on, and as an adult, the
diet is very different. Most butterflies do not actually eat like we normally
think eating is. Instead, butterflies actually drink their food.
While butterflies do not eat in the traditional sense, they have a proboscis,
a long tube like straw in their mouth that acts like a straw for drinking liquid.
Stranger still,
butterflies
actually
taste with
their feet!
Believe it or
not. They
do this
because it
is where
their taste
sensors are
located and
by standing
on their food,
they can taste it to see if their caterpillars are able to eat it when they hatch
from their eggs.
Butterflies are a diurnal insect, pollinating a wide variety of flowers that
open during the day. They frequently visit large, vibrantly colored blooms.
Butterflies have great color vision and can sense more “wavelengths” than
either humans or bees. Unlike bees, butterflies can see the color red.
7
THE LIFE OF A BUTTERFLY
egg
pupa
larva
A butterfly has four stages to its life. They can live from as little as a week
or as long as nine months depending on what type it is, how large it is, and
where it lives. A butterfly starts as an egg and then changes into a pupa,
then larva, and finally comes out of its cocoon as a butterfly.
The egg stage and
hatching.
The caterpillar, and
making a cocoon for
the metamorphosis
to begin!
Hatching into a butterfly.
8
WHERE THEY LIVE AND HOW TO HELP
Butterflies are found on every continent in the world except Antarctica; the
United States is home to about 700 different species.
How can you help butterflies you
might ask? With the loss of habitat
and the improper and sometimes
overuse of pesticides, it is important
they have a helper like you to
provide them a healthy home to
thrive in year after year. They also
need someone to
help continue thinking about and
taking care of their habitat, along
with understanding that all living
things in our environment are
important parts of the ecosystem.
It is very simple to attract a variety of butterflies to
your yard and help pollinate plants. Butterflies may
not be as efficient as bees in pollinating plants and
crops, but butterflies certainly do their fair share in
bringing about seed and fruit production—and definitely are more pleasing
to watch.
By planting a "butterfly friendly" garden which provides the types of plants
required by butterfly larvae. Butterfly friendly plants usually produce clusters
of brightly colored sweet-smelling flowers and include asters, daisies,
butterfly bush, butterfly weed, lantana, marigolds, purple coneflowers and
zinnias. Always make sure to check with a local nursery to ensure you
select the right plants that naturally grow in your area.
9
In closing, I want to thank you for taking the time to read and learn about
some of the things I discovered about butterflies and what makes them
different in the insect world. They are, after all, more than just a pretty bug!
GLOSSARY
Butterfly- an insect with two pairs of large wings that are covered with tiny scales,
usually brightly colored, and typically held erect when at rest. Butterflies fly by day,
have clubbed or dilated antennae, and usually feed on nectar.
Migrate - (of an animal, typically a bird or fish) move from one region or habitat to
another, especially regularly according to the seasons:
Knobbed-a rounded lump or protuberance on the surface or at the end of something,
as a knot on a tree trunk.
Nocturnal-live at night
Camouflage-concealment by some means that alters or obscures the appearance:
Predators-any organism that exists by preying upon other organisms
Compound Eyes-composed of several similar parts that combine to form a whole
Exoskeleton-an external covering or integument, especially when hard
Proboscis-the elongate, protruding mouth parts of certain insects, adapted for sucking
or piercing
Diurnal-active by day, as certain birds and insects
Antarctica-the continent surrounding the South Pole: almost entirely covered by an ice
she
Ecosystem-a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their
environment.
Pollen-the fertilizing element of flowering plants, consisting of fine, powdery, yellowish
grains or spores, sometimes in masses
10
REFERENCES (PICTURES, FACTS, VIDEO)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/butterfly/allabout/
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/butterfly.aspx
http://www.thebutterflysite.com/washington-butterflies.shtml
http://www.thebutterflysite.com/
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-66_pollinatorsbutterflies.htm
http://www.thebutterflysite.com/how-long-butterflies-live.shtml
butterfly eat - Bing Videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgcWRrbHi2E&feature=player_embedded
Seymour Simon (2011), Butterflies, New York, HarperCollins
Edwards, R (2010), Flight of the Butterflies, New York, Penguin Young Readers
QUESTIONS
1. List and diagram the main parts of a butterfly body?
2. Explain how butterfly eat and how that is different from you?
3. Where do butterflies not live and why do you think that is?
4. What are the four stages of a butterfly life and why do you think they
have so many?
5. List reasons why butterflies might need your help to stay healthy and
survive?
6. Create a list of how butterflies are like a moth and how they are
different from a moth.
7. Write a small essay on what type of insect you would want to be and
give several reasons why.
8. Is it more important to protect a butterfly or have a pretty lawn by using
chemicals that can be harmful to a butterfly? Why do you think so, and
what would have to happen for you to change your mind?
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