Butterflies are insects belonging to the Order Lepidoptera. Butterflies and moths make up a large group of insects known as the Order Lepidoptera (lep-i-DOP-ter-ah). The name - from the Greek lepdio, "scale", and ptera, "wings" - refers to a prominent feature of adult butterflies and moths, the iny scales that cover the wings and the rest of the body.
The most distinct difference is the antennae or feelers. Most, all the butterflies in Singapore, have thin slender filamentous antennae which are clubbed shaped at the end. Moths have a whole array of different shaped antennae, which varies from feathery to tapered to filamentous etc. This distinction is the basis for the earliest taxonomic divisions in the Lepidoptera - the Rhopalocera ("clubbed horn", the butterflies) and the Heterocera ("varied horn", the moths).
Butterflies have a liquid diet. Butterflies feed on nectar, tree saps, rotting fruits, animal excreta and nutrients from the ground. When butterflies sip nutrients from the ground, this process is called puddling and males do the puddling most of the time.
No, butterflies are harmless in every way and will not cause any bodily harm to humans. Some butterflies are labeled as "poisonous". The poisons in the butterflies are usually from their host plants such as Passiflora foetida (Stinking Passionfruit). They will not kill people or large animals, instead they will cause their predators such as birds to vomit or spit them out.
Generally a butterfly adult has a life span of 2-8weeks on the average, although are exceptions. To include the whole life cycle, butterfly's lifespan is around 2 months from egg.
Butterflies take shelter under leaves at dawn or when it rains.
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