Q:

How many species of butterflies are known to exist?

A:

Quick Answer

There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies existing in the world today. Since 1968, the number of new species of butterflies has increased dramatically.

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Full Answer

Now that many more areas of the rainforest are accessible to scientists, it makes identifying new species of butterflies much easier. It is likely there are many species that have not yet been discovered and may never be discovered because they are so elusive, live such short lives and will become extinct before they can be found.

The most widely seen butterfly in the world is the Painted Lady butterfly. This species is found in North America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, Africa, Madagascar, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia.

The latest species of butterfly to be discovered is the Intricate Satyr butterfly that lives in East Texas, Florida and South Carolina.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some adaptations of butterflies?

    A:

    Some adaptations of butterflies include wing colorings that mimic the colorings of toxic species, clear membranes that allow butterflies to fly even after the scales of their wings have been rubbed off. Butterflies also move to shaded areas when the temperature is hot.

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  • Q:

    What facts are known on the blue morpho butterfly?

    A:

    A number of species of morpho butterflies have blue wing coloration, but the main species referred to as blue morpho are the Menelaus Blue Morpho and the Peleides Blue Morpho. Both are found in Central and South America, and both species have similar diets and habitats.

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  • Q:

    What is a monarch butterfly's life span?

    A:

    Adult Monarch butterflies that emerge from the pupa in early spring have a lifespan of 2 to 5 weeks. Monarchs that emerge in late summer survive throughout winter. Monarchs that emerge from the pupa in late summer and migrate south have a lifespan of eight to nine months.

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  • Q:

    What are some adaptations of Monarch butterflies?

    A:

    Monarch butterflies have developed two main adaptations for survival: warning coloration and toxicity, explains National Geographic. As a caterpillar, monarchs eat a diet mainly of milkweed. Milkweed contains a toxin that causes discomfort in potential predators. To avoid ingesting the toxin, predators often leave the monarch caterpillar alone. The brightly colored wings of the adult monarch suggest, to potential predators, it is dangerous to eat.

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