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What Do Butterflies Eat?

Nectar of camellia

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By Piedro Molinero

When flirting with butterfly gardening, it is good to know a little bit more about these small and beautiful animals you want to attract to your backyard. To know which flowers and plants to grow for feeding butterflies, their eating habits are from particular interest for starting a butterfly garden.

As you probably already know, butterflies go through different life cycles. All butterflies life cycle starts as an egg, then it turns into a caterpillar, afterwards it becomes a pupa and in the end it comes out as a butterfly.

Most of its eating during all these butterfly stages, this creature does when it is a caterpillar. For some types of butterflies, this caterpillar stage is the only time in its whole life when it will ever eat.

The caterpillar eats and grows until it bursts and drops its skin for a new one. This process can be repeated many, many times and in a couple of weeks the caterpillar can be a lot larger than it emerged.

But also butterflies have the equipment to eat. They have a head, they have a thorax, and they have a venter as well. Just rather than the typical insect mouth, those butterflies which do eat, have a tube. When not in use this tube rolled up like a coil spring but can be pushed deep into the glands of flowers to absorb their nectar.

The best way to find out which kind of nectar and food plants to offer your butterflies is to take a hike around and explore your location. Discover which species of butterflies live in your area.

For best results have a butterfly identification book handy and make some notes about what these specific species of butterflies use for nectar and food plants. Although this might take some time and effort, you will appreciate the result. Once you discovered the local butterfly species and prepared a list of flowers and plants they prefer, you are ready to start designing your butterfly garden.

About the Author Piedro Molinero is a hobby gardener sharing his experience at DIY Gardening Tips.

(ArticlesBase SC #625942)   Article Source: Do Butterflies Eat?

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Tags: what butterflies eat, what caterpillars eat, caterpillar stage, butterfly stages, Butterfly food

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