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National Learn About Butterfly Day!

Today we celebrate a beautiful insect, the Butterflies.  Butterflies belong from the kingdom of Animalia of class Insecta, from the order of Lepidoptera which includes moths.  When butterflies become an adult, they have large often brightly colored wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight.  They are so beautiful and fun to watch when we see them flying around our plants and flowers in our backyard during the summer months.

Butterfly relies on us to survive and growing flowers is one way to help them.  There are more than 20,000 types of butterflies worldwide which wingspans can range from ½ to 11 inches.  They are often polymorphic, and many species make use of camouflage, mimicry, and aposematism to evade their predators.  Butterflies adult stage life can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the type of species they belong to.  They feed primarily on the nectar from flowers like the bees.  Butterflies are important as pollinators for some species of plants.  In general, they do not carry as much pollen load like the bees, but they can move the pollen over greater distances.

Today, we can celebrate this day by learning more about the butterflies by buying a book all about butterflies or going to your community library.  Visit a museum that has a vast collection of butterflies.  If you live in Washington D.C., you can visit the Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History.