Attracting butterflies to your backyard
Butterflies in Your Backyard

Butterfly Wings

Most of us has watched in wonder as beautiful butterflies flutter their wings to move about. Have you ever wondered how those wings work? If you look very closely at butterfly wings, you would soon realize that they are very different from each other. The wings of butterflies are covered with a mosaic of various color patterns

While there are many different varieties of butterflies, each with unique wing designs, they all have similarities. Each butterfly has four wings two forewings and two hind wings. A butterfly has very strong muscles in the thorax that allow the wings to move up and down. This is also the power source for a butterfly to fly in a figure eight style.

The wings of a butterfly develop while it is in transition from the pupa stage. The butterfly is not immediately able to fly away. This is because the wings are wet and wrinkled. Before it can fly, the butterfly has to hang upside down so that blood will pump into the wings. They also have to dry before they can be used for flight. Each wing is very delicate and the butterfly has to use them with care as any damage that takes place to them can't be repaired.

butterfly wingsThese wings are actually membranes that get their nourishment from tubular veins that also provide them with oxygen. You will have to look very closely to see that each wing has thousands of colorful scales with tiny hairs on them. The amazing colors that we see on a variety of butterfly wings is the result of ultraviolet patterns that we can't see. This helps the butterfly to blend into to various surroundings for protection. These colors also help attract other butterflies for mating.

The wings on a butterfly are their life force. Without them, they are unable to move and unable to survive. While the wings are very small and very thin, don't let this fool you into thinking they are weak. Butterfly wings are very beautiful but they are also very powerful. They protect the butterfly as well as give it the attractive feature that draws so many of us to their beauty as they flutter freely around the area.