Tortoiseshell butterfly eating

What Do Butterflies Eat?

Butterfly Proboscis
This Butterfly Is Eating Nectar from a Flower. Do You See the Proboscis(Feeding Straw)?

When it comes to butterflies, a lot of people do not know exactly what they eat. Let’s explore some of the things that they would eat. First, you have to realize that there are a lot of butterfly food sources; you just have to look for them! We promise that there are many different butterfly food sources all over your backyard; you just need to look for them.

Close-Up of a Butterfly's Proboscis
This is a Close-Up of a Butterfly’s Proboscis (Coiled Straw). This is How Butterflies Eat.

For starters, the larvae (caterpillars) of butterflies eat ONLY leaves of plants. Different caterpillars like to eat certain kinds of plants. The leaves allow the caterpillar to grow and get all of the vitamins needed to transform into a beautiful butterfly. In turn, the adult butterflies consume all sorts of different things including nectar, water and even liquids from some of the fruits we consume. If you are looking to attract butterflies to your backyard, simply plant a few fruit-bearing trees along with plenty of flowers and you should definitely have yourself a back yard full of butterflies. They especially like to drink from mushy slices of banana, oranges and watermelon. There are special butterfly feeders you could buy that are colored like a flower and come with special sugar you mix in water to make food for them to eat.

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Butterfly Caterpillar Eating Leaves
Butterfly Caterpillars Just Eat Leaves

 Now many people do not know exactly how the butterfly food is consumed. Well, a small little pipe, like a straw, which is coiled under its head most of the time is what an adult butterfly uses to suck up all of the nectar from plants. The straw is called a ‘proboscis’. This is the reason that all butterflies generally stick to an all-liquid diet; it is very hard to suck up any solids with a straw like that for your mouth.

It is pretty obvious that if you happen to find yourself an adult butterfly and are looking for a butterfly food source, you should turn toward the liquids. Butterflies are known for their completely liquid diets, whether they are sampling nectar from all sorts of different flowers, or they are using their long ‘straw’ to drink up water out of shallow ponds, butterflies are usually always looking for things that are liquid to eat.

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