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Most Common Types

There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world with 725 species in the United States and Canada. Butterflies are insects that are usually seen flying during the day. The most common types of butterflies are the Monarch, the Plain Tiger, the Long-tailed Blue and the Small White.

What They Look Like

Butterflies have four large, often bright colored wings. Their fore and hind wings are not hooked together, which allows them to fly gracefully. An adult butterfly has six legs and range in size from a tiny 1/8 inch to almost 12 inches.

Where They Live

Butterflies are known to migrate over long distances. Monarch butterflies are known for their migrations from Mexico to northern USA and then to southern Canada.

Where They Nest

Butterflies feed primarily on nectar from flowers. They also eat pollen, tree sap, rotting fruit, manure, and dissolved minerals in wet sand or dirt. Butterflies act as pollinators for some species of plants. As adults, butterflies consume only liquids.

Steps to Prevent

Butterflies are generally seen as beneficial pollinators, but if you must control them – try placing fine mesh netting over plants.

Are They Harmful?

No, at least not the ones people usually encounter. There aren’t any butterflies that are so poisonous that they kill people or large animals. Some butterflies have hairs that can cause a rash, but these types of are mainly found in Guyana and the Central African Republic.