Do you know what butterfly wings are made of?
The main structure of the wing is made of thin layers of chitin, a protein that also makes up the outer shell of the body. These layers are so thin you can see through them. They are covered with thousands of tine hairs called scales that reflect the light, creating the colors and patterns we see. These scales are the “dust” that comes off a butterfly wing as it brushes against leaves and flowers. The wings also contain a system of veins that circulate blood, and strong muscles on the butterfly’s body move the wings up and down. The wings actually move in a figure “8” motion that pushes the butterfly through the air. Some species seem to shimmer; this is caused by the way that light is reflected off the scales on its wings.
Butterfly or moth – what is the difference?
Butterflies are types of moths. But there are some ways to tell them apart. Butterflies generally have long, smooth antennae that are rounded on the ends, while most moths have thick, feathery antennae. Moths also tend to have larger, fuzzier bodies than butterflies. Most moths fly at night, while most butterflies fly during the day. Because of when they’re active, butterflies tend to be more colorful than moths, but that’s not always the case. You can see another difference when they’re resting: most moths flatten their wings out over their bodies, while most butterflies raise them up and against each other. And although both butterflies and moths develop in a chrysalis, most moths also spin a protective cocoon.
May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun and find you shoulder to light on, To bring you luck, happiness and riches. Today, tomorrow and beyond.
– Irish Blessing