|Butterflies belong to the insect order Lepidoptera, which is derived from a
Greek word meaning "scale wing." The kaleidoscope of colours and patterns
found on a butterfly's wing are created by tiny scales. Butterflies range in
size from a minute 3mm to almost 300mm with about 24,000 species worldwide.
The mouth of an adult butterfly is a long tube, which is kept rolled up
ready for use as a straw to obtain nectar as a food source. Butterflies can
see red, green, and yellow. The transformation of the strange looking
caterpillar into an elegant butterfly is one of nature's marvels. There are
four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Depending on the species, the life
cycle of one generation takes anything from about one month to a year. Most
adult butterflies only live for a week or two.