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ENCOURAGING BUTTERFLIES INTO YOUR GARDEN

Butterflies are very beautiful flying insects that closely relate to moths and somehow resemble them as well. There are approximately 18,000 to 20,000 species of butterflies that exist in different parts of the world. Each butterfly has three main body parts, which are the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Each butterfly has six legs with embedded hairs. The most distinct and attractive organ present on the butterfly body is the wings, the wings are divided into four. One very unique feature is that they can taste through their legs. They have compound eyes which means they have many lenses which let them look in various directions all at once, through these eyes, the butterflies can detect the bright colors of the flowers from which they suck the nectar.

 

WHY ARE BUTTERFLIES IMPORTANT?

Butterflies are quite important in maintaining the ecosystem. Although not as efficient as honey bees but they play a major role in pollination. Whenever a butterfly lands on a flower the hairs present on its legs get attached to the pollen grains present in the anther portion of the plant, once they are done sucking the nectar they fly off to another flower where those pollen grains fall off and get captured by the stigma from where the plants reproductive cycle starts and new flowers and plants begin to emerge. Along with honey bees and other moths, the butterflies facilitate the pollination of almost 80-90% of flowering plants. This role played by butterflies is essential to make sure the food chain remains intact and no damage to agriculture and livestock is caused.

 

WHAT IS THE USE OF NECTAR?

We have talked much about the butterflies sucking the nectar but unlike honey bees, they do not utilize this nectar to produce honey or any other sweet product. This nectar is solely used by the butterfly itself. They derive energy from this sweet liquid sucked from the flowers, and this energy helps them fly from one flower to another, participate in the pollination cycle and enhance the beauty of your garden. The mechanism of ingestion is that every butterfly has a straw-like organ called proboscis embedded in its mouth which they use to suck out the nectar and this organ helps take the nectar into the gut.

 

HOW TO INCREASE THEIR POPULATION IN YOUR AREA?

If you are one of those people who want the butterfly population in your garden or locality to increase you need to make sure a few things which are:

1- Color of the flowers

2- Fragrance

3- Nectar (quantity and quality)

 

BRIGHT COLORS ARE MOST LIKED BY BUTTERFLIES:

The only best way to attract any butterfly is through flowers and only those with bright colors. According to research butterflies are attracted more towards red, orange, yellow, pink, white, and other different colors and they try to stay away from blues and greens. They have specialized eyes which help them differentiate between various colors and also enable them to watch the colors In UV ranges.

 

GOOD FRAGRANCE ATTRACTS BUTTERFLIES MORE:

Lavender is the fragrance most liked by butterflies. They get attracted to those flowers which besides having bright colors have a good smell and lavender is one of them. Its flower has plenty of nectar as well which adds more value.

 

NECTAR BOTH QUALITY AND QUANTITY WISE:

One of the major factors is the nectar in terms of both quality and quantity. Although flowers have nectar in the nighttime as well, during periods of heavy sunlight the flowers bloom more and produce a greater quantity of nectar therefore, butterflies like flying to seek their liquid food during the day more.

 

MOST COMMON WILDFLOWERS THAT ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES:

You might be wondering what plants would have all the above-mentioned qualities. You don’t have to worry about that, we are going to provide you with a list of wildflowers that will help you increase the number of butterflies in your surroundings. You just need to buy wildflower seeds to attract butterflies. The most famous types of wildflowers that help attract butterflies are:

 

1- Honeysuckle

2- Buckthorn

3- Milkweeds

4- Lavender daisy

5- Black-eyed Susan

6- Marigold

7- Ironweed

8- Sunflower

9- Wild violet

10- Aster plants

11- Lantanas

12- Zinnia

13- Flox

14- Coneflowers

 

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