Butterfly any of a large group of insects found throughout most of the world; with the moths , they comprise the order Lepidoptera. There are about 12 families of butterflies. Most adult moths and butterflies feed on nectar sucked from flowers. In the process they may transfer pollen from one flower to another, and many plants depend on moths or butterflies for pollination. Like moths, butterflies have coiled, sucking mouthparts and two pairs of wings that function as a single pair; the wings are covered with scales that come off as dust when the insect is handled.
The butterflies, are known for the beautiful colors and patterns of their wings. Red, yellow, black, and white pigments are found in the scales; the blues and greens, and the metallic, iridescent hues found especially in tropical species. Some butterflies are protectively colored to match the environment. Among the most beautiful butterflies are the swallowtails, found all over the world, the monarchs, and the peacock butterflies.
Metamorphosis is complete, that is, the insect goes through four stages: egg, larva , pupa , and adult. The eggs, which hatch in 2 up to 30 days, are usually laid on a plant that the larva uses for food. Most caterpillars eat leaves. After the last of several monts the larva is transformed into a pupa with a hard, within which it changes to the adult form. The butterfly pupa is called a chrysalis. Most chrysalis are not enclosed in a cocoon; however, they are usually suspended from some object by a silken thread and may have a partial covering. Except in those species that winter in the pupa stage. Members of some species winter in the egg stage, others as larvae or adults. The adults of most species, however, live only about a month.