Butterfly Habits and Habitats - McBaine, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 53.238 W 092° 26.744
15S E 548071 N 4304416
Large patch of protected land for butterflies and a teaching marker and site.
Waymark Code: WM16E6V
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 07/12/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 0

County of marker: Boone County
Location of marker: Katy Trail State Park Trailhead @ McBaine
Sponsored by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources & Katy Trail State Park

Marker Text:

Butterfly Habits and Habitat
Gardening for Butterflies
This garden was created to attract a variety of butterflies. These native plants are good food source for caterpillars or have flowers attractive to adult butterflies.

Not-so-Abstract Art
Butterflies are beautiful. They come in a wide range of colors (bright yellow, orange, blue, brown, and black) and patterns (lines, spots, patches). These colors and designs not only make butterflies attractive to us, they are important to the butterflies for communication, defense and temperature regulation.

Color patterns communicate information about species identity to other butterflies. Male butterflies searching for a mate tend to investigate other butterflies that are the right color.

Wing colors and patterns protect butterflies from predators. Hairstreaks have eye spots and thin tails that resemble a head and antennae. This pattern is an effective defense. Lizards attack the wrong end, causing wing damage but allowing the butterfly to escape. Many butterflies are brightly colored on one side and dull on the other. A predator might see an orange butterfly in flight, but when the butterfly lands and closes its wings, it seems to disappear. Perhaps you've seen a colorful butterfly vanish in just this way.

Butterflies us the environment to adjust their body temperature. Dark wing scales, for example, absorb heat from the sun. Butterflies need a body temperature above 70° F (21° C) to fly.

On a Liquid Diet
Most adult butterflies feed on nectar. These butterflies like flowers with large petals for perching and shallow flower openings so they can easily reach the nectar. They seem to prefer brightly colored flowers, but little is known about their specific color preferences.

However, not all butterflies feed on nectar. Some will feed on other food sources including sap, rotting fruit, scat, carrion and aphids' honeydew.

Butterflies are often seen sucking minerals , especially dissolved salts, from mud puddles. Most butterflies engaging in this behavior (called "puddling") are males. They can also consume minerals from drier surfaces by regurgitating a bit of liquid first. During mating, males transfer nutrients needed for egg production to the females.

Overwinter or Migrate
Most butterfly species spend the winter either as caterpillars or pupae. The few species that overwinter as eggs lay their eggs on twigs or evergreen needles that will survive the winter. About 10 species of Missouri butterflies overwinter as adults under loose bark or in brush piles and building crevices.

Other butterflies migrate out of Missouri each fall and return in the spring. Monarchs (Danaus plexippus), cloudless sulphurs (Phoebis sennae), fiery skippers (Hylephila phyleus) and painted ladies are among those that can't survive the winter in Missouri in any life stage.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
Please see above.

Additional point: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
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