When we were kids, we jump with excitement and joy when we spot a butterfly in our garden, Amazed by these beautiful creation of nature, we follow them, run towards them, but they graciously flutter throughout the garden from one flower to other. It was our great pleasure in those young days to meet these vibrantly coloured winged beauties.
But why is it so hard to find a butterfly now?
Why are our fluttered friends not visiting us??
Let us get to know about these little fairies!!
Life cycle of a butterfly:
Step 1: An adult butterfly finds a suitable host plant to lay eggs.
Step 2: These eggs develop into larvae called caterpillars.
Step 3: Caterpillars feed on the host plant to become “Pupa”
Step 4: Pupa develops into an adult butterfly.
This process of transformation of pupa to butterfly is known as “Metamorphosis”
The lifespan of an adult butterfly is only two weeks.
Facts about butterflies:
- Butterflies are the second largest pollinators after honey bees.
- They help in the process of pollination which fertilizes the plant, resulting in formation of seeds, fruits and food.
- 70% of food crops are pollinated by insects, in which butterfly plays a major role.
- About 20,000 species of butterflies are found in the world, some are extinct and some are threatened.
- Around 1,300 species are found in India, in which more than 100 are threatened.
- 332 species are found in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, in which 36 species are found nowhere else. Those are called endemic butterflies.
We lose these fragile creatures due to various reasons which include climate change, use of insecticides and pesticides. Forest fire also kills a huge number of larvae, pupa and eggs of butterflies. Gradually decreasing butterfly population should be taken into account and steps should be taken to conserve these beautiful friends, In order to prevent our future generation from googling “How does a butterfly look?”
How can you help save the butterflies?
- Do not use pesticides and insecticides in your own garden.
- Use organic produce rather than genetically engineered foods.
- Create a butterfly habitat in your garden which includes food, water and a place to lay eggs.
- Learn more about butterflies and nearly threatened butterflies in your area and help protecting them.