Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Insects and Spiders » Skippers Butterflies and Moths: Lepidoptera - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Lepidopterans And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Skippers Butterflies and Moths: Lepidoptera - Diet

species feed plants eat

Nearly all lepidopterans feed on flowering plants, but a few species prefer algae (AL-jee), or tiny plantlike organisms, growing underwater, funguses, mosses, or pine trees and their relatives. Most larvae will eat the tissues of just one or a few closely related plant species, but a few will feed on many kinds of plants. Most species feed on the outside of plants. Depending on the species they devour leaves, flowers, seeds, or buds. A few species of moth larvae roll up leaves to create a shelter to feed inside in safety. Some moth species bore into plants, eating wood inside tree trunks or softer tissues inside vine stems. A few moth and butterfly species are predators and attack flies, aphids, and scale insects. Butterfly larvae living inside ant nests eat the eggs, larvae, and pupae of their hosts. Other moth species steal insects from insect-eating pitcher plants or from spider webs. The caterpillars of clothes moths eat cloth, wool, fur, and feathers, while those of Indian mealmoths prefer dried fruit and stored grains. Still others scavenge the waste of birds and mammals.

Most adults drink nectar, fruit juices, and plant sap and will sometimes supplement their diets with pollen. Some will also take up mineral-rich fluids from mud, dead animals, and both liquid and solid animal waste. A few prefer fluids such as tears around the eyes of animals. An Asian moth, Calpe eustrigiata, prefers to feed on blood and uses its proboscis to pierce the skin of animals. The few species with chewing mouthparts eat pollen. Those adults without mouthparts must rely on the food they ate as caterpillars for energy.

Skippers Butterflies and Moths: Lepidoptera - Behavior And Reproduction [next] [back] Skippers Butterflies and Moths: Lepidoptera - Habitat

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over 6 years ago


Second on the nature list this past few week I have another anomaly. As I scanned out my side garage door onto my back yard, the new deck and its railings fill my view. It is upon the corner railing that my (again sooo possessive) ATTACK BUTTERFLY alights.

Only 2" long, very dark brown (almost black) with dull burnt orange stripes on the top of its wings and when it lands and puts those wings into "park" mode (raised like a plane on a carrier deck), the bottom reveals a white splash of marketing (almost like someone put a dab of "White Out" on them!).

He/She sits there and is wide open to bird attack (of which I have many here) but cares less. If any of you out there can fill me in on what this insect is, I would appreciate it!

The MOMENT an other insect dares to fly near, this killer instinct bug rises up at great speed to attack the encroaching object. I've always thought of butterfly flight as "soft, fluffy, sailing in the breeze, slow and sort of random... not this one! NO! It launches and attracts like a dragon fly or hawk. I know butterflies have no weapons, just a mouth like a hollow tube or straw, What damage could that do? BUT up it flies in attack mode, insects from wasps, moths, flies are all targets. AND BEWARE if another of its kind shows up, they will attack each other up and down in seemingly deadly spirals, one, trying to get the upper hand. One does... and back it returns to its lonely guard station on my banister railing.

I have even seen it attack floating fluffy seeds (from local plants) and beat them into submission. What drives this strange behavior, is it protecting some nursery or nest I'm not aware of? OR is it just PISSED?

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over 10 years ago

i have been doing some interesting new studies on mothes and by accident

i have discovered that moths can infact swim by contracting the muscle in a precise part of the wing the effect is like a motor and the wings keep the moths afloat.

studies followed out by Dr.hczasy