Taste With Your Feet?
When a butterfly walks across a delicious-tasting liquid, it stops. Then it uncurls a tube from its mouth and sucks up the juice. But how do butterflies know that something is good to eat just by walking on it?
They can taste with their feet! Wouldn't it be fun if YOU could taste with your feet!
- A butterfly's wings are covered with tiny scales. Each scale has its own color.
Together, the scales make a pattern.
- Most scales get their colors from chemicals called pigments.
- But some scales show special colors that appear when light hits them in a certain way. Tiny ridges on these scales scatter the light in different directions. This makes shimmery, shiny iridescent (ear-ih-DES-sent) colors that change as the butterfly moves.
- Guess what? Butterfly wings aren’t the only places to see these iridescent colors. Ask your mom if she has any jewelry made with a gemstone called opal or any real pearls. These glitter in the light, too!
Want to help butterflies find good things to eat? Then why not plant a butterfly garden?
Check out our "Butterfly Surprises" article from Ranger Rick Jr.
Be a Butterfly Hero!
Monarch butterflies are in big trouble because much of their habitat is being destroyed by deforestation and pesticides. But there is a simple way you can help monarchs. Be a hero—pledge now to help them, and you'll receive a free butterfly garden starter kit. Here are the details: nwf.org/Butterfly-Heroes
Butterfly and ice cream art by Jack Desrocher