Butterfly Glossary

Abdomen -The rear part of an insect's body containing the heart, reproductive organs and most of the digestive system. 

Antennae - Slender organs on a butterfly’s head used for smelling and sensing.

Caterpillar - After hatching from the egg, the worm-like second stage of a butterfly's life, also called larva.

Chrysalis - The hard case formed at the third stage of a butterfly’s life, also called pupa.

Flight Range - The geographic area where a butterfly is most likely to be seen.

Forewings - The two upper wings of the butterfly closest to the head.

Hindwings - The wings at the back of the butterfly closest to the abdomen.

Host Plant - The plant on which the female butterfly lays her eggs. Usually, the host plant is the food for the butterfly's larvae.

Larva - The caterpillar or second stage of the butterfly life cycle.

Metamorphosis - The transformation that takes place inside the chrysalis from caterpillar to adult butterfly.

Nectar Plant - A plant favored by a butterfly as a food source.

Proboscis - The tube at the head of the butterfly through which it draws nectar and other nutrients.

Puddling - The practice of gathering at mud puddles or moist areas, usually by adult males, to obtain moisture, nutrients and salts.

Pupa - The third stage of the butterfly life cycle also known as a chrysalis in which metamorphosis takes place.

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