INSECTS - MARC KITAEN ART

BUTTERFLY SPLASH

BUTTERFLY SPLASH is a mixed media photo collage project.

They taste with their feet and have a suction tube for a mouth. Their eyes are made of 6,000 lenses and can see ultraviolet light. They drink from mud puddles and transform from caterpillars to fluttering adults. These fascinating magicians are butterflies!
There are about 165,000 known species, found on every continent except Antarctica, and they come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. The largest species may reach 12 inches (30 centimeters) across, while the smallest may be only 0.12 inches (0.3 centimeters).

Technically speaking, butterflies are types of moths. But there are some ways to tell them apart. Butterflies generally have long, smooth antennae that are rounded on the ends, while most moths have thick, feathery antennae. Moths also tend to have larger, fuzzier bodies than butterflies. Most moths fly at night, while most butterflies fly during the day. Because of when they're active, butterflies tend to be more colorful than moths, but that's not always the case.

One of the most incredible things about butterflies is the way they change from crawling caterpillars into winged beauties. This process is called metamorphosis, and it has fascinated and perplexed people for centuries. In fact, scientists still aren't sure exactly how it works! What we do know is that when a caterpillar seals itself into a chrysalis, chemicals are released from its body that change and rearrange all the cells to create the butterfly's new shape, including its wings.

So how does the caterpillar know when it's time to change? Its brain produces a chemical called "juvenile hormone." As long as the level of this hormone in its body is high, it keeps eating, growing, and shedding. But when the hormone level drops, then the caterpillar "knows" that it's time to move on to the next stage.

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