Butterflies are generally found on all continents excluding Antarctica. There are about 12,000 to 16,000 different kinds of butterfly species so far identified by the scientists. There may be some thousands of different species which are still unidentified. 1,300 species are found in China and 235 species in Hong Kong. In the Indian subcontinent, approximately 2,000 kinds of butterflies have been observed. Peru has over 3,700 butterfly species, which is more than the count in any other country and equal to about 18% of the world total. The butterflies of Peru are still vastly under-record, and approximately 4,200 kinds of butterfly species are yet to be discovered.
Butterflies can be classified in many different groups as follows:
Swallowtail Butterfly – The Swallowtail Butterflies are the most remarkable ones. They are very large and have bright yellow and black markings on the top of their wings. The size of the butterfly is about six inches in length. There are several varieties available, like Palamedes, Pipevine, spice brush, tiger and zebra.
Sulphurs and Whites – This forms one of the common kinds of butterflies. Their names have been derived from their color. They are available in the colors of white and yellow. The size of these butterflies is smaller than that of the swallowtail butterfly. The main varieties of these Kinds of Butterflies are Alfalfa Butterfly and Cabbage White Butterfly.
Brush-footed Butterflies – The brush footed type of butterflies are available in plenty. They have pretty peculiar features. Their front legs are smaller than their back legs. The front legs look like a brush from a distance. These butterflies can stand and walk, by taking help of their back legs.
Long wing Butterflies – The Long wing Butterflies are visible mostly in Florida. Their wings are very long in comparison with their width, though they belong to the group of brush-footed butterflies. Their feet are not visible from a distance, but it is easier to recognize them by their long wings.
The Zebra Long wing varieties of butterflies are again available in Florida. The lifespan of these kinds of butterflies is several months longer than the other butterflies. The other butterflies generally live only for a few weeks. The reason behind the long life is their food habits. They eat pollen as well as nectar. The pollen gives them the extra nourishment and nutrition. These butterflies sleep at night in big groups.
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly – The Gulf Fritillary Butterflies are orange in color with dark spots and no vein markings on the wings are visible. The top of their wings is completely different from the lower side, which have large silvery spots.
Julia Butterfly – The Julia butterfly is also known as the ‘orange long wing butterfly’. They are mostly seen in the South American states.
Painted Lady – The Painted Lady is also another type of the Brush-footed Butterflies without any eye spot on their wings.
Virginia Lady – The Virginia Lady has a large eye-spot on the back wings. The underside of the wings is full of different patterns.
Milkweed Butterflies – These kinds of butterflies eat from the milkweeds. The Monarch Butterfly falls under this category.
By now you must have discovered that the mother nature inhabits a lot many species of these beautiful creatures and makes Earth a worth living place, though the list is not over yet!