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Enchanted Learning
ALL ABOUT BUTTERFLIES!

Butterfly Calendar
What is a Butterfly? Life Cycle Butterfly Anatomy Information Sheets Glossary Printables and Activities

What is a Butterfly?
What is a Butterfly? Butterfly or Moth? Senses Defense Mechanisms Extremes: Biggest, Smallest, ... Classification Butterfly Gardens

Butterflies and Moths Extremes


Largest butterfly

The female and the male Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly.
The largest butterfly in the world is the female Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera alexandrae). It lives in New Guinea and has a wingspan up to 12 1/2 inches (32 centimeters); the male is much smaller than the female.

Goliath BirdwingThe Goliath Birdwing butterfly is the second-largest butterfly in the world. It lives in Indonesian rainforests and has a wingspan up to 11 inches (28 centimeters).

Largest moth
The Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) which has a wingspan of 1 foot (30 cm).

Smallest butterfly
The Western Pygmy blue (Brephidium exilis) with a wingspan of .62 inch (1.5 cm).

Smallest moth
The Nepticulid moth which is 0.1 inch long.

Longest migration
Some Monarchs migrate over 2,000 miles, flying from Canada to central Mexico in the fall.

Fastest fliers
The Hawkmoths (family Sphingidae), which can fly up to 30 mph (50 kph).

The speed varies among butterfly species (the poisonous varieties are slower than non-poisonous varieties). The fastest butterflies (some skippers) can fly at about 30 mile per hour or faster. Slow flying butterflies fly about 5 mph.

Longest proboscis
Darwin's Hawkmoth (family Sphingidae) has a proboscis which is longer than its body. This moth feeds on nectar from long, tubular flowers.

Longest life span
Migrating Monarchs, mourning cloaks, and some moths live for about 6-12 months.

Shortest life span
Some butterflies live in their adult state for only a few days (examples include the coppers and small blues).




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