It so happens that insects in our society are mostly negative. Some have spiders or even cockroaches as pets, and in some regions of the planet they are eaten, but mostly they cause disgust and other negative emotions in people. The only exceptions are butterflies, which, although they are considered insects, have the opposite attitude in society: they are admired, admired and even used as fresh flowers.
Representatives of the Lepidoptera order not only delight others with their appearance, they play an important role in the life of plants - they pollinate them. People are mainly attracted to butterfly wings for their beauty and quirkiness of patterns, but among more than 200 thousand species of these insects, not all are as harmless and beautiful as is commonly believed.
Among these cute creatures, there are also pests (for example, cabbage moth or codling moth), and even vampires (some types of night scoops). Contrary to the establishedAccording to the opinion that the wings of a butterfly should be large and beautiful, some species are generally wingless (for example, some volnyanka or moths). The order of Lepidoptera is very diverse, its representatives sometimes do not resemble each other either in appearance, or in their habitat, or in food preferences.
Returning to butterflies in the classical sense (those that feed on nectar and have large colorful wings), it should be noted that, like many other insects, they look like this only at the last stage of their development. The life of Lepidoptera begins with eggs, which are laid by the female in a secluded place. It could be grass, tree leaves, the bottom of a pond (it happens) or a kitchen cabinet (some species of moth breed in food).
After some time, larvae appear, which are also called caterpillars. In most cases, they are the pests (except for blood-sucking species). In the process of growth and development, caterpillars are able to destroy products tens of times larger than their own volume, and if there are thousands and tens of thousands of them, then they are able to eat up entire fields, being a kind of natural disaster. Ultimately, the larva becomes a pupa (in some species this stage of development is absent), and only then - a butterfly.
The last stage of Lepidoptera development does not last long. Some species, from the moment when the first flap of the butterfly’s wings occurs, until death, manage to live just a few hours (they are called that -ephemera). At the same time, at the larval stage, they can live for several years. The structure of a one-day butterfly does not provide for a digestive system - they feed only as caterpillars, having “grown up”, leave offspring in the form of eggs and die.
In some countries, there are entire parks and gardens where these beautiful insects, fed by people, fly freely among flowers and trees, delighting visitors with their bizarre patterns. Looking at the wings of a butterfly, which, slowly shaking them, sits on a flower, it is hard to believe that it is the closest relative of the cabbage that destroys the crop. But it really is.
These creatures are sometimes so beautiful that people are ready to watch for hours with bated breath as they fly from flower to flower, but sometimes they are disgusting and bloodthirsty. It so happens that for some, butterfly wings are associated with a beautiful pattern that looks like a flower, while for others they only cause resentment due to the loss of the crop. This, apparently, is the main mystery of the nature of Lepidoptera.