You might think the brightly coloured wings of butterflies make them stand out to other animals but the colours are often a defence mechanism to deter predators!
Why are butterflies brightly coloured?
- Bright colours act as a warning to other animals that the butterfly doesn’t taste nice or is poisonous.
- Some species are coloured for camouflage, making it hard for predators to spot them.
- Some also have eyespots to make other animals think they are bigger than they are.
The owl butterfly has a large eye spot making the wings look like the face of an owl!
Butterflies also use their bright colours to attract a mate.
What about caterpillars?
Butterfly larvae are called caterpillars. Like butterflies, some blend into their environment and don’t move around much in the day, some are hairy which makes them unattractive to predators and some are brightly coloured which acts as warning to predators that they are toxic.
Do you know what the biggest butterfly in the world is called?
This butterfly identification sheet is brilliant from the Wildlife Trusts.
Place different colours of small sections of string on grass. Which are easiest to see?
Use different materials to create a camouflage outfit for a small soft toy. Try placing it in different areas outdoors to find out where the camouflage works the best.
Last Updated on July 18, 2022 by Emma Vanstone