Whether they’re hovering in the sky or perching on plants, butterflies are an important reminder of Earth’s beauty. Saving these amazing insects from extinction is our duty to nature.
There are approximately 950,000 species of insects on planet Earth, each with their own amazing evolutionary traits and fascinating biological histories. Yet to humans, one type of insect regularly flutters above the rest as the most beautiful, interesting and loveable bug of them all: the butterfly.
Alongside moths, butterflies form an order of insects known as Lepidoptera. Fossils show that they date back to around 56 million years ago. This means butterflies likely emerged during the Paleocene epoch, a geological period that arrived shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Butterflies have since diversified into seven distinct families, and can be found on every continent apart from Antarctica. Their lifecycle is undoubtedly the most famous example of metamorphosis in the animal kingdom -observing butterflies as they transform from crawling caterpillars into majestic winged insects is one of nature’s greatest wonders.
Sadly, butterflies around the world face a battle for their survival due to neglectful human activity. Agriculture, loss of habitat, climate change and pesticides are among the most potent threats to these delicate animals. Four butterfly species have gone extinct in the last century and unless we take better care of our environment and the defenceless creatures inhabiting it, more extinctions will certainly follow.