The magnificent patterns found on butterfly wings make these tiny insects a wonder to behold. All we can think about is their beauty. But these gorgeous patterns do more than dazzles the human eye. The colorful patterns serve a number of useful purposes:
Camouflage – It is a trick by which the butterfly blends herself into the environment, hiding herself from predators. The Australian leaf-wing butterfly, for example, is shaped and colored like a leaf.
Warning – Brightly-colored butterflies and moths are either bad-tasting or mimic a similar-looking bad-tasting butterfly.
Attracting – The patterns help butterflies in finding friends and mates, who are looking for certain types of colors and patterns.
Trick predators – Sometimes these patterns deceive predators into thinking the butterflies are bigger than they really are. Some wings have large “eye spots”. These make the butterfly or moth look like the face of a larger animal (like an owl), scaring some predators.
Soaking up heat – Dark-colored scales soak up heat remarkably well when the butterfly suns itself. Like all insects, butterflies are cold-blooded. And when they get too cold, they warm themselves in the sun.
Did you know that scientists are trying to learn useful information about solar technology by observing how butterflies manipulate the solar energy?