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10 Best Butterfly Kits for Growing or Keeping Reviewed in 2019

last updated May 21, 2019

There is something truly magical about the life cycle of a butterfly. It is an experience that no one will forget. The whole experience is a hand on educational know-how. From getting the caterpillars to watching each of them hatches into butterflies. Each of these stages is as interesting as the last. Checking on them each day and seeing what stage they are at and where they are headed is fun. Kids and adults will love sharing this experience together. It is simple and there are kits available on the market that makes it easy. Buying the kits allows you to have all the right materials and habitat to be a success in this journey. We have created a list of kits for growing and keeping butterflies.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research

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Nature Gift Store Lady Caterpillars
97.7/100 our score
Educational Value
98
Design
97
Green Factor
98
Nature Gift Store Lady Caterpillars
Why is it better?

Comes with 5 live caterpillars included and guarantees that at least three will become butterflies

Includes a butterfly feeder and an eye dropper to provide a sugary substance to the insects.

Has a foldable netted cage that is a foot tall and can be hung up

Comes with a detailed instruction booklet of how to properly care for caterpillars and butterflies.

Ships within 4 days upon order

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Nature Gift Store Lady Caterpillars
Test Winner: Nature Gift Store Lady Caterpillars
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
18
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
10k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
23
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Jessica Mentzer
By Jessica Mentzer:

Updated list with two new habitats. The previous two were out of stock. Each of the new products is perfect for growing and keeping butterflies. Each of the products has been reviewed to ensure they are available and current in the market.

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Educational Value Design Green Factor By Default
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Name
Rating
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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
Educational Value
98%
Design
97%
Green Factor
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$18.62
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
Educational Value
97%
Design
97%
Green Factor
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Educational Value
95%
Design
94%
Green Factor
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$34.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Educational Value
94%
Design
92%
Green Factor
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$15.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Educational Value
92%
Design
92%
Green Factor
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$15.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Educational Value
91%
Design
91%
Green Factor
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Educational Value
90%
Design
91%
Green Factor
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$10.50
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Educational Value
88%
Design
90%
Green Factor
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$99.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.7
Educational Value
87%
Design
89%
Green Factor
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$18.62
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.7
Educational Value
89%
Design
88%
Green Factor
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.06.19)
Amazon Link
$26.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Nature Gift Store Lady Caterpillars
  • Nature Bound NB535 Bug Catcher
  • Insect Lore World of Eric Carle
  • Oxel Insect Habitat 24 Inches
  • Oxel Insect Habitat
  • Insect Lore With Voucher
  • RESTCLOUD Insect Habitat Cage Terrarium
  • Backyard Safari Habitat
  • Nature Gift Store
  • Insect Lore Giant Deluxe 18"
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Butterfly Kits Reviewed

1. Nature Gift Store Lady Caterpillars

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
Nature Gift Store Lady Caterpillars
Amazon Link
Educational Value
98
Design
97
Green Factor
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$18.62

Comes with 5 live caterpillars included and guarantees that at least three will become butterflies

Includes a butterfly feeder and an eye dropper to provide a sugary substance to the insects.

Has a foldable netted cage that is a foot tall and can be hung up

Comes with a detailed instruction booklet of how to properly care for caterpillars and butterflies.

Ships within 4 days upon order

Guarantee doesn’t apply to areas where the temperature is below 40 degrees or above 85 degrees

For those who want to actually see the evolution of the painted lady butterfly, this Live Butterfly kit is certainly worth considering. This kit comes with everything that is needed to get started, including 5 live caterpillars.

Read more

Educational Value

A genuine STEM project that will provide kids will an understanding of one of nature's true beauties. A good project for kids to do with their parents at home as a family project. Also great for use in a classroom to engage kids in a better understanding of how a butterfly matures and evolves.

Design

These will come contained in a properly sealed cup. Also, to give the proper housing for the caterpillars and later the adult butterflies, the kit comes with a pop up net cage. Kids will learn responsibility with these critters.

Green Factor

This is ideal to be placed in a corner on the table or has a hook to be hung up. Also, the company guarantees that the caterpillars will arrive alive and further guarantees that at least three of these will emerge from the cocoon alive and will mature to flying butterflies.

2. Nature Bound NB535 Bug Catcher

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
Nature Bound NB535 Bug Catcher
Amazon Link
Educational Value
97
Design
97
Green Factor
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99

A 7 piece set to not only actively catch butterflies but to house them properly along with studying them.

Habitat includes a feeding pipette along with three compartments

Includes a complete instruction booklet and an activity booklet

Ideal for not just catching butterflies but other types of insects and critters such as frogs

Habitat and catcher aren’t ideal to keep an insect in for very long due to small size.

When it comes to actively catching their own butterflies -- this large 7 piece kit could be essential for any child to have. The kit includes a net that is conventional in not only catching butterflies but other types of flying insects.

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Educational Value

A good opportunity to study nature up close. Also provides communing with nature and outside activity. This is beneficial to a child getting good exercise which works toward benefiting their motor skills.

Design

Fun, cognitive and interactive in more ways than one.

Green Factor

The great thing about using the provided net, thongs and tweezers is that a child never has to actually touch the butterfly. Which would no doubt be helpful to the insect as to not traumatize it in any way. Once captured the butterflies can be placed inside the capture jug or three compartment habitat. To get a closer look at the butterflies to study them more closely there is a magnifying glass as well.

3. Insect Lore World of Eric Carle

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Insect Lore World of Eric Carle
Amazon Link
Educational Value
95
Design
94
Green Factor
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$34.99

Five live very hungry caterpillars included

Beautiful mesh habitat

Deluxe log for chrysalis station

Watch caterpillars grow as they eat the nutritious food included

Easy-to-follow instructions

Some customers received caterpillars with NPV (nuclear polyhedrosis virus), which will not allow them to turn into butterflies

Celebrate this beloved book’s 50th anniversary with this special Insect Lore kit. In it, you’ll find a Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed butterfly habitat, a flower-shaped butterfly feeder, a feeding dropper, a chrysalis station log to track their progress, and five baby Very Hungry Caterpillars with nutritious food for each.

Read more

Educational Value

This kit teaches children about the life cycle of a butterfly, as well as providing an opportunity for them to work on some responsibility by adhering to a feeding regimen and keeping track of their little caterpillars’ growth. The chrysalis log will help nature lovers take notes and keep an eye on each day’s progress.

Design

The caterpillars will likely make their chrysalids within several days of arrival, and from there you and your little one can watch them grow into beautiful butterflies inside their mesh habitat. Little ones can name the butterflies and watch them as they grow.

Green Factor

The entire transformation takes about three weeks total, and caterpillars may not survive their journey to you in extreme heat conditions, so be mindful of the weather in your area, and order when temperatures are going to be 84 degrees or below.

4. Oxel Insect Habitat 24 Inches

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Oxel Insect Habitat 24 Inches
Amazon Link
Educational Value
94
Design
92
Green Factor
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.99

Plenty of room for butterflies to fly around.

Is collapsible and easily folds up to be moved or for storage purposes

Has breathable mesh netting on all sides but is secure enough to keep unwanted pest such as ants and flies from gaining access.

Heavy-duty zipper opening for easy access and large enough to make it possible to release butterflies is desired.

Not an ideal closure to house the caterpillars during the raising process due to large size.

Perhaps one of the largest butterfly terrariums currently on the market that someone can purchase for the home.

Read more

Educational Value

A good way for kids to really study the butterfly up close as it is flying around or on a plant. Good to use to raise butterflies or to enclose them for a study project. Also, ideal to house other types of small creatures such as birds, and reptiles.

Design

This terrarium will actually measure up to 48 inches in height and has a width of 27 inches in diameter which give the butterflies plenty of room to fly around. There is also plenty of room in which to add plants to the bottom of the terrarium to add host plants for the butterflies to lay their eggs. Also, no need to worry about it being hard to move to another location because this one easily collapses and folds up. It is also washable, which means it would be easy for anyone including a child to clean.

Green Factor

Butterflies need plenty of space to fly around and this keeper certainly supplies just that. Butterflies are also great for the environment, so little ones can learn about the importance of keeping this earth healthy and happy.

5. Oxel Insect Habitat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Oxel Insect Habitat
Amazon Link
Educational Value
92
Design
92
Green Factor
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.95

Large size

Easily washed with a bleach mixture

Well-ventilated

Easily opened and fully-enclosed

Doesn’t come with caterpillars

This habitat is the perfect environment to grow not only butterflies but just about any insect you can fit inside it! It’s a great addition to any current butterfly growing kit you may have or a great precursor to one.

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Educational Value

For the adventurous type, this habitat is a great starting place for kids who don’t mind hunting down their own insects. It’s the perfect environment to watch and nurture all of their favorite bug-eyed friends!

Design

Kids will be able to explore and discover new insects and will always have a place to keep them with this mesh habitat that’s easily washed and fully-enclosed. It’s also super affordable if your kids don’t mind doing the hard work of an insect search themselves!

Green Factor

Not only will your kids love this habitat, but the caterpillars they find to home inside of it will as well. It’s a natural environment for them and will allow for fresh air and plenty of room to watch them grow and thrive.

6. Insect Lore With Voucher

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Insect Lore With Voucher
Amazon Link
Educational Value
91
Design
91
Green Factor
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99

Comes with a habitat to observe the natural process of a butterfly through various stages.

Habitat has a full zipper side to make it easy to open wide to let the butterflies leave to go into nature.

It’s a #1 Best Seller on Amazon

After you grow your butterflies you can set them free outside

Caterpillars don’t come with the actual kit and although there is a certificate to get these free there is a shipping fee that will be attached.

From Insect Lore a company that has been supplying caterpillars to the public for almost fifty years. This kit provides all that is needed to start to study the life cycle of the butterfly.

Read more

Educational Value

Provides kids an opportunity to actually witness the metamorphosis of a butterfly. This is a great at home family project to provide kids an understanding of the life cycle. Also, a good school project as early as kindergarten. Also, good to teach a child about how to care for something then let it go since the butterflies should be released from this habitat within a week of emergency.

Design

With this kit known as the Butterfly Garden, the company will provide 5 caterpillars, that from there will go into the cocoon that is known as the chrysalides stage and from there emerge a painted lady butterfly. Included to help house the butterflies through the process is a collapsible mesh habitat that is about 12 inches in height. Also, included are detailed instructions on how to use the habitat.

Green Factor

A butterfly kit that was once an As Seen on TV product and perhaps help put raising butterflies more to the forefront, by showing that this is a fun activity that a whole family would enjoy doing.

7. RESTCLOUD Insect Habitat Cage Terrarium

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
RESTCLOUD Insect Habitat Cage Terrarium
Amazon Link
Educational Value
90
Design
91
Green Factor
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$10.50

Professional designed butterfly and insect habitat

Features clear window made from vinyl for clear observation

Five panels constructed from fine mesh for great airflow

Easy to store collapsible design

Zipper opening for easy access and protection

Fines mesh makes it hard to see inside, the vinyl window is the only way to observe

Difficult to collapse and fold for storage

Looking for a professional version of a well-constructed butterfly habitat? Then this is it. This habitat cage is perfect for raising butterflies and other insects. The design is square which allows for it to stand straight up.

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Educational Value

On the outside of the habitat, there is a clear vinyl window that allows for observation. It will give an unforgettable opportunity to anyone that is watching. First watchers can observe the caterpillars ‘moving throughout the habitat, then as they turn into chrysalides and hang out for a period of time.

Design

It will not rock or move once the set-up is complete. The final step is the best step, the emersion of the beautiful butterflies. The design of the habitat features five mesh sides that allow great airflow and support a healthy environment for the butterflies to strive in. There is also a zipper that has been created in the fine mesh that allows you to access the inside of the habitat but keeps predator insects out. Once the butterflies have flown away and it is time to store the habitat it is easy. Simply fold the habitat up for easy storage. The design of the habitat is tall and wide making it ideal for holding milkweed plants which the butterflies will love. This habitat makes it easy to access the inside, keeps predators out, and ideal for keeping them as happy as can be.

Green Factor

Habitats for raising butterflies are extremely cool and the design of this habitat is even cooler. The easy to access side panel with the zipper access is great for being able to feed the butterflies and change their water, but secure enough to keep out any predator insects.

8. Backyard Safari Habitat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Backyard Safari Habitat
Amazon Link
Educational Value
88
Design
90
Green Factor
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.95

Has a top zipper and handle that makes it possible to hand up

Is foldable and measures up to 15 inches when unfolded

Soft mesh sides that make it easy to observe the butterflies enclosed

Comes with a patch and an adventure guide

Doesn’t include a side zipper opening which would be beneficial in letting the butterflies go or transferring to a larger terrarium.

WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT

This is a small butterfly habitat that measures around 15 inches in height. It also has a handle at the top that makes it ideal to either hang it up or the make it an enclosure to transport the butterflies to another location.

Read more

Educational Value

Provides all that is needed to raise butterflies other than the larvae (caterpillars). These can be obtained through any refill kit that provides the live caterpillars through the mail. For those who have a garden, they can also go about finding their own.

Design

The habitat can be kept outside on the front porch, patio or even garden. It can also be kept indoors at a proper temperature. As for the overall features of the Safari Butterfly Habitat, it is fully collapsible and easily unfolds to its full height. It has well-ventilated mesh netting that is easy to see through which makes it easy to observe the butterflies inside.

Green Factor

Could make for another great nature project along with studying the butterflies life cycle.

9. Nature Gift Store

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.7
Nature Gift Store
Amazon Link
Educational Value
87
Design
89
Green Factor
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$18.62

Butterfly habitat kit with five caterpillars included

Includes; food for caterpillars, butter feeder, eye dropper, sugar, and mister

Habitat is three foot hanging mesh netting system

Features easy to access zipper door

Guarantees that you will get three adult butterflies from each kit

Wing development of butterflies is often deformed

Caterpillars will only be delivered in perfect conditions

Butterfly habitats are very cool and when they even include the butterflies it makes it a great value that is hard to pass up. Included with this butterfly habitat are five painted lady caterpillars.

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Educational Value

This is ideal for feeding and water changes. The habitat also features a hanger. This allows you to be able to hang the habitat in an area that everyone can see. Butterflies will stay safe and comfortable for their entire life cycle in this butterfly habitat. It is a great kit that guarantees to put butterflies in your life.

Design

All you have to do it order them once you receive your habitat and they will be sent right to you. Included with the habitat is everything that is needed to rear a butterfly. The supplies include; food for the caterpillars, mister, a feeder for the butterflies, eye dropper, and sugar. Also included are instructions that are easy to follow and a page for coloring for the kids. One of the best things about this kit is they guarantee that at least 3 of the caterpillars that that are delivered will become butterflies. What is unique about this habitat is that is it a hanging cage that has been constructed from a netting fabric. The fabric is perfect for allowing the air to flow through but keeping other things out. There is also a zipper to be able to easily access inside the habitat.

Green FACTOR

Not all kits come with the butterflies, but this one does. They will deliver 5 caterpillars to your home upon your request and they guarantee that at least three of those caterpillars will turn into whole growth adult butterflies that are healthy and thrive in this habitat. The caterpillars will arrive alive and ready to be put into the habitat.

10. Insect Lore Giant Deluxe 18"

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.7
Insect Lore Giant Deluxe 18"
Amazon Link
Educational Value
89
Design
88
Green Factor
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$26.99

Includes everything you need

Large enough habitat for several butterflies

Comes with a guarantee

Great for younger kids

There is a shipping and handling fee when redeeming the voucher

For kids ages four and up, this kit does all the work for them without overly complicating the process of caring for future butterflies. Insect Lore is a well-known brand for butterfly kits and ensures that your child will be able to fully experience the magic that is metamorphosis with their three out of five guarantee.

Read more

Educational Value

It’s a great kit for families to do as a weekend project or for your child and their friends. This would also make a great project for school since it’ll teach them all about the process of evolving and cocooning.

Design

Many times, caterpillars won’t make the shipping trip with their actual habitats if ordered all at once. Insect Lore has the option of a separate voucher to purchase live caterpillars separate, which ensures their chance of surviving. You may notice that this kit doesn’t come with live caterpillars, but never fear! It does come with a voucher that will allow you to get five live caterpillars which will prevent anything happening to them since they’re being shipping separately.

Green Factor

Raising caterpillars into butterflies is a rewarding experience for both kids and the earth. These critters greatly benefit the earth.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Educational Value

This is the main benefit of actually studying the butterfly up close. While observing the various stages and changes the butterfly goes through from larva (caterpillar) to cocoon to actual butterfly, a child learns that in life there are changes we all go through. Like the butterfly, they too will change over time as it is the natural process of things. Also, they can learn more about this beautiful insect in general, such as why it only flies and never walks, how to actually hold one without harming it and that it doesn’t actually hear but relies on its eyesight which is limited in color. Another lesson that can be learned from the butterfly is when kids let them go, it teaches a child that in life there will come a time when you have to let go of something and a butterfly will always be its happiest while out in nature. The educational benefits of observing a butterfly are endless, and the great thing is it is so fascinating to the child that they won’t think of it as learning but something that is fun.

Design

This is another benefit for a child to obtain through the butterfly. Because they are so colorful and flutter around, a child will be drawn to watch them. If they use a magnifying glass, they can also see other unique qualities about the butterfly while promoting their visual range of perception of the world around them.

Green Factor

Caring for butterflies is just like caring for any other pet. They need to be fed a proper way and the butterfly habitat needs to be kept clean. This will follow the requirements set forth by that particular butterfly keeper’s instructions. A child could learn to take part in the process and how to go about doing it properly. While doing this, a child learns some responsibility and not only about caring for butterflies but also for caring for a pet in general.

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Parents, did you know?

In an age where kids can be so into video games and other digital technology, they might be losing track of the importance of the environment and nature. Through studying the butterfly and learning more about it, a child develops a deeper appreciation of the beauty of Mother Earth. It also gives them a further appreciation of the creatures that can be found in nature and perhaps even interest them in going outside and finding out more about nature in general.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How did the butterfly actually get its name?

a:

This is a question that no doubt younger kids could very well ask and one that no doubt some of us may have pondered at one time or another. However, there are several stories surrounding how the name actually came to be for this insect. Unfortunately, no one really knows for sure since the name dates back centuries. One legend is that witches would turn into beautiful flying insects to steal milk and butter. Another legend is that kids may live a bit more because of the fact that this insect comes out in the spring. While doing so the butterfly would appear flying around while milk was being churned into butter on farms and the name sort of stuck. But these are just a few legends and no one really knows for sure where the name actually came from.

q: How are butterflies beneficial to the environment?

a:

Like the bee and the moth, the butterfly is a pollinator. This means that it will take pollen from one flower and distribute it to other plants which will benefit the ecosystem. Butterflies can also help control weeds and take care of some unwanted pests that can ruin gardens. Also, it turns out that scientists actually use butterflies as sort of a barometer, telling them if bad weather is on the horizon because of the absence of this insect in areas where it could be commonly found.

q: How long does it take a butterfly to emerge from a cocoon?

a:

This will depend on some factors. For example in a warmer climate in the middle of summer, the process can take up to a month to actually happen. It will also depend on the species of butterfly. On average the Monarch butterfly, one of the most identifiable species, can take up to 14 days to emerge from the cocoon. However, the Painted Lady, which is one of the most common species and one that is often included in the butterfly kits, takes only seven to 10 days to emerge.

q: What is the best time of year and temperature to release butterflies into nature?

a:

Butterflies are insects that thrive in spring and summer. The ideal temperature for a butterfly to actually take flight is between 55 to 60 degrees. So, butterflies should never be released when it cold out and also shouldn’t be released when it is raining.

q: How many species of butterflies are there?

a:

There are actually around 20,000 different types of butterfly species throughout the world. In North America, it has been determined that there are around 725 different species of butterflies to date that have been discovered.

q: Is it important to put plants and flowers in habitats and does the size of habitat matter?

a:

Yes, to both questions. First of all, flowers and plants are where a butterfly lays her eggs. Also, as stated above, butterflies are pollinators by nature and so being able to continue this process even in captivity would only benefit the species. As for the size of the habitat, butterflies love to fly around, so a larger habitat is always beneficial. Yes, we did place a few smaller ones on our list but these are more ideal for securing the butterfly after catching it in nature or moving it from one place to another. These small ones are also ideal to house a caterpillar since these don’t require the same amount of space as the butterfly does, but again host plants are necessary since these are one of a caterpillars main source of nourishment.

q: What is the lifespan of a butterfly?

a:

Unfortunately a butterfly doesn’t have too long a lifespan. On average most butterflies only live about a month; the female butterflies tend to live a bit longer than the males though. In fact, the longest lifespan of a butterfly that has been documented is about one year. This is why it is so important to the butterfly to breed and lay eggs so that new versions of this insect species can hatch and then go through the same process from caterpillar to cocoon to adult butterfly. Another great lesson for kids to learn through the butterfly is about the circle of life.

q: Are butterflies so colorful for a reason?

a:

As it turns out, there are actually several reasons for butterflies’ amazing colors. The first is that it gives them a good way to hide from predators. The butterfly’s bright coloring can mimic the same vibrant colors of the flowers and plants in nature that they gravitate toward, making them hard to spot to predators. Their bright colors also make the butterfly more appealing to other forms of their species to help them secure a mate. Turns out that the colors will also help provide warmth to the butterfly as well.

Sources

  1. Admin, Butterfly Care & FAQs, FAQ Article
  2. Scholastic, Answers to Kids' Questions About Butterflies, Online Article
  3. justfunfacts.com staff, Interesting facts about butterflies, Informative Online Article
  4. Admin, Keeping Insects Caring for a Preying Mantis, Butterflies, Stick insects and Beetles, Informative Care Article
  5. Vanessa Levin, Science for Kids: Raising Butterflies in Preschool, Online Article