Agriculture/ Environment

Benefits of butterflies-are they only beauties of nature?

butterflies-garden-flowers

Benefits of butterflies to the ecosystem

The benefits of butterflies to the ecosystem is not well known. However, the fluttering flights, the multi-colored patterns of butterflies make the environment aesthetic and beautiful.  Can you believe there are more than 12000 species of butterflies on earth? Butterflies along with moths are a class of insects belonging to the order Lepidoptera. Adult butterflies have large, often brightly colored wings, and conspicuous in the woods and flowering plants. The group comprises the large superfamily Papilionoidea.  Two smaller groups, the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea) come under this superfamily. In addition to butterflies, moths numbering 150, 000 species also belong to the order Lepidoptera. Butterflies love the sunshine, unlike the moths that are nocturnal species. Butterflies also possess clubbed antennae, differing from moths having tapered or pectinate antennae. Our main focus here would be how butterflies benefit the ecosystem.

Butterfly and moth

Benefits of butterflies are many to the  ecosystem. The butterfly and moth differ in their antennae

Characteristics of butterflies

The lifespan of these beautiful creatures is only 12 months.  Butterflies exhibit polymorphism, i. e they occur in different forms within their colony, or in the life cycle. The benefits of butterflies have facilitated the ecosystem due to polymorphism, each state aiding the ecology of the environment in a different way.  Butterflies have two pairs of wings beautifully expressed. To escape from predator butterflies make use of mimicry and camouflage. The patterned butterfly wings are food for thought for artists and designers.

Stages of butterfly

10 Benefits of butterflies to the ecosystem

  1. Butterflies and moths play an important role in the natural ecosystem not by its intrinsic value but by its many benefits to the ecosystem. The ecosystem as one should be aware of is the physical and biological community of intermingling organisms that we live in. The air, the natural crop vegetation the wild creatures and  in fact, all living and non-living organisms make an ecosystem which when balanced gives a perfect healthy harmonious environment. Butterflies benefit the ecosystem in many ways.
  2. Butterflies move from plants to plants and from flowers to flowers in search of food that is other creatures and insects. In the process, the hairy legs and wings pick up pollen and transfer to other similar or dissimilar species. It, therefore, varietal diversity and widens the ecosystem. As in man countries the butterflies are decreasing due to lack of the right environment there is a decline in biodiversity.
  3. Benefits of ease butterflies in pollination help increase the production of cross-pollinating food crops.
  4. The benefits of butterflies to the ecosystem is noticeable in controlling pests of other species. The food of a butterfly is insects and eggs that are harmful to crops. Butterflies can be considered natural pest managers.
  5. Moths and butterflies are a part of the food chain of other animals. Insectivorous animals like bats, birds live on eggs, pupae and caterpillars at their various stages of growth.
  6. Butterflies roam around a wider species of plants, thus widens the genetic diversity. This results in resistance of crops to many common insects that are used to like only their kind of flavor.
  7. Butterflies and months have iconic value loved by many and especially children because of their lovely shape and color.
  8. In addition, to the benefits of butterflies to the ecosystem, butterflies serve as objects in the study of the science of insect life.  The butterfly is a ‘model’ organism in for biology students.
  9. Every butterfly and moth dispel  a special type of chemicals to frighten off predators and parasites. This helps them to find mates. These chemicals have a prospective value of economic significance.
  10. Besides, butterflies benefit to the environment, they are items of tourists and nature lovers. Butterfly collectors roam around the world to add a unique butterfly to their collection. Butterflies therefore also have economic value globally.

Wouldn’t it be nice to cultivate and culture butterflies in gardens? Butterflies are not beauties of nature but play an altruistic role in the environment.  The benefits of butterflies to the ecosystem implies that they are not only beauties of nature but a complement to food production for mankind!

A gaden fluttered by butterflies gives happiness

Benefits of butterflies in adding happiness to a garden.

 

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