Real butterflies and fake butterflies for decoration
There are about 160,000 species of butterflies. They live in both cold tundra and desert areas, but most butterflies are found in tropical and subtropical areas. Certain species are of course also found in our regions. Butterflies are loved by humans for their beautiful colors. But they can not only be admired in nature in real life. Butterflies are also very common as decoration of numerous objects and in interiors, for example as wall decoration.
Wings, colors, wingspan and scales
Although all butterflies have almost the same physique, there is a wide variety of shapes and sizes of the wings with especially very different colors and patterns on the wings. The wingspan of the smallest species is only a few millimeters, but the largest butterfly wings reach a width of more than twenty-five centimeters. Those wings are covered with scales. The scales contain pigments (dyes) and are arranged in roof tiles (partly overlapping). Some species have slightly translucent areas. Scales are very fragile, which can damage the wings of older butterflies.
Effect of scales
Scales can be of various shapes such as oval, round, flower-shaped, spear-shaped, or diamond-shaped. The color of the overlapping parts of the scales is partly determined by the combination of the colors of the scales. The incidence of light and reflection of the light can also influence the color effect. This is the case with the reflective butterflies and the mother-of-pearl butterflies. A special light effect occurs with honeycomb scales where the light remains trapped in the scales, which are therefore deep black and make the other colors stand out more.
Designation and camouflage
Some butterfly species are named after the color they have (blues) or the light effect (fire butterfly). The wing colors usually have a camouflage function. Sometimes that is not a striking shade and with other types it is a multicolored color. The combination of noticeable and not striking also occurs where the top of the wings has many colors and the underside does not.
Three groups according to the way of flying
According to the way butterflies fly, they can be divided into three groups.
Almost all butterflies fly with flapping movements and quickly flap their wings. Their zigzag flight is not that fast.
Butterflies with a small wing area mainly make use of the movement of the air.
Due to the wing shape, the hummingbird and pintail butterflies, for example, can fly very fast and also hover silently in the air. Pintail butterflies can reach a speed of 100 kilometers per hour.
Four stages from egg to butterfly
Before a butterfly can start its flutter flight, parachute flight or fast flight, it has gone through a number of stages from egg to finally butterfly.
- Egg: The first stage is the egg.
- Larva: The second stage is the larva or caterpillar that emerges from the egg after a while.
- Pop: During the third stage, the larva forms a cocoon and changes shape in it.
- Butterfly: That transformation ultimately produces a butterfly in the fourth stage.
Little chance of survival for caterpillar
The main task of the butterflies is to ensure reproduction by producing very many eggs. In the caterpillar stage, the butterfly has a large number of enemies such as birds, reptiles, mice, amphibians and insects and there are even congeners that eat each other. Another danger is the parasitic wasp that paralyzes the caterpillar and then deposits its eggs in the caterpillar. When the larvae of the parasitic wasp have hatched, they eat the caterpillar alive and from the inside. Many caterpillars are also taken by birds to their nests to feed their young. Only one to five percent of caterpillars manage to reach adulthood.
Also enemies like butterfly
Once a butterfly, the number of enemies remains large such as bats, birds, mammals, reptiles, spiders and praying mantis. The lifespan of the butterfly is in any case not that long in many species and in some species only reaches a fraction of the larval stage. Other species live anywhere from a few days to weeks. Butterflies of only a few species age because they eat different foods. As an outlier, the fruit-eating Euphaedra medon can even live to be ten months old.
Butterflies as decoration
It is not surprising that beautiful and colorful butterfly specimens inspire people to create products based on the shape and colors of butterflies. An attempt is made to approach reality as much as possible. Various techniques are used, such as butterfly paintings on earthenware with a glaze layer over it, which often gives a very beautiful result. Ceramic decorations also sometimes consist of butterflies. Models of stylized butterflies are also used on wallpaper or other finishing materials to decorate the walls of living rooms or other rooms. There are also techniques to transfer butterfly models to other materials such as wood, glass, leather, metal, plastic, porcelain and various fabrics.
Objects and materials with butterflies
A selection of the numerous possibilities for processing butterflies on objects or materials results in very diverse products.
- Wallpaper, embroidery kits, brooches, bijou
Duvet covers, shower curtains
- Mobile phone cases
- picture frames
- Hanging decorations, pendants
- Chains, children’s shoe decoration
- Laptop cases
- Magnetic butterflies, wall stickers
- Belly Piercings
- Window stickers, rings
- Atmospheric lights, scrap wood paintings
Tile stickers, garden decorations
Venetian masks, butterfly clips, bow ties
- Wall decorations, wind chimes
- Pocket mirrors