Butterflies are the vanguard for the insect world, due to their harmless beauty.  Consequently, they have been studied the most among the insects, and the present knowledge of their biology, evolution and habits can fill thick books many times over.  Time permitting some of this information may be noted on this site.

Butterflies have evolved in unison with the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms) that started about 134 million years ago during the early Lower Cretaceous geological time period at the time of the dinosaurs, and the larval stages of butterflies are almost entirely dependent on flowering plants as a food source. 

The datasheets contain considerable non-specific biological information.  A series of photographs illustrating the pupation methods of various groups of butterflies have also been prepared.  See the following for swallowtails, nymphs and lycaenids; also an excellent time-lapse sequence for a Singapore Emperor.

In the mean time, the following are some sites that partially cover this topic.


u American Museum Natural History - General biology
u Butterfly website - FAQ
u Jeffrey Miller - Caterpillar biology
u Costa Rica Butterfly Farm - General biology and now includes a glossary
u Dexter - The origin of the butterfly and moth names
u Factoids - Interesting information
u Mallet - Detailed information on mimicry in South American butterflies
u Monarch Watch - Good biological information on the Monarch
u NPWRC - Caterpillar biology
u Sao Paulo Brasil - Detailed information on biology - but written in Portuguese ; data originally existed on the internet, then converted into a book, now possible to download from an archive source, but you will require broadband (130mb download)
u Simon Coombes - General biology


Last check of links 24 May 2011