Summer’s a great time to see some of the amazing insects that make up so much of life on earth, and in our latest issue of Zootles, you can learn about some of the most beautiful insects: butterflies! If you’re out in your yard or a neighborhood park, you might see butterflies like the monarch in this picture. However, if you travel (or visit a zoo), you might be able to see different species, like the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing. This butterfly from Papua New Guinea is the largest in the world—it can reach up to 11 inches across!
Even though butterflies come in all shapes and sizes, they all have some things in common. They have four wings, and compound eyes that they use to see ultraviolet (UV) light—something that humans can’t do. They also have a long, thin mouth part called a proboscis (it looks a little like a nose, but it’s not) that they use for drinking water and flower nectar. The next time you see some butterflies, look for what they have in common, and what makes them unique!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons