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I had mentioned in a previous post that your little ones can be scientists by taking a nature walk to make some fun discoveries. I have talked about finding tracks, nests, and interesting creatures before. Today, I thought it would be fun to search for butterflies and moths.
Although I am definitely not a lepidopterist (a person who studies moths or butterflies), there are some books that provide details about moths and butterflies.
Books about Moths and Butterflies
Moth and Butterfly Search
Typically, moths have fat feathery antennae, and butterflies have slender antennae with “balls” at the tips. Butterflies are often found during the day, whereas moths often prefer nights. Butterflies make chrysalises, and moths make cocoons.
This is a picture of a monarch butterfly we found on a trail we were walking on one day. Did you know you can tell a male and female monarch butterfly apart by looking at the markings on the wings when they are open? The males have black spots, and the females don’t.
These caterpillars shown on the milkweed plants are not technically butterflies (yet), but it is fun to see the different stages of a butterfly. Did you know monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed plants?
I took the caterpillar picture at a monarch butterfly event we attended. Families were allowed to take home a caterpillar to raise and later release.
The book How to Raise Monarch Butterflies by Carol Pasternak is a great resource if you would like to raise your own monarch butterflies.
Some nature centers allow visitors to help tag monarch butterflies. The small tags help track monarchs during their long migration. More information about monarch tagging can be found on Monarch Watch.
I think this is an eastern tiger swallowtail. We were walking and saw it along the side of a road.
If you know what this guy is, please let me know.
A moth, a beetle, and a fly all flew on to a tree…
…and then I took a picture.
Speaking of butterflies and flies, another book to check out is I, Fly by Bridget Heos about a fly that feels underappreciated. He thinks butterflies get too much attention, so he attempts to enlighten a classroom full of kids about flies. Readers learn quite a few facts about flies through the fly’s humorous discussion.
How many butterflies and moths can you find on your next nature walk?
Here are some more posts you may be interested in reading:
Nature Walk: Whose Tracks Are These?
Nature Walk: Where Will You Find a Nest?
14 Children’s Books About Flowers