All the Ways Butterflies Use Color to Stay Alive

We all know that camouflage is an important tool in the evolutionary toolbox. But it's only one of the ways that butterflies and caterpillars use color to keep themselves safe. » 3/09/15 3:30am 3/09/15 3:30am

This Animated Field Guide To North American Butterflies Is Mesmerizing

Few infographs capture the liveliness of their subjects, but Eleanor Lutz's lovely chart of 42 North American butterflies reminds us that these are living beings as each butterfly flaps its wings. » 9/11/14 1:23pm 9/11/14 1:23pm

Caterpillar Metamorphosis Looks Even More Alien When You Speed It Up

Oregon's endangered silverspot butterflies typically pupate into chrysalises over the course of several hours, in a nocturnal process rarely observed by humans. But in this time-lapse footage, members of the Oregon Zoo's butterfly lab have combined over 15,000 photographs to compress the transformation into a matter… » 6/18/14 12:20pm 6/18/14 12:20pm

The entire alphabet, photographed on butterfly wings

Nature photographer Kjell Bloch Sandved has amassed a massive collection of butterfly and moth wings, capturing a host of unusual patterns. Using those patterns, he has assembled entire butterfly alphabets. » 11/16/13 11:30am 11/16/13 11:30am

Amazonian butterflies and bees drink the tears of turtles

It sounds poetic, but it's apparently true: in the Amazon, bees and, more often, butterflies, flap around the heads of turtles to drink their salty, salty tears. It's truly a sight to behold. » 9/15/13 9:30am 9/15/13 9:30am

Check out these stunning macro-focus shots of butterfly and moth wings

For the past four years, photographer and biochemist Linden Gledhill has been taking macro focus shots of various butterfly and moth wings. Gledhill, who has also photographed natural and homegrown snowflakes, designed his own rig (with the help of Cognisys) to help create these intricate and beautiful close-up… » 1/17/13 1:29pm 1/17/13 1:29pm

Mimicking butterfly wings could boost hydrogen fuel production

Chinese researchers have turned to the light absorbing properties of butterfly wings to significantly increase the efficiency of solar hydrogen cells, using biomimetics to copy the nanostructure that allows for incredible light and heat absorption. » 3/30/12 7:55am 3/30/12 7:55am

Butterfly-chasing otters will brighten your Sunday

Otters are already one of nature's most adorable animals. But what happens when you cross a romp of wiggly otters with a single butterfly? You get the cutest little butterfly chase you'll ever see. » 1/08/12 9:00am 1/08/12 9:00am

What lurks in the DNA of the mysterious Monarch butterfly?

For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of a creature who migrates long distances: the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch Genome Project hopes to provide insight into the butterflies' mysterious migratory pattern, which involves travel over great distances for several generations. How do these… » 11/24/11 10:08am 11/24/11 10:08am

Animals have stopped migrating - and that could cause a disease epidemic

Animals seem to use migration to escape the spread of deadly pathogens...so it's bad news that many animals have stopped migrating. » 1/20/11 4:00pm 1/20/11 4:00pm

Butterflies switch up sex roles depending on how cold it is

Butterflies have an odd quirk in their mating practices: during warm months, the males pursue the females, but when it's cold, the females go after the males. This unusual reversal is a matter of life and death for the females. » 1/09/11 4:30pm 1/09/11 4:30pm

Watch the birth of "super Monarch butterflies" that live 10 times…

Every four generations, Monarch butterflies create a "super generation" that lives long enough to migrate to Mexico. In this video from National Geographic, we see how the butterflies engineer their children for such astonishing longevity. » 11/03/10 8:30am 11/03/10 8:30am

The First Space Butterfly Takes a Test Flight

Yesterday a Painted Lady butterfly emerged from its chrysalis and flapped its wings - in microgravity on the International Space Station. It was the first butterfly to be born and survive in microgravity. » 12/04/09 10:00am 12/04/09 10:00am