Curiosities: Why do butterflies have powder on their wings?

By Eddy Montilla.

Butterflies

For children, it is very had to resist the temptation to catch and touch a butterfly. Then, they realize that they have some powder on their hands and say: “What is that?”

     This “powder” is called scales and they have different functions that can vary according to the butterfly species. They are used to attract the opposite sex for mating and to blend into their background as camouflage and thus avoid being the lunch of some predators. Butterfly scales also help to retain heat because of the great quantity of them that can be found on the wings. These scales allow their bodies to warm up because butterflies cannot fly if they are cold.

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