The world is home to over 17,500 species of butterflies.
The rarest is the Palos Verdes Blue once thought to be extinct, only to be spotted alive and well, though few in number, in 1994 in San Pedro, California.
Peru is home to at least 3,700 species of butterflies; more than any other country. In comparison the United States hosts 750 species, while my own home country of Canada has a mere 292.
The largest butterfly is the Queen Alexandra Birdwing (Omithoptera Alexandra’s) with a wing span of almost 30 cm (12 inches)!
The most diminutive is the Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly measuring in at 1.3 cm (0.5 inch) from tiny wingtip to wingtip.
Large or small, butterflies are more than just a set of pretty wings. Many people are surprised to learn that next to bees, butterflies are the most prolific pollinators of plants. A large portion of our food is owed to the work of butterflies.
If you are interested in helping these pretty pollinators thrive, consider growing plants for both nectar and habitat. Many garden centres feature symbols of butterflies on their plant tags to indicate butterfly friendly plants, helping to make sourcing the right plants easier than ever.
On a recent walk I spotted this poster on a lamp post supporting the cause for a butterflyway.
To find out more about this worthwhile initiative visit The Butterflyway Project.