Monarch butterflies are not officially an endangered species, but shocking declines in their populations nationwide have led to a massive effort to save the butterfly and its habitat.
They’re easily the most recognizable butterfly to most of us, but here are some noteworthy facts about the species:
- A group of monarchs is called a flutter.
- A monarch butterfly weighs about the same as a blade of grass or postage stamp.
- They flap their wings 300 times a minute.
- Some flutters of monarchs flap 3,000 miles over the course of months to migrate south for the winter.
- Western monarch butterflies winter in southern California, while East Coast monarchs head to Mexico.
- Butterflies can taste and smell through receptors in their antennae and their legs.
The world is clearly better off for having a diversity of species to marvel at, but butterflies also help us as pollinators — by helping plants reproduce.