How Does a Butterfly Breathe?

January 15, 2020 1 min read

How Does a Butterfly Breathe?

Ever wondered how a butterfly is able to breathe? You'd be forgiven for thinking that they breathe through their tubular proboscis, since that's how they're able to feed! In truth, butterfly biology is much more complex and surprising! 

Butterflies don't have lungs like we do. Instead, they breathe through a series of small openings along the sides of their bodies known as "spiracles".These spiracles carry oxygen through tubes in the butterfly's body. Every butterfly has nine pairs of spiracles running alongside its thorax and abdomen. This fascinating system isn't limited to butterflies, either: all insects use spiracles to breathe!

(Photo courtesy of Greg Peterson)

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