Where do butterflies go during the winter?

March 16, 2020 1 min read

Where do butterflies go during the winter?

Butterflies can fly and feed safely in temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Like all insects, their bodies contain chemical compounds known as glycols, which help them endure cold weather. Once the snow starts falling however, they'll need a plan to survive harsh winter conditions!
Many butterfly species such as Monarchs and our own Painted Ladies choose to migrate to warmer climates rather than face freezing temperatures. Butterflies that live only in cold climates will normally spend the winter as a caterpillar, whose bodies are much better suited to combating the elements than an adult butterfly's. These caterpillars normally burrow beneath fallen leaves to survive the cold. Some butterflies, such as the Mourning Cloak pictured, have the incredible ability to overwinter as adults, tucking themselves into crevices in logs or even underneath tree bark!
Next time you take a walk outside in the winter, try and imagine the many butterflies sleeping in their own warm, hidden shelters all around you!

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