Butterfly Body Parts

Butterflies use their colorful wings to fly from flower to flower to drink the nectar through their long curly tongue which is also known as their proboscis.

Did you know that there are approximately 15,000 different types of butterflies?

The proboscis or tongue is tubular and hollow and allows a butterfly to suck and feed the nectar from flowers.  When blood is pumped into the proboscis it uncurls and behaves like a drinking straw.

A butterfly's body is covered with millions of soft sensory hairs.

Butterflies are insects and all insects have six legs..  The three body parts of a butterfly are the Head, Thorax and Abdomen.


Eyes - The adult butterfly has two compound eyes, each with lots of little eyeballs grouped together.

Antennae - The head of a butterfly has the two antennae which are long and skinny with little knobs at the ends.  They help the butterfly to smell and to balance.. 

Tongue - The proboscis is coiled just below the head of a butterfly.  It is used like a straw to drink nectar.

Thorax: (Chest)

All butterflies have four wings, a pair of large fore wings at the top and a pair of hind wings below which are attached to the thorax.

Their wings have veins running through them for support and for nourishment.  The wings are made up of thousands of tiny colorful scales. The uppersides and undersides of their wings are usually entirely different colors. 

When a butterfly hatches from its chrysalis its wings are wet and crumpled.  The pumped blood supply helps to open up the wings and dry them out for flight.

The underside of some butterflies look totally different from the brightly colored upperside.

Butterflies have six legs (3 pairs) that are attached to the thorax..  They have four long legs and two shorter legs.  Their legs are used for tasting their food. 

Abdomin: (tail end)

The skeleton of a butterfly is on the outside of its body to help protect it.