Butterflies are cold-blooded animals. That means their body temperature is controlled by the temperature of the air around them. That means they love the sun.
They bask in it to warm their bodies. They fly into it because almost all plants they seek for nectar or larval food are sun-loving. In fact, butterflies seldom fly at all if the temperature is below 60 degrees F.
Butterflies roost at night, usually on the undersides of leaves. They also roost during cold, cloudy or rainy weather. Because of their love of the sun they usually fly only from mid-morning until late afternoon, depending on light conditions.
To have a successful butterfly garden, you need a sunny area.
Last revised September 3, 1996
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