Butterflies are smart. They’re able to learn, react easily to stimuli, and even anticipate danger.
According to National Geographic, butterflies have a lot of neurons — in fact, they have more brain cells than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
Butterflies can also see the world in ultraviolet light, which is something humans cannot do. And butterflies can recognize each other using UV patterns on their wings and bodies.
Butterflies have excellent memories and can remember things that help them find food, avoid predators and migrate long distances.
The butterfly has the ability to learn; they have the ability to seek out nectar and pollinate flowers.
How intelligent are butterflies?
Butterfly intelligence goes far beyond their ability to seek out nectar and pollinate flowers. In recent research, butterflies have demonstrated learning, counting, and making decisions.
In one study, a group of white cabbage butterflies was trained to associate the scent of lavender with the presence of food. After learning this association, the butterflies were put into a chamber with four different scents: two that smelled like lavender and two that did not. The butterflies spent more time in the chambers with new scents that smelled like lavender than ones that did not. This suggests they can differentiate between similar but not identical scents, according to a report in “Current Biology.”
In another experiment, researchers observed blue morpho butterflies in the wild. The butterflies displayed color preferences when choosing where to sunbathe based on environmental conditions, according to a study published in “PLOS One.” By choosing perches of certain colors over others, the butterflies could heat up their wings faster in cooler conditions and avoid overheating in hot environments.
To avoid predators, the painted lady butterfly counts how many caterpillars there are on a plant so it can hide among them by blending in with their colors and patterns in an experiment conducted at the Queen Mary University of London.
Do butterflies have personalities?
Butterflies have personalities, they have a personality that is social and influencing, and that makes them perfect candidates for research on animal behavior. A paper published in an issue of the journal Animal Behaviour is helping to fill in a crucial gap in our understanding of what personality means for butterflies.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, examined four species of butterfly to see how their personalities influenced the way they interacted with each other. Specifically, the researchers wanted to determine if an individual’s personality was associated with its tendency to be dominant or subordinate within a group.
The idea that animals can have distinct personalities has been around for a long time, though it remains controversial in some circles. One reason for this is that there is no universal agreement on exactly what personality means. The most widely accepted definition is that “personality is a set of consistent behavioral tendencies across contexts and over time,” says Dr. Megan Head, one of the new study’s authors.
“This definition is pretty broad, but it’s not necessarily easy to put into practice when trying to measure animals’ personalities. That’s because it requires you to test individuals multiple times over several contexts and assess how consistent their behaviors are across those tests.”
So the answer is yes, butterflies are smart. Butterfly brains have a lot in common with our brains; their brains are far more complex than people generally think. Butterflies are intelligent creatures with a range of cognitive skills beyond what was previously thought. They are capable of learning and experiencing the world like other animals.