No. Only animals with a short-term memory system, which means mammals, birds, and some reptiles, appear to dream. Most creatures without as much mental equipment as we do not have enough energy to have any type of dream, it would seem.
Butterflies don’t really have a short-term memory system (they don’t remember anything for very long), so it’s unlikely that they could be dreaming.
Do butterflies sleep?
In general, butterflies are most active during the day when the sun is out, and it is warm. They will rest at night and during cold weather.
Rather than sleep, butterflies become quiescent when the temperature drops, at night, or during a storm. The fawn rests, its eyes open and camouflaged amidst the leaves and hanging upside down from tree branches.
It has been observed that few species of butterfly can be active even at night in the presence of artificial light. However, scientists find that butterflies rest with their wings folded together on top of their backs. But some species will keep their wings open and spread out to display their colorful wings.
Butterflies don’t have eyelids to close, so they rest with their eyes open by folding their wings over their body to protect themselves from predators.
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Can any insect dream?
Insects don’t experience REM sleep, but birds and mammals do. Scientists also argue that REM is probably a holdover from our time as reptiles.
Dreaming is considered to be a universal human behavior. According to a recent survey, 95 percent of people reported that they had experienced at least one dream in their lifetime. But while dreams may be commonplace among humans, we’re not the only animals that experience them, nor are we the only creatures on the planet that seem to have relatively complex thoughts and behaviors during periods of sleep.
There’s a whole class of animals that have no short-term memory at all: insects.
But there are other creatures with short-term memories — ants and bees, for example — that do appear to dream. And in the 1970s, scientists began doing experiments on rats and other small mammals to see what they dreamed about.
In 1980, one scientist decided to take a look at whether rats could dream. He placed three identical cages in his office and put three different rats in each cage. He watched the rats’ every move through hidden video cameras set up throughout the room and found that they seemed to become restless when they were sleeping — their body posture changed slightly (they stretched), and then they stopped sleeping altogether. The scientist concluded that this indicated dreaming activity.
To put it simply, no, butterflies probably don’t dream. As we have already discussed, a butterfly’s brain is much too small to hold an intense mental journey such as a dream. Butterflies are probably oblivious to the outside world while they sleep, and they more than likely just absorb whatever they need from their surroundings in order to maintain health and survive.