What do butterflies eat?

  • The caterpillars (young) of butterflies eat leaves and plant parts. Different types of caterpillars eat different types of plants.
  • Adult butterflies themselves do not eat, but drink. They usually feed on nectar from plant flowers or tree sap. Some butterflies will feed on the sugars in rotting fruits.
  • The Harvester butterfly actually pierces the bodies of woolly aphids and drinks their fluids.

The Butterfly uses a tube like appendage called a "Proboscis" to suck up nectar, pollen, tree sap, rotting fruit, dung and other substances that are dissolved into a liquid state. The food of choice depends strictly on the species, as some will feed on different things than others. Proboscis comes from the Greek "pro" meaning before and "boskein" meaning to feed.

They will also land on drying mud and or animal dung to suck up salts they need. Most of the food a butterfly requires is obtained during its early life as a caterpillar (mainly feeding off plant vegetation). They DO NOT eat worms.

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nectar from flowers
they feed on the nectar of flowers. also, they some times they will land on other things as well to suck up salts.