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CAN A BUTTERFLY SMELL?

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It may surprise us, but butterflies and moths have keen senses of sight, smell, and taste. The organs of taste in most butterflies are in the month, which is what you would expect. But most organs of smell in butterflies are on the antennae. And there are some butterflies that smell things through "noses" on their feet!


Many butterflies have odors, or scents, which they use for two purposes. One kind of scent is used to attract the opposite sex; the other is used to dive away enemies.

The scents of male butterflies come from scales in pockets on their hind wings. During courtship a male monarch butterfly may scatter these scent scales over the female. The scents of many male butterflies resemble those of flowers or spices and are often pleasant to humans.

Female butterflies produce their scents in special glands in their bodies. Most of these female odors are disagreeable to the human nose.

Did you know that the taste organs of a butterfly are far more sensitive in some ways than that of humans? They are far more sensitive to sweet things than our tongues are. Their chief food is flower nectar, which is a sugar solution, and they are easily able to find it. When a butterfly finds nectar in a flower, it uncoils its long, hollow "tongue" and sucks in the liquid.

Butterflies are able to see colors very well. They can even see certain ultraviolet colors that the human eye cannot see.

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