Where Are The Other Legs??

When you look at an adult monarch butterfly, you may find yourself asking “Where are the other legs??” Monarchs are insects and required to have six legs. You know you saw 6 true legs on the caterpillar, but now you can only find four. Monarchs belong to the Nymphalidae family, also known as “brush footed butterflies.” The other two feet, or brush feet, are tucked up under the chin of the butter and are not used for walking. These feet look like tiny little brushes.

Since butterflies don’t have tongues, they taste through their feet. When the monarch butterfly is checking out a plant for laying eggs, they may extend and use the brush feet to make sure that it’s milkweed. The “walking feet” on the other legs look almost like claws and are used for clinging to twigs, etc. You’ll also notice that if one is walking on your bare skin, it feels very prickly!

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