Butterflies are insects. They start out as caterpillars, and through a wonderful transformation called metamorphosis (whew, that’s a REALLY big word), they become butterflies.

Where Do Butterflies Live?

Butterflies are cold-blooded, which means they don’t control their body temperatures. That means they need to be in a place that’s not too hot, not too cold, but just right. (Remember Goldilocks?)

Butterflies look for food during the day and rest in a safe place, like under leaves or between rocks, at night.

What Do Butterflies Eat?

Well, actually, butterflies don’t eat anything. They drink their food. Yes, they get their nutrition by drinking nectar from flowers. And get this: butterflies taste with their FEET.

Two-Tailed Swallow Tail – The Arizona State Butterfly

Two-Tailed Swallow Tail

Two Tailed Swallow Tail

The Arizona state butterfly is the Two-Tailed Swallow Tail, shown at the right. Ranging between 3.5 and 5 inches, they have large yellow and black wings.

Each hind wing has two tail-like projections. The upper surface of male wings has black stripes.







Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Perhaps one of the most famous butterflies, Monarch butterflies migrate through Arizona.

While the migration path is primarily through southern Arizona, you might be able to see one along one of the trails, especially around the Wenima Wildlife Area.






Monarch Butterfly Video

This video was shot in southern Arizona, but you might come across a Monarch butterfly on one  of the Northeastern Arizona hiking trails.