The four wings of a butterfly

Photo by Chris Bosak
Eastern tiger swallowtail, Brookfield, CT, summer 2019.

Look back at my “Butterfly Weekend” posts from last week and check out the vast majority of butterfly photos published elsewhere and tell me how many wings a butterfly has. From most photos, it appears as if butterflies have two wings, just like birds.

But butterflies, of course, have four wings, even though it is rarely apparent by watching them fly or sip nectar from a flower. Each wing we see is really two wings: a hindwing and forewing.

I was lucky enough to catch this shot of an eastern tiger swallowtail, which clearly shows the four wings of a butterfly. Nature never fails to astound.

Here’s the same butterfly as it’s usually seen and photographed:

Photo by Chris Bosak
Eastern tiger swallowtail, Brookfield, CT, summer 2019.

Here is more information on butterfly wings, compliments of enchantedlearning.com

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