Are Butterflies Considered Animals?

Butterflies attract the attention of many people in gardens and parks due to their colorful bodies and pretty appearance. It seems quite unusual to think that these insects are animals because of the concept of animals for us.

Are Butterflies Considered Animals? Butterflies are considered animals because they belong to the kingdom Animalia with multiple cell organs. They possess a nervous system and senses, can reproduce sexually, consume organic matter, can move, and do not have a cell wall. However, they are among the wild animals because humans do not control their reproduction, breeding, and behavior.

Some people consider butterflies as bugs, but they are not included in bugs because both differ in body parts, such as the mouth.

Why are butterflies considered animals?

You often think of lions, zebra, tigers, elephants, gorillas, cats, and dogs when it comes to animals, but do not get surprised if someone from scientific background calls butterflies animals.


Taxonomy is the scientific classification of all living organisms into particular groups to distinguish between their order and class.

There are six basic kingdoms for all living organisms, like Eubacteria and Archaebacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

The kingdom Animalia is further divided into Echinodermata (brittle stars, starfish, sand dollars, sea cucumbers), Chordata (living organisms with the spinal cord, such as reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, and amphibians), Mollusca (oysters, snails, calms, octopus, and squid), and Arthropoda (insects).

Butterflies belong to the class Arthropoda, which is under the kingdom Animalia. Arthropods are animals with an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and more than two legs. Therefore, they are animals in a broad spectrum of organism classification and animal territory.

Multiple cell organs

They have multiple cellular organs, such as their bodies have millions of cells that make up the whole body and organs. These cells work together to perform a particular function and help the body to survive in different conditions.

Butterflies also have multiple cell organs, and each cell function in a specific way to help their bodies carry on life activities, such as flying and reproducing. 

Chitin is the cell in all living things but performs a significant function in insects, such as helping them fly and hold their body together.

Like other animals, their eyes also consist of thousands of cells, which offer better vision and a sense of direction when flying from one place to another.

Nervous system and senses

Animals have complex and sharp nervous systems and connections of their body with the mind. They can receive signals from brains to perform a specific function, and its characteristic helps them survive various circumstances.

Butterflies also have an adaptable and active nervous system that helps them to process information and various signals. They have neurons that connect their body with the mind and instantly react to the situation.

Moreover, like animals, they have taste organs, sense of vision, hearing, and antennas to search for and taste food. They have taste receptors like others have because they fall under the same kingdom and share many similar traits.


Animals can reproduce the offspring by sexual reproduction or by the mating of male species with a female fellow. They can increase their numbers to large numbers and make habitats in suitable environments.

Some animals lay eggs, while others produce young babies and raise them until they enter adulthood.

Butterflies also reproduce sexually and mate with their female fellows. They have distinct reproductive organs and are involved in the courtship behavior in the breeding season to produce eggs.

They reproduce by joining their abdomen tips, and male fellows recognize the females of the same species by their color, body size, and wing structure. The female lays eggs on the ground or flowers and plants.

Consume organic matter

Animals eat various food items, such as fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, dead birds, and many organic waste products, to get the essential nutrients and energy to survive.

Most species are scavengers and consume dead or decaying matter around their habitats because they need the energy to travel several miles in the wild and reproduce.

On the other hand, butterflies consume organic matter because it is a natural diet, and they get all essential nutrients from flowers and sap in the plant stems.

The caterpillars usually feed on external food sources, such as plant waste materials.

Able to move

Animals have four legs, the front two legs are called forelegs, and the back legs are called hind legs. They use their legs to travel long distances to find food and run from dangerous places.

They can move conveniently and can run at a fast speed to escape predators. Butterflies have wings that help them to fly to different places and find food to survive.

They have flight muscles, which help them to have active motion to explore and search their surroundings. Therefore, they are considered animals because they both can explore their habitats and can move from one place to another. 

Absence of cell wall

The cell wall is the membrane in plants that protects them from osmotic stress and mechanical pressure with more strength.

Animals and butterflies do not have a cell wall around their cells, which distinguish them from plants. The absence of a cell wall also offers more flexibility in their bodies, and they can conveniently move and travel from one place to another. 

All these similarities make them animals, as they share many common traits and habitats, such as both can live in wild and urban areas.

What is the scientific classification of butterflies?

There are seven classification levels of all living organisms, including butterflies, and it helps to identify the particular insect, animals, and plants with their scientific orders.

The top thing in the polygenetic tree is the kingdom, the second one is phylum, the third is class, the fourth is order, the fifth thing is suborder, then comes superfamily, and the last is family.

Butterflies belong to the kingdom-Animalis, phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, suborder-Rhopalocera, and superfamily-Papilionoidea.

The family of these insects includes different species, such as Hedylidea, Hesperiidae, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, Pierridae, and Riodinidae.

Each family includes different butterflies, such as the American moth, forth-footed, swallowtail, metal-marked butterflies, and many more species.

Are all insects animals?

All insects are animals, but all animals are not insects. According to research, there are approximately more than one million species of insects, and they are about 70%of total animal species worldwide.

Their population is increasing day by day, and scientists believe there will be 90% of animal species constituting insects in the future because many of their species are still unknown.

Insects are only one group in the Animalia kingdom because various other organisms take part in completing this classification and show similar characteristics to animals.

Are butterflies and humans within the same taxonomical system?

Technically, humans and butterflies belong to the same taxonomical system, such as Eukaryota and the kingdom Animalia. However, the distinction starts from order and phylum, as humans fall under Chordata, and butterflies go with Insecta.

You can spot a few common traits in them, such as both can reproduce sexually, exhibit locomotion, have multicellular organs, and lack cell walls.

Humans have large body sizes and are much more powerful than these insects. They differ from insects in their body structure, but both fall in the same taxonomical class.

Is the butterfly a domestic or wild animal?

Domestic animals are trained by humans and kept as pets. Humans control the breeding of domestic animals for many generations, and they live in the shelters that humans provide.

Butterflies are wild animals because they cannot live in captivity and reproduce without any control from other organisms.

They play an essential role in the ecosystem by pollinating the seeds of plants and flowers and increasing their numbers.

Some researchers keep these insects in a controlled environment to observe their behavior and instincts, but they are not considered domestic animals.

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