Butterflies are pollinating insects and nectar is an important component of a butterfly’s diet. Like bees, pollen is collected on the butterfly’s body as it is feeding on a flower’s nectar. As the butterfly moves on to a new flower, it carries the pollen with it.
Although they pollinate flowers, they are not as effective as some insects. Butterflies are less efficient than bees at moving pollen between plants as butterflies have limited contact with pollen and therefore do not transfer large amounts of pollen from flower to flower.
Yet, butterflies play an important role in pollinating flowers that have a strong scent, are red or yellow in color and produce a large amount of nectar.
The importance of butterfly pollination to plant reproduction may not be equal to that of honeybees but several plant species, like milkweed and other wildflowers, depend on butterflies to transfer their pollen.