Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope, and life.
Most adult butterflies drink nectar from flowers through their tongues, which function much like straws. A minority of butterflies almost never visits flowers, instead gaining sustenance from tree sap, rotting animal matter, and other organic material. Butterfly caterpillars almost all eat plant matter.
Some butterflies such as the Monarch and Pipevine Swallowtail eat poisonous plants as caterpillars and are poisonous themselves as adult butterflies. Birds learn not to eat them. Other good-tasting butterflies (called "mimics") come to resemble them and thus benefit from this "umbrella" of protection.