There are about 24,000 species of butterflies and 140,000 species of moths in the world. They exist on every continent except Antarctica. A butterfly starts out as an egg, grows into a caterpillar, then it builds a cocoon of silk threads and after a time emerges as a beautiful butterfly. They sip the nectar from plants and help to pollinate while they sip. In the fall, Monarch butterflies fly south from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico, which is 2000 miles (3200 kilometres) and return in the spring to lay their eggs.