Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Butterflies are one of the most beautiful and colorful insects on our planet. Did you know that a butterfly begins its life as something completely different?

Butterflies undergo a transformation process called “Metamorphosis,” defining the four life cycle stages.

Let’s dive in and learn more about these four stages!

Stage 1: Egg

The first stage in the life cycle of a butterfly is that of an “egg.” A female butterfly lays eggs to start the process.

  • Location: It lays the eggs on the leaves or stems of plants
  • Time: Hatching time can be a few weeks
  • Shape: Eggs can be oval, round, or shaped like a cylinder

Stage 2: Caterpillar

The caterpillar eats the eggshell and makes its way out. It starts feeding on the leaves of the plant it hatched on right away! 

  • Sheds its skin 4 to 5 times as it grows
  • A fully grown caterpillar grows 100 times in size 
  • Different species of caterpillars eat different types of leaves

Stage 3: Pupa

After it grows fully, a caterpillar forms a kind of shell or covering around it called the pupa or chrysalis. Here, it starts its transformation into a butterfly.

  • Location: The pupa forms on twigs or hidden areas of the plant
  • Time: Lasts from a few weeks to several months
  • A hard case forms around the pupa to protect it from predators

Stage 4: Butterfly

When the butterfly is ready to come out, the pupa splits open. 

  • The wings are soft, wet, and wrinkled
  • It cannot fly yet, so it waits for the wings to dry
  • It pumps a liquid into the wings to make them stronger and bigger
  • When the wings are ready, the butterfly takes off to find nectar

The life cycle is complete at this stage.

Fun Facts

Butterflies are fascinating creatures. 

  • Butterflies taste with their feet
  • They can see ultraviolet light, which humans cannot
  • They have compound eyes made of many thousands of lenses, while humans have simple eyes with only one lens in an eye
Click to Call Us