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.
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