The life-cycle of a butterfly
Butterflies and moths undergo complete metamorphosis in which they go through four different life stages.

EGG -> Caterpillar or Larva -> Chrysalis or Pupa -> Adult Butterfly

Caterpillar or Larva
Egg Larva  
  Pupa butterfly
Chrysalis or Pupa
Adult Butterfly

Egg - A butterfly starts its life as an egg and it is a very small, round, oval or cylindrical and some may be ribbed while others may have other features. The egg consists of an outer casing, or chorion, inside which is the females fertilised ovum. There is always a minute opening, the micropyle, which is visible as a small pit at the top of some eggs. This structure allows the male sperm to fertilise the egg and probably allows the developing embryo to breathe and usually it takes about 10 days for an egg to hatch.

Caterpillar or Larva - When the egg hatches, the caterpillar will start his work and eat the leaf they were born onto. A caterpillar is an eating machine. Its consists of a pair of jaws or mandibles for chewing plant matter followed by a long gut for digestion.Along the side of the larva are small openings, spiracles, nine pairs in all, through which respiration occurs. The caterpillar sheds its skin so that it can expand and grow to a larger size. This process is known as ecdysis and each time it happens the caterpillar moves on to a new instar. They grow by “molting” (sheding the outgrown skin) several times while it grows.

Chrysalis or Pupa - This is a resting stage as soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis. From the outside of the pupa, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the pupa, the caterpillar is rapidly changing and this remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.

Adult Butterfly- When the caterpillar has done all of its forming and changing inside the pupa a beautiful, flying adult emerges. There is no growth during this stage. Usually within a three or four-hour period, the butterfly will master flying and will search for a mate in order to reproduce. This adult will continue the cycle and reproduce.









Insects and Spiders

The facts about butterflies
The life-cycle of a butterfly
Difference between Butterflies & Moths
The facts about ants
The facts about bees
The facts about beetles
The facts about grasshoppers
The facts about pest insects
Interesting facts about insects
The facts about spiders

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