The Beginning of Life--
Each butterfly begins life as an egg that is deposited
on or near a specific host plant by the females. Eggs comes in various shapes, colors, and sizes and from yellow, white, green,
and or even brown. Some eggs are laid singly, while others are laid in clusters of up to a few hundred.
The Development Continues--
Eggs complete embryonic development and hatch in 4-10
days. When the egg hatches, a tiny caterpillar (or larva) emerges. The larvae of many species eat their eggshell when they
first come out. Other species leave there egg and begin eating the host plant with vigor, storing up energy and growing in
size. Some wait till spring to begin eating and shed there skins many times.
As They Grow--
Most of the time, the larvae feed on the underside of
the plant leaves. In 3-4 weeks before a larva is ready to turn into a chrysalis (Pupa). Some species take almost two years
to develop into adult butterflies.
The Transformation Begins--
After shedding its skin for the last time, The larva
turns into a pupa. This magical transformation occurs as the larva's skin splits and the larva wiggles so that the wafer-thin
shin rolls off its body. Some are brown and mottled, some are green, and some are white, orange, and black. Some hang upside
down others rest upright, held in place by a silken girdle that the caterpillar has made before turning into a pupa.
The Pupa Gets Bigger--
Its takes 1-2 weeks for the pupa to develop into a butterfly.
Some species such as the swallowtails, passes through the winter as pupae. In the spring, usually after the first rain which
nurture the host plant and nectar flowers that the butterflies will survive. The pupae will pick up where they left off in
the fall and complete the development into adults.
The Beauty Emerges--
Adults butterflies emerges from the chrysalis and proceeds
out into the worlds looking for sources of food and a mate to start the cycle all over again. Most butterflies live for 2-3
weeks, some can even live for nearly 10 months or more but some for only a few days.