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Butterflies Life Cycle

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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.

The photo below is a *metamorphosis* of a butterfly

metamorphosis.gif

A butterfly starts life as an egg.
From the egg, a caterpillar hatches
(a scientific word for caterpillar is "larva")
The caterpillar later turns into a pupa.
Then it hatches once again -
this time as a butterfly.
This process is called
metamorphosis.

bflylifecycle.gif

The life of a butterfly

bflyhatch3.gif

cycleanim.gif

From eggs to a beautiful butterfly