Life Cycle of a Butterfly:
The life cycle of a butterfly is a process that is fun to watch. You can order caterpillars from companies like Insectlore and watch them grow and become butterflies. It is an exciting process to see.
Most butterflies go through four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult.
Egg: The egg is the first stage in a butterfly’s life cycle. The female butterfly lays her eggs on a plant that the caterpillars will eat when they hatch. Each egg is about the size of a grain of rice.
Larva: The larva (caterpillar) comes out when the egg hatches. The caterpillar eats the leaves of the plant it was laid on. Caterpillars grow very quickly and shed their skin five times as they grow. They will continue to eat until they are ready to enter the pupa stage.
Pupa: The next stage in the life cycle of a butterfly is the pupa. The caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself and goes through a metamorphosis to turn into a butterfly. It takes about two weeks for the butterfly to emerge from the pupa.
Adult: The final stage in the life cycle of a butterfly is the adult stage. Once the butterfly emerges from the pupa, it will pump fluid from its body into its wings to help them expand. Then, it will wait for its body to harden and dry before it can fly. Butterflies live for about two weeks as adults.
Mating and reproduction is the last thing an adult butterfly will do before it dies. The female butterfly will lay her eggs on a plant, and the cycle starts again!