Life Cycle of the Butterfly
I find this creature to be so beautiful. I find myself so fascinated when one flies by or is flying around and exploring the garden. Did you know that a Butterfly is a deep and powerful representation of life? There are many cultures from around the world that think of the Butterfly as a connection to our souls. The Christian religion perceives the Butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. All over the world, there are people that see the Butterfly as a representation of endurance, hope, change and life. Pretty interesting, but I have something else that is very interesting; the transformation that this beautiful creature goes through!
The Life Cycle of a Butterfly
I for one love butterflies for their beautiful bright colours on their wings but did you know that these beautiful creatures undergo an amazing transformation which is a process known as 'metamorphosis'.
Join us as we follow the interesting life cycle of a butterfly from the egg to the air!
Stage 1: The Egg
- It all begins when a female (girl) butterfly lays eggs usually on leaves or stems of plants. Caterpillars grow inside of these tiny eggs.
- The eggs can be different sizes and textures depending on the species of the butterfly.
- The type of species also determines the time in which the eggs hatch; from a few weeks to weather dependant if it is warm enough.
Stage 2: The Caterpillar
- As the caterpillar eats its way out of it's home 'the egg' it enters the big wide world with a hearty appetite and without hesitation it starts chomping on the leaf where the eggs were!
- In this stage, the Caterpillar is growing and they shed skin four to five times because their skin becomes so tight and splits open to a brand new larger skin beneath.
- Did you know that a fully grown caterpillar can be over 100 times bigger than when it came out of the egg? Incredible!
Stage 3: The Pupa
- This stage can last for a few weeks to several months, this is all dependant on the species.
- When the Caterpillar is fully grown it forms itself into a 'pupa' also know as 'chrysalis' which is a protective 'case' in which the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.
- This stage usually happens in safe & hidden areas around the host plant that held the eggs. During this transformation, a hardened case forms around the pupa to protect it from harmful weather conditions and known predators.
- Inside this little pupa, the caterpillar is transforming from its organs to the tissues and its limbs!
- And the result, a beautiful butterfly!
Stage 4: The Butterfly
- The case around the pupa splits open once the butterfly is ready to come out however this doesn't mean that it is time to fly straight away as at this stage the butterfly's wings are still wet and soft and wrinkled against it's little body.
- WHile waiting for its wings to dry, a liquid called hemolymph is pumped by the butterfly into its wings so that they become big and strong.
- When it is time to fly, this beautiful creature takes flight to the air in search of flowers to feed on and other butterflies for mating.
- And guess what? That is the complete cycle and then it starts all over again!
Until next time,