The Lifecycle of a Butterfly


The Lifecycle of a Butterfly


By: Aliyya Christiani


The Lifecycle of a Butterfly

Butterflies go through a life cycle. A butterfly has four stages in its life cycle. Each stage is different. Each stage also has a different goal. A butterfly becoming an adult is called metamorphosis. The life cycle process can take a month to year. It depends on the type of butterfly.



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Stage 1: Eggs

In the first stage a girl butterfly lays eggs. A butterfly first starts out as an egg. A girl butterfly lays the eggs on a leaf. She lays the eggs really close together. The eggs are really small and round. About five days after the eggs are laid. A tiny worm-like creature will hatch from the egg.

Stage 2: Caterpillar (Larve)

The second stage is the caterpillar. A caterpillar is sometimes called larve. A caterpillar is a long creature. It looks like a worm. Most caterpillars have a cool pattern. This pattern has stripes or patches. The caterpillar is hungry once it has hatched. It starts to eat leaves and flowers. It eats these all the time. It first eats the leaf that it was born on. This is the eating and growing stage.


A caterpillar grows really fast. This is because they eat a lot. A caterpillar is really small when it is born. It starts to grow fast. This is because it eats all the time. It grows so fast that it becomes too big for its skin. So the caterpillar has to shed its old skin. It then gets new skin. Caterpillars shed their skin four or more times while they are growing. A caterpillar shedding its outgrown skin is called molting.


Caterpillars do not stay in this stage very long. While they are in this stage, all they do is eat.

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Stage 3: Chrysalis (Pupa)

Stage three is the chrysalis. This is when the caterpillar is done growing. The caterpillar makes a chrysalis. Another name for a chrysalis is a pupa. It is mostly brown or green. It is the same color as the things around it. Things like the trees, leaves, or branches. This is so that other animals cannot see it. This protects them. This keeps them from getting hurt.


This is the resting stage. It also is the changing stage. The caterpillar starts to changes. It starts to turn into a butterfly. It starts to look different. Its shape starts to change. It changes quickly. It then turns into a butterfly. All this happens in the chrysalis. This does not take a long time.

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Stage 4: Butterly (Adult) (Imago)

In stage four, the chrysalis opens. Soon a butterfly comes out. A butterfly is sometimes called an imago. It is also called an adult. Butterflies are very colorful. When the butterfly first comes out its wings are damp. The wings are also soft. The wings are folded against its body. The butterfly is also very tired. So the butterfly rests.

Once the butterfly has rested, it will be ready to start flying. It will start to pump blood into its wings. This is to get them working and flapping. After it does this, it can now learn to fly. Butterflies cannot fly good at first. They need a lot of practice. It does not take long for them to learn. They learn fast. When it can fly, it will go look for food. The butterfly will also go look for a mate. It will soon find a mate. It will then lay eggs. The lifecycle will start all over again.


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Butterflies go through a life cycle. There are four stages. The first stage is the eggs. This is where a girl butterfly lays eggs. She lays them on a leaf. The second stage is the caterpillar. This is where the eggs hatch. It takes about five days for the eggs to hatch. A caterpillar then comes out. At this stage, the caterpillar eats all the time. It also grows really fast. Once it is all the way grown, the third stage starts. This stage is the chrysalis. The caterpillar makes a chrysalis. The caterpillar is inside the chrysalis. Inside the chrysalis, it starts to change. It soon changes into a butterfly. Once the caterpillar has changed into a butterfly, the fourth stage starts. This is also that last stage in the life cycle.  The fourth stage is the butterfly. A butterfly comes out of the chrysalis. It can now learn to fly. It can also find a mate. When it finds a mate, it lays eggs. Then the lifecycle process starts all over again.





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Different kinds of Butterflies

There are many different kinds of butterflies. Here are some different kinds:


Monarch: This is the most known butterfly in North America. This butterfly has orange and black wings. In the fall they go to Mexico.

Painted Lady: Also called the thistle butterfly. This butterfly is everywhere in North America. The wings are orange and brown. The tips of its wings have black and white spots.

Viceroy: This butterfly is the same color as a Monarch. But it is smaller than a monarch. This butterfly is everywhere in the United States.

Red-Spotted Purple: This type of butterfly has many different colors. The top of the wings are blue. There are small red and white dots on the tops of the wings. The bottoms of its wings are a red and brown color. It also has orange spots. This butterfly flies fast. It is hard to catch. They like to sit on rotting fruit. They also like to sit in gardens.


Buckeye: This butterfly is seen in the United States. It is also in some places in Mexico. This butterfly is brown and orange. It also has patterns on its wings. These patterns look like eyes. These are used to scare off predators. This scares off other animals because it does not look like a butterfly.

Zebra Longwing: This butterfly has black and white stripes. It also likes the warm weather. It lives in Mexico and the United States. These butterflies eat pollen. They also live longer than many other kinds of butterflies.

Fun Facts about Butterflies

Butterflies taste with their feet.

Butterflies do not have mouths.

Butterflies need sun to fly.

Butterflies fly during the day.

Butterflies can see some colors. They can see red, yellow, and green.

Butterflies cannot fly if they are too cold. They need to be warm to fly.

Butterflies have their skeleton on the outside of their body. This is to protect them. It keeps the water inside of their body. This is good because they do not dry out.

The wings of a butterfly are transparent. The wings of a butterfly have tiny scales. These give their wings color. This is why they do not look transparent to us.

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Butterfly life cycle

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Stages of a butterfly

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