Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Topics: Butterfly, Insect, Lepidoptera Pages: 3 (855 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Lifecycle of a Butterfly


Lifecycle refers to the stages of growth and development of a living thing. All living things go through different stages of development throughout their lives. Change in actions and behaviors are deeply associated with the changes in the stages of life. Butterfly is such an insect, which has a complete lifecycle consisting of four separate stages. In this paper, we will discuss the lifecycle of a butterfly in order to get an understanding of all stages of growth and development of a butterfly.

Stages of Development

A butterfly’s growth and development process is known as metamorphosis. There are four stages of development in the life of a butterfly. Each stage is unique and represents a different life structure of a butterfly. The four stages of development that a butterfly goes through include Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult butterfly.

Egg is the very first stage of a butterfly’s life. A female butterfly lays 10 to 100 tiny eggs at a time on the leaves of the plants. Butterflies select the leaves for eggs based on the food choice of the caterpillars. A butterfly lays her eggs only on the leave, which caterpillars like to eat. Each type of butterfly has a different choice of leaves, which it uses to lay down the eggs. “The food source needed in a butterfly habitat varies among species” (Barrett, 2011). It takes nearly five to ten days for a caterpillar to emerge from an egg.

The second stage of a butterfly’s lifecycle is one in which an egg hatches into a caterpillar. A butterfly, in the form of a larva or a caterpillar, eats the maximum amount of food in this stage. The stage of caterpillar is the primary growth stage of a butterfly. A caterpillar is a work-like form of butterfly with a pattern of beautiful stripes on its skin. Caterpillars have just one aim, which is to eat more and more food. It even eats the shell of the egg from which it comes out. “The caterpillar hatches from the egg and usually...

References: Ballard, K. (2009). Butterfly Life Cycle - The Caterpillar. Retrieved from
Ballard, K. (2009). What Do Caterpillars Eat?. Retrieved from
Barrett, M. (2011). What Is in a Butterfly’s Habitat?. Retrieved from
Kumar, M. (2011). Things To Know About Butterfly Life Cycle. Retrieved from
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