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Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Biology | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

There are four stages in which a butterfly is transformed into the beautiful creature that it is. The process that it undergoes during this transformation is known as complete metamorphosis.

What is Metamorphosis?

It is a process in which an organism undergoes dramatic changes in its life. The complete metamorphosis has four stages.

4 Stages of Butterfly Metamorphosis

It is divided into four parts.

1. The Egg

An adult butterfly lays very tiny, round, oval or spherical eggs on the surface of leafs.
The butterfly eggs can be seen with naked eye and if you look closer, you might even see the structure of a very tiny larva growing inside!

2. The Larva/ Caterpillar

It takes about five days for an egg to hatch and a worm like creature emerges from inside. This worm is called larva or caterpillar. This larva feeds off the leaf on which the egg was laid. Since, the caterpillar cannot move longer distances, the butterfly lays the egg on or near the leaf that has to be fed to the larva.

3. Pupa/Chrysalis

This is the main transformation stage in the life of a butterfly. The tissues of a caterpillar are broken down and formed into Pupa or Chrysalis. This is the stage when the larva is done growing up and reaches the required weight and length. The formation of the butterfly parts takes place inside pupa.

4. The adult butterfly

The last and the final stage where the transformation comes to an end resulting in a splendid butterfly!
When a butterfly comes out of the pupa, its wings are wet and joined with the body due to the tight space in which it was transforming. After resting for sometime, blood is pumped to the wings and the butterfly gets ready for its first flight!

On an average, the lifespan of a butterfly ranges from a few weeks to 12 months! After complete transformation to an adult butterfly, it again looks out to reproduce and the life cycle starts over.