Life Cycle of a Butterfly Essay

861 Words Mar 12th, 2013 4 Pages
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
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Different types of caterpillars eat different kinds of food. Each species of butterfly has a specific family of host plants from which caterpillars take their food (Ballard, 2009). Some caterpillars like to eat fresh leaves whereas some types of caterpillars prefer old leaves. There is a species of caterpillars known as Harvester butterfly's caterpillars. Harvester caterpillars like to eat aphids that are present on different kinds of plants. The Harvester butterflies lay their eggs near aphid colony in order to provide a good amount of food to their caterpillars. This stage of a butterfly’s lifecycle lasts for two to five weeks depending on the living conditions and type of the caterpillar.

Pupa is the third stage of a butterfly’s lifecycle. In this stage of life, the butterfly in the form of a pupa, hangs itself in an upside-down position to a twig. Another change, which occurs in this stage, is the growth of a tough flexible shell outside the body of the pupa. The structures of a caterpillar are deformed and a new adult butterfly’s structure is formed. This stage is also known as the resting stage of butterfly’s life. The habit of continuous eating goes away in this stage. A pupa appears to be dead but inside the shell, the process of transformation continues. “It is generally incapable of movement but is able to move certain body parts” (Kumar, 2011). This stage of a butterfly’s lifecycle lasts for one to two weeks.


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