Butterfly species are incredibly varied. Each species can possess many wonderful colors and patterns. Although we usually think of butterflies in their winged adult forms, each phase in its life cycle comes with its own beauty.
After mating, female butterflies must take great pains to find a suitable leaf on which to lay their eggs. Leaves which are exposed to harsh temperatures or nearby predators may threaten the safety of its eggs.
Clusters of butterfly eggs are laid together. The shape and size of these can vary depending on the species. It takes roughly a week at most for them to hatch into hilariously cute and helpless caterpillars – or butterfly larvae.
Caterpillars must eat relentlessly to store enough energy and grow. They molt multiple times, shedding old skin as it becomes too cramped for its growing body. It takes anywhere from a couple weeks up to a month for the caterpillar to progress into the pupa stage.
Wrapping itself in a hard chrysalis, the caterpillar undergoes a truly mind-blowing transformation from a clumsy, worm-like grub into its adult form with antennae, legs and strikingly beautiful wings.
Test your insight on a butterfly’s marvelous life cycle through this diagram on the life cycle of a butterfly quiz.