Stages in the butterfly’s life The butterfly's life cycle has 4 stages, but they only look like butterflies in the final stage. • 1. An adult butterfly lays an egg.
Basic Facts about Butterflies • The name of a male and female is referred to simply as a male and female. • The name or offspring, or a baby Butterfly, is larva and caterpillar. • The collective name for a group of Butterflies is a flutter.
Butterflies characteristically have slim bodies, antennae, six legs and four colorful wings. • The thorax is the point of attachment for the two pairs of wings the forewings and hind wings.
The Butterfly has a segmented body in which there are three body parts - a head, a thorax and an abdomen. • On the head are the eyes, antennae and proboscis -- the long, flexible "tongue" used to sip nectar and other liquids.
Species of Butterflies • There are nearly 18,000 species of butterflies. • Butterflies are day-flying.
Where do butterflies live? • Butterflies are native to all continents except Antarctica. • The habitat of Butterflies are found in a variety of different climate environments. They can be found in Tropical areas, forests, marshes, rivers, swamps, meadows, farmlands and gardens.
What do butterflies eat? • Butterflies sip nectar from flowers, juice from rotting fruit and drink water.
Facts about the Size of Butterflies • The largest butterflies (bird wings of Melanesia) have wingspans of up to 25 cm (10 inches) • The smallest (pygmy blues) wingspans are 1 cm (0.4 inches)
Facts about the Metamorphosis of Butterflies: • Females usually lay eggs on a plant that will act as food source for the larvae when they hatch. • A butterfly usually lays 200-500 eggs on plant leaves and stems. Eggs from different butterflies are different shapes and sizes.
The caterpillars hatch from the eggs about 5 days later. • Caterpillars have cylindrical bodies, simple eyes, chewing mouthparts. The caterpillar eat and shed their skin continuously.
A caterpillar's first meal is its own eggshell, then they eat lots of leaves. • Each time the caterpillar grows, it needs to shed its old skin or molt. • They usually molt 5 times. After a few weeks the caterpillar stops eating and growing and looks for a place to change.
Caterpillars grow to hundreds of times their original size. • Once fully grown the caterpillar spin cocoons and become Pupae (Pupa or chrysalis).
During the pupae stage internal systems are reorganized and adult external structures are developed.
When metamorphosis is complete the adult butterfly breaks the pupal case and emerges. • The butterfly expands its wings by pumping blood into the veins of its wings. When the wings have dried and hardened the blood is pumped back out of its wing veins leaving the wings strong and light ready to fly.
How long butterflies live? • The average lifespan for an adult butterfly is just 20 to 40 days. • The minimum lifespan of a butterfly is as little as three or four days. • The maximum lifespan of a butterfly is six months.
Other facts… • Some species possess eyespots that draw the attention of enemies away from their vital body parts to their wings. • Butterflies sip nectar from flowering plants then carry pollen from plant to plant thus aiding plant reproduction.
How temperature affects them? • In temperate habitats butterflies enter an inactive stage, or diapauses, during their development consequently avoiding severe weather conditions. • Butterflies can only fly if their body temperature is above 86 degrees.
Butterflies sun themselves to warm up in cool weather. • As butterflies age, the color of the wings fades and the wings become ragged.