The Most Beautiful Butterflies Around The World

Butterflies are one of the most beautiful and colorful creatures found in nature. Butterflies are known for their beautiful and colorful wings. 

The scales and patterns in butterflies are too different and make them appear so attractive and pretty. Butterflies go through various stages looking so different in every stage to attain adulthood through the process of metamorphosis. 

Transformation of a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly through metamorphosis is one of the most amazing transitions in nature.

Butterflies are a large group of insects, belonging to the order “Lepidoptera”, which means “scaly wing” in Greek. Butterflies are insects, which means that they have six legs, a set of antennae, and three parts to their body (the head, thorax, and abdomen).

Butterflies Life Cycle
Butterflies Lifecycle

We will learn more about the various stages of metamorphosis in the life cycle of a butterfly in this article. Let’s look at how a butterfly transforms through the :

  • First stage: Egg. 
  • Second stage: Larva (CATERPILLAR).
  • Third stage: Pupa (CHRYSALIS). 
  • Fourth stage: Adult butterfly.

First Stage: The Egg

The Egg stage starts when the female butterflies lay their eggs on or near the leaves or stem of plants. Butterfly eggs vary in size and shape, but most are surrounded by a protective hard shell.

Butterflies’ eggs are tiny. They are as tiny as the tip of a pencil. The shapes of eggs can be round, oval, or cylindrical. Each egg hatches and transforms into a single butterfly. 

Second Stage: The Larva “Caterpillar”

The larva stage begins when a tiny worm-like caterpillar hatches from the butterfly egg. Caterpillars begin as a little bit larger than their egg. The caterpillars eat too much, they have huge appetites. They can grow 100 times their original size.

Caterpillars can be smooth, hairy, or wrinkled. They can also have colorful or plain skin. Caterpillars grow so fast they outgrow and shed their skin 4-5 times during this stage.

The caterpillar’s first meal is the eggshell and after that, they eat the leaf they were born into. Butterflies’ body mass increases over 100 times larger than their original birth size. This development is called “instar”. The caterpillar’s outer layer “Cuticle” is removed.

What does Molting Mean?

The skin on a caterpillar does not grow, so when they need bigger skin, they spin a pad of silk, attach their hind legs to it, and walk out of their old skin. This process is called molting. 

Third Stage: Pupa “Chrysalis”

The Pupa stage of the butterfly life cycle begins when the caterpillar fully grows and surrounds itself with a cocoon called chrysalis or pupa. During this stage, the old body parts of the caterpillar go through an amazing change called Metamorphosis.

Chrysalis is a form of the vessel in which the caterpillar changes into a butterfly. The larva seeks a safe place when they turn into a pupa. The pupa stage takes about a few weeks to months, depending on different species of butterfly. 

A hard shell is formed around the pupa during this time to save it from any other danger. Inside the pupa, the caterpillar forms tissues, limbs, organs and wings to transform into a butterfly.

Fourth Stage: Adult Butterfly

The adult butterfly stage of the butterfly life cycle is the final stage, which begins when an adult butterfly is fully formed. Now the chrysalis skin starts to get thinner, so the wings of butterflies can be seen.

When a butterfly emerges from a pupa its wings are soft, wet, and wrinkled. The butterfly starts pumping a liquid called “Hemolymph” into their wings so that they become big and strong. Once they are big and strong enough to fly, the butterfly flies in search of flowers to feed on.

Let’s recognize some kinds of butterflies:

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly Life Cycle

The black swallowtail butterfly is one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world. It can be seen from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Canada, and from the Atlantic seaboard westward to Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, and North Dakota. 

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The Black Swallowtail Butterfly feeds on the nectar of the flowers. The caterpillar eats plants in the carrot family such as dill, parsley, carrots, and fennel.

The black swallowtail has two generations a year. The scientific name of the black swallowtail butterfly is “Papilio Polyxenes Pastorius Stoll”. The black swallowtail is found in open areas including fields, parks, and meadows. 

Let’s recognize male and female wings’ color:

The wings are black with yellow, blue, orange and red markings.

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly Colour
MaleThe male has large and bright yellow-colored spots across the middle of its wings and a small blue spotted area.
FemaleThe female black swallowtail has more blue and less yellow spots on the wings.

Like all butterflies, The Black Swallowtail Butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly Life Cycle
Egg stageThe female lays eggs on the larval host plants, which are mainly dill, parsley, and other plants of the carrot family.
After 4 to 10 days a caterpillar (larva) hatches from the egg, depending on temperature and host plant.
Caterpillar (larval) stageOver 3 to 4 weeks, the caterpillar grows through 5 different stages (called instars). The first larvae (instar) are spiny and mostly black. 
The second and third instars are orange/red in color. Older larvae (fourth and fifth instars) are green with transverse bands of black with yellow spots. They are camouflaged as they feed on the host plant.
Chrysalis (pupal) stageThe caterpillar creates a chrysalis (pupa). Inside the chrysalis, a caterpillar changes to be a butterfly. The new organs, wings, antennae, and legs form in the chrysalis stage. The wings are usually visible about 24 hours before it hatches. 
Adult butterfly stageWhen they hatch, they are soft and pump blood into their wing veins, which then become hard to fly. 

Black swallowtails do not migrate like monarchs. Let’s know more information about Monarch Butterflies.

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Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle 

Monarch butterflies like many butterflies have four stages of the life cycle: the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. 

The monarch butterfly is known by scientists as Danaus Plexippus, which in Greek means “sleepy transformation”. They are easy to recognize by their striking orange, black, and white markings.

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Monarch butterflies have four generations in a year. The four generations are four different butterflies going through these four stages for one year until it is time to start over again with stage one and generation one. Monarch butterflies are also called “Safari ltd Butterflies”.

Monarch butterflies migrate north and east to find a place to lay their eggs. Monarch Butterflies lay eggs on milkweed poisonous milkweed plants arch caterpillars feed on the leaves of the plant. 

Let’s recognize male and female wings colour:

Monarchs have two pairs of orange-red wings, featuring black veins and white spots along their edges.

The Monarch Butterfly Colour
MaleMale Monarchs have two black spots in the middle of their hind wings.
FemaleFemale Monarchs have striking orange, black, and white markings but they don’t have any spots like males.

Like all butterflies, The Monarch Butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

The Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle
Egg stageThe Monarch butterflies lay eggs on milkweed plants. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch (depending on temperature).

Caterpillar (larval) stage
The caterpillar feeds on the milkweed to grow. Milkweed plants are poisonous. After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully grown.  
The Monarch caterpillar has a black, yellow, and white striped appearance.
The period between each shedding of the skin, or molt, is called an instar. Monarchs have five larval instars.
The caterpillar begins the process of metamorphosis by finding a place to attach itself.
The milkweed plant is considered the feeding place and the shelter for Monarch butterflies. 
Monarch butterflies attach themselves to a stem or a leaf using silk and transform into a chrysalis.
Chrysalis (pupal) stageThe caterpillar creates the chrysalis, and the new body parts of the caterpillar begin to grow such as wings, antennae, and legs, this process is called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.
Adult butterfly stageThe adult Monarch butterflies emerge in 8 to 15 days from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers “to find nectar or a mate”.

Monarch butterflies are known for their long migrations, which is when they fly to a different part of the country, or world when the weather changes. This journey is so long that one butterfly will not be able to complete the whole journey during its lifetime. Monarch butterflies typically live from 2 to 6 weeks except for the last generation of the year, which can live up to 8 to 9 months.

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Cabbage White Butterfly Life Cycle

Cabbage white butterflies fly from February until mid-November. Cabbage whites are found in fields, gardens, and parks all over the world. Males and females are slightly different. Both have white wings with grey tips. Let’s see the difference:

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Cabbage White Butterfly Colour
MaleThe males have one dark grey spot on each wing.
FemaleThe females have two spots on each wing.

Like all butterflies, Cabbage White Butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

Cabbage White Butterflies Life Cycle
Egg stageFemale Cabbage White butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of leaves of the mustard family, including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, horseradish, and nasturtiums. Eggs are located on the undersurface of leaves.  
The female butterflies lay eggs twice, sometimes three times in a season. The eggs are usually pale yellow. It takes 4 to 8 days for eggs to hatch, depending on the temperature. 
Caterpillar (larval) stageAfter hatching the larva eats its eggshell first, The caterpillar is long and cylindrical with a greenish or yellowish colour body.
After hatching, larvae feed on mustard leaves during their first week and feed on the topside during their second week. 
Cabbage white caterpillar eats a lot so it grows fast, it grows to three-quarters of an inch long and moults five times before entering its pupal stage. 
The Cabbage caterpillar chooses a dry spot to moult. It spins silk covering with a silk gland located below its jaws, attaching itself to the plant. 
About 18 days after hatching, the Cabbage white larva begins to pupate. It attaches itself to the underside of a leaf or stem and spins a silk pad. The Cabbage caterpillar spins silk strands to attach itself to the silk pad.
Chrysalis (pupal) stageThe Cabbage white butterfly changes from a caterpillar to a butterfly during this stage. its chrysalis splits open and the adult butterfly emerges. 
The new body parts of the caterpillar begin to grow such as wings, antennae, and legs, this process is called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.
Its wings pump up, the Cabbage white butterfly waits for its wings to dry to start flying. 
Usually, the pupa stage lasts around 7-10 days in the life cycle of a butterfly.
Adult butterfly stageAdult Cabbage white butterflies have a 2-inch wingspan. Their wings are mostly white, with charcoal grey tips on their forewings and pale yellowish-green on the undersides. 
Adult Cabbage white butterflies pollinate plants as they feed on nectar from many flowers, including dandelions, red clover, asters, mint, and strawberries.

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Blue Morpho Butterfly Life Cycle

Blue Morpho butterflies are found in the rainforests of Mexico, Central America, and South America. They may sometimes be found in open fields and meadows. Blue Morpho is considered one of the largest butterflies in the world.  

Blue morphos are visible to pilots flying over the rainforest. They live alone and only come together to mate. The name “Morpho”, meaning “changed” or “modified”, may be called by the fact that the butterflies seem to change shape as they are flying.

Blue Morphos are diurnal “active during the day”. There is also a species of butterfly known as a White Morpho, It is a very rare species that has iridescent white wings which look purple when seen at certain angles. 

Morpho butterflies taste with sensors on their legs and smell the air with their antennae. The Blue Morpho butterfly exhibits a brilliant, vivid, iridescent blue wing color with scales on them. Females are much less colorful than males.

Let’s see the differences between male and female:

The Blue Morpho Butterfly colour
MaleThe males are iridescent blue. 
FemaleThe females are disruptively colored brown, yellow or pale blue.

Like all butterflies, The Blue Morpho Butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

The Blue Morpho Butterfly Life Cycle
Egg stageBlue Morpho Butterflies last for 16 weeks, which is about “114 days” from egg to butterfly. They lay their eggs on the underside of a leaf.
Blue Morpho Butterflies’ eggs are tiny. The eggs are pale green and look like drops of dew. Blue Morpho Butterflies hatch eggs for about nine days.
Blue Morpho Butterflies use special glue to attach their eggs to the underside of a leaf.    


Caterpillar (larval) stage
Blue Morpho caterpillars molt five times before becoming chrysalises. Upon hatching a caterpillar, the caterpillar begins eating. 
The caterpillars are reddish-brown with bright spots of lime green on their back and covered in “prickly” stinging hairs, this hair helps caterpillars to be safe. These hairs can irritate anything trying to harm or attack caterpillars. 
The caterpillars spend their days feeding on a variety of plants. If disturbed, the caterpillar will secrete a fluid that smells like spoiled butter.

Chrysalis (pupal) stage
The green chrysalis hangs from a plant. The insect undergoes its final transformation inside this protective case.
The chrysalis emits a repulsive, ultrasonic sound when touched by predators.
In this stage, the caterpillar eats a lot, so it grows fast to become an adult.

Adult butterfly stage
During this stage, the beautiful butterfly emerges from the chrysalis. It spends a lot of time feeding and mating. Blue morphos spend from 3 to 4 weeks in this stage.
Butterflies feed on fermenting fruit. The fermenting fruit contains traces of alcohol that cause the butterfly’s inebriation (drunkenness). This makes them easy to catch.

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El Segundo Blue Butterfly Life Cycle

The El Segundo blue butterfly is only known from the El Segundo dunes, it is considered the habitat for its “Los Angeles”. The El Segundo dunes are the largest coastal dune system. 

This habitat is a special environment that has a big number of unique plants and animals. There are many kinds of plants on the El Segundo dunes such as coast buckwheat, dunes burr-bush, dunes wallflower, dunes sun-cup, and dunes golden bush.

The are many threats that face the El Segundo blue that leads it to be endangered:

1- Loss of habitat due to urban and industrial development.

2- Shortage of seacliff buckwheat plant, which the El Segundo blue butterfly feeds on. 

3-The Los Angeles coastal dune has been converted into an urban landscape and the dunes are significantly reduced in size and quality.

Since its listing as endangered, the El Segundo blue has also been found in Santa Barbara County, California.

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El Segundo Blue Butterfly

El Segundo Blue Butterflies are small butterflies, usually less than one inch across. They are bright blue with black spots and an orange band bordered on both sides by a row of black dots. Let’s see the difference between males and females:

El Segundo Blue Butterfly Colour
MaleMales are bright blue above with black margins on their hindwings.
FemaleThe females are dark brown above.

Like all butterflies, El Segundo Blue Butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

El Segundo Blue Butterfly Life Cycle

Egg stage
Female butterflies mate and lay eggs on coast buckwheat flowers. Eggs hatch within three to five days.
Females produce 15-20 eggs per day, they live about two weeks and produce up to 120 eggs. 

Caterpillar (larval) stage
The caterpillars of the El Segundo blue butterfly undergo four instars before they pupate, a process that takes from 18 to 25 days. The larvae feed on the flower heads of the host plant “seacliff buckwheat”.
When matured the larva is polymorphic, differing in colour, from pure white to dull yellow. Some may even have a dull red or maroon body marked with white or yellow dashes.
The ants become friends with caterpillars, they may protect the caterpillars from parasites or small predators.

Chrysalis (pupal) stage
Larvae then pupate in or at the base of a leaf forming a pupa (chrysalis).
The new body parts of the caterpillar begin to grow such as wings, antennae, and legs, this process called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.
Adult butterfly stageAdult butterflies typically live from four days to two weeks and feed on coast buckwheat pollen and nectar.
The adults are active from mid-June to early September, depending on the temperature.

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Karner Blue Butterfly Life Cycle

Karner blue butterflies were first described near Albany, New York, in the 1800s, so they got their name from there. Now, Karner blue’s habitat ranges from New Hampshire to Minnesota. There are two generations per year.

Karner blue caterpillars only feed on wild blue lupine leaves, but adult Karner blue butterflies eat the nectar of a variety of flowers including goldenrod, rock cress, and raspberry.

The Karner blue butterfly is a tiny butterfly with a wingspan of nearly one inch. It is found in dry sandy areas with open woods and clearings like lakeshore dunes, and sandy pine prairies that contain lots of wild blue lupine.

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Karner Blue Butterfly Life Cycle

In both males and females, the lower surface is light grey to a greyish brown with rows of black spots and rows of orange and blue markings near the edge of the hindwings. Let’s see the difference between males and females:

Karner Blue Butterfly Colour
MaleIn the male, the upper surface of all four wings is a deep violet-blue with white fringed edges and black borders. 
FemaleIn the female, the upper surface is a dusky brownish to greyish color with orange crescents on the edge of the hindwing.

Like all butterflies, the Karner blue has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

Karner Blue Butterfly Life Cycle
Egg stageFemales lay eggs on dried lupine seed pods or the stem. The eggs hatch in seven to eight days.
Caterpillar (larval) stageThe female Karner blue lays her eggs on a lupine plant. Upon hatching, the caterpillars are tiny, they are only a few millimeters long.
The larvae are highly feeding on the wild blue lupine leaves. Without blue lupine, the Karner blue would not survive. 
However, adult Karner blue butterflies feed on the nectar of a variety of flowers. The larva is covered with very soft hairs.
Chrysalis (pupal) stageThe caterpillars begin to eat the leaves. They eat the leaves of the blue lupine for “3 to 4” weeks and then form a chrysalis.
The pupate process takes from “8 to11” days. During pupation, wings, antennae, and legs form. 
Adult butterfly stageThe first-generation adults appear in late May to mid-June. The Karner Blue butterfly lives only a few days to a few weeks.
The Karner blue butterfly emerges, it expands its wings and dries them for about an hour. 
The Karner blue butterflies feed on the nectar of a variety of flowers including goldenrod, rock cress, and raspberry.
During that time they mate and the females lay their eggs on a lupine plant and the cycle starts all over again.

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The Lime Butterfly Life Cycle

The Lime butterfly belongs to the Swallowtail group and is often called the Lime Swallowtail. It is considered one of the biggest butterflies in the world. 

Both males and females are mostly yellow with black stripes, atypically shaped spots, and patches of white, black, yellow, green, and two orangish-red markings on the edges of the hindwings. Let’s see the difference between males and females:

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The Lime Butterfly
The Lime Butterfly Colour
MaleThe male has a spot covered with a narrow blue crescent with a very narrow intervening black gap.
FemaleThe female has a red spot and a blue crescent and a large black spot between them.

Like all butterflies, The Lime Butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

The Lime Butterfly Life Cycle

Egg stage
The Lime Butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves of the citrus plants. 
The egg takes about 2 – 3 days to hatch. The egg is pale creamy yellow.

Caterpillar (larval) stage
First, the young caterpillar of the Lime Butterfly eats its eggshell and then feeds on the leaves of the citrus plants.
Caterpillar’s body is yellowish-brown with a dark brown head.


Chrysalis (pupal) stage
The lime butterfly has four instars. In the 1st instar caterpillar grows up to a length of about 5 mm. 
The 2nd instar caterpillar has a similar appearance to the late 1st instar caterpillar. This instar lasts about 2 days with the body length reaching up to 10 mm before the next instars.
The 3rd instar takes about 2 days to complete with the body length reaching up to 16 mm.
In the 4th instar, the caterpillar color became darker brown. This instar lasts about 2 – 3 days with body length reaching about 25 mm.

Adult butterfly stage
After 9 days, the pupa turns black as the pupal stage comes to an end. The yellowish spots and bands on the wings become visible. 
The next day the adult butterfly emerges from the pupal case. After one to two hours of emerging, the beautiful butterfly dries its wings and becomes ready for its first flight.

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Viceroy Butterfly Life Cycle

The Viceroy butterfly is nearly identical to the Monarch butterfly. It is also a bit smaller than the Monarch. It has orange-brown wings with dark black veins. It can be found over a wide geographical area, from southern Canada to central Mexico.

The Viceroy butterfly lives in meadows, marshes, and other areas with willow, and poplar trees. There are two or three generations of Viceroys born each season.

The Viceroy caterpillar eats the leaves of willow and poplar trees. The viceroy butterfly eats dung, carrion, fungi, and the nectar of flowers. The Viceroy butterfly lives about 12 months.

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The Lime Butterfly

The Viceroy butterfly is dark orange with black veins. A row of white spots edges its wings. You can say that there are no visible differences between the male and female viceroy butterflies. However, when seen together the larger size of the female can be noticed easily.

Like all butterflies, The Viceroy Butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

The Viceroy Butterfly Life Cycle
Egg stageThe Viceroy female lays pale green-colored eggs on the tip of the leaves of a cottonwood plant.
The egg stage takes about 4 to 9 days, a female can lay up to 2 – 3 eggs per plant.
Caterpillar (larval) stageThe Viceroy caterpillars are white and olive-brown. They eat the leaves of trees and shrubs like willows and cottonwood.
Viceroy butterflies can give rise to 2-3 generations in a breeding season. 
Chrysalis (pupal) stageThe new body parts of the caterpillar begin to grow such as wings, antennae, and legs, this process is called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.
The chrysalis stage takes up to 12 days, after which the caterpillar emerges as an adult Viceroy butterfly.
Adult butterfly stageAdult Viceroy butterflies can live for up to 3-4 weeks after they emerge from the chrysalis. 
Adult viceroy butterflies feed on nectar from flowers. After drying their wings, the viceroy butterflies’ wings become strong and ready to fly.

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The Painted Lady Butterfly Life Cycle

Painted lady butterflies can be found on five of the seven continents such as Asia, Africa, Europe, and all over North America, except for South America and Antarctica. Painted lady butterflies can fly very fast, they can fly more than 100 miles each day when they are migrating. They usually migrate to and from northern Africa.

Painted lady butterflies are diurnal which means they become active during the daytime. They also have heat sensors in their wings, which means they can’t fly if the weather is so cold.

Painted lady butterflies can be found in open areas, like fields and meadows. Also, they can be found on dunes and in marshes. 

Do you think that Painted Ladies Butterflies are only ladies?

No, they aren’t. Also, males are called painted ladies butterflies because of their wonderful colors.

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The Painted Lady Butterfly

The Painted Lady butterfly is nearly identical to the Monarch butterfly. The forewings have black tips with white spots. The hindwings are covered with rows of black spots. Males and females look the same in color and marks but they are different in some structures. Let’s know the difference between males and females:

The Painted Lady Butterfly Colour
MaleMales tend to have a slender abdomen. Males have round black dots on their hindwing.
FemaleFemales tend to have large round abdomens. Females do not have dots in their hindwing.

Like all butterflies, the Painted Lady butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

The Painted Lady Butterfly Life Cycle
Egg stageThe female painted lady butterfly lays lots of pale green eggs on a leaf. It usually takes seven days for the eggs to hatch. 

Caterpillar (larval) stage
The caterpillar first eats its shell, after that the caterpillar eats a huge amount of food to grow. 
As it grows, it sheds its old skin. It spins a silk thread to glue it to the leaves without falling off.
After two weeks, the caterpillar is ready to start the next stage of the painted lady butterfly life cycle.

Chrysalis (pupal) stage
The chrysalis stage takes up to 10 days. The caterpillar creates a pupa, which is considered a safe place for it to finish growing into butterflies.
Inside the pupa, the caterpillar is changing its body into a butterfly such as wings, antennae, and legs,  this process is called metamorphosis.

Adult butterfly stage
An adult will emerge about 7 to 10 days after the chrysalis has formed.
When an adult emerges from the pupa, it hangs upside down and pumps blood into its four wings, inflating them. It waits for about one to two hours for its wings to dry, then it becomes ready to fly.

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Peacock Butterfly Life Cycle

The peacock butterfly can be found in many parts of South America, Asia, and Europe. It also can be found in urban gardens and wooded areas of the British Isles. It cannot survive in a cold temperature.

The Peacock butterflies are large butterflies that have brownish-red wings, each with a single, large peacock feather-like eyespot used to scare predators. Both males and females are alike in color, but the females are slightly larger than the males.

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Peacock Butterfly

The peacock butterfly does not lay its eggs on tree branches or plant stems (like most butterflies) because it is usually found in open grassy areas where trees are rare.

Peacock butterflies’ wings are very different from any other butterfly. They have fantastic wings like tails.

The peacock butterfly also has a “false head” on its underwings. This false head is created to trick predators into thinking that the peacock butterfly is just another leaf or flower.

Also, Peacock butterflies make a hissing sound by rubbing their wings together to frighten any predator. 

Like all butterflies, The Peacock butterfly has four stages in its life cycle – the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly).

The Peacock Butterfly Life Cycle

Egg stage
The females lay their eggs on a plant called “Erythrina,” a small family of flowering trees. 
These kinds of butterflies are always found in open grassy areas, so they do not lay their eggs on tree branches or plants like most butterflies do.


Caterpillar (larval) stage
The peacock butterflies prefer to stay on the ground, so the caterpillars can be found in the crowns of leaves or on the ground soil.
The eggs hatch into a larva known as a peacock butterfly caterpillar. 
Peacock butterfly caterpillars love eating very much, they have a huge appetite. Fully grown caterpillars can eat up to 80 different plants such as leaves, twigs, roots, and fruits. 
It is also believed that butterfly larvae feed on lichens, fungi, and mosses.
Caterpillars hatch within 2 weeks, they spin a silk web and feed together on small nettle leaves. As they grow they move together, from one nettle to another.
When the Peacock butterfly caterpillar becomes fully grown, it will be 40-45 mm long with a black velvety body, with black spines and white dots.

Chrysalis (pupal) stage
The chrysalis reflects the color of the leaves or plant stem which is on it, it may be pale green or dark grey.
The caterpillars are changing its body into a butterfly such as wings, antennae, and legs, this process is called metamorphosis.


Adult butterfly stage
The butterfly emerges from the pupal case in about 2 weeks. 
After one to two hours of emerging, the beautiful butterfly dries its wings and starts to feed on the nectar of the plant.  When the Peacock Butterfly wings’ became dry and strong, it becomes ready for its first flight.

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Common Buckeye Butterfly Life Cycle

Common Buckeye butterflies are found in the southern and northern half of the United States. They are small, quick, energetic butterflies. They usually produce two or more generations a year.

The favorite host plants for the Common Buckeye butterfly are Gerardia, False foxglove, Snapdragon, Plantains, Monkey flowers, Ruellia, and others. Adult Common Buckeye butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers, such as chicory, knapweed, dogbane, and aster.

Common Buckeye Butterflies love to fly on open, sunny areas in fields and clearings. It cannot live in cold temperatures. They have many predators, like birds, spiders, and ants.

They have brown wings, with orange bands on the forewings. They also have two large eyespots. These eyespots are usually purplish-black and appear on both of the wings. The hindwing has two eyespots, with the upper one being the largest and containing a magenta crescent.

Males and females may seem the same in color, but in size, the female of Common Buckeye butterflies seem larger than the males.

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Common Buckeye Butterfly
Common Buckeye Butterfly Life Cycle

Egg stage
Common Buckeye butterflies lay green eggs on their host plants such as Gerardia, False foxglove, Snapdragon, Plantains, Monkey flowers, Ruellia, and others.
Common Buckeye butterflies’ eggs are tiny. The eggs are glued well into the plant. The egg stage lasts from 4 to 14 days.

Caterpillar (larval) stage
Common buckeye caterpillars can be identified easily, they are blackish-blue veins, redhead, and orange-cream each on the sides.
Common Buckeye caterpillars molt four times before they hang in a J to pupate. They make a mat of silk.
Caterpillar (larval) stage lasts from 2 to 4 weeks.

Chrysalis (pupal) stage
After a short time, it again sheds its cuticle and the chrysalis is what remains. 
Chrysalises vary in color from light to dark brown, it depends on pupating itself. If they pupate in bright light, the chrysalis will be mostly light. And if they pupate in a dark area, they will be almost dark.
Chrysalis (pupal) stage lasts from 7 to 14 days, depending upon the temperature, the adult butterfly will emerge.

Adult butterfly stage
This stage lasts from 6 to 20 days for the pupal to become a beautiful butterfly.
A day after emerging, the butterflies will begin to feed on flower nectar and become ready to fly and mate.
Facts about the Common buckeye butterfly: In the Spring and Summer, the underside of its wings is lighter in color.
In the Fall and Winter, the underside of its wings is darker in color.

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What’s the difference between a butterfly and grasshopper life cycle?

ButterflyGrasshopper
MetamorphosisComplete metamorphosis.Incomplete metamorphosis.


Metamorphosisstages
Butterfly has four stages egg Larva(Caterpillar) Pupa, AdultGrasshopper has three stages Egg Nymph Adult
Description A flying insect of the order lepidoptera.A herbivorous insect of the order orthoptera.
Movement Flying.Jump for long distances.
WingsColorful wings.Long, green wings.
HabitatsSalt marshes, mangroves, dunes, lowland forests, wetlands, grasslands, and mountain zones.Trees, shrubs, grasslands, and bushes. 
Activity Diurnal ( active at day time).Diurnal ( active at day time).


Body parts
They have six legs and three main body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen (tail end). They also have two antennae and an exoskeleton.They have three main parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have six legs, two pairs of wings, and two antennae.

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What is the difference between Butterflies and Moths?

ButterfliesMoths 
The butterflies are a natural monophyletic group.Moths are not.
Butterflies are often put in the suborder Rhopalocera.Moths are usually put in the suborder Heterocera.
Most butterflies have thin slender filamentous antennae.Moths often have feathery antennae.
Most butterflies form an exposed pupa called a chrysalis.Most moth caterpillars spin a cocoon made of silk while they go into the pupal stage.
Most butterflies have bright colours on their wingsNocturnal moths are usually plain and often with patterns of zigzags or swirls
Most butterflies are Diurnal “active at daytime”.Most moths are Nocturnal “active at night”.
Butterflies have fine scales.Moths have larger scales on their wings.
Butterflies have slender and smoother abdomens.Moths tend to have stout and hairy or furry bodies.

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The Most 8 Poisonous Butterflies

Butterflies are lovely insects, and they aren’t venomous anymore. Butterflies don’t have stingers, spines, or fangs, they have no way to inject their toxins into any enemy. But butterflies’ caterpillars are venomous.

Caterpillars have spines that can cause redness and hard pain and sometimes can cause death. Many butterflies store the poison in their bodies when they’re caterpillars because they feed on poisonous plants. Here are some poisonous butterflies:

1- Zebra Longwing Butterfly

The Zebra Longwing butterfly is neotropical, it is found in southern portions of the United States southward through Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies to South America.

The zebra longwing has oval wings adorned with black and white zebra stripes and red dots. Both males and females are the same in colours. 

Zebra Longwing butterfly feeds on passionflower, it gets both long life and toxin from its pollen. The pollen that the caterpillar feeds on is converted in its body into toxins called cyanogenic glycosides. This not only protects the butterfly but can protect the caterpillar as well. 

2- The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

The Pipevine Swallowtail is considered one of the most poisonous butterflies. You can find this big butterfly in North America and Central America. You can identify the Pipevine Swallowtails by its black forewings, and it’s scalloped and tailed hindwings which are iridescent blue. 

The underside of the hind wings has beautiful orange spots on a blue background. Both males and females are the same in color but males have white spots on the hindwings.

Both the caterpillar and the adult are poisonous. The caterpillars of the Pipevine Swallowtail feed on the poisonous host plant, Aristolochia, also known as the pipevine. 

The black caterpillars turn into wonderful adult butterflies, they get their toxins from feeding on the toxic pipevine. This plant is full of aristolochic acid that makes both the butterfly and the caterpillar unacceptable to their predators. 

The pipevine butterfly has a good defense mechanism, many butterflies mimic it, such as the spicebush swallowtail. There are some species of pipevine that are dangerous even to the caterpillars, so the female pipevine butterfly has to be careful where she lays her eggs.

3- The Postman Butterfly

The Postman is a brightly colored butterfly found in the forests and open areas throughout Central and South America. The Postman butterfly got this name from its daily travel route, like a postman on his route.

The postman butterfly eats pollen as the zebra longwing butterfly’s “closest relative”. Its caterpillars also eat the poisonous passionflower. The pollen that the caterpillar feeds on is converted in its body into toxins called cyanogenic glycosides.

The postman butterfly has large long wings, it has a wingspan of 2.5 to 3.25 inches, its wings have gorgeous patterns of red and black or yellow and black. The Postman butterfly can live from 6 to 9 months. 

Lots of butterflies mimic the postman because of its toxicity, they fly with it to give them some protection from predators. The postman butterfly has a bad taste and also has a strong smell, which humans may sense.

4- The Atala Butterfly

The Atala is a small colorful butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It is still considered rare with limited distribution. It is found in southeastern Florida where its host plant, coontie, is used in butterfly gardens. 

Males’ and females’ wings are deep black and bordered around the edges with three curved rows of light blue spots.

The Atala butterfly gets its toxins from an ancient plant called the cycad. Atala females lay their eggs on their host plant, coontie,  the only native cycad in North America. It looks like a small fern and is about one to three feet tall. 

The coontie plant contains numerous neurotoxins. The leaves of coontie contain cycasin, a toxic chemical that the caterpillar stores in its body throughout its life cycle. This chemical is also found in their eggs.

5- Monarch Butterfly

The monarch butterfly is one of the most beautiful butterflies, it is known for its orange color, with black stripes on its wings. The Monarch butterfly lays its eggs on poisonous milkweed plants. The Monarch caterpillar feeds on the leaves of the plant. 

These toxins are called cardiac glycosides which stick to the wings and the abdomen of the adult. Some intelligent predators seem to know this and avoid those parts of the butterfly. 

6- Common Crow Butterfly

The Common Crow Butterfly is one of the toxic butterflies. They are also known as the Oleander Butterfly. They are found in Southeast Asia and Australasia.

Both males and females are similar in color, with minor differences visible. Their upper side is dark brown with rows of white spots on the margins of their wings. They seem to be a dark blue color under sunlight. The Common Crow butterfly’s chrysalis has a beautiful metallic color. 

The Common Crow caterpillars have eaten oleander, milkweed, and alkaloids. These butterflies get their poison from these kinds of plants. Like other toxic butterflies, it is mimicked by others such as the Malabar Raven and the Great Eggfly.

The Common Crow butterflies have a strong odor that may prevent some predators from eating them. They throw out a toxic liquid that causes their predators to vomit. Their predators include spiders, dragonflies, birds, and wasps.

7- Birdwing Butterflies

The Birdwing butterfly is considered one of the rarest butterflies in the world, it’s found only in the rain forests of New Guinea. They are not only the rarest butterflies in the world but also the biggest of all. Their females reach a wingspan of 25 cm to 28 cm. 

They are so beautiful, and their beauty has made them the target of collectors. The male birdwing is green, gold, and black and is very colorful, on the other side the female is black and white, with some yellow spots. The female is bigger than the male. The Birdwing Butterfly can live for 28-35 days.

Like the pipevine swallowtail, the caterpillars of birdwing feed on the poisonous host plant, Aristolochia. This plant is full of aristolochic acid. The caterpillars store the poison in fleshy orange-red spines on their backs. The caterpillars use this protection mechanism to protect themselves from predators. 

If any predators try to eat the caterpillars or the adult butterflies, they’ll become ill, and the poison may kill them. But they will know not to harm this kind of butterflies from now on.

8- Papilio Antimachus

Papilio Antiochus is an African giant swallowtail, it is a butterfly in the family Papilionidae. Papilio Antimachus Antiochus live in the tropical rainforests of west and central Africa

The wings of Papilio Antiochus butterflies are long and narrow and the ground color is orange-brown with black markings. They have a wingspan between 18 to 23 centimeters. The male is larger than the female.

These kinds of butterflies have no enemies because their bodies contain chemicals called extremely toxic glycosides. The toxin not only protects the butterfly but gives it its wonderful colors. 

This giant butterfly gets its toxin when its caterpillar feeds on the leaves of Strophanthus Gratus. This plant secretes a poison called ouabain. They can also spray odor-smelling chemicals into the air if any predator tries to harm them.

Some hunters spread “ouabain” on the tips of arrows. When the arrow attacks an animal, it causes a heart attack for it and drops dead.

Let’s Remember the Life cycle of the Butterfly:

Stage 1: The Egg

All butterflies begin their life cycle when a female butterfly lays her eggs. It always lays its egg on the leaves or stems of plants. It may lay more than 200 eggs per day. Inside the eggs, the caterpillars grow.

The eggs are different in shape and texture. They can be round, oval, cylindrical, smooth, hairy, or wrinkled. 

The time it takes for the eggs to hatch can also be different from one species to another, they can hatch in days or may extend for weeks. Eggs hatching depends on the temperature.

Stage 2: The Caterpillar

After hatching, the caterpillar leaves its egg and starts a new phase. The first thing the caterpillar does is eat its egg. After that, it eats heavily to grow more and more.

During this stage, they molt four or five times before they hang in a J to pupate. A fully grown caterpillar can be over 100 times larger than when it emerged from its egg. Caterpillar (larval) stage lasts from 2 to 4 weeks.

Stage 3: The pupa

A fully grown caterpillar forms itself into a pupa or chrysalis, it is considered a safe case where the caterpillar changes into a butterfly. 

Chrysalis (pupal) stage lasts from 7 to 14 days, depending upon the temperature, the adult butterfly will emerge. The caterpillars are changing its body into a butterfly such as wings, antennae, and legs, this process is called metamorphosis.

Chrysalises vary in color from light to dark brown, it depends on pupating itself. If they pupate in bright light, the chrysalis will be mostly light. If they pupate in a dark area, they will be almost dark.

Stage 4: The adult butterfly

In this stage, the butterfly is ready to emerge, and the case around the pupa splits open. But it can’t start flying yet, it waits for its wings to dry first. When it becomes big and strong it starts flying in search of flowers to feed on and for other butterflies to mate with.

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Interesting Question About Butterflies

How long do butterflies live?

It varies from one species to another. Some small species may live for a few days, while other species may live up to six weeks. We can say on average, that most adult butterflies only live for two to four weeks.

Where do butterflies live?

Butterflies can be found all over the world, except in Antarctica. 

How many species of butterflies?

There are close to 165,000 different species.

What do butterflies like to eat?

Most butterflies eat the nectar from flowers. They may also eat some pollen, tree sap, or rotting fruit. 

Do any predators go after butterflies?

Yes, some predators go after butterflies including wasps, flies, frogs, spiders, and birds.

How do butterflies protect themselves?

One of the best ways that butterflies protect themselves is by using their wings.

What are the best garden plants to attract butterflies?

Many nectars attract butterflies such as Daylily, Lavender, Alyssum, Aster, Delphinium, Willow, Butterfly bush, Cosmos, Dianthus, Fennel, Milkweed, Beebalm, etc.

What is the difference between Butterflies and Moths?

Both of these insects are part of the same insect family “Lepidoptera”. It means scale winged. That is not mean they are the same, they have many differences from each other, such as:

  • Moths are active for gathering food at night, on the other side Butterflies are active for gathering food during the daytime.
  • Moths make a silky cocoon, while butterflies make a shiny chrysalis.
  • Moths rest with their wings open, on the other side butterflies rest with their wings closed.
  • Butterflies have long, thin antennae, while Moth antennae tend to be leaf or feather-shaped.
What is the largest butterfly on earth?

Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is the largest living butterfly in the world. 

What is the smallest butterfly on earth?

The smallest butterfly in the world is the Western Pygmy Blue. 

What is the largest moth in the world?

Atlas Moth is the largest moth in the world.

What is the rarest butterfly in the world?

The Palos Verdes Blue is the rarest butterfly in the world.

What is the most common butterfly in the world?

Cabbage White is the most common butterfly in the world.

Why do butterflies lay their eggs beneath the leaves?

To hide and protect the eggs from rain and heat.

What is the hormone that controls the molting process in the butterfly?

Ecdysone.

What is the pupa stage of the butterfly?

Chrysalis.

What is the stage of the butterfly life cycle where molting occurs several times?

Caterpillar.

Where do butterflies lay their eggs?

Most butterflies lay their eggs on their host plants that will be eaten by the caterpillar, when it hatches.

Do butterflies have a sense of smell?

Yes, they have.

How many legs does a butterfly have?

Butterflies have six legs. 

Do butterflies have teeth?

Butterflies don’t have teeth but they do have a proboscis. A proboscis allows them to drink the nectar from flowers.

Can butterflies see their wings?

Yes, they can.

How many eyes do butterflies have?

They have two eyes.

Do butterflies have tails?

Most species have prominent tails such as “Swallowtail butterflies”.

When does a butterfly sleep?

Butterfly sleeps at night.

Are butterflies blind?

Yes, Butterflies are considered blind.

What butterfly is blue?

Blue morpho butterfly.

How many wings does a butterfly have?

Four wings.

Amazing Facts About Butterflies

  • Butterflies are insects that have six legs and three separate parts to their body.
  • There are about 165,000 species of butterflies.
  • Butterflies do not eat, they always drink, while adult butterflies can only drink nectar but they can’t chew solids.
  • They have been around for over 56 million years.
  • Butterflies’ wings even have patterns on them that mimic other large animals, like owls. They protect themselves using camouflage and mimicry. 
  • Most butterflies are herbivores and only eat plants and leaves.
  • Butterflies sometimes sip from mud puddles.
  • After the pupa hangs for one week, it splits open and a butterfly emerges.
  • The butterfly hangs on the leaf for about an hour while its wings straighten out.
  • A butterfly has a head, thorax, abdomen, and four wings. 
  • The butterfly also has two eyes made up of 10,000 lenses.
  • The butterfly’s tongue is known as a proboscis. It is used to drink nectar.
  • A butterfly can also hear with its two antennae attached to its head.
  • A butterfly tastes through its feet and breaths through the side of its body.
  • They come in a variety of different colors, shapes, and sizes, and play an important role in flower pollination.
  • Female butterflies use a special sticky fluid like glue to attach their eggs to plants. The glue helps keep the eggs stuck safely in place.
  • Most butterfly wings are transparent.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet to help them find their host plants and locate food.
  • Some butterflies can not live in cold weather.
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