How Butterflies are Made

Butterflies are magnificent creatures with an even more fascinating story. With over 165,000 known species found across the world except Antarctica, you can be sure to have seen a type of butterfly before.

Did you know that the ancient Greeks believed that butterflies were the souls of the departed? It is also said that should the first butterfly you see in a year be white, you shall have good luck. You’ll have even more luck if you see three butterflies flying together!

In today’s post, we’re going to show you how butterflies are made. It’s truly a beautiful process.

We recommend you watch the video version of our post to literally see how it happens. Click HERE to watch the video: https://youtu.be/ATRi7Dyryog

The Journey

Butterflies don’t begin so beautiful. In order to become a butterfly, the creature must go through a long, difficult journey. Not all that begin this journey make it to the end.

The journey begins when a female butterfly lays eggs.

The Egg

Certain types of caterpillars can only eat certain types of plants, so it’s important that the female butterfly find the correct plant to lay her eggs on. Once she’s found it, she will typically lay the eggs on a plant leaf.

Did you know you can actually see the growing caterpillar inside of the egg if you look closely enough? It can be hard identifying the eggs, but if you look closely on leaves you may begin to find little dots which might actually be caterpillar eggs!

Caterpillars

The next stage of the butterfly’s life is actually a caterpillar. This is the fascinating part about these creatures, is the fact that they start out looking so much different at first!

Caterpillars begin their life eating. They start with eating the egg shell to escape. They then begin eating the leaf they were placed on. If still hungry, they will devour the entire plant they were placed on.

The caterpillar will eat until it can eat no longer, at which point it will create a new layer of skin.

Caterpillars spend their whole life focused on eating. It’s all they can do! They need to save up energy for the next step of the process…

Chrysalis

When the caterpillar is ready, it creates a hardened chrysalis to transform inside of. This is a hardened shell or cocoon that it will remain in to protect itself from the outside world. The chrysalis is typically made on the outside of some plant.

On the outside it appears that nothing is happening, but on the inside a complete transformation is.

What used to be a caterpillar will soon turn into a…

Butterfly

After this long & tough process, the young caterpillar if it was lucky enough to have survived its transformation will have transformed completely into a butterfly!

The butterfly will begin opening its way out of the chrysalis. At first its wings won’t work, so it’ll pump blood into them which will grow the wings.

The new butterfly will begin practicing flying for 3-4 hours until it is completely ready to fly. Just like how we had to learn how to ride a bike, butterflies must learn how to use their new wings!

Once it has learned, the butterfly will fly off and search for a mate to reproduce with. The sole focus of the butterfly is to now mate, repeating this process over and over.

Remarkable Transformation

The transformation of caterpillars to butterflies is truly remarkable & a reminder to us that change & growth is possible no matter what. It is a beautiful process to witness.

 

Thanks for reading. What did you think?

-Wildlife x Team International

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