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The Life Cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly
The beauty of a butterfly……
What do you think a caterpillar looks like?
How does a caterpillar change during its life?
The life cycle stages
A butterfly usually lays 200-500 eggs on plant leaves and stems
A butterfly usually lays 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. The caterpillar is also called the larva. Caterpillars first eat their 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. The caterpillar sheds its skin for the last time and becomes a pupa. The pupa stays inside a hard shell called a chrysalis. Inside the chrysalis, the pupa is changing from a caterpillar's body to a butterfly's body. The adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis after several weeks. The butterfly looks for another butterfly to mate with. After mating, the female butterfly lays her eggs. Adult butterflies usually live for only 2 weeks!
The caterpillars are very tiny when they arrive in our classroom.
The caterpillars are constantly eating and growing
The caterpillars are constantly eating and growing. They grow very big very fast!
A caterpillar in the J shape.
The chrysalis stage
The Painted Lady Butterfly
The Painted Lady Butterfly is found all over the world.
It migrates to milder climates for the winter. It takes approximately 23 days to go through a complete metamorophis. The Painted Lady Butterfly lays eggs on plants, especially the malva plant.
The eggs are green and oval shaped.
The caterpillar is mostly black with some light spots. When the caterpillar becomes too big for its skin, the skin splits. The caterpillar usually goes through four to six molts. When the caterpillar is ready to create its chrysalis, it crawls to a safe place and hangs upside down from a branch or leaf.
Next it spins a button of silk and hangs from a J Shape and begins to form a chrysalis.
The chrysalis is a brown color with gold spots. When the chrysalis splits, the butterfly begins to emerge. The Painted Lady Butterfly is active during the day and rests at night.
Fun Facts about Butterflies
Butterflies are solar-powered! They need the sun to fly. Male Painted Ladies have smaller abdomens than females. The tiny scales attached to butterfly wings give the wings their color.
Butterflies have taste sensors on their legs.
The tiny scales attached to butterfly wings give the wings their color. Painted Lady Butterflies see more patterns, a wider range of color, and more shades of green than people do.
Be set free!
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