In a few days the eggs
hatch into lava, commonly known as a caterpillar. It eats its
egg shell and then eats and eats.
Caterpillars don’t have a
skeleton like we do. They have a hard shell on the outside of their body.
They have like armored
plates with a softer flesh connecting the plates together. Its called an
exoskeleton and it does not grow.
have a voracious appetite. They
are eating machines. It only stops eating when it outgrows its
When its body grows too big
for its exoskeleton, it will stop eating to shed its skin, its
exoskeleton. Then it will keep eating and shed its skin several times as
it grows larger.
A great way to attract butterflies is to provide the host plants that the caterpillars like to feed on. Include some caterpillar host plants in your garden.
The Monarch caterpillar gorges
itself for a couple of weeks. When the caterpillar gets to full size it meta-morphs into a pupa.
Monarch Caterpillar Forming Into A Pupa
When it grows to about two inches, it attaches
its hind end to a branch with some silk.
It then sheds its skin and reveals a
soft butterfly pupa on the inside.
In a few hours the butterfly pupa hardens into what is called the butterfly chrysalis.
Then in ten to fourteen, days
depending on the temperature, God works His wonders for Monarchs.
Some butterflies may take weeks or longer in this stage.
Monarch Butterfly Forming Inside The Chrysalis
One of the most interesting facts
about the life cycle of a butterfly, is how the butterfly forms inside the chrysalis?
It is a
special gift and only God knows how it works.
The butterfly chrysalis becomes
transparent and you see the butterfly forming on the inside.
More Facts About Butterflies
When the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, its body is very large and full
The butterfly comes out head first.
The wings are small.
Monarch Emerging From Its Chrysalis
The new butterfly hangs onto the
chrysalis shell for awhile and starts pumping fluid from its body into
The wings expand, as the fluid goes
into them. After the wings are fully expanded they are still wet.
hangs there for an hour or two until it's wings dry. Then it takes flight.
Adult Monarch Butterfly
The wonder of it all! You have a
brand new Monarch Butterfly.
It has gone from a caterpillar to a butterfly thus completing its metamorphosis.
Most butterflies live only a few weeks.
The adults will mate and lay eggs and the life cycle of a butterfly goes around again.
Butterflies are an amazing gift of God!