The First Stage: Egg
The first stage of Metamorphosis is an egg. An egg is laid by a female butterfly on a plant, just like the picture in the background! These eggs are very tiny and the female butterfly lays multiple eggs to increase the chances of survival. Not all of the eggs will survive due to predators and weather. Look how many eggs are on the leaf in this photo! Did you know butterfly eggs only take 3-5 days to hatch?!
Metamorphosis: is a process some animals go through to become adults!
Let's learn more about the life cycle of a butterfly!
Stage 2: Caterpillar
After the egg hatches it becomes a larvae, or caterpillar. These caterpillars are very tiny but they begin to grow very quickly. First, the caterpillar eats the egg shell that it hatched out of. Then the caterpillar begins to feed on leaves. Caterpillars are very hungry! They need to eat a lot to grow big and strong. During this stage a caterpillar can grow up to 100x the size it was when it was born. Isn't that crazy?!
Let's listen to a story about a very hungry caterpillar!
Stage 3: Pupa/Chrysalis
After the caterpillar finishes eating it is called a pupa! This is a really cool stage. The caterpillar will suspend itself from a branch and form a hard protective layer around them. It may look like the caterpillar is just resting but inside an amazing transformation is taking place. This stage will take about 10-14 days!
Watch closely in the video as the caterpillar transforms!
Let's Review! What's the first stage of metamorphosis called?
Stage 4: Adult
After the caterpillar has finished transforming inside the chrysalis it breaks free and is a beautiful butterfly! Now the adult butterfly's job is to lay eggs and the cycle will start all over. An adult butterfly lives about one year. Let's learn more about butterflies in the video below.