Friday, March 5, 2010


Figure: 1



Lokk like other flying animal, butterfly also begins its life as an egg. When a butterfly egg hatches, the young looks very different from the adult. It looks like a very small worm with short legs. It is called a caterpillar or larva. Butterfly's larva does nothing but eat. It grows bigger and bigger until it is full size. Then it enters the third stage called the pupa. But sometimes a caterpillar spins a silk covering around itself for protection during the pupa of it's stage. This covering is called a cocoon. When a caterpillar is in the pupa stage, a great change takes place. The worm like some caterpillars turns into an adult butterfly with four large wings and six long legs. Even the mouth parts are different. The caterpillar has strong jaws for chewing leaves. But the adult has mouth parts that coil up under its head like a spring. It can extend these mouth parts into flowers to sip up the nectar. And after getting mate, the female butterfly lays eggs and a new butterfly life cycle begins.
People may not be enthusiastic about attracting butterflies and all of their life cycle stages to their garden, but butterflies add their colour, during movement and beauty to the garden. They are also beneficial pollinators for many of our favourite flowers. Butterflies are classified under Lepidoptera in the class of insects, and are found in many different habitats throughout North America. Many butterfly species have recently expanded their ranges due to changes humans have brought on through disturbed habitats where native plants and introduced weeds now thrive. Some of the beautiful species that have expanded include: Black Swallowtail, European Cabbage Butterfly, Clouded Sulfur, American Painted Lady, Monarch, Silver-spotted, and other of butterfly colors.
In order to get much understand butterflies and attract them to your garden you must understand their life cycle (Figure 1). With this you can plan your garden to meet their food, shelter, and other needs at each stage of their life cycle. Butterflies begin life as an egg usually deposited singly, or in clusters up to a few hundred, on or near the host plant, usually on the leaf underside. The eggs hatch in 4 to 10 days. Larvae feed on the underside of the host plant leaves, and take from 3 to 4 weeks to turn into a chrysalis, or pupa. However, some butterfly species spend the winter as a larvae, hibernating in the crevices of trees trunks and walls, and wait until spring to pupate. Others, like the Silver-spotted Skipper, have the first eggs of the season develop directly into butterflies and the second brood winters as larvae. It may take from one to two weeks for the pupa to develop into a butterfly, but some like Swallow-tails pass the winter as pupae. Most butterflies live for 2 or 3 weeks, while some live for 10 months or longer. The early spring and summer generations of the Monarch live a few weeks, while the fall generation that migrates south will survive for 6 months before mating and returning north again (and here I mind, Monarch is the only truly migratory butterfly).

Butterfly tattoo butterfly picture butterfly