Butterflies are beautiful insects of nature and often admired for their vibrant colors. According to The American Heritage Dictionary, they belong to biological order of Lepidoptera, and have distinct characteristics: slender bodies, knobbed antennae, and four wings (Dictionary.com). The Lepidoptera classification order is derived from Greek origin meaning “scales” and “wings” (Jeananda Col).
Butterflies are members of insect family and their traits include 3 pairs of legs, a segmented body, and two pairs of wings. Although they are members of insect family, and carry same characteristics of other insects, butterflies generally appeal to people where most insects do not (Earthlife.net).
Why are butterflies so unique? One distinguishing reason can be found by exploring a butterfly’s life cycle. Butterflies go through process of metamorphosis: a distinct transformation from an egg to a butterfly.
LIFE STAGES OF A BUTTERFLY
As a result of metamorphosis, butterflies go through a series of four, very distinct, life-type changes.
The four stages include: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
•Egg Stage - beginning of life for a butterfly. The egg is a product of adult reproduction and is deposited on tree leaves by a sticky hormonal substance from adult. •Larva Stage - typical in appearance to a caterpillar. The majority of larva’s lifespan is spent eating and first meal is usually it’s own eggshell. As a result of continuous consumption, butterfly will increase several thousand times in size. It will spin a silky pad before progressing to next phase. It is not yet mature and it is unable to reproduce at this point.