What is the life cycle of a butterfly?

The life-cycle of each species has its own timing. Some emerge in spring, others in summer, usually to coincide with particular plants or a suitable climate. Many species complete more than one life-cycle a year.

How long do butterflies live?

how long a butterfly lives for depends on the species. Many adult butterflies live only a week or two, but some survive much longer. Those that overwinter as adults, such as the peacock, can live 10 months or more.

How do butterflies reproduce?

Butterflies lay eggs, from which caterpillars will hatch. Caterpillars then turn into butterflies when they reach a certain size

Where do butterflies lay eggs?

Most butterflies lay eggs on plants that the caterpillars will eat when they hatch. Orange-tip eggs, for example, resemble tiny orange vases laid on cuckoo flower and garlic mustard stems.

What do the caterpillars eat?

Butterfly larvae eat various parts of plants, usually the tender leaves, flowers and fruit. Typically they are fussy, eating only a few plant species. Some can be cannibalistic; large blue caterpillars prey on ant grubs.

How do these insects survive winter?

Most overwinter as caterpillars, but some species survive as eggs, pupae or adult butterflies. A few, such as the painted lady, migrate south to avoid harsh winter weather.