How are butterflies born?

The butterfly life cycle it is one of the most interesting processes in nature. The birth of these insects requires several stages, during which they undergo incredible transformations. ¿You want to know how butterflies are born, besides finding out where they live and what they eat? Discover these and other curiosities in the following AnimalWised article. ¡Keep reading!

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  1. What do butterflies eat?
  2. Where do butterflies live?
  3. How do butterflies reproduce?
  4. How are butterflies born?

What do butterflies eat?

During the adult stage, butterflies feed mainly on the nectar of flowers. ¿How do they do that? Their oral apparatus has a spiral trunk that is capable of stretching, in this way they reach the nectar of any type of flower. This kind of mouth is called proboscis.

Thanks to this feeding system, butterflies help spread pollen that remains attached to their legs, making them pollinating insects. However, ¿What do butterflies eat before they become adults? When they hatch, they get their first egg nutrients that contained them. Later, during their larval or caterpillar stage, they consume large amounts of leaves, fruits, branches and flowers.

Some species feed on smaller insects, and less than 1% eat other butterflies.

Where do butterflies live?

The range of distribution of butterflies is very wide. There are hundreds of species and subspecies, so it is possible to find them all over the world, including some varieties that withstand freezing polar temperatures.

Most, however, prefer to live in warm ecosystems with spring temperatures. As for habitats, they are found in those with abundant vegetation, where they have easy access to food, can protect themselves from predators and have places to deposit their eggs after mating..

How do butterflies reproduce?

The reproduction of butterflies It has two stages: courtship and mating. For courtship, males perform pirouettes in the air or remain static on branches. In both cases, they emit pheromones to attract females. They, for their part, too release pheromones in order for the male to find them, even when they are miles apart.

When the male finds the female, he flaps his wings over his antennae to impregnate her with small scales full of pheromones. This done, the courtship is complete and mating follows..

The reproductive organs of the butterflies are found in the abdomen, so they join the tips, each looking in different directions. The male introduces his reproductive organ and releases the sperm sac, with which he fertilizes the eggs that are inside his partner..

After mating, the female lays between 25 and 10,000 eggs in different spaces of the plants: branches, flowers, fruits and stems become the shelter for the eggs..

However, ¿how long does a butterfly live? Life expectancy varies according to the species, access to food and climatic conditions. Some live between 5 and 7 days, while others have a life cycle of 9 to 12 months. After the reproduction phase, you should know how butterflies are born.

How are butterflies born?

The birth of a butterfly goes through several stages from the moment the female lays her eggs on the plants. These are the phases of metamorphosis of a butterfly:

1 egg

Eggs measure between 0.5 and 3 millimeters. Depending on the species, they can be oval, long, or spherical. The color is white, grayish and almost black in some species. The maturation period of the eggs varies in each one, but many are eaten by other animals during this stage..

2. Caterpillar or larva

Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillar begins to feed on protein found inside the egg. Afterwards, it begins to feed on the plant it is on. During this time, the caterpillar dumbs its exoskeleton to be able to grow and double in size in a short time.

3. Pupa

Reached the necessary size, the period of the larva ends. The caterpillar's body increases its levels of hormones and produces behavioral changes. Because of this, he begins to manufacture a chrysalis, either with leaves, branches or your own silk.

Once the butterfly chrysalis is built, the caterpillar enters it to start the last phase of metamorphosis. Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar's nerves, muscles, and exoskeleton dissolve to give rise to new tissues..

4. Adult butterfly

Depending on the species and the climatic conditions, the butterfly will take more or less time in the chrysalis. In the days of greater light, the butterfly will begin to break the chrysalis with its head until it emerges. Once out, it will take 2-4 hours to fly. During this period, you will need to pump fluids to all parts of your body, still compressed by the position of the pupa..

When pumping fluids, the ribs on the wings tighten and unfold, while the rest of the exoskeleton's cuticle hardens. Completed this process, takes flight in search of a mate to mate.

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