“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Maya Angelou

The Life Cycle of the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly
Header Images are licensed under Creative Commons    
Eggs, Pupa and Adults images by Gilles San Martin
Larva by Deanster

At Birds on the Brink Sanctuary we are in awe of the Butterfly Life Cycle and Butterfly Metamorphosis. There are four extraordinary stages of development and growth, with each stage having a different goal, for an egg to grow into an adult butterfly.

The First Stage: The Egg: Usually, many very small round, oval or cylindrical butterfly eggs are laid on the leaves of plants with the hope that they will survive.

The Second Stage: The Larva (Caterpillar): When an egg finally hatches and a caterpillar emerges, its primary goal is to eat as much as it can in preparation for its next phase of development.

The Third Stage: Pupa (Chrysalis): As soon as the caterpillar is finished growing, it forms itself into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis. And it is during this period of time that the caterpillar transforms or completes its metamorphosis.

The Fourth Stage: Adult Butterfly: Once the caterpillar has gone through all of its changes during the pupa stage, a beautiful butterfly emerges.