Butterflies often grace the skies with their beautiful presence. But these winged-creatures haven’t always been so beautiful: they transition from caterpillars to become their final form.
During her life, a female butterfly lays between 100 to several thousand eggs. From these eggs hatch tiny, worm-like grubs called caterpillar larvae. Butterflies lay eggs close to plants that they know will later be useful to their offspring or food sources.
Caterpillars, which form from the larvae, eat a lot because this food has to last them through their cocoon stages until they become butterflies. At a certain point, caterpillars spin themselves a silk cocoon. Then a caterpillar hangs upside down from a branch to shed its skin. After this, it turns into a pupa, which looks like a little sack and is also known as a chrysalis. When a butterfly comes out of its pupa, it has to wait an hour to let its wings spread out, dry, and firm up. Then it can spread them and fly.
There are about 700 kinds of butterflies in North America. The moth also commonly seen in Wisconsin, has a similar life and appearance to butterflies.
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