Life of a Butterfly
What an amazing life!
- An adult butterfly lays an egg.
- The egg hatches into a caterpillar
- The caterpillar forms the chrysalis
- The chrysalis matures into a butterfly.
raise your own butterflies:
You need to find some eggs, some
caterpillars or some pupa. Caterpillars live to eat, so you
will need to have lots of fresh of plants particular to your type of
caterpillar. Monarchs, for example live on milkweed. To find the caterpillars you
will have the best luck if you look in "host plants" that are native to
your area. To identify some of the common caterpillars, visit
Keep your caterpillars in a well ventilated jar or aquarium.
Use cloth to cover the top of a jar, instead of a jar lid
with poked holes (safety and air circulation).
|Fennel, parsley, dill
Keep your caterpillars well fed; they do not need extra water because
they get enough from the plants they eat. Caterpillars will
starve to death before they will eat the wrong food, so make sure you
have access to fresh food before you try to keep it.
Don't handle them too much. They are delicate and can get bacteria from
After the caterpillars form into a pupa, they will probably wait until
spring to come out. You can mist them occasionally to keep
the area humid but don't get them too wet.
Allow enough room for the emerging butterfly to spread it's wings to
dry. If the pupa falls to the ground you will need to fix it
(glue, string) onto a hanging stick so that it will survive.
The pupa will turn dark or clear before the butterfly emerges.
Provide sticks so the butterfly can climb up to dry it's wings in case
it falls. More
Other Butterfly Facts
- A butterfly is an insect of the Order
- The Old English word for butterfly was
buttorfleoge apparently because
butterflies were thought to steal milk. A similar word occurs in Dutch
and German originating from the same belief. This is believed to have
led to the evolution of its present name form - butterfly.
- There are between 15,000 and 20,000 of butterflies
- Several species of butterflies need more sodium than
provided by the nectar they drink from flowers. As such, they are
attracted to the sodium in salt. As human sweat contains significant
quantities of salt, they sometimes land on people.
- Besides damp patches, some butterflies also
visit dung, rotting fruit or carcasses to obtain the essential minerals
that they need.
- Butterflies sense the air for scents, wind and
nectar using their antennae. The antennae come in various shapes and
colours. The hesperids have a pointed angle or hook to the antennae.
- Some butterflies, such as the Monarch butterfly butterfly, are Migratory.
- Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.
- Some people say that when the black bands on
the Woolybear caterpillar are wide, a cold winter is coming.
- The top butterfly flight speed is 12 miles per
hour. Some moths can fly 25 miles per hour!
- Monarch butterflies journey from the Great
Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and
return to the north again in the spring.
- Butterflies cannot fly if their body
temperature is less than 86 degrees.
- Here is a page with more butterfly
Butterfly Indian Legend
According to an American
Indian Legend -
If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first
capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.
Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal
the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all.
In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom,
the Great Spirit always grants the wish.
So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its
the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted.
We have gathered to grant this couple all our best wishes and are about
to set these
butterflies free in trust that all these wishes will be granted.