Butterflies go through four life stages. The first
is the egg which is laid on a host plant leaf by a gravid (pregnant)
butterfly. You can identify the female because her webbing is thicker and
she has no identifying wing spot as does the male. The female will
only lay her eggs on plants that the resulting caterpillar can eat
a milkweed). Once the caterpillar has hatched from the egg, it will eat
and grow until it reaches its full size. At that point, it enters
the third or pupal stage. The caterpillar forms a structure called
a chrysalis in which it will transform into an adult - a butterfly. This
is the fourth and final stage.
Butterfly Photos courtesy of Dale A. McClung.
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