Butterflies Essay

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Sara Hodges Mr. Feist WR 115 11 March 2014 The Life Cycle: Butterflies All 15,000 to 20,000 different species of butterflies go through a series of changes in order to become a butterfly. These changes that butterflies go through are called metamorphosis. The Merriam-Webster states that metamorphosis is, “A major change in the form or structure of some animals or insects that happens as the animal or insect becomes an adult.” For butterflies their metamorphosis process consists of four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Butterflies first start out as larvae, which eventually turn into caterpillars, as they are not just born with wings that allow them to fly. In March or April butterflies will lay eggs on leaves and this is when their lives start out. Butterfly eggs tend to be oval shaped, and when laid they are stuck to the bottom of leaves on plants. Not all butterfly eggs are the same. Depending on the species of the butterfly they have different textures, or other features. The second stage of the butterfly life cycle is called a caterpillar. After approximately four days the caterpillars, then they start chewing a hole through the edge of the eggshell. Once they are completely out of the eggshell they have chewed through, then they eat their very first meal, the eggshell. The second stage is called the larva, which means caterpillar. Mother butterflies must make sure, depending on their species, which leaf to lay their eggs on. This is important because each species of butterfly larvae eat different kinds of leaves. Since caterpillars are so small when they are born they are not able to travel very far, very fast. At this stage of life all the caterpillars do is eat and eat and eat. Like snakes, caterpillar shed as well. When they grow, their skin does not grow with them, so they end up shedding it, also known as molting. Then like the egg that they

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