A butterfly passes through four stages of life. At each stage, it looks different.
DANITA DELIMONT—GETY IMAGES
A female butterfly lays an egg on a leaf. The egg is small and round. A special glue sticks it to the leaf. After about five days, the egg hatches.
BARRETT & MACKAY/GETTY IMAGES
Out of the egg comes a caterpillar, or larva. The caterpillar eats leaves and grows bigger. It eats a lot! It sheds its skin four or five times as it grows.
MILLARD H. SHARP—GETTY IMAGES
Weeks pass. The caterpillar turns into a pupa. A hard shell called a cocoon forms. Inside, the pupa grows wings and other parts.
The adult butterfly breaks out of the cocoon. It looks for food. It will begin to look for a mate. Soon, the female will lay eggs.
There are more than 20,000 kinds of butterflies. They come in many colors and sizes. This butterfly is a blue morpho. It lives in the rain forest.
What insects do you see near your home?
Compare a butterfly to a moth. Answer each question below.
A butterfly has bright colors. It has a long, thin body. It has thin antennas. A butterfly flies in the daytime.
INGO ARNDT—MINDEN PICTURES
A moth has dull colors. It has a wide, furry body. It has feathery antennas. It flies at night.
1. Which has thin antennas?
2. Which has a wide body?
3. Which has bright colors?
4. Which flies at night?