Standard 1.3 Organisms change in form and behavior as part of their life cycles.
  • 1.3.7 Butterflies are insects that undergo metamorphosis during their life cycle. As they go through egg, larva, pupa and adult stages,
butterflies develop different structures that help them meet their basic needs on land and in the air.
a. Caterpillars hatch from eggs, live on plants, get food by chewing leaves and move about using legs. As they metamorphose into butterflies inside a chrysalis,
they develop wings, antennae and different mouth parts.
b. Butterflies live on land and in the air. They get food by sucking nectar from flowers and move around primarily using wings to fly. After a female butterfly mates,
she searches for the proper host plant to lay her eggs, and the cycle begins again.


Butterflies go through metamorphosis .The butterfly metamorphosis has four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. This is called a complete metamorphosis.
Other animals, like the dragonfly, go through incomplete metamorphosis. It has three stages: egg, nymph and adult.

This video compares the complete and incomplete metamorphosis of insects.


Here is a link to a butterfly lifecycle lesson plan.

Find out more about the Swallowtail Butterfly.

Find out what's happening with the Monarch Butterfly.

Fun song to teach the butterfly life cycle.