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Anatomy & Physiology


  Life Cycle of the Butterfly 

Butterflies pass through four distinct stages during their life cycle. 
The change in appearance between the seemingly different forms during the cycle is so great and remarkable
it is difficult to believe that one can develop (metamorphose) into the other.

Yet during the life cycle of the butterfly the egg (ovum) develops into a caterpillar (larva) which 
in turn becomes a pupa (chrysalis) from which subsequently emerges a butterfly (imago).

These series of changes are collectively called metamorphosis


Two Types of Metamorphosis Typical of  Insects

Incomplete (Gradual) metamorphosis:



Examples of insects who undergo Incomplete Metamorphosis
   Dragonflies (dragonflies and
True bugs


* Life cycle of the Damselfly *

DHardiman 2002


Complete Metamorphosis: 

Complete Metamorphosis consists of four distinct stages in development

The immature of these species do not resemble the adult.  They may occupy different habitats and feed on different hosts.


Examples of insects who undergo Complete Metamorphosis
* Butterflies and Moths
Bees and Wasps


* Life cycle of the Butterfly *

DHardiman 2002


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