Join The Pollen Nation!
Join The Pollen Nation!
Join The Pollen Nation!
University of California
Join The Pollen Nation!



  • The life-cycle of a butterfly is made up of four parts:  egg, larva (caterpillars), pupa (chrysalis) and adult (butterfly).
  • Once a caterpillar is fully grown, it will attach itself to a twig or leaf before shedding its outside layer of skin to reveal a hard skin beneath known as a chrysalis.
  • The butterfly will eventually emerge from the chrysalis and then waits for a few hours for its wings to fill with blood and dry, before taking its first flight.
  • A chrysalis is NOT the same as a cocoon. Butterflies hatch from a chrysalis, a life stage made of a hardened protein. Moths hatch from cocoons, which are spun from silk that surrounds he pupa.
  • Depending on the species, an adult butterfly can live anywhere between a week and a year.
  • Butterflies have four wings, not two.
  • Many butterflies can taste with their feet! This is most likely to find the best leaf to lay their eggs on so their caterpillars will have a good source of food upon hatching.
  • Every year, Monarch butterflies travel from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring.
  • Butterflies come in all sizes and colors, anywhere from an eighth of an inch to 12 inches from wingtip to wingtip!
  • Antarctica is the only continent without butterflies.
  • The monarch caterpillar feeds on milkweed, which makes the adult butterfly bitter and poisonous to birds.
  • Adult butterflies don’t eat! They only drink liquids from flowers, juice from rotten fruit, or even sweat or liquid animal waste

Sources Cited:

The Butterfly Site

The Field Museum:  Butterfly Basics

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