Peacock Butterfly — Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base

Facts about Peacock Butterfly, «Scientific name Peacock Butterfly Inachis io». The Peacock Butterfly is a variety of butterfly that belongs to the genus Aglais of the Nymphalidae family. The Peacock Butterfly are more common in temperate Asia, Europe and as far as the eastern parts of Japan. The Peacock Butterfly is the inhabitant in much of its collection, habitually wintering in trees or buildings. Consequently, it frequently appears pretty early during the spring season. The eye-spots of the Peacock butterfly serve as an anti-predator, and the butterfly is increasing its range. The Peacock Butterfly lives in forest, meadows, fields, parks, pastures and gardens, and in lowlands equal to 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) height. It is relatively a widespread butterfly, which is seen in several gardens and parks of Europe.

The Peacock Butterfly is a multicolored butterfly, with a wingspan ranges from 1 3/4 to 2 1/16 (50 mm to 55 mm). The pedestal-color of the wings of the Peacock Butterfly is an oxidized red, and at every wingtip they bear a unique, blue, black and yellow color eyespot. The underside of the butterfly is a cryptically colored black or dark-brown.

The male European Peacock Butterfly shows territorial behavior, in several cases the territories are being chosen on the way of the female butterflies to the oviposition locations. The female peacock butterflies hibernate over the winter season earlier than laying their eggs in the early spring. The Peacock Butterfly are capable of laying a maximum of 400 eggs at a time in batches. The eggs are ridged and they are olive-green in color and they are laid on the undersides and the upper parts of nettle plant leaves and on hops. The eggs hatch after a week and the caterpillars of the Peacock Butterfly have a glossy black color body, with six lines of barbed spikes and a sequence of white color dots on every segment, and with a glossy black color head. The chrysalis can be brown, grey or green in color and can have a blackish touch. Usually, the Peacock caterpillars grow to a maximum length of 1 7/12 (42 mm).

The adult Peacock butterflies drink nectar from an extensive range of flowering plants, as well as buddleia, dandelions, willows, wild marjoram, hemp agrimony, danewort, and clover. The Peacock Butterfly also feed on rotten fruit and tree sap.

The Peacock Butterfly uses a monandrous type mating system, which indicates that the Peacock Butterfly will mate with only one partner for a particular time period. This is because of their life cycle in which the female Peacock Butterfly is accessible only during an eclosion (the emergence of an insect from its pupal case, or the hatching of a larva from an egg) time, subsequent to overwintering. The Peacock Butterfly pair mates only once subsequent to overwintering, as it is extremely difficult to locate an amenable female butterfly following that period. If the range of the female butterflies is not defend-able by a male Peacock Butterfly, the males defend a single enviable area that female butterflies will get through, such as thick food regions, watering holes, or constructive nesting locations. The male Peacock Butterfly will then try to mate with the female butterfly as they are crossing. Holding an enviable territory boosts the male’s probability of locating a mate and so increases his reproductive achievement. The Peacock Butterfly shows perching behavior. The male peacock butterflies will rest on an object at a particular height where they can watch the passing flying objects.

Just like all other butterflies, the peacock butterfly can detect yellow, green, red, color.»Scientific name for butterfly Lepidoptera». Peacock Butterfly are insects. A Peacock Butterfly is a herbivore; Meaning that as a caterpillar its first food is its own eggshell and than it will eat the leaves of the plant on which it is hatched. When it becomes a butterfly, it will feed mostly on nectar from flowers, rotting fruit and water with a «proboscis» — a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw.

Life cycle of a Peacock Butterfly comes in four stages, egg, larva «caterpillars», pupa «chrysalis» and adult Butterfly.
A Peacock Butterfly will attach its eggs to leaves with a special glue.

When Peacock caterpillars become fully grown they will attach to an appropriate leaf or small branch, than they will shed the outside layer of their skin and a hard skin underneath known as a «chrysalis» will be their new look
An adult Peacock Butterfly will come out from the «chrysalis» than it waits a few hours for its wings to dry and fill with blood, before it takes its first flight.

Peacock Butterfly can see yellow, green, and red. An adult butterfly average life span is from a week to a year
The top flight speed of a butterfly is 12 miles per hour and some moths can fly up to 25 miles per hour.
A Peacock Butterfly is cold-blooded, which means the body temperature is not regulated on its own. A Peacock Butterfly can’t fly or eat if their body temperature is below 82 degrees fah (28 cel). Peacock Butterfly’s are often basking in the sun with their wings open to gain heat and than the veins in the wings carry the heat to the body.
A Peacock Butterfly has sense organ, on their feet or tarsi, for tasting
The estimate is between 15000 and 20000 different species of butterfly.

A Peacock Butterfly has a small body, made up of three parts – the head, abdomen and thorax. A Peacock Butterfly has two large eyes, which are made up of many small parts which are called «compound eyes».
A Peacock Butterfly has two antenna’s on the top of their heads, which they use to smell, hear and feel. A Peacock Butterfly’s mouth is a long tube a «proboscis» — a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw when its done eating, it rolls the tube back up.

A Peacock Butterfly has three pairs of legs and their feet have little claws that help them stand on flowers. The Peacock Butterfly’s wings are made up of hard tubes that are covered with a thin tissue. The Peacock Butterfly’s wings are covered with fine dusty like scales. A Peacock Butterfly has four brightly colored wings having distinctive patterns made up of tiny scales. The bright patterns scales sometimes have hidden ultraviolet patterns for attracting mates. The bright colors are also used as camouflage to hide them or scare off predictors.

Peacock butterfly

Key information

The peacock butterfly has brownish-red wings, each with a single, large peacock-feather-like eyespot – used to scare predators. It rests with its wings closed, showing the almost black, well-camouflaged underside.

It is one of the commonest garden butterflies, found throughout lowland England and Wales. It is rarer in Scotland.

In May, after mating, females lay their eggs in batches of up to 500. After a week or two the caterpillars hatch and spin a communal web in which they live and feed. As they grow the caterpillars increasingly live in the open.

They pupate alone, and adults emerge from July. The main priority is to feed-up before the winter hibernation in dark crevices, sheds and tree holes. Adults emerge again in spring to mate and breed.

Peacock caterpillars are black, covered with short spines and speckled with white spots. They are usually found on stinging nettles.

What they eat:

Adults drink nectar from flowers. Caterpillars eat nettles.


Butterfly wings are not solely for flight; they also act as miniature solar panels.

Amazing Facts About the Butterfly

  • The word butterfly was first used to describe a butter coloured insect- the brimstone butterfly. ‘Butterfly’ eventually came to include all the species and the brimstone acquired its present name which relates to the colour of sulphur.
  • A butterfly has a small body, made of three parts – the head, thorax and abdomen. Butterflies have two large eyes, which are made of many, many small parts. These are called ‘compound eyes’.
  • They have two antennae on top of their heads, which they use to feel, smell and to hear. A butterfly’s mouth is a long tube, through which it sucks the sweet nectar from flowers. When the butterfly does not want to eat, it rolls the tube up!
  • Butterflies have three pairs of legs. Their feet have little claws to help them stand on flowers. Some butterflies, like the peacock, only use four of their legs, carrying the two front legs against their bodies.
  • The wings of the butterfly are made of hard tubes covered with thin tissue. The wings are covered with scales, which are like a fine dust.
  • Butterflies can only feed or fly when their bodies are warmed to at least 30°C, and they have to gain this from the sunshine using their wings. Butterflies are often seen basking with their wings open wide, as they gain heat. They adjust the area exposed to the sun by overlapping their wings or angling them towards the sunshine. The veins located in the wings then carry the heat to the body. Colour helps the butterfly with their temperature control. Dark colours absorb more heat, than light colours. Some butterflies such as the Blues have a shiny underside to their wing, which can help them reflect heat.
  • Some butterflies can fly 50km/h or faster. Slow flying butterflies probably fly about 10km/h.
  • The scales form bright patterns, sometimes with a hidden ultraviolet pattern to attract mates. The bright colours also act as a deterrent to predators eating them. The scales may also form patterns that help the butterflies to blend into their background to escape predators.
  • During fall migration migrating Monarchs have been seen flying by tall buildings such as the Empire State Building hundreds of metres high. Butterflies are picked up by storm fronts and moved 100’s of km, probably at altitudes of thousands of metres.
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Find more animals like this

Quick Facts

  • Type: Insect
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Life span: from 1 week to a year depending on species
  • Size: From 1-30 cm depending on species
  • Weight: 0.3 g up to 3 g depending on species
  • Habitat: Wetlands, meadows, wood’s edge, rainforests and urban gardens
  • Range: Butterflies are found worldwide except on the continent of Antarctica
  • Scientific name: Lepidoptera

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The Butterfly Site

There are many different creatures that make butterflies part of their diet. While most humans can not even imagine attempting to eat a butterfly, there are many animals that need to make a meal out of a butterfly to survive.

Some of the common predators of butterflies include but are certainly not limited to: wasps, ants, parasitic flies, birds, snakes, toads, rats, lizards, dragonflies and even monkeys! A few of the other animals that are constantly adding butterflies onto their menu list are frogs and spiders. These predators eat butterflies as butterfly eggs, caterpillars and adult butterflies.

Crab Spider has Caught a Butterfly. See How Well The Spider Was Camouflaged in the Flower?

This frog at Dow Gardens Butterfly House is enjoying a snack. Photo courtesy Ellen Lucy

Now, when it comes down to eating butterflies, there are two kinds of butterflies that these predators will consume: a good tasting butterfly or a bad tasting butterfly. To keep from becoming a tasty snack, some butterflies have developed a bad taste to their bodies. Monarchs taste bad because the caterpillars have eaten milkweed. Once a bird tastes one, they don�t want to try another one. Another butterfly, called the Viceroy, tastes good but looks so much like a Monarch that birds won�t eat it.

One thing that may be surprising to a lot of people is that a few countries have butterflies on their menu for humans to order! While most of us are appalled to eat anything as beautiful as a butterfly, there are quite a few countries that see the butterfly as a delicacy. Mexico, Africa and Southeast Asia are the few countries that find butterflies to be a great appetizer or dessert.

So, if you are a caterpillar or butterfly, how do you keep from getting eaten? One great way is to have fake eyes to trick predators into thinking you are something else! Here�s some more pictures on the NYTimes site.

This butterfly has a pattern that looks like
it has a big eye.

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What Are Peacock Adaptations?

The peacock, either the Indian or green peafowl, demonstrates the process of evolutionary adaptation through the long, brilliantly colored tail feathers of the male. Adaptation is the process by which a trait that confers a particular advantage for survival develops over time. The male peacock, Darwin postulates, evolved the adaptive trait of the tail feather display to compete for a mating partner.

Because female peacocks, or peahens, choose male peacocks with larger tail feather displays as ideal mating partners, that adaptive trait becomes reinforced and further reproduced in the gene pool. In Darwin’s terms, the peacock’s tail is an adaptive trait that demonstrates sexual selection. A male peacock’s tail feathers can be up to 6 feet long, far longer than his 2-foot long body. The feathers are iridescent blue, green and purple, with distinctive eye shapes near the tips.

The eye shape can be considered another adaptive trait. When threatened, the male peacock raises and spreads his tail feathers. The display makes the peacock appear larger, while the eyes can trick a predator into thinking that more than one peacock appear in front of it. Because the weight and size of his tail compromise his mobility, his survival depends on tricking predators in exactly that manner. The continued survival of long-tailed peacocks supports Darwin’s theories of adaptation and sexual selection.

Butterfly romance

The behavior of newborn larvae of the small night and large night peacock eyes is fundamentally different. Caterpillars of the small nocturnal peacock eye immediately after leaving the eggs gather in the colony several dozen individuals on the underside of the leaves of the feed plant. The larvae of pear saturnia that have just emerged from the eggs behave quite differently: for several hours they actively move along the entire surface of the cage and along the feed plant. Then the process of «scattering» subsides, the larvae are distributed individually on the leaves of the feed plant and begin to feed.

The small night peacock eye has a wide range of fodder plants, including willow, birch, apple tree, thorns, blueberries, blackberries, bird cherry, raspberries and other trees and shrubs. According to some reports, each individual population has its own feed preferences, so it is not necessary without an emergency need to replace one feed plant with another.

Most species of fruit trees can be fodder plants for pear saturnia caterpillars. For the Krasnodar Territory, caterpillars usually feed on turn, cherry, walnut, pear, and cherry plum. Both types of feeding can be carried out on the branches of fodder plants cut and put into the water. Older caterpillars of E. pavonia, which previously lived in colonies, diverge and begin to feed one by one. Moreover, the permissible density of larvae per unit volume of the cage is quite high: 20 — 25 larvae of the last age can exist together in a 20-liter terrarium.

Unlike pear saturnia, E. pavonia caterpillars easily tolerate molting when grouped. In contrast to E. pavonia, the density of the content of S. pyri larvae is of great importance both for the prevention of infectious diseases, and for the prevention of stress from crowding, and for the prevention of injuries resulting from molting, and for fertility. Experience shows that in a cage of 20 l no more than 5-6 larvae of S. pyri of the last age can normally develop, although for younger ages this figure, of course, is slightly higher. After the 4th molt, the growth rate of S. pyri caterpillars rapidly increases, and the amount of food consumed by them grows exponentially. By the time of pupation, the caterpillar of the large night peacock eye eats leaves from a cherry branch at least 25 cm long per day. Pear saturnia are extremely sensitive to intestinal infections. The presence on the fed leaves of even a small amount of water (for example, when using leaves wet after rain) provokes an instant outbreak of an infectious disease, often fatal. Often the infection does not manifest itself immediately, but during the next molt or even after it. Another problem when growing S. pyri larvae is shedding of older ages. The large size of the larva and large warts with long hairy setae on them require a large free space for molting and a long rest period for the molting caterpillar. Preparation for the last larval molt of S. pyri lasts several days. Lack of space, crowding, any worries lead to serious damage to the integument at this crucial moment. A black spot usually appears at or around the damaged wart. In the event that only the wart is affected, this, as a rule, does not prevent the caterpillar from completing the development process, but with large sizes of damage, the caterpillar usually dies before or during pupation.

The color of the peacock-eye caterpillars is different at different ages. Particularly impressive color changes occur in pear saturnia after the second and third links. Caterpillars of the last age, if disturbed, emit a distinct creak. At the same time, droplets of transparent secretions appear on the warts, which, however, do not cause any harm if they come into contact with human skin.

At a temperature of +20 — + 25 ° С, the duration of the larval stage of E. pavonia is 28 — 35 days, and S. pyri 38 — 40 days. Before pupation begins, the caterpillars of E. pavonia weave a dense cocoon in the branches of the feed plant. It is not necessary to transfer them into a separate bag during this period. The size of the cocoon makes it easy to distinguish between a male and a female. Caterpillars of S. pyri, ready for pupation, change color from light green to red. At this point, it is desirable to disconnect them from the general group, since before starting to search for a place to pupate, the caterpillars secrete the last portion of excrement with a very large amount of moisture. Once on the leaves of a feed plant, these excrement can stimulate the development of intestinal diseases in other larvae still continuing to feed.

It is best to transfer the pupating caterpillar to a pre-prepared cage filled with scraps of cardboard and thick paper. As such a cage, it is very convenient to use a tightly closed cardboard box. Firstly, pupating caterpillars prefer dark «secluded» corners, which are enough in a cardboard box. Secondly, there is no risk of damage to the cocoons when they are separated from the walls of the box (although the pupae located in the cut cocoon and even removed from it can also be wintered successfully). A cardboard box with cocoons attached to its walls can simply be cut into pieces. Caterpillars most often arrange cocoons vertically at the joints of cardboard scraps and at the corners of the box. The second generation is never observed in either the small or the large night peacock eye. Until mid-October, cocoons can be stored at room temperature and regularly lightly moistened in a layer of wet sawdust. For wintering, cocoons also in a layer of wet sawdust should be placed in the refrigerator and stored at a temperature of + 4 ° C until the 20th of April. During winter, pupae of pear saturnia in cocoons remain mobile. Their movement can be caught with a slight swaying of the cocoon in the hand. The E. pavonia pupae removed from the refrigerator in the spring should be immediately placed in cages for breeding adults, since the release of the butterflies takes place over the next few days. In S. pyri, on the contrary, 3-4 weeks can elapse from the end of wintering to the release of butterflies. However, some of the pupae — normally about 10% of the total — usually remains in diapause for another year.

  • Signs of weakening culture
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Typically, peacock-eye cultures obtained from a small number of producers lose their ability to reproduce after 2 generations. Signs of degeneration and weakening of the culture are: the presence of a two-year diapause in a large number of pupae (50% or more), high mortality among newly emerged and at the same time apparently harmless butterflies (before mating, sometimes on the first day after leaving the pupa), size reduction butterflies, a decrease in the activity of males up to a complete absence of mating, the death of females that have just begun to lay eggs, a gradual slowdown and complete cessation of growth of larvae, ending in their death at about the 3rd age. With many years of maintaining a peacock-eye culture, it is necessary to regularly add new producers from other cultures or from nature. For this, it is not necessary to catch butterflies in nature. A female Saturnia, taken out in spring to the habitats of this species, attracts a large number of males from the entire district within a radius of several kilometers.

Ants «look after» the caterpillar.

In 1979, the English pigeon arion died out due to the fact that rabbits of Western England, eating tall grass, died from an epidemic. The tall grass plants have been tipped even higher, drowning out the low grass (in which the Pennsylvania ants prefer to settle) and swallowing those thickets of thyme where the female polygonidae laid their eggs. In this area, another species of ants began to dominate: having discovered a caterpillar of a polyommatus, they ate it.

Later, in these places, according to a carefully thought-out plan, she was again relocated and carefully cherished — along with low herbs, creeping thyme and rabbits — a pigeon arion from Sweden, a close relative of the English (or even completely identical to her).

— The most complicated system. The relationship is very close, says Phil Devriz.

As he studies tropical butterflies, disappearing from the face of the earth as swiftly as the rain forests where they live, Phil laments:

“I make a living by writing epitaphs.” The species whose life cycle we at least know are horribly small.

As a rule, caterpillars live alone. About ten percent of the species are friends with ants. And only a small part of the species can be called «public»: their caterpillars live together.

The life of social larvae that form clusters and feed together is often subject to probability theory. The more people, the safer: individuals on the periphery of the “herd” may be easier prey for parasites, but members of the “core” have a better chance of survival.

Another explanation is possible: probably, some young caterpillars are not able to cope with hard leaves individually. The team is easier to feed. Often such tracks have a warning color — the whole crowd silently signals: “We are tasteless!”.

In Mexico, at an altitude of eight thousand feet, they live in colonies of the caterpillar of the madrone (Eucheira sodalis), which received its name from the madrone tree, it is also a strawberry tree. The Aztecs called them shikipilchiupapalotl (butterfly making bags) because of their sparkling white silk nests, where several hundred brothers and sisters can be found. On one tree there are twenty to thirty nests. At night, shikipilchiupapalotli leave the nest and feed, and during the day they sit in it and bask in it. There are four males per female. It is the males that carry out most of the construction and repair work. They also lay paths — silk threads leading to feeding places — supplying them with special chemical indicators, according to which other caterpillars are oriented. Usually selfless males soon die from malnutrition and overwork. Females grow and become twice as large as males. They save strength, eat as much as they like, because when they become adults they will have to lay their eggs. In the spring, when the time of pupation comes, the madrone caterpillars are laid side by side.

Such a collective urge to pupate is atypical. In most species, caterpillars not only prefer to pupate in solitude, but also feel the need to leave the fodder plant and find some more secluded, not so obvious place away from any leaves eaten there (exception — thick-headed caterpillars curling up in their nests from leaves) .

How long does the feast last? How long does a caterpillar live?

Since strawberry leaves are not rich in nitrogen, shikipilchiupapalotl needs eight months to accumulate all the proteins necessary for pupation. But a predatory caterpillar (which, however, is not numerous) may take only three weeks. Caterpillars that feed on flowers or fruits eat enough food in four weeks. Leaf caterpillar spends about eight weeks. On a less nutritious grass, the caterpillar will have to graze for three months, on roots that are not so easy to digest, twice as long. In a very cold climate, where the growing season is short, the larval stage can last two to three years.

The longevity of the caterpillar also depends on how long the adult butterfly lives. If your inedibility protects you from enemies, you better shorten the larval stage — because in it you are more vulnerable to parasites. This means that you enter into adulthood with a small supply of resources and, therefore, must look for the maximum nitrogen-rich nectar. Perhaps you, even like heliconide melpomene and heliconid charitonium, evolve and learn to eat pollen.

If, on the contrary, you are more vulnerable than in the larval stage, then it may make sense to extend your childhood, to accumulate enough nutrients during this time, so that when you leave the pupa you can quickly mate with a partner and continue your kind.

But sooner or later the bell rings. The hour has struck. The hormones that responded to the growth of your membranes controlled the course of each molt. At the fifth stage of development, the last molt last stretched the membranes between the segments of your body. And now the secretion of juvenile hormones is stopped. A new directive has arrived. In the genes of certain cells, switches are clicked.

There is a version that the yellow carotenoid pigments contained in your blood have light sensitivity and help you measure time. Some species of carotenoids say that the days are getting shorter and they will soon have to look for a secluded place.

The cabbage caterpillar can distinguish fourteen and a half hours of daylight hours from fifteen hours. When the necessary internal resources are accumulated and the duration of daylight hours exceeds the fifteen-hour mark, the caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, from which the butterfly emerges in less than two weeks. When internal resources are in order, but the daylight hours are less than fifteen hours, the caterpillar also becomes a chrysalis — and hibernates until spring.

The caterpillar’s ​​blood counts the time.

You wait so that in two weeks, or two months, or two years of your life, you change your suit, empty your insides and go on a short journey.

You begin to stick around, not finding a place for yourself.

Requirements for growing caterpillar butterflies at home

  1. A few caterpillars, the brighter and thicker the caterpillars, the more beautiful your butterflies will grow.
  2. The caterpillar feed is the grass or leaves on which you found the caterpillar.
  3. Butterfly incubator, this is a regular salofan bag or a three-liter jar.
  4. Waiting time, usually a few weeks no more than a month.

Steps for growing a caterpillar butterfly at home

I will tell my story how I grew a butterfly from a caterpillar at home (I was in third grade then) and campaign plays, explain your actions.

  1. I found on the bush, several identical tracks, collected ten. Narwhal a complete package of these leaflets with twigs. So, when you find the tracks, you have to do the same. If you find a caterpillar on the asphalt and want to make it a butterfly, then search the caterpillar on the Internet and find out what plant it eats.
  2. At home, made two incubators. In a bag I put twigs with leaves, 40% of the space in the package. I made holes in the bag with a regular nail for air to my pets. Everything is easy here, just repeat. Do not spare the number of holes, and make the location of the holes in the middle and upper part of the bag.
  3. Seated his tracks 5 in one house, 5 in another. And I didn’t throw it in one heap, but spread it out evenly, although I think they themselves can crawl into their places. Then he tied the bag on top and put it in a place where it is neither dark nor light. Whatever, the sun did not fall on them, but also whatever they had, there was no eternal night. Place a corner of a shelf, or a table, or a bedside table for them, decide for yourself on your utilities.
  4. Constantly looked and watched, the first days they only crawled along branches and ate leaves. The sight was not exciting, boring and not interesting. But you have to wait!
  5. About a week later I had a lull, when I looked closely, I saw that there were no tracks! There are cocoons, how they shook themselves in them, I don’t know, I missed this moment. Further, it’s even more boring to watch them, everything is stupidly hanging. But we wait further.
  6. I don’t remember how many days passed, but I saw the pupae and again blinked, the moment the cocoon became a pupa. There was a suspicion that this was happening at night, but in fact, I just rarely looked in there. The end result was interesting to me.
  7. One fine morning, at about 11 o’clock, I woke up from a strange noise. In the bag, something rustled. I looked closely and saw a yellow butterfly fluttering there. Surprisingly, it happened. I, like a savage, put my hand in the bag and began to catch it, naturally poked her enamel on the wings, with my fingers, gently took it by the abdomen and let it out onto the balcony and it flew away. I returned to my bags and saw a little head bursting out of the chrysalis into the light of God. She stubbornly and for a long time got out. Sometimes, I wanted to take and help, but I stopped myself with the thought that I could only do harm. So do not bother nature to do its job, do not build surgeons out of yourself!
  8. And when the butterfly crawled out in front of my eyes, I set up my hand and she absolutely, just born, was not afraid of me at all. I could take it and wear it, put it down and take it again, it only climbed, but did not fly, It was thought that she was disabled and would not fly, but still, she fluttered and continued to contact me without fear, allowing herself to be picked up (naturally not for wings) This is just a miracle! This I already know that she did not fly, since her wings need to dry.
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С ней, я поступил так же, как и с первой бабочкой, отнес на балкон и выпустил, она долго кружила вокруг меня, как будто прощалась или не хотела расставаться, но запах свободы придал ей новые ощущения и она впорхнула высоко верх. Это я тогда так думал, правда впечатляет? ?

К сожалению, остальные 8 гусениц погибли. Из их куколок, ничего не вылупилось. Возможно, им не хватило запасов корма, возможно, условия были не те или мало отверстий, а скорее всего было суховато, так как им надо 80-60% влажности. Но в любом случае, из 10 гусениц у меня, 2 бабочки появились на свет, без особого ухода. And the last butterfly made a strong impression on me. So, that time of expectation has justified itself with hope. The main thing is not to miss this birthday!

Well, in conclusion, I’ll tell you that you can earn on butterflies (I wrote about this in the article Fear of retirement), and grow a butterfly at home It’s not difficult and no investments are needed.

What is metamorphosis and why is it needed?

Metamorphosis, i.e. a life cycle with a series of successive transformations is a very successful acquisition in the struggle for existence. Therefore, it is widespread in nature and is found not only in insects, but also in other living organisms. Metamorphosis allows different stages of the same species to avoid competition among themselves for food and for habitat. After all, the larva eats other foods and lives in a different place, between the larvae and adult individuals there is no competition. Caterpillars gnaw leaves, adult butterflies calmly feed on flowers — and no one bothers anyone. With the help of metamorphosis, one and the same species simultaneously occupies several ecological niches (nutrition on both leaves and flowers in the case of butterflies), which also increases the chances of the species to survive in a constantly changing environment. After the next change, at least one of the stages will survive, which means it will survive, the whole species will continue to exist.

Butterfly Development: Four Life Cycle Stages

So, butterflies belong to insects with a complete transformation — they have all four stages of the corresponding life cycle: an egg, a pupa, a larva caterpillar and an adult — an adult insect. Let us consider successively the stages of transformations in butterflies.

First, an adult butterfly lays an egg and thereby gives rise to a new life. Eggs, depending on the type, can be round, oval, cylindrical, conical, flattened, and even look like a bottle. Eggs differ not only in shape, but also in color (usually they are white with a green tint, but other colors are not so rare — brown, red, blue, etc.). The eggs are covered with a dense hard shell — chorion. The embryo under the chorion is provided with a supply of nutrients very similar to the well-known egg yolk. It is according to him that two main life forms of Lepidoptera eggs are distinguished. The eggs of the first group are poor in yolk. Those species of butterflies that lay such eggs develop sedentary and weak caterpillars. Outwardly, they look like tadpoles — a huge head and a thin thin body. Caterpillars of these species should begin to feed immediately after exiting the egg, only after that they acquire well-fed proportions. That is why butterflies of these species lay their eggs on a fodder plant — on leaves, stems or branches. Eggs placed on plants are characteristic of diurnal butterflies, hawks, and many scoops (especially arrow flowers).

Cabbage Butterfly Eggs

In other butterflies, the eggs are rich in yolk and provide the development of strong and active caterpillars. Having left the egg shell, these caterpillars immediately begin to creep and are sometimes able to cover distances that are very significant for them before they find suitable food. Therefore, butterflies that lay such eggs do not need to particularly care about their placement — they lay them where they have to. Thinworms, for example, scatter eggs on the ground in bulk right on the fly. In addition to thin-worms, such a method is characteristic of musset moths, glass-makers, many bagpipers, cocoon-spiders and dipper.

There are also Lepidoptera that try to plunge eggs in the ground (some scoops).

The number of eggs in the clutch also depends on the species and sometimes reaches 1000 or more, but not all survive to the adult stage — this depends on factors such as temperature and humidity. In addition, the eggs of butterflies have many enemies from the world of insects.

The average duration of an egg stage is 8-15 days, but in some species the eggs winter and this stage lasts for months.

A caterpillar is a butterfly larva. Usually it is worm-shaped and has a gnawing mouth apparatus. As soon as the caterpillar is born, it begins to feed intensely. Most larvae feed on leaves, flowers, and fruits of plants. Some types of food are wax and horny substances. There are larvae — predators, in their diet includes inactive aphids, mealybugs, etc. In the process of growth, the caterpillar molts several times — changes its outer shell. On average, there are 4-5 links, but there are also species that molt up to 40 times. After the last molt, it turns into a chrysalis. Caterpillars of butterflies that live in colder climates often do not have time to complete their life cycle in one summer and fall into winter diapause.

Butterfly caterpillar “Swallowtail”

Many people think that the more beautiful and brighter the caterpillar is, the more beautiful the butterfly that developed from it will be. However, it is often just the opposite. For example, from a bright caterpillar of a large harpy (Cerura vinula), a very modestly colored nocturnal butterfly is obtained.

Pupae do not move and do not feed, only lie (hang) and wait, spending the reserves accumulated by the caterpillar. Outwardly, it seems that nothing is happening, but this last stage of the amazing transformation can be called a “stormy lull”. At that time, very important life processes of organism restructuring boil inside the pupa, new organs appear and form.

The doll is completely defenseless, the only thing that allows it to survive is its relative invisibility to enemies — birds and predatory insects.

Butterfly Doll “Peacock Eye”

Usually, the development of the butterfly in the pupa lasts 2-3 weeks, however, in some species, the pupa is a stage that falls into the winter diapause.

Pupae are silent creatures, but there are exceptions: a hawthorn pupa, a dead head, and an artaxerx pupa, a lycaena, can . squeak.

An adult insect, an adult, emerges from the pupa. The pupa shell bursts, and the imago, clinging with its feet to the edge of the shell, while making a lot of effort, crawls out.

A newborn butterfly cannot fly yet — its wings are small, as if curled, and moist. The insect necessarily climbs to a vertical elevation, where it remains until it has completely spread its wings. In 2-3 hours, the wings lose their elasticity, harden and acquire their final color. Now you can make the first flight.

The life expectancy of an adult varies from several hours to several months, but the average age of a butterfly is 2-3 weeks.

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