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Background: Butterflies are also known as Rhopalocera. Butterflies go through an life cycle. Butterflies go through four significantly different stages in order for butterflies to grow into an adult. These four stages are egg, larva, pupa, and adult. When the butterfly goes through this process it is known as “complete metamorphosis”. The first stage of a butterfly growing into an adult is, The Egg. The Eggs are laid on plants. The egg shape is unique and varies depending on the type of butterfly that had laid the egg. The egg looks like a small, round, and oval like. Some eggs can be ribbed, and some could have other unique features.  The second stage of an butterfly growing into an adult is, The Larva. During this stage, the caterpillar eats the leaf that the egg hatched on. Each caterpillar is unique, and only like specific types of leaves. Hence, the caterpillar should hatch on the plant/leaf that it would eat, because it can not travel. Caterpillars just eat a lot during this Larva stage, so that they can grow quickly. During this stage when the caterpillars eat a lot, they start becoming bigger, because when they hatch out of the egg they are very small and tiny.  Caterpillars grow by shedding their outgrown skin, through “molting”. Caterpillars do not have the ability for their skin to grow by stretching. The third stage of the Butterfly life cycle, is the pupa, also known as the Chrysalis. In this stage, the Caterpillar is changing inside the pupa. During this stage, butterflies undergo “metamorphosis”. When butterflies undergo metamorphosis, they lose the characteristics of being a caterpillar and developing into an butterfly. Specifically at the end of this stage, organs, tissues, and limbs have all been transformed to proceed the butterfly growing into an adult. The final and last stage is the Adult Butterfly. After the Butterfly comes out of the Chrysalis stage, the wings of the butterfly are very soft and folded to the body. This is due to the reason, that it was inside the Pupa, and had to fit all of its body parts. Later on during this stage, the butterfly pumps blood into the wings so that the wings will flap and start performing its functions. Usually the butterfly can start flying with no problems after 3-4 hours of entering this stage. Once they enter this stage, they are on an constant lookout for mates, so they can reproduce. This whole life cycle of butterfly repeats once a female butterfly lays an egg on a leaf. A female butterfly lays an egg one at time, but however it can lay up to 500. The reason a female butterfly can lay so many is because only 1 out of 20 go through the full butterfly cycle, and reach the last stage of adulthood. Butterflies have an very easy job when it comes to raising their young butterflies. The only thing they need to do is find a plant/ leaf that their offspring will be able to eat. Then the butterfly just has to lay the egg, and continues its life. The only difficult part is finding the specific plant to lay the egg on. Each butterfly has a specific type of plant that it needs to lay its egg on, in order for the offspring to survive. The plant the egg is laid on plays an very important role in the offsprings life, because it’s the only food the offspring has, because it will not be able to move hence how tiny it is. Butterflies don’t really eat, they get their nutrition from drinking. Butterflies have a body part called proboscis. The proboscis acts as straw, it is a long skinny tube in the butterflies mouth. Since butterflies get their nutrition from drinking, they drink nectar from flowers. When butterflies are in an group they drink from puddles on the ground or wet places on leaves/ flowers. Even though butterflies don’t eat, they can eat anything that has the ability to dissolve in water. For example: Pollen. Butterflies attract to sodium, especially when found in sweat or salt. Sodium and some other minerals are very crucial to the aspect of butterflies reproduction. However, on the other hand, caterpillars eat leaves and other parts of plants. Butterflies are capable of doing many things to ensure its survival.  Butterflies have certain ways to adapt to deal with threats that come their way. Butterflies are capable of mimicry, this is when an butterfly camouflage and looks like something else in nature. When butterflies are hiding on a tree, it can look like a leaf on the tree. Some butterflies have wings that make predators think they are poisonous due to their colors. On the other hand, there are some that blend into the surrounding nature. Another unique adaptation that butterflies consist of is   they have wing patterns in the shape of eyes, which help scare off enemies. Butterflies consist of behavioral adaptations too. Butterflies are capable of migrating away from cold weather, due to metamorphosis, flying is an important adaptation technique. When butterflies are at the stage when they are caterpillars, they eat milkweed. This adaptation allows any predator that tries to eat it, make it taste bad due to the poison in milkweed. Adaptation allows butterflies to be able to find food, go from one place to another, and find other butterflies. Just like human beings, there are males and female types of butterflies. There is a clear distinction between male and female butterflies. Male and female butterflies behavior varies distinctly from one another. Females are in charge of reproducing and laying eggs, so they spend majority of their time on an lookout for plants to lay their eggs on. Where as, male butterflies are on an lookout for females in order to reproduce. Another way to differentiate between female and male butterflies is the abdomen. Female butterflies consist of an round abdomen,and males have a thin abdomen. Male butterflies consist of an slit at the top of the abdomen, and female butterflies also have large holes where the eggs were initially laid. Male and Female butterflies have a significantly notable difference in their shape of forewings. Male butterflies consist of an more triangular shaped forewing, and female butterflies consist of a more rounded shape forewing. Lastly, there’s a difference between wing pattern. Male butterflies contain an circular black dot in the hindwing. Females do not have this, but however female butterflies are a little larger in size than male butterflies. Butterflies life span is dependent on not one thing, but multiple aspects, and varies from one butterfly to another. Some of the factors that correlate with a butterflies life span consists of: size, where it lives, when it transformed into a adult, and the type of specie it is. So if the butterfly is small, sadly, it will not have an long life span. However, if the butterfly is large, it has an more likelihood of having a longer lifespan. The size isn’t the only factor determining the lifespan of an butterfly but just one important factor of determining it. One month is the average lifespan for most butterflies. Where as, some of the smallest butterflies have a lifespan of one week. The climate is another key factor that plays a role in the life span of an butterfly, due to the reason that butterflies are cold blooded. The climate affects the lifespan of butterfly just depending on which stage the butterfly is in during the time of winter season. The environment that the butterfly is part of also affects the life span. If the butterfly was to live in a wild environment, it would be harder to have an long life span, due to the fact of the numerous predators. Some predators of butterflies consist of birds, insects, wasps, ants, parasitic flies, birds, snakes, toads, rats, lizards, dragonflies and monkeys. Butterflies have an impact on ecosystem. Butterflies are very beneficial to the ecosystem, they play a important role in the environment/ecosystem being healthy. Butterflies come with a lot of environmental benefits,for example, pollination and natural pest control. Ecologists use butterflies to help study the climate change, and impact of habitat on loss and fragmentation. Butterflies are important to the food chain because they are also food to some other animals such as birds, and insects. Butterflies do not consist of a backbone, and count as ? of all species. Butterflies were developed from the original Lepidopteran species. However, butterflies are not the most successful point of Lepidoptera evolution.There aren’t many butterfly fossils, but there are some that are 40 million years old, Prodryas Persophone. These fossils are very similar to our modern day butterflies and resemble the origin of today’s butterflies. Scientists believe that since their is an very close relationship between plants/flowers and butterflies, butterflies may have developed during Cretaceous Period. The Cretaceous period is also known as Age of Flowering Plan. During the Cretaceous period, dinosaurs were alive on earth. Hedylidae is the most similar living organism relative of butterflies. The Hedylidae is part of a moth family. There is a significantly clear relationship between moths and butterflies, because there are numerous amounts of theories stating butterflies are nothing but a group of brightly colored moths. Butterflies have a common ancestor with small moths. Moths are the first relatives of butterflies. Hedylidae, specific type of insect is related to butterflies, because they are also know a butterfly-moths.

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