What is the science of feeling butterflies

Butterflies - the magic of nature

The life cycle of butterflies is a unique spectacle. The Metamorphosis of the butterfly comprises four developmental stages: egg, caterpillar, pupa and moth.

The shimmering colors and patterns of the butterfly are primarily used to attract the opposite sex. In courtship flight, males and females dance around each other and this is usually followed by the pairing, whereby the tips of the abdomen are hooked together and fertilization takes place. After a few days, the female then lays the eggs on a certain forage plant. The Egg laying (depending on the type between 20 and 1,000 eggs) is usually placed on the underside of the leaf so that they are protected from rain and enemies.

In the egg an embryo develops from the fertilized egg cell and from it the Caterpillar. The development time varies depending on the species and the season. The caterpillar then hatches from the egg and begins its main task: eating. The first meal is the egg shell, which contains many important nutrients. Caterpillars have a worm-shaped body and a heavily armored head with large jaws that are ideal for feeding. The spinneret glands can be found in the mouth area, with which they can produce a silk thread that is used to hold onto the plant and subsequently the cocoon is spun for pupation.

At the beginning of Pupal stage the caterpillar looks for a suitable place to pupate. Many species attach the tip of their abdomen to a leaf or branch and can be hung upside down ("support doll"). Others, on the other hand, spin a thread around their body and the branch in order to live the pupal stage upright ("belt doll"). On the outside, the pupa looks completely motionless, but inside the transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly takes place.

Finally the doll's cover rips open and the butterfly crawls out. At the beginning his skin is still very soft and the wings are tightly folded together. The butterfly is now looking for a suitable place to calmly spread its wings. He pumps blood and air into the wings until they reach their final size and beauty. After about one to two hours the wings are hardened and the butterfly can take to the air.