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The Wonders of the Butterfly World

Updated on February 3, 2016

My Introduction to the Butterfly World

Butterflies are interesting creatures and I've always loved watching them, but really knew little about them. A few years ago I started volunteering at The Butterfly House in Chesterfield, MO and my education on butterflies began.

They are fascinating creatures that delight so m any people in their short (2-3 week) life span. One of my favorite butterflies is the Blue Morpho, which is pictured in this section. I love photographing these beautiful black and blue creatures.

On this page I will share some of the facts I have learned about butterflies, along with some of my photographs.

photographs by Mary Beth Granger


Life Cycle of the Butterfly is amazingly short.

adult butterflies live 2-3 weeks

The life cycle of the average butterfly is less than three months. During this time the butterfly goes through four stages.

> The egg stage lasts 3-8 days.

> The larva or caterpillar stage lasts 21-40 days.

> The pupa or chrysalis stage lasts 8-15 days.

> The adult butterfly lives 2-3 weeks.

During the time the adult butterfly is alive it's main function is to mate and lay eggs. Thus the cycle of life starts again. The adult butterfly pictured in this section is called The Postman and is found in Central and South America.

Butterfly Closeup - tropical butterfly

This butterfly let me get very close for my photograph. You can see the parts of the butterfly clearly. 6 legs, 2 antennae, 2 eyes, thorax,abdomen, 2 forewings and 2 hindwings.

Butterfly Gifts for Children

Children are always curious about butterflies. These great gifts are sure to please that child on your gift list who loves to learn about the world around him.

The Monarch Family

Migration of Butterflies

The Monarchs are an interesting group of butterflies. We see many Monarchs in the United States where they migrate in the summertime from Mexico. Since adult butterflies normally live only 2-3 weeks I was very curious how they could fly all the way to Mexico.

What I found out was that each year as the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, the last generation of that years butterflies stop laying eggs and store up their energy for the long flight south. These butterflies actually live for several months while they winter in warmer climates. They are truly amazing creatures.

The butterfly pictured in this section is called The Paper Kite and is native to Malaysia and the Philippines. It is also a member of the Monarch or Danaidae family.

Paperkite Feeding

Here is a photo of a Paperkite having a snack.

The Atlas Moth

The Atlas moth is a very large brightly colored moth. In fact, if you consider it's total wing size, it is the largest moth in the world. This moth does all it's eating in the larva stage. It flies mostly at night. It is a very popular sight at the Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Mo. It is the only moth in the conservatory and can often be seen spread out on a tree trunk. You can see some great photos of the moth under "Raising moths and Butterflies" in the more Butterfly information section.

The Common Blue Morpo


The Common Blue Morpo( Morpho peledes)is native to Costa Rica.

A Visit to the Butterfly House

The Butterfly House is a delightful place to bring children for a visit. They love to see the butterflies flying all around them. There is also displays of various insects. My youngest granddaughter, Ella, liked the "bug" displays best.

Learning about Butterflies is Fun for Children

Several times a year when my granddaughters visit, I take them to The Butterfly House. It is a place they can have fun and learn about the wonderful world around us. In December 2010 there was snow on the ground during our visit and Rachel and Ella had fun posing in front of the butterfly statue.

Butterfly Quote

Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it eludes you. But if you turn your attention to other things, It comes and sits softly on your shoulder.

Nathanial Hawthorne

Read more about Tropical Butterflies

The more I read on butterflies the more curious I become. They are really fascinating creatures.

Beautiful Tropical Butterflies

Nature Photography

Stop by my gallery to see more photographs.

Beauty in Nature


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