“I’ll land and lay my egg upon
this luscious leaf of green”
Said Mum, the lady butterfly
as she purveyed the scene.

Now back to the beginning of
the generation game;
The eggs are laid afresh and
then the cycle starts again.

“I’ve formed a sticky substance
round the egg to make it stay
There’s lots of food nearby, ready
for when it’s ‘hatching day’”

The butterfly now hangs around
until it’s wings are dry
Till finally it’s fully formed
and can begin to fly.

Then with a flutter of her wings,
the butterfly has gone
Meanwhile a transformation
in the egg is going on

It’s usually a week to three,
but might not be till Spring
Before the clear pupa breaks,
revealing crumpled wings.

The metamorphosis that happens
in the next few days
In my opinion has to be
the most amazing phase.

This chrysalis (or pupa) makes
a solid storm-proof vest
Cocooned within, the caterpillar
now can safely rest.

Inside this shell the transformation
can begin to start
The larva is developing 
into a work of art.

“I think I’ll hang from this twig
as I spin my silky thread;
A belt around my middle and
a pillow makes my bed.”

The majority of the information for this poem came from the following two websites, but I have also listed below some excellent additional websites to supplement your research of the stages of the butterfly's life cycle.

Excellent sites for Butterfly Life Cycle Images

Follow the link below to watch the swallowtail butterfly as it is photographed almost daily through these caterpillar to butterfly stages, from the moment the egg is laid to the emergence of the butterfly 46 days later. These are incredible close up images.

For an excellent summary of close up images of the main stages of the cycle follow this link

To see a life cycle diagram with the appropriate images, follow the link below. When you roll the mouse over each image more specific detailed factual information is provided for each stage.

For a more basic one page summary of the four stages and the appropriate images follow this link

For more information about butterflies, including specific types and their different habitats, follow this link

The image in my poem diagram of the butterfly emerging from the crysalis comes from this website, which gives lots more interesting facts about butterflies and their lifecycle.

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