The Butterfly Life Cycle From Egg

1636 Words Sep 21st, 2016 7 Pages
Butterflies fill an important role in ecosystems. The order Lepidoptera, which includes moths as well as butterflies, when present in high numbers they indicate a healthy ecosystem with a wide range of invertebrates. They are a natural pest control and pollinator species, contributing to success of other invertebrates. As well as playing a role in food webs. There are 320 species present in Europe, at least 112 are endemic. There are four stages in the butterfly life cycle from egg (ovum), to caterpillar (larva), to chrysalis (pupa) and butterfly (imago), each stage undergoing a complete stage of metamorphosis (Higgins & Riley, 1970).
Known as the most colourful order in the class Insecta, butterflies and moths vary in size with two large colourful scaled wings, the scales hold the colour pigment giving them the name Lepidoptera (Higgins & Riley, 1970). The head, body and legs are also usually scaled. They have sucking mouthparts, mandibles which are usually versidual and coupled maxillae which form a tubular sucking proboscis which is coiled (peculiar to Lepidoptera) (Higgins & Riley, 1970). Their exoskeleton is made of chitin, with muscles attached on the inside, the exoskeleton providing protection. They have two compound eyes and a thorax which is divided into three segments, each with a pair of legs and the second and third also with a pair of wings (Brusca & Brusca, 2003).
You can distinguish a butterfly from a moth because of their chubbed antennae; by having the two…
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