Monday, April 9, 2012
Hope you had a beautiful Easter - did you enjoy my butterfly portraits from yesterday?
Here are just a few more I wanted to share - these are a bit more up close and personal~!
Love how his proboscis is curled up!
(A proboscis is an elongated appendage from the head of an animal, the term usually refers to tubular mouth parts used for feeding and sucking.)
Thought this next butterfly looked like a leaf - great camouflage don't you think?
Thought this was a fun shot too -- his body is in focus but his wings are flappin'
One of the most incredible things about butterflies is the way they change from crawling caterpillars into winged beauties. There are four steps in becoming a butterfly: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult. This process is called metamorphosis, which comes from the Latin words for "changing shape."
An adult female lays her eggs on a plant. When the egg hatches, a small caterpillar crawls out and eats the eggshell, then it begins eating the plant. Caterpillars are basically munching machines. This is the stage when most of the eating and growing happens. The caterpillar's insides grow, but not its outside—when it gets too big for its skin, the covering splits and is shed. A new exoskeleton lies underneath. A caterpillar sheds its skin 5 times, then becomes a pupa.
The last time the caterpillar sheds, a hard casing called a chrysalis forms around its body. Inside the chrysalis, big changes are happening. The pupa is growing six legs, a proboscis, antennae, and wings. After 10 to 15 days, the chrysalis breaks open and a butterfly emerges. At first its wings are wet and crinkled, but after about an hour, they are straight, dry, and strong enough for the butterfly to flutter away.
at 5:00 AM