Q:

How do butterflies reproduce?

A:

Butterflies mate through sexual reproduction, and mating begins when the male butterfly detects a female butterfly releasing pheromones at close range. If the female accepts the male, the male attaches to the female's abdomen, injecting a sperm packet into her stomach that she stores until she decides to lay eggs.

During mating, the male and female butterflies may go on a courtship flight that can last for an hour or more. As the eggs pass down the female butterfly's egg-laying tube, the sperm fertilize them. In monarch butterflies, courtship is composed of an aerial stage and a ground phase. The male chases, nudges and eventually takes down the female butterfly during the aerial phase. The sperm packet transfer takes place during the ground phase where copulation occurs. It is thought that the sperm packet also provides the female with energy sources that help her accomplish reproduction and remigration.

Although male butterflies can mate more than once, female butterflies only mate once throughout their lives. An adult female typically lays approximately 100 eggs. Some butterflies lay eggs in groups, but others lay a single egg distributed among many plants. After the larva stage, a butterfly produces a chrysalis during the pupa stage which generally lasts seven to 10 days.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Where do butterflies live?

    A:

    Butterflies live all over the world, except in Antarctica and the harshest deserts. Many butterflies live in tropical climates like those found in Hawaii and Mexico.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are butterflies becoming extinct?

    A:

    According to the World Wildlife Fund, butterflies like the monarch have been decreasing in population due to climate change. This decrease is evident in areas like Canada and Mexico.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do butterflies move?

    A:

    Butterflies move by using their wing muscles to fly. However, butterflies cannot move if their wing muscles get too cold. Their bodies work most effectively at an internal temperature of approximately 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Butterflies must use their surroundings in order to maintain their body heat. During the day, butterflies bask with their wings open to absorb warmth from the sun.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats butterflies?

    A:

    Lizards, snakes and toads are a few animals that eat butterflies, according to the TheButterflySite. Frogs eat butterflies as well, and monkeys and rats are two animals in the mammal category that consume butterflies. Humans also eat butterflies as a delicacy in Africa, Southeast Asia and Mexico. Butterflies are consumed by predators as eggs, caterpillars and adults.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore