Young butterflies are known as larva. They hatch from butterfly eggs that are laid on a variety of plants by female butterflies. Larva may also be called caterpillars.
Larva, or caterpillars, have a very different lifestyle than adult butterflies. Their main function is to eat so they can grow and gain the energy they need to turn into a mature, adult butterfly. After hatching from a butterfly egg, larva may grow up to 100 times their original size in just a few weeks. Once the larva has grown to its final size, it can transform into the pupa or transition stage of the butterfly life cycle. After the pupa stage is complete, an adult butterfly hatches from the pupa and can reproduce to begin the life cycle again with a new larva.