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Butterflies are Back!

10 Fun Facts About These Colorful Insects

Thursday, April 4, 2019 written by Jennie Kwok and photographed by Mika Miller

The Butterflies are back at The Butterfly Experience at the Aquarium! Our habitat features the species Vanessa cardui—otherwise known as Painted ladies. Here are 10 facts to properly introduce you to them:

1. This species can go through their entire life cycle (egg, larvae/caterpillar, pupa/chrysalis, and adult) in less than a month.


2. New caterpillars will eat its own egg.


3. These caterpillars spin silk tents to help support and protect themselves.


4. Shedding may occur about four times as they grow.


5. The chrysalis can shake violently to ward off predators.


6. While a chrysalis, much of the caterpillar’s body liquefies and reassembles as a butterfly.


7. A few hours before the butterfly emerges, the chrysalis turns a dark (almost black) color.


8. Butterfly blood is clear.


9. They cannot survive in colder regions; therefore, migration patterns are highly erratic.


10. The adult Painted lady butterfly only lives for about two weeks.


Prepare to be mesmerized by these flying insects in our Journey to South America habitat at The Butterfly Experience! This experience is included with general admission and Aquarium memberships.

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