A Yard Full of Butterflies! - Texas Home and Garden

4 Comments

  • Maybe a silly question but what is the average life span of a butterfly?

    • THG_Moderator says:

      That’s actually a really interesting question with a long answer. You’ve just given us an idea for a new article. We’ll talk about the Monarch butterfly for this answer because it’s the most easily recognizable butterfly out there. In February/March, Monarchs come out of hibernation and find a mate. In March/April they begin laying eggs. The caterpillars hatch a few days later and about ten days after that the caterpillar enters the Chrysalis stage. After the Monarch emerges from its Chrysalis it lives about 2 to 6 weeks and dies after laying eggs for the next generation. The second and third generation live similar lifespans but the forth actually lives much longer. The forth generation of the year appear in September/October and travel to warmer climates and live up to six months. They lay the eggs that will become the 1st generation of the next year!

      • That is amazing and certainly something I didn’t know. Do butterflies have a natural predator? Birds, for example? Do their eggs have a predator?

        • THG_Moderator says:

          Butterflies, not being predators themselves, often find themselves at the bottom of the food chain. Many become a delicious snack for snakes, ants, wasps, lizards, birds, cats, rats, frogs, toads, and many others. That said, some butterflies exude toxins which provides them some element of protection. As with a lot of things in nature the more brightly colored the more likely they are to be something a predator would want to avoid. The caterpillar is also, and probably more so, likely to be on the dinner menu for a predator.

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