BUTTERFLY ARTICLES

Those Two Eggs

  Butterfly a Thing of Beauty
  Butterfly, the Nectar Feeder
  Butterfly Colors
  Flutter Fly
  Great Escapes
  Waiting Time
  Butterflies In Stomach
  Relay Flight
  Return of the Souls
  Butterfly Feelers
  Dance of Colors
  Those Two Eggs
  Butterfly UV Vision
  Success Story
  Sensitive Legs
  Family Identification
  Life Goes On
  OE Spore Infection in Monarchs
  Odor And Butterflies
  Butterfly Caterpillar With Snake's Tongue
  Woolly Bear
  Treasured Insect
  Butterflies Named After Birds
  Butterfly of Official State
  Tiger Moths and Bats
  Parasitic Moths
  Punctuation Butterflies
  Gypsy Moth
  Antifreeze
  Ghost Moth
  Butterfly Bush
  Butterflies And Children
  Butterfly Food
  Protected Butterfly
  Butterfly Trading
  Longest Proboscis Moths
  Special Features
  Predator Mimicry
 
If a butterfly lays 100 eggs, how many do you think survive to become healthy adult butterflies? The chances are, only two can! The rest get destroyed at various stages right from the egg to adult.

The environment is always full of surprises and hostile. Like any other insect species, the butterfly has to survive in the midst of drought, rain, wind and predators. In the struggle, only a few can manage to live and grow.

The average life span of a butterfly is three weeks. During this brief time, the male mates with the female. The female lays the eggs. Their job is completed. The eggs hatch and the cycle goes on despite odds.

For a female butterfly, the only objective is to lay eggs. After mating, it goes in search of a suitable plant. This search is important because, the larvae that will emerge from the eggs will feed only on a particular plant. The mother therefore will have to choose the right plant that will serve as food for its offspring.

The female butterfly can recognize the food plant by its shape and color of leaves. It then alights on the leaf and strokes the leaf with its feet. The leaf is scratched and its odors are released. The butterfly smells the odors to make sure that the plant is ideal for laying the eggs.

At this stage, the female has its abdomen full of eggs. The eggs develop in the ovaries of the reproductive system. Such a female is called a gravid female.

The female settles on a convenient spot and begins to lay the eggs. The spot is usually the undersurface of a leaf.

At the tip of the female abdomen is the ovipositor, a tubular extension of the genital opening. It facilitates egg deposition. In simple terms it is an egg laying tube. Eggs pass through this tube one by one, get fertilized by the sperm (that are received and stored in a sperm pouch during mating) and are deposited. A sticky substance flows out of the tube which enables the eggs to stick to the leaf surface.

Some species of butterflies lay their eggs in groups or clusters on a plant. Others lay a single egg per plant and distribute their eggs. Both ways, the idea behind, is survival ofcourse.

But in the end only two percent of them hatch and develop into adults Though this seems enough to fill our gardens with flying colors, the butterflies need to be conserved and protected . We need more of them. The task lies only in our hands.
     
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