Metamorphosis: egg stage


Butterflies and moths belong to the group of insects with a complete metamorphosis. This means that there is a pupal stage and that the immature butterfly or moth is morphological different from an adult butterfly or moth. Metamorphosis can be described as the life cycle. It is a cycle so it is very hard to say where the cycle begins. From an evolutionary point of view it would not be strange to see a butterfly as the egg's way reproduce an egg. But I will not break tradition and start with the egg stage.


Cerura vinula

Phalera bucephala

Some species favor single egg oviposition

Some species favor group egg oviposition


Like all organisms who reproduce sexually, a butterfly's life begins with the fusion of an female gamete with a male gamete, which both possess half of the number of chromosomes of an body-cell. female butterflies have an organ called the "corpus bursae", in which they can store male gametes. From this spermreserve the female fertilizes the eggs one by one. After the eggs have been fertilized the female has to find a place to lay the eggs. This place has to be safe for the egg and should provide enough food for the young caterpillar to develop.