- Egg: 4-14 days
- Larva (caterpillar): 2-4 weeks
- Pupa (chrysalis): 7-14 days
- Adult (butterfly): 6-20 days
- Egg: 4-6 days
- Larva (caterpillar): 2-3 weeks
- Pupa: (chrysalis): 5-15 days
- Adult (butterfly): 1-3 months
The first thing I like to do is find come butterfly larva (caterpillars). Some caterpillar sources:
- A friend who has caterpillars in her garden (with their host plant for food)
- Caterpillars from your own garden
- Insect Lore: before I started planting milkweed to attract the monarch butterflies, I ordered from them. I have ordered butterfly larva (caterpillars) from Insect Lore for over 15 years and have had great success.
Watching the caterpillars eat and grow delights the kids (as well as adults) and they never seem get enough ‘caterpillar time’. This is the perfect occasion for them to make an entry in their ‘Caterpillar Observation Journal’.
After the caterpillars change into a pupa in the chrysalis, I transfer them to the butterfly ‘pavilion’. If you have a place to hang it, then the students can enjoy the waiting time with more ‘watching in wonder’.