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Life Cycles of a Butterfly, Mosquito, Dragonfly & Frog

March 25, 2011  by: joeldgreat  Points: 35   Category: General Science    Views: 1303

Living things go through a sequence of developmental stages. Different kinds of animals have their own unique way of reproducing. They have different life cycles. Only three percent of all of all animals give birth to live offspring. Most animals lay eggs. Animals need to eat, grow up in a safe environment, and reproduce. These are necessary for the growth and development of animals and for their kind or species to survive.


Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Butterflies lay eggs on leaves. These leaves serve as food for the young once the eggs hatch. There are different kinds of butterflies. Some lay about a dozen eggs, while others lay hundreds of eggs. Some eggs are green, some yellow, others white. The eggs differ in size and shape, too. Some eggs are oval, others round or cylindrical. Some eggs hatch in a few days, while others hatch within several months. The larva stage is next. The butterfly at this stage is called caterpillar . This is the main eating and growing stage. The caterpillar eats all the time. When it reaches its full size, it spins a body cover around itself. The pupa stage is next. By this time, the insect is already completely covered. This protective covering or container is called chrysalis (it is known as cocoon for the butterfly's relative, the moth). The word chrysalis is also used to refer to the butterfly pupa itself. The pupa does not move. From this stage, the insect transform into the final stage. The adult stage begins when the insect comes out of the chrysalis. It pumps blood into its wings until the wings become straight and dry.

The butterfly is an example of an animal that goes through what is called complete metamorphosis , having four distinct stages in its development.

Life Cycle of a Mosquito

A mosquito lays from one hundred to three hundred eggs at a time. Mosquitoes usually lay eggs in stagnant water. This means water that is standing still, or not flowing. Water in flower vases, tin cans, old tires and canals are examples of stagnant water. A mosquito egg hatches after one to two days into a larva called wriggler . A wriggler jerks it body up and down the water. It eats tiny plants and animals that live in the water. In about ten days the wriggler changes into a pupa . The upper part of the pupa is round while its abdomen is like a curved tail. The pupa rolls and tumbles in the water. In about four days the pupa becomes and adult mosquito.

Life Cycle of a Dragonfly

Dragonflies are found near freshwater. The female dragonfly deposits her eggs in the water or places them inside the stem of a water plant. The egg hatches into a wingless larva with a thick body, big head and mouth. This larva is called nymph . The nymph breathes by means of gills. It remains in the water for one to five years. It eats other insects and small water animals. While developing into an adult dragonfly, the nymph molts (sheds its skin) about twelve times. Then the nymph leaves the water and climbs a rock or tall grass where it sheds its skin for the last time and becomes and adult . And adult dragonfly lives for a few weeks or months.

The metamorphosis of a dragonfly is said to be incomplete.

Life Cycle of a Frog

Frogs lay their egg cells in water. Some frogs lay a few hundred egg cells held together by a jellylike substance. The fertilized eggs may develop into tadpoles within three days to three weeks. At first, a tadpole looks round and has a long tail. It has gills like a fish so it can breathe in the water. It swims around and eats plants or even frog eggs. Later on, hind legs appear. Then the lungs start to function, and front legs appear. The tadpole loses its gills before it changes into a frog . The newly develop frog is small and still has a tail. After sometime, the tail disappears and the frog will leave the water now and then to live on land. It will take several months or years before the frog become able to reproduce.


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