Many people are surprised to learn of the supposedly very short life spans of butterflies and other winged insects. However, claims that butterflies only live for a week or two are not really true, because this span of time refers only to the adult stage of the insect. Most insects species, including the majority of butterflies, spend more time in their larval stage than they spend as adults. The probable reason for this is that it is during the larval stage that an insect accomplishing most of its growing and storing up of energy reserves. Once it becomes an adult, a typical butterfly simply has to find a mate and, if it is a female, lay eggs. This doesn’t take a lot of time, so the adult stage of the life cycle does not have to be very long in many species.
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