Before the beautiful butterflies and moths that we know and sometimes love, there were the caterpillars. Caterpillars eat leaves and flowers using their strong jaws. Usually they start eating the tree they hatched on, but caterpillars are picky eaters and will sometimes only eat one kind of leaf for their entire life.

It takes 2-3 weeks for a caterpillar to grow big enough before it becomes a butterfly, then it starts the cocoon process.

The lifecycle of a caterpillar is short and contains only four stages.

The first stage: the eggs are very small and either round, oval or cylindrical. The shape depends on what kind of butterfly laid them; they are laid mainly on leaves.

Next is the larva–what comes out of the egg after it hatches–and all they do at this stage is eat. It’s like the very hungry caterpillar except it only eats plants, not pie.

The third stages is the Pupa. This stage happens after a caterpillar has reached their full length and weight, and then has stopped growing. After this they form a chrysalis around themselves.

The last stage is them becoming an adult and this happens after they have finished growing and changing inside of their chrysalis. When they first emerge out of their chrysalis their wings are folded against their body. After some rest, they fly away from their chrysalis and look for other butterflies to reproduce with so as to continue the life cycle of the caterpillar turned butterfly.