How Butterflies Reproduce

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Butterflies reproduce by mating after a courtship procedure, which results in the female laying as many as 200 eggs on the caterpillar food plant. Find out how caterpillar eggs are hatched on a plant that they have evolved to feed on with information from an entomologist and insect specialist in this free video on butterflies.

Part of the Video Series: Insect Information
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn. I've been an Entomologist for twenty years and we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. And we're here to talk about how butterflies reproduce. Basically, the male and female will mate leading up to that there can be... a male can go through an elaborate courtship procedure. Some butterflies have a rather short courtship. They mate and they can stay mated for an hour or so. Then the female will generally lay as much as two hundred or more eggs and she'll lay them on the caterpillar food plant, the plant that's specifically the one that caterpillars are evolved to feed on and that'll continue the life cycle on through back to adult butterflies that mate again. And that's how butterflies reproduce.

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