How Long Do Butterflies Live?

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In the adult stage, butterflies will only live about two weeks, but the entire life cycle can last one to two years. Learn how butterflies spend their short lives eating, breeding and laying eggs 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, and I've been a entomologist for twenty years, and we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center in Austin, Texas, talking about how long butterflies live. And adult butterflies typically live just two weeks. Most insects, in in fact, in the adult stage just live two weeks. But going from egg, through the life cycle, and back to egg that can be as long as a year, or in some cases two years for the complete life cycle. But, most most butterflies in the adult stage have a very short lifespan, and they're in that phase all about eating, and breeding, and laying eggs if they're a female. And that's how long butterflies live.

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