Before and After Photos of Butterfly and Moth Transformations – The animal kingdom is filled with stunning and mysterious processes, but bear in mind there are few which are more fascinating and marvelous than the metamorphoses that caterpillars go through to become moths or butterflies.


There are so many beautifully processes in nature, like the transformations of caterpillars into butterfly’s. All butterflies have “complete metamorphosis.” To grow into an adult they go through 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Each stage has a different goal – for instance, caterpillars need to eat a lot, and adults need to reproduce. Depending on the type of butterfly, the life cycle of a butterfly may take anywhere from one month to a whole year.

Maybe even more amazing than the extreme transformation is how it happens. Inside their cocoons, the caterpillars are completely liquified, retaining only rudimentary “plates” which are the beginning points for important features like the wings and eyes. Regardless of the fact that they are reduced to a protein soup, research has indicated that some butterflies can retain behaviors that they were taught as caterpillars. Far out!

The fun thing is that most of these caterpillars are almost as impressive, if not more so , than their moth or butterfly equivalents. Their vivid marks and structures often serve as protection, advertising their hazardous and poisonous nature or giving predators false targets to attack.

Before and After Photos of Butterfly and Moth Transformations

Brahmin Moth

Image credits: Igor Siwanowicz

Image credits: Igor Siwanowicz


Image credits: Lida

Image credits: Chip Miller

Spicebush Swallowtail

Image credits: luckybon

Image credits: shill718

Black Swallowtail

Image credits: Jim Gilbert

Image credits: Tetsuya Shimizu

Polyura Sempronius

Image credits: teejaybee

Image credits: David Cook

Acraga Coa

Image credits: Our Breathing Planet 

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Acharia Stimulea

Image credits: butterfly blue

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Phobetron Pithecium

Image credits: Airton Morassi

Image credits: Lou Prosperi 3rd

Glass Winged Butterfly

Image credits: Wendy

Image credits: Alexander Adema

Cerura Vinula

Image credits: Lukas Jonaitis

Image credits: Valerio Formichella

Flannel Moth

Image credits: Andreas Kay

Image credits: Patrick Coin

Blue Morpho

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Image credits: Ricardo Jimenes

Isochaetes Beutenmuelleri

Image credits: Igor Siwanowicz

Image credits: Roy Morris

Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth

Image credits: Charles & Clint

Image credits: Margarethe Brummermann

Isa Textula

Image credits: Matthew Myers

Image credits: Ray Morris

Pipevine Swallowtail

Image credits: cotinis

Image credits: John Flannery

Spotted Apatelodes

Image credits: Bill Tanneberger

Image credits: kestrel360

Io Moth

Image credits: Jason Penney

Image credits: Roger Wasley

Attacus Atlas

Image credits: John Horstman

Image credits: Andrew Cooper


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