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  • It is a misconception that butterflies emerge from cocoons, says MilkweedCafe.com. Unlike moth caterpillars, which spin cocoons, the butterfly caterpillar sheds its final skin to display a pupa and later a chrysalis.

    Moth Cocoon

    During the pupal stage (the part of their life cycle when they undergo transformation), moth caterpillars spin a cocoon around themselves using silken thread.

    Butterfly Chrysalis

    A chrysalis is the pupal stage of the butterfly's life cycle. The outer skin of the pupa hardens into a chrysalis, where the caterpillar makes its transformation.

    Types of Cocoons

    Cocoon.org tells us that cocoons may be hard or soft, opaque or nearly transparent, loosely structured or tightly woven. The cocoon always includes a soft area where the moth will be able to escape when it completes its transformation.

    Types of Chrysalides

    The butterfly's pupae can take different forms, depending on the species. Some dangle from a leaf or twig; others are tightly attached to the side of a stem. They can vary in texture, from smooth and shiny to rough and spiky.

    Purpose of Cocoons and Chrysalides

    Cocoons and chrysalides protect the moth or butterfly growing inside them, lessening the possibility that they will be eaten by a predator. They can also protect these insects from a harsh environment.

    Source:

    MilkweedCafe.com: Fascinating Facts About Butterflies and Moths

    Cocoon.com: Cocoon Architecture

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