How long do Butterflies and Moths live?
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

In cool climates, most species of Lepidoptera have an annual cycle. Different species have different periods in this cycle as adults. These are tuned to the progress of the seasons in the area where they live.

For Lepidoptera species that overwinter as eggs, caterpillars or pupae the adults only live for two to three weeks.

A few species overwinter as adults and these species can stay as adults for many months.

Some species undergo long migrations. These species also can live for many months.


Danaus Plexippus

In Australia, species such as Danaus plexippus migrate to warmer parts of their continent in winter to survive the cold period.

Some such as Belenois java migrate to cooler parts of the continent in summer.


Belenois java

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(updated 26 April 2012, 29 January 2014)