How long do Butterflies and Moths live?
Don Herbison-Evans (
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 such as Danaus plexippus migrate to warmer parts of their continent to survive the cold period.
Some such as Belenois java migrate to colder parts of the continent the reasons for which are obscure.
Frequently Asked Questions about Caterpillars
(updated 26 April 2012)