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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions about Caterpillars
(updated 26 April 2012, 29 January 2014)