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Essential Science for Teachers: Life Science

Track Our Progress: Brassica and Butterfly Life Cycles

Scroll through the days below to see our Brassicas and butterflies develop through their life cycles. Then, at the bottom of the page, see an animation of the entire Fast-Plant life cycle in timelapse.

See the Life Cycles activity instructions for questions to consider, then use the Brassica & Butterfly Data Sheet (PDF) to record your observations.

Day 0

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Seeds planted

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Eggs

Day 2

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Seeds germinate

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Day 4

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Vegetative growth

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

First larval stage emerges

Day 6

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

First larval stage feeds

Day 8

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

First larval stage molts to second larval stage

Day 10

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Flower bud development

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Second larval stage feeds

Day 12

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Second larval stage molts to third larval stage

Day 14

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Flowering and pollination

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Fourth larval stage molts to fifth larval stage

Day 16

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Fourth larval stage feeds

Day 18

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Fifth larval stage feeds

Day 20

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Seed pods form

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Pupae form

Day 22

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Seeds develop in pods

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Pupae developing

Day 24

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Day 26

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Emergence imminent

Day 28

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Day 30

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Butterfly emerges

Day 32

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Butterflies feed

Day 34

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Senescence and seed ripening

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Day 36

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Butterflies mate

Day 38

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Egg-laying

Day 40

FAST PLANT (Brassica rapa)

Death; seeds ripe

CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae)

Cycle begins again

Fast-Plant animation

Sessions