From egg to caterpillar, to chrysalis to adult, the life cycle of a butterfly is an amazing story of survival.

LENGTH: 30 Minutes
MSRP: $19.95
CATALOG #: 20249
UPC #: 1-56839-147-1
ISBN #: 1-56839-147-1
PRODUCER: Stratford Butterfly Farm c/o MyTinCan Multimedia

Buy DVD from

Download from

This educational DVD tells the amazing story of survival that is the life of a butterfly.

What are the predators of butterflies?

How do butterflies survive winter?

What’s the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon?

Follow our hero, Papilio memnon (the Great Mormon Butterfly), through its entire lifecycle and learn what dangers threaten its survival at every turn and what an amazing job it does at continuing the species!

Learn about many exotic butterflies from far-flung places, and what you can do to help butterflies flourish in your garden at home and help the endangered butterflies of your area. Narration by Janet Wantling Music by Tim Alcock Illustrations by Amanda Hillier Videography by Tom Coffee and Ian Rippey Wasp, Monarch, and Viceroy photographs by Bruce Marlin.


“I just HAD to write to you and tell you how much I enjoyed your video (copyright, 2004), The Story of the Butterfly. I found this at my local public library and showed it to my classroom of first graders, to go along with the live caterpillars we are observing and “hatching” in our room. First off, I was amazed and enthralled myself with the video, and my students just as much! So much wonderful content and photography there – I can’t say enough how much I appreciate this excellent resource! This was my first year of teaching first grade, and I will definitely be making a note of this resource to use with all my future units on butterflies. Thank you ever so much for creating a TOP-NOTCH video.”
– Sheila Saeger in Green, OH

“A wonderful little documentary for all ages…features outstanding close-up footage of eggs, caterpillars, cocoons, and fully-formed butterflies as Janet Wamtling’s gentle and compelling narration follows the entire life cycle of the Papilio memnon (Great Mormon Butterfly). Highly Recommended. Three and a half Stars.” – Video Librarian

There are 20,000 different butterfly species. Most of their life is spent in the caterpillar stage. Fossils indicate that butterflies and moths have been around for at least 50 million years. Survival is precarious for the butterfly at every stage of its life, from egg to caterpillar, and then from chrysalis to butterfly. Presented in easily comprehended stages, the program follows a Papilio memnon (the Great Monarch butterfly) through its complete life cycle. Viewers learn about their predators, the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis, winter survival, and their migratory range. One of the most interesting segments relates to the patterns in which adult butterflies lay their eggs, which plants and leaves they select (depending on their species), and the importance of camouflage – for butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalis and eggs – in avoiding attacks of predators. Some species are protected because they are poisonous or have a bad taste; others are protected by mimicry of those attributes. Butterflies play an important role in spreading pollen for the reproduction of many plants and flowers. Sadly, 10% of butterfly species have gone extinct over the last 200 years. As one of the early predictors for environmental stress, this is alarming. This program includes suggestions for help with local conservation efforts – simple things like planting plants that attract butterflies and using safe pesticides. Anyone – teacher or parent – who wants to teach children about the life cycle of the butterfly or the message of practical conservation will want to view this DVD.

Beautiful photography and videography throughout make for a pleasurable learning experience. The photography provides close-up images of actual butterflies in their natural habitats. The graphics provide a visual depiction of the stages of a butterfly’s life cycle in easily comprehended drawings. The graphic representations show the details of their body, wings, and antennae. A pleasant musical background enhances the viewing experience.

Suitable for K-12 science and library collections. Teachers will find this a very helpful tool for teaching the life cycle of the butterfly. Highly recommended. – Educational Media Reviews Online