So today I will be talking about one of the most common butterflies, Monarchs, also scientifically known as Danaus plexippus, and I’ll talk about the butterfly life-cycle. I see monarchs every once in a while and it’s really pretty, I’m not much of a fan of butterflies, but I think they’re pretty when I see one. Their common colors are orange, black, with white spots, and it’s common in North America, Canada, and Mexico.
The butterfly cycle has 4 stages: Egg, larva, pupa and adult. An adult monarch butterfly will lay her eggs usually underneath a milkweed plant leaf. This is because when the egg is hatched the caterpillar, also called the larva, will only eat a specific type of leaf, in this case, milkweed.
It takes about couple days till egg is hatched, when caterpillar is hatched, it’ll eat the plant and when it grows big they’ll shed their old skin for a couple of times.
Once they eat enough, they’ll find comfortable place, and then they’ll hang upside down like a letter “J” and their skin will shed one last time, and turns into the pupa stage.
The pupa or chrysalis stage is where it’s turning into a monarch butterfly, or called metamorphosis(transform). For the monarch butterfly, this stage lasts for a week. All the changing in, eyes, antenna, wings, legs, etc. are happening in the cocoon, or the chrysalis stage.
The final stage, is where the monarch comes out, although they cannot fly yet. They pump blood into their wings, cause if they don’t, their wings can be easily damaged. After this, they go hunt for food. Then mating season will eventually come, they’ll find a partner and they would lay their eggs on a milkweed plant, and this life-cycle repeats.
The common color of monarch butterflies are usually orange, black, with white spots, I’m not sure if they’re other colors, cause I’ve only seen orange.
For their diet, ony during the larva stage they eat milkweed leaves, but when they are adult butterflies, they drink the nectar from other flowers and they drink water from fountains, etc.
The monarch butterfly migrates throughout the year across North America. The eastern/northern Monarch population migrate from Canada and the United States to Central Mexico in September and October, and arrive during November. Then in March they go back, and they do this annually.
And the western populations migrate from the Rocky mountains and Northern Canada to the coast of California annually. They are also some populations in Florida and the Caribbeans that don’t migrate.
Monarch butterflies average flight speed 5.5 mph, its pretty slow compared to the average human walking speed, which is only 3 mph. But they fly thousands of miles annually.
“The Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle” ASU School of Life Sciences. Web. 12 January 2017. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/monarch-life-cycle
“BASIC FACTS ABOUT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES” Defenders of the Wild Life. Web. 12 January 2017. http://www.defenders.org/monarch-butterfly/basic-facts
“Monarch Life Cycle” University of Minnesota. Web. 12 January 2017. http://monarchlab.org/biology-and-research/biology-and-natural-history/breeding-life-cycle/life-cycle#adult
“Monarch butterfly” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 January 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_butterfly
“The King of Butterflies – The Monarch Butterfly” Learn About Nature. Web. 12 January 2017. http://www.monarch-butterfly.com
“Monarch butterfly migration” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 January 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_butterfly_migration