Monarchs & Milkweed:
Monarch mothers lay a single egg on the Asclepias plant giving the larva an immediate food source also called the “host plant”. The egg is secured at the bottom of a leaf at the top of the plant.
Monarch eggs usually hatch within four to seven days. The caterpillar will eat its eggshell and then start devouring milkweed. Caterpillars are little eating machines that rarely break even to rest.
The eating frenzy usually takes nine to fourteen days. Asclepias leaves and stems are toxic. When Monarch larvae ingest the leaves and stems it makes them distasteful to predators. Birds and other predators will become ill when they attempt to eat Monarch larvae and butterflies.
The eating frenzy usually takes nine to fourteen days. Asclepias leaves
and stems are toxic. When Monarch larvae ingest the leaves and stems it
makes them distasteful to predators. Birds and other predators will
become ill when they attempt to eat Monarch larvae and butterflies.
After four molting cycles, Monarchs create a pupa also
known as a chrysalis. The chrysalis is well camouflaged
disguising it from predators.
The pupa hangs under a leaf for a couple of weeks while the butterfly forms inside of it.
The developing butterfly positions its legs downward, splits the chrysalis and hangs upside down from the pupa. When Monarchs emerge from the chrysalis, their wings are crumpled and damp. It takes several hours for the wings to dry and expand so the Monarch can fly.
No growth occurs in the adult stage and their primary job is to reproduce. The Monarchs hatched at the beginning of summer do not migrate and the Monarchs that migrate do not reproduce until the following summer.
Unlike Monarch Caterpillars, Monarch Butterflies can eat from a variety of flowers, but they love drinking from the fragrant flowers of the Milkweed Plant!!
Copyright © 2001-2013 Natural Fibers Corporation
218 Prospector Drive P.O. Box 830 Ogallala, Nebraska 69153 Phone: 308-284-8404