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MONARCH

The Monarch butterfly like other butterflies first lives as a caterpiller. The Monarch is the "milkweed butterfly" because its catterpiller eats that plant. Milkweed is the only thing the monarch caterpiller can eat. If you want monarchs around your garden, tell your mom or dad to plant milkweed. You can purchase milkweed seed from garden shops.



Monarchs lay their eggs under milkweed leaves. The eggs hatch anywhere between three to twelve days. The larvae caterpiller will will eat the plant leaves for about two weeks and transform into a caterpillar. The caterpiller is about 2 inches long.

 













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After awhile, the caterpillars attach themselves head down to a convenient twig, they shed their outer skin and begin the transformation into a butterfly. The caterpillar completes the miraculous transformation into a beautiful adult butterfly in about two weeks.

The butterfly finally emerges from its cacoon It inflates its wings with a pool of blood it has stored in its abdomen. When this is done, the monarch releases excess fluid and rests. The butterfly will wait until its wings stiffen and dry before it flies away to start the cycle of life all over again

Most predators know that monarchs make a poisonous snack. The toxins in this butterflies milkweed diet have given the butterfly this defense. Both the caterpillar and butterfly stage of the monarch does not need camouflage because it is poisonous to predators. Many other animals advertise their poisonous nature with bright colors too.


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