Monarch Butterflies Migration Created by: Amanda Swann; Karrista Moody; Shelbi Barlowe; Jennifer Mar; Katiie Wilhelm
Monarchs have an average life span of 2 – 6 weeks in captivity, or 8 – 9 months when migrating.
Butterflies go through four life stages as they grow:
Stage I - Egg
Egg stage 3-4 days
When it’s the right time the caterpillar begins to bite its way through the shell.
The new larvae will feed on its shell before making its way out to the world.
Stage II - Larvae
The caterpillar's outer skin is actually not skin; it is a hard outer shell that does not grow. The caterpillar must shed its shell and face mask also. The little larvae then turns around and eats it, for it is a great source of nutrients.
The caterpillar has five stages of shedding before it begins to mold its chrysalis.
Stage III - Pupa
The outside of the chrysalis is really clear and what you see is the green ‘Pupa’ inside.
You can see the caterpillar change colors when it is in the Pupa.
When the butterfly is ready to come into the world the chrysalis will turn brown, yellow, and orange.
Stage IV - Adult
Black frame work indicates a strong structure which helps the butterflies glide, as if they are a kite.
A monarch’s body structure is close to the same as a Larva-head: thorax and abdomen.
There are four main structures to the adult head: eyes, antennae, palpi, and proboscis.
The wings are made up of thousands of tiny, overlapping scales, like as fish scales.
Gender of Butterflies
Black dots indicate a male. No black dots indicate a female.
Monarchs eat milkweed as a caterpillar and nectar as an adult.
Monarchs can fly from 5 – 30 miles per hour.
They can lay up to 500 eggs at a time.
They are considered the King Insect of the World.
It’s scientific name is Danaus Plexippus
The butterfly and moth belong to a category of insects called Lepidoptera, meaning “scale wing.”
Monarch in Migration
Monarch butterflies migrate every fall south to Mexico where they wait out the winter in warmer temperatures.
The butterflies rest on the same mountain every year in Angangueo, and spend the winter in Michoacan, Mexico.
The migrating generation of monarch butterflies fly to Mexico, mate, then fly back to have their babies under a milkweed plant.
Monarch Sightings of 2009 on their journey to Mexico.