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Danaus plexippus


This is the caterpillar stage of the monarch butterfly. The caterpillars feed on milkweed plants. The caterpillars sequester chemicals from the milkweed into their bodies, making them unpalatable to predators. The yellow, black, and white coloration are a warning to potential predators. They also have fleshy "horns" at both ends.


Monarchs prefer to lay their eggs in areas of open country which contain milkweed plants. This is essential, since milkweed is the main food for the caterpillars.

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Spotted by

West Virginia, USA

Spotted on Aug 9, 2012
Submitted on Mar 18, 2013

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