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Danaus plexippus


Make sure to check out the video! These are pictures of the F3 generation. F4 is the one that travels to Mexico (so these guy's babies.) "In March and April the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch. Then the baby caterpillar doesn't do much more than eat the milkweed in order to grow. After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so that it can start the process of metamorphosis. It will attach itself to a stem or a leaf using silk and transform into a chrysalis. Although, from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. The monarch butterfly will emerge from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers and just enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. This first generation monarch butterfly will then die after laying eggs for generation number two. The second generation of monarch butterflies is born in May and June, and then the third generation will be born in July and August. These monarch butterflies will go through exactly the same four stage life cycle as the first generation did, dying two to six weeks after it becomes a beautiful monarch butterfly. The fourth generation of monarch butterflies is a little bit different than the first three generations. The fourth generation is born in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third generations except for one part. The fourth generation of monarch butterflies does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of monarch butterflies migrates to warmer climates like Mexico and California and will live for six to eight months until it is time to start the whole process over again." (

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LuckyLogan 8 years ago

Thanks misako!

misako 8 years ago

great video!

LuckyLogan 8 years ago

Awesome Elaine! Is the video somewhere I can see it? I would love too!

ElaineWebb 8 years ago

Wonderful video, LuckyLogan! I just had the unbelievable experience of watching a caterpillar select a spot for its chrysalis and begin the process of creating that chrysalis. That chrysalis was in the perfect spot for me to watch and watch I did! The chrysalis was created August 22. Saturday (September 7) I watched all day long but no butterfly appeared. Sunday morning, after watching about 30 minutes, the butterfly began its journey into the world. The camera was at the ready and I captured the whole absolutely incredible experience! Thank you for sharing the video!

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Iowa, USA

Spotted on Sep 12, 2013
Submitted on Sep 12, 2013

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