Did you know?
Did you know?
- The monarch larva (caterpillar) molts, or sheds its skin, five times before entering the pupa stage.
- Each stage is called an “instar”. The caterpillar will sometimes eat this shedded skin for 4 of the 5 molts.
- The caterpillar is in this stage from 9 to 14 days depending on summer temperatures.
- Male monarch butterflies have a black spot on a vein on each back wing. Females don't have this spot.
- What goes in must come out. All that milkweed that a caterpillar will eat over its short lifetime moves through it digestive system and must come out. Frass is the name for caterpillar poop. And caterpillars make alot of frass!
- A Monarch caterpillar will gain about 2,700 times its original weight over its lifetime. A large monarch caterpillar can eat an entire milkweed leaf in less than 4 minutes!
- A Monarch caterpillar hangs upside down in a ‘J’. It spins a silk button to hang from, rests for about 10-12 hours, and then sheds its skin for the final time.
- Monarch butterflies fly 2,000 miles or more to the cool moist Oyamel fir forests in central Mexico. They do this to escape the coming cold, snowy weather. There they hang out with millions of other Monarchs and wait out the winter. They then start to migrate north by the end of March in search of milkweed to lay their eggs on in the southern parts of the United States.