HABITAT

    MONARCH BUTTERFLIES LIVE ALMOST EVERYWHERE
    many types and locations of habitat
    bogs
    wetlands
    marshes
    open fields
    meadows
    roadsides
    tundra
    prairie
    mountains
    human made gardens
    EVERYWHERE MILKWEEDS GROW  !

    roost at night on undersides of plant leaves
    roost during cold cloudy rainy weather
    spend 14 hours roosting each day from late afternoon / sunset  to midmorning next day
 
 

    FOOD
    BUTTERFLIES HAVE SEVERAL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
    AND
    NEED DIFFERENT FOODS FOR EACH STAGE


    CATERPILLAR
    newly hatched from egg tiny baby caterpillar
    first eats eggshell
    then needs to eat parts of the milkweed plant
    eats
    leaves - flower buds - milky juice

    eat many times own weight in one day
    stores food energy in body to provide energy for next stages of development

    milkweed has poisonous toxins
    poison sap in milkweed keeps away all insects except monarch butterflies
    and relatives    (the other milkweed butterflies)
    who eat the milkweed and then are toxic to anything that tries to eat them
    poison stays in body
    poisonous to other animals
    bad taste to predators .. birds
    birds taste one .. spit out .. never try again .. does not protect the one butterfly but helps the entire species


    PUPA  /  CHRYSALIS
    PUPA DOES NOT EAT WHILE IN CHRYSALIS


    ADULT
    NECTAR
    need to eat nectar of many different flowers
    ( when drinking nectar it is called nectaring )
    milkweed
    lantana
    lilac
    cosmos
    goldenrod
    zinnia

    POLLEN
    adult males need protein to make sperm
    adult females need protein to make eggs
    protein obtained from pollen

    SODIUM
    monarch butterflies need sodium
    find sodium in wet sand or soil    (if you live near the beach .. you can see them licking the salt from the sand)

    MINERALS
    need minerals
    find dissolved minerals
    in wet sand or soil
 
 

    SOCIAL  ORGANIZATION
    THE DIFFERENT GENERATIONS ARE DIFFERENT IN THEIR SOCIAL BEHAVIORS
    1st generation in year are solitary
    2nd generation in year are solitary

    3rd generation in year may be solitary or gregarious  (depends on whether it is the generation to migrate)

    whichever generation begins southern migration is gregarious
    it can be 3rd or 4th generation
    with thousands traveling together
 

    COMMUNICATION

    scientists believe that monarch butterflies make sounds of communication
    that are audible to other monarch butterflies


    monarch butterflies communicate chemically with scents
 

    SPECIES  PERPETUATION

    female monarch butterflies produce eggs
    male monarch butterflies produce sperm


    males must find females in order to mate
    using one of 2 methods
    patrol - actively searching for a female
    or
    perch - sit and wait for a female to come along

    locate by sight and smell

    male performs a courtship dance on the ground to persuade female to choose him as mate

    during mating procedure female receives male genetic material in the form of sperm

    she then looks for host plant upon which to lay her eggs
    as she flies she searches for the correct plant by the shape of their leaves

    she lands on leaf
    taps or drums on leaf with foreleg
    testing chemical elements of potential host plant
    furry foreleg feet pierce leaf and extract tiny bit juice .. determine chemical information
    she knows all she needs to know within 1/2 second
    regarding suitability of plant as host for her babies

    if plant is correct
    she has a few more steps to complete before she lays eggs

    checks to see if already has eggs from another butterfly
    she will only lay on plant with no other eggs .. babies need no competition for food

    also has to make sure there is more than just the one host plant
    so babies have lots of food nearby

    has to also make sure there are nectar making plants nearby
    so when baby caterpillar changes to adult monarch butterfly
    will also have correct food for that stage in life

    then if all is ok
    she will begin process of ovipositing or laying her eggs

    chooses underside of leaf
    lays 1 or 2 or 3 eggs on each plant
    she will lay hundreds of eggs on many many many plants
 

    BABY BYTES

    HAS 4 DISTINCT STAGES IN LIFE
    egg
    caterpillar - within this stage there are 5 stages called instars
    pupa
    butterfly

    so ..
    actually 8 stages in total

    from egg to adult monarch butterfly takes about 4 weeks
    2 weeks as caterpillar
    2 weeks as pupa - to pupate from pupa to butterfly


    EGG
    monarch egg is a little egg in the world of eggs but is actually quite a large egg in the world of
    butterfly eggs

    1 egg = 1 butterfly
    egg is like mini pearl barrel-ish in shape
    1.2 mm tall
    .9 mm wide
    longitudinal grooves
    embryo gestation period inside egg is 4 - 10 days


    CATERPILLAR
    caterpillar hatches from egg as tiny larva
    thin as tiny piece of hair
    development and growth period of caterpillar from point of hatching to point of chrysalis
    is about 2 - 3 weeks

    baby caterpillar is referred to as VORACIOUS EATING MACHINE
    baby caterpillar has a pattern for its little life ..
    eat grow rest molt
    eat grow rest molt

    caterpillar skin does NOT grow
    caterpillar is growing on inside
    as caterpillar grows it will shed its skin several times
    caterpillar skin is made of chitin - this makes the external skeleton  - the exoskeleton ..
    exoskeleton does not grow
    each time caterpillar outgrows skin ... takes in some deep deep deep breaths and stretches
    causes skin to crack and split .. so caterpillar can come out with new skin underneath
    each new skin is baggy at first

    there are usually 5 instars in life of caterpillar

    life of caterpillar is all about FOOD !

    at about 2 weeks of age after hatching caterpillar is about 2 inches long
    at 2 weeks of age .. caterpillar weighs 2,500 times more than at time of hatching birth from egg  !!!
    when finally ready to pupate .. mature caterpillar is 2 3/4" long

    COLOR
    1st stage pale green
    later stages
    black white yellow stripes
    pattern of stripes
    black white black white black yellow black yellow

    bright pattern of stripes to warn away predators  !!!

    always blend in with leaves

    IN EACH DEVELOPMENTAL PERIOD AS CATERPILLAR ..
    BODY HAS 3 SECTIONS
    HEAD THORAX ABDOMEN
    with 14 segments

    HEAD
    1st segment is head

    EYES
    6 simple eyes on each side head - 12 eyes in total
    see mostly light and dark

    MOUTH
    chewing mouth parts
    2 lips
    2 pairs of jaws

    ANTENNAE
    2 antennae in first stages
    4 antennae in last stage

    SPINNERET
    appendage protrudes out below mouth
    releases sticky liquid
    liquid hardens into silken thread
    thread is support and foothold as caterpillar travels along branches and leaves  

    THORAX
    3 segments
    numbers 2 - 4

    LEGS
    2- 4 segments
    each has pair of jointed legs
    with sharp claw on tip end
    6 legs in total in thorax
    called thoracic legs

    ABDOMEN
    last 10 segments of body
    numbers 5 - 14

    LEGS
    have 2 false legs on each of the segments -  7 8 9 10
    8 false legs in total
    false legs are called prolegs
    these variety of legs help caterpillar to cling to plants and move well

    SPIRACLES
    pores along sides of body for breathing
    larva caterpillar breathes same way as adult
    receives oxygen into body directly from air
    does not receive oxygen from blood

    mature stage
    both ends look alike

    ANTENNAE
    both ends have pair of flexible black antennae type feelers called filaments
    1 pair on thorax  
    1 pair on next to last segment of abdomen
    if caterpillar upset or agitated will move violently  !!!

    MOVEMENT
    move by waves of muscle contractions
    that travel from tail to head
    each segment lifts from ground pushes next segment along and then drops back down

    can also move in opposite direction
    normal speed 1/2 inch per second
    if feel threatened
    can coil into wheel and roll back .. at speed of 15 inches per second  !
    they just DISAPPEAR  !


    CHRYSALIS  /  PUPA
    after 2 weeks caterpillar ready to pupate
    into chrysalis or pupa

    caterpillar grabs underside of sturdy branch of plant that is near host plant
    caterpillar sends out sticky liquid that makes sticky pad
    caterpillar attaches self to pad with back feet called proleg
    then curls body into J shape ...
    caterpillar hangs very still for almost entire day
    caterpillar getting ready to shed skin for last time as it pupates into chrysalis pupa
    caterpillar breathes in big breath .. splits skin  .. wriggles out starting at head
    sheds skin from head to tail
    tail end now different
    now has organ at end called cremaster - appendage with many claws
    caterpillar holding pad with feet near tail end
    as skin finally splits toward tail .. pupa has to push it new tail end cremaster to the sticky pad

    during metamorphosis pupa will be gripping sticky pad with cremaster
    as skin completely falls off pupa must let go of pad with feet and switch to grip it with cremaster

    procedure is VERY RISKY !!!! very dangerous !!!
    attempt has to be 100 % successful
    if pupa should miss ... can fall to ground or hit another branch and die

    new skin of pupa is soft
    then hardens up
    changing color ...after a few hours it is deeper and iridescent
    pale green with gold dots along upper rim ..  called CHRYSALIS from Greek CHRYSOS gold

    the pupa does not move

    as metamorphosis happens .. adult develops ..
    the chrysalis changes colors ..
    and few days before emerging
    can see the wing colors and patterns because casing is quite clear


    ADULT
    when ready to emerge body gives off fluid to loosen from pupa shell
    thorax swells and cracks shell
    head and thorax come out ..
    then butterfly pushes legs out .. and pulls self out completely !!!!

    very weak
    exoskeleton is soft
    wings are damp and sort of wrinkly
    proboscis is in 2 lengthwise halves
    butterfly pumps muscles to send air and blood through body and wings
    exoskeleton hardens
    legs and body become firm
    wings flatten out and get bigger
    butterfly uses its own front legs to put 2 halves of proboscis together

    about one hour after emerging from pupal shell  .. the monarch butterfly adult is ready to fly  !
 
 

    ENVIRONMENTAL  CONTRIBUTION

    BUTTERFLIES CONTRIBUTE TO THE ENVIRONMENT OF PLANET EARTH
    BY ADDING TO THE TO THE BIODIVERSITY OF PLANET EARTH

    THE MORE DIVERSE THE LIFE ON PLANET EARTH THE MORE STRONG AND HEALTHY
    THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE PLANET


    BUTTERFLIES POLLINATE ALL SORTS OF PLANTS ALL OVER THE WORLD
 

    HUMAN  INTERACTION

    HUMANS HAVE BEEN FASCINATED BY "NATURE'S JEWELS " FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS

    butterflies appear in ancient EGYPTIAN art and hieroglyphics

    butterflies appear in BRONZE AGE ART  - about 3,500 BC  ( about 5,500 years ago )

    humans have written about butterflies for centuries

    artists have painted them for centuries



    HUMANS HAVE TATTOOED BODIES WITH IMAGES OF BUTTERFLIES FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS







    beautiful monarch butterfly caterpillars and adults
    appear on postage stamps all over the world !!!
 

    WORLD  STATUS

    MONARCH BUTTERFLIES ARE IN DANGER OF SPECIES HABITAT EXTINCTION

    their winter areas are in great danger of being destroyed by logging for the wood and human development
 

    PROBLEMS

    LOGGING IN MEXICO IS A HUGE PROBLEM
    DEFORESTATION OF OVER WINTER AREAS IN MEXICO
    LAST 30 YEARS  48% LOSS OF HABITAT
    THINS THE EXISTING TREES
    SO
    THE MONARCHS HAVE LESS PROTECTION FROM COLD AND THEY CAN FREEZE TO DEATH AND DIE

    DEGRADATION TO HABITAT IN NORTH AMERICA

    URBAN GROWTH CAUSES BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
    THIS BREAKS UP HABITAT AREA INTO SMALL ISOLATED AREAS
    THIS CAUSES ADULTS CAPABLE OF BREEDING TO BE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER
    LITTLE BITS OF LAND TOO SMALL TOO SUPPORT IDEAL BREEDING POPULATION

    FOREST FIRES DESTROY THESE BUTTERFLIES AND THE
    THEIR FOOD PLANTS AND THEIR HOST PLANTS


    PESTICIDE
    KILLS EGGS
    KILLS CATERPILLARS
    KILLS ADULTS


    HERBICIDE
    KILLS FOOD PLANTS
    KILLS HOST PLANTS



    EXTREME LACK OF EDUCATION ON THE PART OF
    HUMANS ABOUT THESE AMAZING ANIMALS  !!!
 

    SOLUTIONS

    STOP THE CUTTING OF TREES

    FIND ALTERNATE SOURCES FOR MATERIALS FORMERLY FOUND IN WOOD PULP

    ESTABLISH RESERVES
    AMELIORATE THE FORESTS .. REPLANT AND IMPROVE

    PLANT FASTER GROWING SPECIES OF TREES FOR WOOD USE

    FIND DIFFERENT MATERIALS TO USE INSTEAD OF WOOD .. LIKE BAMBOO

    RECYCLE MORE AND MORE AND MORE !
 

    LANGUAGE - LITERATURE  


    if butterfly lands on you it means HAPPINESS

    idiom ..
    butterflies in your stomach .. means you have fluttering in your stomach ..  means you are nervous

    symbol of renewal

    Chinese culture ..
    2 butterflies flying together is a symbol of love

    it has been said that SHAKESPEARE changed flutterby to butterfly

 

    POEM

    STAY NEAR ME
    stay near me
    do not take thy flight
    a little longer stay in sight
    float near me
    do not yet depart

    William Wordsworth
    1770 - 1850


    SPARE AND BE SPARED
    spare all the harmless tenants
    of the earth
    spare and be spared
    or
    who shall plead for thee ?

    Christina Rosseti
    1830 - 1894

 

    SONG

    yellow butterflies
    over the blossoming new corn
    with pollen stained faces
    chase one another in brilliant throng

    Native American song
 

    WORD  POWER

    ENTOMOLOGIST - ZOOLOGIST WHO STUDIES INSECTS

    INSECT - MEMBER OF CLASS OF SMALL INVERTEBRATE ANIMALS WITH 3 DISTINCT DIVISIONS OF BODY
    HEAD THORAX ABDOMEN - WITH 3 PAIRS OF LEGS - 6 LEGS IN TOTAL

    IRIDESCENT - GLITTERING WITH CHANGEABLE COLORS LIKE A RAINBOW

    ENTOMOLOGY - THE STUDY OF INSECTS

    ANTENNAE -    LONG FLEXIBLE FEELERS ON INSECT HEAD USED TO PICK UP SCENTS AND VIBRATIONS  
    FROM THE AIR

    MIGRATE -      TO REGULARLY MOVE FROM ONE ZONE OF LATITUDE TO ANOTHER AND BACK AGAIN IN        
    REFERENCE TO SEASONAL CHANGES IN TEMPERATURE

    BUTTERFLY -  AN INSECT WITH WINGS COVERED WITH TINY SCALES - USUALLY BRIGHTLY COLORED

    DEFORESTATION - A CONDITION OCCURRING WHERE TREES AND PLANTS HAVE BEEN CUT DOWN FOR
    MONEY AND NO NEW TREES HAVE BEEN PLANTED TO REPLACE THEM

    METAMORPHOSIS - A STAGE IN THE LIFE OF AN ANIMAL DURING WHICH THERE IS AN EXTREME
    PHYSICAL  TRANSFORMATION

    CHRYSALIS -   THE PUPA OF INSECTS WHILE THEY UNDERGO METAMORPHOSIS
    MOTHS OFTEN CALLED COCOON
    BUTTERFLIES OFTEN CALLED CHRYSALIS

    CATERPILLAR -  THE WORM-LIKE LARVA OF BUTTERFLY OF MOTH

    LARVA - YOUNG IMMATURE STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT INTO WHICH EGG HATCHES ..
    DEVELOPMENT INTO ADULT OCCURS THROUGH METAMORPHOSIS

    LARVAL - IN THE FORM OF A LARVA

    PUPA - THE 3RD STAGE IN THE LIFE OF INSECTS THAT GO THROUGH METAMORPHOSIS
    DOES NOT EAT WHILE GOING THROUGH CHANGES
    IT IS INSIDE A CHRYSALIS OR COCOON

    PUPATE - TO BECOME A PUPA
 





APPRECIATE ALL LIFE FORMS


FAITH IS THE DARING OF THE SOUL
TO GO BEYOND WHAT IT CAN SEE

and

TRUST IN ONLY WHAT GOD KNOWS
 
" Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
"
Psalm 124:8
 


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"
Psalm 131:3
 
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