Of all the butterflies that you may have come across, the Monarch butterfly is one of the most beautiful ones. They are considered the king butterflies due to which are named as the monarch. There are so many amazing facts and myths about this type of species which would leave you stumbled at times. Let us learn some more things about this breed and why it is considered so unique as compared to the rest.
Table of Contents
- Quick Facts about Monarch butterflies
- Let us understand the monarch butterfly life cycle stages
- Strange but Interesting facts to Amaze you
Quick Facts about Monarch butterflies
* Understanding the Existence
Such type of butterflies is the most recognized American butterflies that have distinct wings in black, orange and white colors. This species is one of the most beautiful ones because of the color blend that you can see all over its body. However, the real fact is even if it looks so beautiful, the color works as a warning to the predators that monarch could be poisonous if you do not treat them in a right manner. You will find it mostly in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Rich with some notable characteristics about this species, it has the ability to cross more than the 3000-mile journey and come back to the same destination after some span of time.
* Understanding the Migration
Monarch butterfly migration is a natural genomic in the world of insects. It is considered to be a spectacular migrant for a fact that they know the right way of the dictions even if they had never done this type of journey ever before. There is an internal compass within them, which we in human language call instinct. It is so strong at in each fall and spring, they do follow the secretion as per their sense. During the winter season, they ground themselves in South California or in the Nevada Mountains of Mexico during their way of migration.
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* Understanding the Appearance
Monarch is categorized as per the color. If you come across the back and orange blend of Monarch, they are the most brilliant one. You can easily recognize such species. For them, America is the only home. However, they do migrate to Canada and Mexico but at the end, they tend to come back to their old destination itself. It is said that a single monarch can travel more than 1000 miles in a day without risking its life at all
Moving further about their approach, such lovely butterflies have the body in black color along with head and its antennae. The wings come with the blend of orange and black while the out part of the wing is all covered with the thick black border. Moving further, within the black border there is a white spot that you can notice. The white spots may vary in size and range and have the most decorative wings that you can see as compared to other butterflies. On the upper side of the wings, there are orange spots.
They are often compared with the viceroy butterflies in terms of the appearance. Often people do get confused between the monarch and viceroy butterflies because of the mimic appearance both of them has.
You can see the underside of the monarch butterflies’ wings which when the butterfly is resting or even feeding itself; on a flower. At that time, you would notice that instead of bright fragrance, there is an underside version, which looks drabber, and the color of the orange-brown mixture becomes more visible. Both males and females can be easily distinguished which they look at the top of their wings.
Generally, Males will be noted with the center spot at every wing while females don’t have such type of spot in any way. Not only this, there is also a scent gland that allows the males to get more attracted towards females mate. Besides, there is also another way to distinguish male and female ad that is the thickness of the veins, which is females, is quite more as compared to the males. Their wings are also not much bigger but can go up to 4.8 inches maximum.
The best part is even you can identify the monarch butterfly caterpillar easily. Usually, the caterpillars come in yellow, white and black bands which should not make it so difficult for you to guess around which one could be the Monarch Butterfly
* Diet on Which Monarch Butterfly Survive
When Monarch Butterfly is in their larval stage, they usually feed on the milkweed and when they turn out to be the adults their nourishment changes to the flower nectars. Such type of species will return to the areas where the milkweed grows the most. So if your home has the milkweed growing then expect these little ones to be the guest in your garden. They also lay their eggs on this plant. In short, their entire survival depends on the milkweed.
The interesting part is even after they migrate from one place to another, they always end up settling to their very own place where they initially survived on the milkweed. So if you don’t find them after one time, don’t just assume they will not return. Because that ideally will be their migration phase, which once they complete, they will return to their initial place itself.
Talking further about their diet plan, although they survive on the Millwood we cannot deny the fact that there are some glycoside toxins that can be harmful to us though not harmful to them. So do not just assume that such little creature would be harmful. The caterpillar generally feeds on the different parts of those plans and because of which they tend to store most of the toxin in the body itself.
The toxin would then get accumulated in the system even when they turn into a complete adult or say a butterfly. Due to which, such breed is said to be the poisonous one. Such type of species can feed on other flowers as well but their keen interest always remains the milkweed.
There are millions of such breed that usually trips to Canada and Mexico in the winter seasons. During their migration phase, you will find such thousands of butterflies landing on a single tree.
It is still a mystery on how such butterfly takes a specific direction when it comes to migrating to another place. Some suggest it to be an attribute while for some it is more like a programming, which the Mother Nature has already set in them. Such type of butterfly tends to fly at the speed of 12 to 25 miles per hour.
During the migration phase, they can store their energy in their wings flapping and this process is called as the thermal.
As compared to other regular yet typical butterfly, there is something different about Monarch butterfly. You will find this range of butterfly widely spread across different corners of the United States of America. Be it in North America, Pacific coats and even in the Atlantic, there is no place where you will not find such species. Also, you can find them in the Rocky Mountains or in central America.
There is different habitat which is utilized by Monarch butterfly. If you compare two different climates that would be warm and the cold ones, you will find them all around the place in spring or summer seasons. For them, freezing temperature can be hell to live and that is why when they sense the arrival of such climate they tend to migrate to the place where they can keep themselves warm all the time.
* Behavioral pattern
Such type of species is one such living being that you would come across which has the ability to produce four generations in the summer itself. In the first three generations, you can find them surviving with the lifespan of 6 weeks which is focused more than any other regular butterfly generation. In addition, after that their growth does not stop. Rather they look for the matter so that they can contribute to head toward northward migration while expanding their breed. As compared to the previous three generations, the first one has the ability to live up to nine months. Considering their behavioral pattern they tend to just focus on expanding their breed as much as they can. As rain and snow are such things that can increase their death rate at a faster pace.
The most interesting part about the monarch butterfly facts is their migration and their lifespan. This breed has the ability to survive for long over any other butterfly. They can live without the years and the best part is they never become overpopulation. Mother Nature, has invented such creature in such way that things don’t get disturbed in any situation. It is still a mystery on how the four-generation manage to survive altogether but yes, the fact is all of these generations are constituted by 4 different butterflies which together finishes the unique phase that too in just one year. Again they restart their process of living up again from the primary stage which is the first generation.
Let us understand the monarch butterfly life cycle stages
During the winter season, as stated earlier, Monarch butterflies tend to travel to Mexico. In that area, they find the mate and then head toward the south so that they can find the milkweed and lay the eggs.
Monarch butterfly eggs then hatch after 4 -5 days. They turn out to be tiny caterpillars that grow with the time. Ta the initial growing phase for two weeks their size remains the same and they survive on the milkweed where the Mother butterfly had laid the eggs. Once they get big enough, each of this caterpillar then turns itself into a chrysalis and then gets into the phase of metamorphosis
When they are into the developmental stage where caterpillar would be transforming itself into a butterfly, you will find the color spots created. After the period of around 2 weeks, it will emerge in the form of the butterfly.
The adult butterfly will then get back to the North to great further generations and migrate with their mate just the way their parents did while migrating to the south.
The last generation usually stays in the north and breed. But the best part is this is the generation that can live up to around 8-9 months easily.
Strange but Interesting facts to Amaze you
Monarch butterfly can talk to each other for which all they need is color and scent. They taste the food through their feet and if they want to share it with the partner, they can do so for which they just need to understand the scent.
Talking about the mate, it is the males that attract the females for mating. For this, they release a certain type of chemical from their scent gland which is located on the hind wings.
In case they find any theft or dangerous animal around, they signal to its other breed with their orange wings. While they show the bright color as the warning and if they want, they can also attack.
If the body temperature of such butterflies is less than 86 degree then they will not be able to fly. Rather they prefer warming up themselves by sitting in the sun.
Monarch migrates in assess from the month of August until October and aims to reach Canada will take them around 2500 miles to cover. The best part is these butterflies are capable to cover 100 miles every day.
Looking at the way they can take their family till the fourth generation, you can get an idea that they are not going to extinct any time soon.
After the winter season gets over, strangely, monarchs return to the winter grounds which they had left earlier. It does not matter whether it is the genetic coding or the sense they have in-built, there is no denial of the fact that such species never get lost at all.
Monarch butterflies are pretty and no doubt with these facts mentioned above, you get a clear idea of why they are unique.