Presentation on theme: "The Monarch Life Cycle. The monarch butterfly is seen in our area from May until October. Its life cycle is about 4 – 6 weeks. Female monarchs each lay."— Presentation transcript:
The monarch butterfly is seen in our area from May until October. Its life cycle is about 4 – 6 weeks. Female monarchs each lay hundreds of eggs during this time. Monarchs only lay their eggs on the milkweed plant. Monarchs only lay 1 egg per leaf.
The egg of a monarch is placed under the milkweed leaf to keep it safe from predators & weather. It is a cream color. It is igloo-shaped. There are vertical lines that go up & down the sides of the egg.
Soon the creamy egg turns grey as the caterpillar inside develops a black head. The caterpillar will hatch in 3 – 6 days.
From now on, the monarch caterpillar will only eat milkweed.
As the monarch caterpillar grows, its skin becomes too tight & must be shed. Each stage after a shed is called an instar. Monarchs go through 5 sheds. After the sheds, monarchs eat their skins.
Getting Ready for Metamorphosis After the 4 th instar, the monarch caterpillar begins to wander. This is called “a walk-about”. It uses its spinneret to squeeze out a silk trail to crawl along.
When it finds the perfect spot, the monarch caterpillar weaves a silky clump, or button, to which it will attach itself during its last stage of being a caterpillar. After the button is made, the monarch will attach itself by using the cremaster to hook onto it.
When the butterfly is ready to emerge from the chrysalis, it releases a liquid that loosens it from the shell. Then its middle swells & pops the shell. The butterfly emerges & hangs onto the chrysalis.
The monarch pumps the liquid from its abdomen into its wings. It takes about 30 minutes for the wings to reach their full size.