Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

A single Monarch butterfly goes through 4 stages in it’s lifecycle; 1- egg  2- larva/caterpillar  3- chrysalis/pupa and  4- butterfly.   The other lifecycle that Monarchs go through is that of their fascinating and somewhat mysterious migration involving 4 generations.  Stick with me while I attempt to explain this in the briefest and most simple terms.

Monarch butterfly Gen. 1 begins his life in Mexico where he starts the migration north.  On the way he mates and procreates.  His offspring, Gen. 2 continue the migration north, mate and procreate.  Gen. 3 flies northward, mates, procreates.  Finally we have Gen. 4!  This fourth generation Monarch reaches southern Canada around August where he feeds off of the Milkweed plant and does not procreate in order to build up energy.  Gen. 4 now begins southward, making the 2 month journey back to Mexico to the very same trees which his great, great grandfather (Gen. 1) emerged and began the process four generations and one year earlier.  It’s still a mystery as to how this fourth generation Monarch knows where to go to complete this four generation lifecycle.

July 22nd (12)July 22nd (9)July 22nd (10)



14 thoughts on “Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

    • Speaking of; I sadly read recently that the Monarch numbers are dwindling the past few years. It is theorized (maybe fact) that when the GMO pollen spreads to the Milkweed plant it kills the Monarch. Perhaps other butterflies are suffering a similar plight.
      Thank you for the lovely visit.


      • I’d read a similar story – hopefully – we brilliant humans are as good as cleaning up messes as we are at sometimes creating them. The bald eagle made a stupendous comeback after we nailed their eggs with DDT – here’s to hope and faith in human-ness 🙂
        You’re welcome, Miss Monster 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Cool! I sketched a butterfly as one of my early character designs, and I mean to one day have a butterfly or two in my ongoing comic. They look great and colorful and I figure will make a good addition whenever I get around to it. I also have to consider the caterpillar aspect too.

    Liked by 1 person

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