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Full Description of Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterflies is one of the most common varieties of milkweed butterflies in North America. It is famous for being able to migrate in large numbers, travelling towards the states of California and Mexico during winter seasons. North American monarch butterflies have the ability to travel long distances when they migrate from one place to another. They can travel up to 4, 828 kilometers and must being their voyage in the early fall
Monarch butterflies have massive population in the states of Mexico and California and in some other parts of the United States: the Gulf Coast, Florida, and Arizona. They are abundant in these places because they provide perfect physical conditions need in order for them to survive. In cases of overwintering, monarch butterflies can be found on locusts, oak trees, sumacs, basswood elm, Osage orange, and cottonwood among others (Pyle 2). During reproduction, these butterflies invade the open fields, prairies, meadows, gardens, trees, and even the sides of the roads.
Monarch butterflies go through a four-phase metamorphosis: eggs, larvae, pupa and adult. Although they follow a conventional reproductive process, it involves complicated mechanisms. During the summer season, monarchs mate for as frequent as seven times. The life span of each monarch butterfly is between two and six weeks depending on the condition of the habitat and weather. Courting of males to females takes place in mid-air and breeding is carried out on the ground. Normally, females lay eggs during the summer and most of their eggs are laid on milkweeds and it takes 3-15 days before the eggs hatches and develops into a larvae. For two weeds, the larvae will get their food from the milkweed. After that period, they will fix themselves on a shoot of a tree or any branch, cast their external covering, and transform into a chrysalis. In more or less than two weeks, another monarch butterfly is ready to fly.
Monarchs do not go to only one direction or location. Some monarch butterflies migrate 2000 miles during late summer to the months of September and October to the overwintering regions of California and Mexico. Three generations of monarch butterflies are required in order to complete a migration. However, there are monarchs who remain in one location until they die.
Order: Lepidoptera; Family: Nymphalidae; Sub-family: Danaidae; Genus and Species: Danaus Plexippus.
Its first source of food is its personal egg shell. As it transitions to a larvae, it feeds on poisonous milkweed plants in order to merge the poisonous contents of the weeds into its body. Monarch butterflies, generally, and just like all other varieties of butterflies, sup liquids using their proboscis that serves as their tongue. The nectar from the flowers i.e. clover, lantana and thistle are rich sources of liquid foods for the monarchs.
Monarch butterflies are abundant in the United States, particularly in the states of Mexico, California, and Arizona. They are also common in South America, Canada, Central America, several Mediterranean regions, Hawaii, and in some parts of the Australasian region like Indonesia and Australia.
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