Life Stages of
the Monarch
created by

Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) live for about 9 months, and they don't always look like butterflies. The monarch begins its life as an egg. The eggs, layed on milkweed leaves, hatch into caterpillars. The baby caterpillars eat the milkweed, and grow very quickly. The milkweed contains a poison that the monarchs use as a defense. While the poison doesn't hurt the monarchs, it makes them taste bad to birds and other predators. Predators soon learn to avoid the bright colors of the monarch caterpillars and butterflies.

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