Q:

Where do monarch butterflies live?

A:

Quick Answer

Monarch butterflies live on top of milkweed plants and they will not live in a place that does not have milkweed plants. Milkweed plants are poisonous to most animals, but the monarch has glycoside toxins that protect it from the poison.

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Full Answer

These plants also help keep monarchs alive because monarch caterpillars eat parts of the plant and then the adult monarch butterflies are poisonous. This helps them avoid predators. Monarch butterflies will eat the nectar from many different species of flowers.

Monarchs typically live for only a few weeks at a time with five weeks being one of the longest lifespan lengths. However, monarchs that are born late in the year will live until the following spring. This generation will need to travel back down to Mexico in order to survive before making the trip back to the United States the following spring.

The monarch butterfly first starts out as an egg that is laid by a butterfly underneath a leaf on a milkweed tree. This egg then hatches into larva, which grows, or molts, into a pupate. From the pupate, the chrysalis appears and then the adult butterfly is born after it frees itself from the pupa casing.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some adaptations of Monarch butterflies?

    A:

    Monarch butterflies have developed two main adaptations for survival: warning coloration and toxicity, explains National Geographic. As a caterpillar, monarchs eat a diet mainly of milkweed. Milkweed contains a toxin that causes discomfort in potential predators. To avoid ingesting the toxin, predators often leave the monarch caterpillar alone. The brightly colored wings of the adult monarch suggest, to potential predators, it is dangerous to eat.

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  • Q:

    What are some adaptations of butterflies?

    A:

    Some adaptations of butterflies include wing colorings that mimic the colorings of toxic species, clear membranes that allow butterflies to fly even after the scales of their wings have been rubbed off. Butterflies also move to shaded areas when the temperature is hot.

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    Do butterflies have eyes?

    A:

    Butterflies have two compound eyes located on their heads. Although they have spots on their wings that resemble eyes, those are just markings and have nothing to do with a butterfly's eyesight.

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  • Q:

    Why are butterflies becoming extinct?

    A:

    According to the World Wildlife Fund, butterflies like the monarch have been decreasing in population due to climate change. This decrease is evident in areas like Canada and Mexico.

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