The Birth of a Monarch

Visit my Monarch website for more information about this majestic butterfly.

Advance note: Click on the pictures to enlarge them for a better view!

To be at the birth of a baby is a wondrous occasion for anyone. To be able to watch a butterfly baby being born is something else! Such a teeny little thing is a butterfly's baby…first starting off as a minuscule egg.

After about four days, the little head becomes visible and soon, you can see the larva (caterpillar) begin to make its way out.

Oooh! Here it comes! Slowly, the little one makes its way out of the creamy egg…that dark little spot is the head of the 'baby.' Just like any baby, the head will change dramatically within days.

The little one is almost completely out of that eggshell! The big world is waiting…what's coming?

Oh, just a wee bit more…you can do it…you can do it…you can do it!
Hooray! You did it! Completely out! What's next for this little one? What is the first thing on the agenda, now that it is out in the big world? What would YOU do?

Okay, don't laugh…but like all babies, Monarchs are no different. This little one is HUNGRY! Guess what it eats first? Nope, not a leaf…but…the eggshell! Yes, the first thing a caterpillar will do is turn around and eat the chorion or the eggshell. Hmmm…interesting, isn't it?

Now that this is done, it is time to go and search for a nice, green leaf…Milkweed, of course. (Asclepias spp. in the mainland United States or Calotropis if it lives on the Hawaiian Islands).