milkweed and monarch butterflies


Black-dotted borders 

upon peach-bright wings proclaim:

monarch revival!


Foraging

in magic meadow,

striped larva,

destined to grow wings

and sip sweet nectars


Milkweed pod,

green curves echo

chrysalis 

~

A monarch caterpillar’s magic meadow is the milkweed plant. Mother butterfly lays an egg on the underside of a leaf and the larva feeds on the milkweed plant, the only food it can eat.

When mature, the caterpillar migrates away from its milkweed to a high hidden spot where it transforms into a tiny green pupa or chrysalis. It is from this pod that a new butterfly will soon emerge.

As a species, monarch butterflies have been considered endangered for quite a while. This has in part been caused by human destruction of milkweed (directly and indirectly). In recent years increased protection and planting of milkweed has had a positive impact.

For a summary of the monarch butterfly life cycle and the crucial role of milkweed see mission-monarch.org.

Ā©2017 Ontheland 




5 thoughts on “milkweed and monarch butterflies

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