From Egg to Monarch Butterfly

Timeline created by Linda65
  • Egg

    A monarch butterfly lays an egg on or under a milkweed leaf in the spring or summer.
  • Larvae hatches

    Larvae hatches
    After approximately four days, a larvae (caterpillar) hatches from the egg. It eats the egg shell and the milkweed leaf.
  • Caterpillar attaches itself to a twig.

    Caterpillar attaches itself to a twig.
    Using silk, the caterpillar attaches itself to a twig and forms a "J" shape. The caterpillar stage lasts for approximately 2 weeks.
  • The Pupa or Chrysalis Stage

    The Pupa or Chrysalis Stage
    As the caterpillar hangs in the J shape, it molts and that molting encases the caterpillar in the green hard outer shell (exoskeleton).
  • Exoskeleton becomes transparent.

    Exoskeleton becomes transparent.
    One day before the butterfly emerges, the pupa becomes transparent - after approximately 2 weeks in the pupa stage.
  • Butterfly emerges

    Butterfly emerges

    After several hours of wings drying and fluids pumped into wings, the Monarch butterfly is ready for flight!
  • Period: to

    Lifespan of a Monarch Butterfly

    The Monarch butterfly that is born in early summer will live for approximately 2 months. The Monarchs that are born in late summer will begin the migration journey to the south, but new generations are born along the way. No one Monarch makes the complete migration journey.