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Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis in HD

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From late instar caterpillar to chrysalis to emerging adult, watch an HD time-lapse metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly by Front Yard Video. Some background on the monarch from EcoWatch:

Over the past millennium, eastern monarch butterflies have migrated northward from Mexico in spring, arriving in southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes in early summer, where they lay eggs on the undersides of milkweed leaves. In the following weeks, their caterpillars hatch and eat a steady milkweed diet. In late summer, they form chrysalises and undergo the amazing transformation into butterflies. They then begin fattening themselves for the arduous return to the Mexican alpine forests where they overwinter.

Though there’s a lot of news about the decline of the monarch buttefly, there are many people working to increase their populations, including Fiona Lennox, who is raising 400 monarch butterflies in her home. There’s also a growing project called The Monarch Manifesto, in which participants report monarch sightings, avoid using pesticides or herbicides in their gardens, “reach out to at least one neighborhood school, faith group, business or other institution about planting a butterfly garden”, call local nurseries to request native milkweed, and then grow milkweed. It’s a great DIY project for families and classrooms alike.


Learn how to create your own milkweed-filled monarch butterfly rest stop. There’s also this incredible clip from Wonders of Life: Monarch Butterflies.

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