Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar - Danaus plexippus by MotherNature

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar - Danaus plexippus by 

Monarch butterflies are known for their long migrations from Canada to Mexico, and their toxic flavor. The taste that repels predators comes from the food of the caterpillar – milkweed.

The migration of Monarchs is actually completed in more than one generation’s lifespan. Deforestation in the Mexican range has greatly depleted the numbers of these pretty fliers, and studies are on-going to try to help Monarchs survive in the long term. They can be seen almost anywhere (woods, fields, city streets, even over the ocean) as they migrate, and tagging programs are carried out in a number of locations.

The caterpillars are this handsome white, yellow and black striped pattern which is thought to warn away birds and other predators seeking a tasty meal. In our locale, predatory wasps take quite a toll on them, and many folks collect them, raise them on milkweed, then release them when they morph into butterflies.

This picture was taken July 17, 2008, in Green Lane, PA, on milkweed.

For some interesting reading go to:

and this excellent page:

I love nature, science, poetry, prose, art, music – you name it! Now that I’m retired, time is mine to spend as I wish (pretty much), and I wish to take pictures of our natural world.

Bringing the outdoors in for others to see, especially those who may not get the opportunity to wander next to a pond, fish at the beach, or tramp in the woods, is a pleasure. I hope to build a window to the wonders of nature that fill our everyday lives.

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  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

  • orko
    orkoover 3 years ago

    Wonderful close up! The caterpillar looks like painted.

  • They are really fun to see with their stripes – almost more handsome than the adults:>)

    – MotherNature

  • Lepidoptera
    Lepidopteraover 3 years ago

    October 16-2011
    Link to the Group Message
    Wish you a Sunny Day with Butterfly Kisses,

  • And another huge thanks for featuring my picture!

    – MotherNature

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