From nearly invisible eggs, tiny striped caterpillars emerge. They begin feeding on the surrounding milkweed leaves immediately, storing food for the transition to come. After two weeks, they form a chrysalis, from which a monarch butterfly emerges after another two weeks.
Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus
Characteristics: Thanks to its bright orange and black coloring, the monarch is one of the best-known butterfly species. Its amazing transition is shown in this four-part life cycle.
Size and Color: The newly emerged caterpillars are black, white, and yellow, a stark contrast with the emerald chrysalis that follows. The finest colors, however, are reserved for the adult monarch butterfly, which is 3 ½ inches from wingtip to wingtip.
The Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly is part of the Safariology® collection.