Monarch butterfly eggs are the first of four butterfly stages that make up the monarch butterfly metamorphosis. The duration of this first stage is 4-7 days making this the shortest of the four stages of a butterfly. (Colder weather accounts for slower hatching times.)
The egg can be easily missed by the naked eye at roughly 1.2 millimeters long or 1/32 inches. The whitish egg is spherical in shape and has vertical ridges.
Eggs can be found on various species of milkweed including common milkweed(pictured above), prairie milkweed, and the bloodflower.
The female generally lays her eggs on bottoms of leaves, but she's been known to get high marks for creative egg laying.
For those interested in raising monarchs from tiny eggs, it is very important to have a fresh supply of milkweed available or your caterpillar will crawl off to that big milkweed patch in the sky.
In nature, it is widely estimated that less than 10% of monarchs survive to reach adulthood. Many monarch butterfly eggs are eaten by predators including ants and spiders.The next three stages of the monarch butterfly metamorphosis are:
Eating OutWhen the top of the egg darkens, pick a fresh milkweed leaf and spray it down with water. place this under the leaf with the egg so the caterpillar can find fresh milkweed when (s)he hatches. (Again, standing water is a potential tragedy that can cut your monarch butterfly raising experience short!)
Monarch season is in full sWing and they've been sighted across even the northern most states and up into the land of Celine Dion.
A superior way to experience butterflies up close is to raise them yourself.
Check out the links below to discover how you can help guide them through a magical month of metamorphosis.
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