The scientific name of this insect from the lepidopteran group is Danaus plexippus. When Europeans settled in North America, in the middle of the 18th century, they became known as the Monarch in honor of King William III of England. The Aztecs called them Papálotl and believed that they transported the souls of dead warriors to heaven. Monarch Butterfly
The entire metamorphosis of the Monarch lasts approximately one month and its life span reaches nine months.
Monarch’s life cycle goes through four different stages. In the first one is a tiny yellow and white egg (the female lays about 400 eggs on the leaves of the trees).
In the second stage of development it becomes larvae after a few days. At this stage it is a caterpillar with white, black and yellow stripes and during this period it feeds on cotton sheets, from which it obtains a toxic substance that allows it to defend itself from its predators. In this stage the Monarch develops powerful antennas to be able to guide itself, on the other hand, she changes her skin five times. Monarch Butterfly
In its last seedling it becomes a pupa or chrysalis
It acquires a characteristic transparent green color , and it is possible to observe the butterfly’s wings inside. Inside the cocoon the Monarch will transform and finally leave and reach adulthood.
As an adult butterfly, it has two pairs of bright orange wings accompanied by black stripes and white spots. Its spread wings are about 11 centimeters wide and its weight does not reach one gram. With the antennas, it orients itself and with its eyes it captures images and light.
The male monarch butterfly has a black dot on its wings and this element allows them to be distinguished from females. The natural habitat of this lepidopteran is protected by the Mexican government. Monarch Butterfly
A journey of thousands of kilometers
In the autumn months, millions of butterflies flock to migrate from the forests of Canada and the United States to Mexico territory and then return. In the Mexican territory of Michoacán they spend the winter, as this habitat has the ideal conditions for their life: cool temperature to save energy , as well as clouds and fog that provide them with water. This crossing exceeds 5000 kilometers. Monarch Butterfly
Visiting the Mexican lands of Monarch has become an attraction for nature-loving tourists.