Center: Magnified image of caterpillar on a leaf. Right: Young monarch caterpillar, measures 2.5mm
2 weeks later, caterpillar has grown bigger
LIFE OF THE MONARCH
When it emerges from it’s egg, it is a caterpillar less than a millimeter long. It munches on milkweed and within a week it grows 100 times in size. By the second week, it leaves the milkweed and heads to higher ground. It hangs in a “J” shape and shortens in length. It’s body transforms into a smooth cocoon called a chrysalis. Then 2 weeks later, it emerges a Monarch butterfly.
There are official Monarch butterfly preserves called Monarch Waystations throughout the Americas, including Schor and Greenport Conservation Areas. These areas provide resources necessary for Monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration, such as milkweed and nectar sources.