North American Arthropod

Alicia Dunning

The Basics

Arthropod: Monarch Butterfly

Scientific name: Danaus Plexippus

Kingdom: animalia

Phylum: arthropoda

Class: insecta

Monarch Butterflies have been almost everywhere since the 1800's. They started in North and South America and migrated throughout the rest of the world ever since. The butterflies live up to 6 to 9 months. They mainly eat plants, but mostly milkweed.

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Monarch butterflies first start development by laying a single egg on a plant. The females lay between 100 to 300 eggs in its lifetime. The eggs hatch 4 days after they are laid, and they then turn into a caterpillar right after. They hatch their shell by eating it to get out. After the caterpillar is out of its shell, the caterpillar eats the plant it was originally laid on. As the caterpillar is growing, it goes through a process called molting. When the caterpillar gets too big, it molts out of it skin. Once the skin is molten, the caterpillar is now squishy and soft, but the skin eventually hardens. Also, after the caterpillar has molted its skin, it usually eats its old skin it has just molten. Caterpillars go through 5 of these molting processes, which are called in-stars. Once all these stages are done, the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, which is the final stage, known as the pupal stage. This stage is when the larva turns into an adult.