Monarch Butterflies

Me being a gardener, I had to develop some type of friendship with insects. 
I like to take care of plants for their beautiful flowers. And at the plants is where a lot of insects live. 
Even wasps! There is no way I will leave my garden just because 
Mr. Wasp decides to make his home at one of my plants! 
And no, I never got stung by a wasp... yet

But this post is not about those types of insects, This post is about the beautiful Monarch butterfly. 
Monarch butterflies are insects, but not just any ordinary insects. 
First of all,  Monarch butterflies are the only insects that migrate. 
These beautiful and delicate butterflies fly 3000 miles south for migration. 
If they were born on the west side of the Rocky Mountains, they go to California.  
If they are born in the East side of the Rocky mountains. they go to Mexico.

Pretty cool, right? And it gets even better. 
Monarch Butterflies go through 4 life stages, and 4 generations.  
I know it sounds confusing, so let me explain:


1.- Egg  2.-Caterpillar 3.-Cocoon 4.-Butterfly

After spending the winter in the warm at California or Mexico. 
They return to the north around February and March.
 Then on March and April they lay eggs on a milkweed plant. 
Monarchs depend on  this plant. Their larvae eats Milkweed almost exclusively!


First generation butterflies eggs are hatched, they become baby caterpillars
 and do nothing but eat, and eat! 
Then they'll find a place to hang on to, and become a chrysalis or as I like to call it, a cocoon. 
10 days later, after going trough the process called metamorphosis, butterflies emerge. 
They only live for 2-6 weeks and then they die, after laying eggs for the second generation.

Second generation butterflies are born some time in May or June. 
This generation will do the same as the first generation and will die after laying eggs for the third generation.

Third generation butterflies are born sometime on July or August. 
They will become beautiful butterflies, lay eggs, and die.

Third generation butterflies are born sometime on July or August. 
They will become beautiful butterflies, lay eggs, and die.

And then finally comes the part that fascinates me the most about these amazing insects!

Fourth generation butterflies are born some time on September and October. 
But this generation will not die 2-6 weeks after its born! This generations lives 6-8 months. 
And the reason why the live that long is because they have to migrate back to Mexico or California.  
Then they will fly back in the exact same route their ancestors took! Who told them that? 
Also Sometimes, they travel  back to the very same tree that their ancestors 
came from in February and March!  

These pictures were taken at a parking lot across my apartment complex. 
A couple of weeks ago, there were butterflies all over Omaha!

One more thing, Monarchs that return from Mexico don't stop at the Immigration Office, because they were born in the US and that makes them, US citizens!

I have other posts if you like to see more of my pictures on butterflies
  here is a Mariposa, here are some pictures of interacial relationships on butterflies,
 here is the black-swallowtail butterfly and my first post on butterflies, zebra-swallowtail butterfly.

Also, I found a lots of info about this beauties here. check them out!
They have some really cool videos of about these butterflies!


  1. Amazing how the 4th gen Monarchs can fly so far during migration, great pictures!

  2. You got some great photos - I especially like the 2nd to last one.

    I love monarchs - we don't have them here in Oregon and I miss seeing them.