Monarch & Pollinators Project

Monarch Fun Facts

  • Illinois' state insect is the Monarch butterfly
  • Monarchs undergo metamorphosis, meaning "change of form"
  • Four life stages:

o   Egg

o   Larva

o   Pupa

o   Adult butterfly

  • Adult butterfly is 3,000 times larger than the egg
  • Timeline:

o   Egg hatches after 3-5 days

o   Larva feasts on milkweed for 10-14 days

o   Pupates into chrysalis for 9-14 days

o   Emerges as a beautiful butterfly

  • Monarchs are capable for flying 20 miles per hour
  • Symbiotic relationship with milkweed

o   Milkweeds toxic due to cardiac glycosides chemical

o   Larvae consume milkweed, which builds up the poison in their body against predators

o   Butterfly unpalatable

  • Monarch population declining!

o   Milkweed habitat loss

o   Butterflies migrating from Mexico early due to climate change

  • Butterflies can see red, so seek out brightly colored wildflowers
  • Pollinator gardens are a vital tool for maintaining pollinators and education
  • Monarch Watch provides milkweed plants for the monarchs
  • Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnate, tolerant of deer and water, with pink flowers
  • Butterfly milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa, thrives in dry soil and provides a plant for eggs
  • Register your garden as a Waystation
  • Journey North app allows you to track and see journey


Life Cycle