Joyful
Monarch Butterfly

$1.00 from every box sold goes to
The Jacksonville Humane
Society!

$1.00 from every box sold goes to 

The Jacksonville Humane 

Society!

The Monarch Butterfly is one of the most recognizable and most beautiful butterflies out there, but sadly they are starting to decline in population.  I have decided to help them and start raising them from egg to caterpillar to butterfly... then I get to release the joyful butterfly back into nature!  Such a fascinating process that I absolutely must share this experience all about the joyful butterfly!

I will tell you a little about how I got started, so join me on this awesome adventure! 

My excitement for the Monarch Butterfly began when I saw this huge caterpillar outside along with a few others chomping away on the milkweed plants in my backyard.  I actually didn't know what kind of caterpillars they were and I was so intrigued by their cool-looking black, yellow, and white stripes that I just had to look online to see what they were. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found out that they were Monarch Caterpillars and that they ONLY eat Milkweed.  (I have lots of Tropical Milkweed growing in my backyard.)  I was very intrigued by them!  I couldn't wait to go check on them the next day, but when I got outside, I couldn't find any of them.  There had to be at least 5 large ones out there just the day before, so where did they all go?  I decided to read more about the Monarchs and discovered that the really large ones will wander off somewhere safe to form their chrysalis before becoming a butterfly, but most of them will probably get eaten by a predator...lizards, large insects, snakes, birds, and so many other things can get them!  Turns out they have lots of predators in nature and less than 10% of Monarch Butterfly eggs will actually make it to an adult caterpillar to even have that small chance of turning into a butterfly.  That's not a very high survival rate for the Monarch Butterfly!  It's proven that if they are raised inside from egg to butterfly, they have about an 80% chance of survival.  This is why I want to help them!  The Monarch Butterfly shares joy just be being a beautiful butterfly and of course by pollinating all of the flowers around us... it's hard not to smile when you see a butterfly flutter by!

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Take a look at all of the slideshow photos and the videos below of the entire Monarch Caterpillar and Monarch Butterfly metamorphosis!  Here are some awesome resources if you are interested in learning more about them or if you want to help the Monarch population and raise some of your own:

*  The Monarch Butterfly You Tube videos that Mr Lund Science does are absolutely amazing.  There are 5 parts that will get you started from identifying and bringing in the eggs all the way to the release of the Monarch Butterfly back into nature.  If you click the above link and watch that first one until the end, it will automatically start the second one.  I watched all 5 of those videos and jumped right in to start raising the Monarchs.  His whole process has worked great perfectly for me.  He also has a lot of other helpful educational Monarch videos.

*  Check out The Monarch Joint Adventure for lots of useful information.  Another great website that I really like is Save Our Monarchs.   The World Wildlife Fund is also great because you can donate if you want to further help the Monarchs.  There are so many great resources online to help you get started if you'd like to start raising them as well.  It's a very easy and rewarding thing to do to help the joyful Monarch Butterfly to continue to thrive in nature! 

The Joyful Monarch Butterfly
The Joyful Monarch Butterfly

They go through such an amazing metamorphosis before becoming a butterfly!

Monarch Caterpillar Sizes
Monarch Caterpillar Sizes

The 5 sizes of the Monarch Caterpillar are called "Instars" and they will molt (shed) between each size. From the tiny larva size when hatched to adult caterpillar, it grows about 2,000 times in size!

The Monarch Butterfly is just incredible!
The Monarch Butterfly is just incredible!

What a metamorphosis to become the beautiful butterfly! We all must go through crazy changes in our lives to become a butterfly!

The Joyful Monarch Butterfly
The Joyful Monarch Butterfly

They go through such an amazing metamorphosis before becoming a butterfly!

Here are 2 Caterpillars eating Milkweed... It's recorded in 2x speed so they're eating super fast.  Such nice lines they make!

Caterpillar Molting and Shedding its Skin.

Monarch Caterpillar becoming a Chrysalis.

(There's really no sound to this video, but if you happen to have your volume all the way up, you might hear my dog panting in the background, ha-ha!)

Here's a butterfly emerging from its Chrysalis!

 

This video shows the butterfly forming its proboscis.  This is the "straw" that they use to drink nectar.  When they first emerge, it is 2 pieces and looks like antennae.  They will continue to curl and uncurl it  until it sticks together to form the straw!

Another Butterfly emerging from its Chrysalis.

Butterflies #3 and #4 - Emerged within 1 hour of each other.

It's just so amazing to see the butterfly emerging!

Butterfly hanging to dry its wings.

Crumpled Wing Butterfly (#12) drinking nectar from Milkweed.