A Monarch Butterfly in Fluid Style Perches atop A Yellow Wildflower During Afternoon Showers.
The monarch is famous for its southward migration and northward return in summer from Canada to Mexico and Baja California which spans the life of three to four generations of the butterfly.
Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. In North America, they make massive southward migrations starting in August until the first frost. A northward migration takes place in the spring. The monarch is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south as the birds do on a regular basis, but no single individual makes the entire round trip. Female monarchs deposit eggs for the next generation during these migrations.
Monarch butterflies are poisonous or distasteful to birds and mammals because of the presence of the cardiac glycosides contained in milkweed consumed by the larvae. The bright colors of larvae and adults are thought to function as warning colors. During hibernation, monarch butterflies sometimes suffer losses because hungry birds pick through them looking for the butterflies with the least amount of poison, but in the process kill those they reject.
March 1st, 2013
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