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1 Monarch Butterfly Mini Study

2 Created and designed by Debbie Martin Monarch Butterfly Mini Study The Whole Word Publishing The Word, the whole Word and nothing but the Word." Copyright June 2011 by Debbie Martin 3627 D St. Breerton, Wa All rights reserved. Perission is hereby granted to the individual purchaser to reproduce his book in whole or in part for non coercial individual or classroo use only. Perission is not granted for school wide syste wide reproduction of aterials. Iages are public doain.

3 Feale Male The Monarch Butterfly The onarch butterfly (danaus xippus) is aong the ost recognized, studied, and loved of all of North Aerica s insects. The annual igration cycle of the onarch butterfly has been described as the ost spectacular in the insect world. Life Cycle The onarch butterfly, has four distinct life stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult. The ating period for the overwinter population occurs in the spring, just prior to igration fro the overwintering sites. The overwinter population returns only as far north as they need to go to find the early ilkweed growth; in the case of the eastern butterflies that is coonly southern Texas. The life cycle of a onarch includes a change of for called cote etaorphosis. The onarch goes through four radically different stages:

4 1.The eggs are laid by the feales during spring and suer breeding onths. 2. The eggs hatch (after 4 days), revealing worlike larvae, the caterpillar. The caterpillars consue their egg cases, then feed on ilkweed. During the caterpillar stage, onarchs store energy in the for of fat and nutrients to carry the through the non-feeding pupa stage. The caterpillar stage lasts around 2 weeks. 3. In the pupa or chrysalis stage, the caterpillar spins a silk pad on a twig, leaf, etc., and hangs fro this pad by its last pair of prolegs. It hangs upside down in the shape of a 'J', and then olts, leaving itself encased in a green chrysalis. At this point, horonal changes occur, leading to the developent of a butterfly (etaorphosis). The chrysalis darkens then becoes transparent a day before it eerges, and its orange and black wings can be seen. 4. The ature butterfly eerges after about two weeks and hangs fro the split chrysalis for several hours until its wings are dry. Meanwhile fluids are puped into the crinkled wings until they becoe full and stiff. Soe of this orangey

5 fluid called econiu. Finally the onarch spreads its wings, quivers the to be sure they are stiff, and then flies away, to feed on a variety of flowers, including ilkweed flowers, red clover, and goldenrod.

6 During the suer breeding season, onarchs live fro 2-5 weeks during which they ate and lay the eggs that becoe the next generation. These butterflies are the ones that igrate to Mexico where they overwinter. These butterflies becoe reproductive in February and March as they ove north, laying eggs on ilkweeds as they progress northward into the United States. Soe of these butterflies can live as long as 9 onths! The igratory generation has an enorous task ahead of the. Weighing less than a gra, these unique butterflies will fly between 2,000 to 3,000 iles to an overwintering location in Mexico. The annual igration of North Aerica s onarch butterfly is a unique and aazing phenoenon. The onarch is the only butterfly known to ake a twoway igration as birds do. Unlike other butterflies that can overwinter as larvae, pupae, or even as adults in soe species, onarchs cannot survive the cold winters of northern cliates. Using

7 environental cues, the onarchs know when it is tie to travel south for the winter. Monarchs use a cobination of air currents and therals to travel long distances. Soe fly as far as 3,000 iles to reach their winter hoe! Where Do Monarchs Go? Monarchs in Eastern North Aerica have a second hoe in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. Monarchs in Western North Aerica overwinter in California. Sierra Madre Mountains (in red) California (in red)

8 Eastern North Aerican Population Overwintering in Mexico The eastern population of North Aerica s onarchs overwinter in the sae 11 to 12 ountain areas in the States of Mexico and Michoacan fro October to late March. Monarchs roost for the winter in oyael fir forests at an elevation of 2400 to 3600 eters (nearly 2 iles above sea level). The ountain hillsides of oyael forest provide an ideal icro-cliate for the butterflies. Here teperatures range fro 0 to 15 degrees Celsius. If the teperature is lower, the onarchs will be forced to use their fat reserves. The huidity in the oyael forest assures the onarchs won t dry out allowing the to conserve their energy. Oyael trees

9 Researchers are still investigating what directional aids onarchs use to find their overwintering location. It appears to be a cobination of directional aids such as the agnetic pull of the earth and the position of the sun aong others, not one in particular. Clustering in Colonies Monarchs cluster together to stay war. Tens of thousands of onarchs can cluster on a single tree. Although onarchs alone weigh less than a gra, tens of thousands of the weigh a lot. Oyael trees are generally able to support the clustering butterflies, but soeties branches break. Monarchs clustered on a branch.

10 Protection of Oyael Forest Conservation of overwintering habitat is very iportant to the survival of onarchs. The Mexican Governent recognized the iportance of oyael forests to onarch butterflies and created the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in It is estiated that between 60 illion and 1 billion butterflies arrive in this area alone any given year. Western North Aerican Population Monarchs living west of the Rocky Mountain range in North Aerica overwinter in California along the Pacific coast near nta Cruz and n Diego. Here icro-cliatic conditions are very siilar to that in central Mexico. Monarchs roost in eucalyptus, Monterey pines, and Monterey cypresses in California. Traveling South Eastern North Aerican onarchs fly south using several flyways then erge into a single flyway in

11 Central Texas. It is truly aazing that these onarchs know the way to the overwintering sites even though this igrating generation has never before been to Mexico! Congregation Sites Monarchs only travel during the day and need to find a roost at night. Monarchs gather close together during the cool autun evenings. Roost sites are iportant to the onarch igration. Many of these locations are used year after year. Often pine, fir and cedar trees are chosen for roosting. These trees have thick canopies that oderate the teperature and huidity at the roost site. In the ornings, onarchs bask in the sunlight to war theselves.

12 Use of Peninsulas Monarchs traveling south congregate on peninsulas. (A peninsula is is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to ainland.) The shape of the peninsula funnels the igrating butterflies. At its tip, the onarchs find the shortest distance across open water. They congregate along the shore to wait for a gentle breeze to help the across. Peninsula Traveling North As war teperatures and lengthening days arrive, the igratory generation of onarchs finishes the developent they halted prior to their igration. They becoe reproductive, breed and lay the eggs of the new generation. This starts the northern journey back to North Aerica. Unlike the generation before

13 the, who ade a one-generation journey south, successive generations ake the journey north. Multi Generations Generation 1 onarchs are the offspring of the onarchs who overwintered in Mexico. Each successive generation travels farther north. It will take 3-4 generations to reach the northern United States and Canada. Milkweeds and Nectar Sources Whether it s a field, roadside area, open area, wet area, or urban garden; ilkweed and flowering plants are needed for onarch

14 habitat. Adult onarchs feed on the nectar of any flowers, but they breed only where ilkweeds are found. Iportance of Milkweed Many butterflies have a single plant required as a food source for their larval for called a host plant. Milkweed is the host plant for the onarch butterfly. Without ilkweed, the larva would not be able to develop into a butterfly. Monarchs use a variety of ilkweeds. Different Types of Milkweed Over 100 species of ilkweed exist in North Aerica, but only about one fourth of the are known to be iportant host plants for onarch butterflies. So Why Milkweed? Milkweed contains a a variety of cheical copounds that ake onarch caterpillars poisonous to potential predators. Milkweeds contain a cardiac poison that is poisonous to ost vertebrates (anials with backbones) but does not hurt the onarch

15 caterpillar. Soe ilkweed species have higher levels of these toxins than others. Monarchs show preference to soe ilkweed species. The adult onarch and onarch larvae are both brightly colored serving as a warning to potential predators that they are poisonous. Unsuspecting predators only need to taste a onarch butterfly or larva once to learn not to eat the again. Most anials quickly spit the out. Monarch butterfly caterpillar The Viceroy Butterfly The Viceroy butterfly takes advantage of the protective coloration of the onarch butterfly by iicking, or copying the colors and pattern of the onarch wing. With siilar coloration, the viceroy can be istaken for a onarch and is safe fro predators. The differences between the are that

16 Viceroy butterfly viceroy butterflies are slightly saller than onarchs and have a black line across the hindwing. The Viceroy has a single row of white dots in the black arginal band of the wing where the onarch has ulti white spots. Viceroy caterpillar Viceroy pupa

17

18 In Soe Areas, Milkweeds are Considered to be Weeds Milkweeds are listed in soe states and provinces as noxious weeds. Certain ilkweed species are considered noxious because they can be poisonous to cattle and other livestock. In soe locations it is difficult to iprove habitat for onarch butterflies because of the status of ilkweed. Eradication of ilkweed is a threat to the onarch butterfly. There are additional threats to onarch butterflies, such as the use of herbicides and pesticides. A Few Bad Milkweeds There are a several native and introduced ilkweed plants in the genus Cynanchu (swallow-worts) that are also eaten by onarchs. Swallow-worts have siilar cheical properties to ilkweeds in the genus Asclepias, that fool onarchs into laying eggs on the. Cynanchu species are not suitable food for onarch larvae. Caterpillars fail to develop into pupae when feeding on the. Please do not plant these ilkweeds in your garden.

19 Nectar and Nectar Corridors Adult onarchs feed on the nectar fro flowers, which contain sugars and other nutrients. Unlike the larvae that only eat ilkweeds, adult onarchs feed on a wide variety of nectar bearing flowers. They will visit any different kinds of flowers in their search for food. An abundance of nectar sources is especially iportant for igrating onarchs. Monarchs that are preparing to igrate south to Mexico need to consue enough nectar to build up fat reserves. The food they eat before and during their igration south ust not only power the through the long journey, but also ust sustain the throughout the winter. Over-wintering onarchs feed very little or not at all. As onarchs igrate south, they will actually gain weight as they continue to feed on nectar bearing flowers. In eastern North Aerica, the onarchs leave the over wintering sites in the spring. Nectar is essential to aking the journey to Texas. Nutrition fro early spring nectar bearing wildflowers provides the energy and nutrients for

20 these onarchs to develop their reproductive organs. When they arrive in Texas, they will breed and then die. As the new onarchs eerge they will ake their way north. It will take three ore generations of onarchs to cote their journey northward and then start the igratory cycle once again. Nectar corridors are a series of habitat patches containing plants that flower at the appropriate ties during the spring and fall igrations. These patches provide stopping-off points for the igrating butterflies to refuel and continue their journey. Having these islands of nectar sources is particularly iportant within large areas of urban and agricultural developent. The discontinuous patches of nectar sources are corridors that onarchs will follow, like stepping-stones across a strea to cote their igration.

21 Monarch Q&A. (questions and answers) Do onarchs live everywhere in North Aerica? Monarchs live everywhere ilkweed grows. There are a few onarchs high in the ountains in the Rocky Mountain range because there is not uch ilkweed growing there, and it is cooler than is ideal for onarchs. In northern Canada, the cliate is too cool for ilkweed to grow, so the current northernost distribution of onarchs is southern Ontario. Are onarchs in western North Aerica the sae species as those in eastern North Aerica? Yes. Is there a location in North Aerica with the ost nuber of onarch butterflies? The Midwest tends to have the highest nubers of onarchs; an, these are the areas where the ost ilkweeds grow. In North Aerica, 40 to 45 degrees latitude and 90 to 100 degrees longitude have the ost onarchs.

22 How can you tell a onarch fro a Viceroy? The Viceroy butterfly is saller than the onarch butterfly, on average, but soe onarchs are saller than soe Viceroys are, so size is not a good way to tell the apart. Viceroys have a black line across the hind wing vein. How uch do onarchs weigh? Monarchs weigh less than one gra, and vary fro approxiately 0.75 of a gra for large onarchs to saller onarchs, which weigh as little as 0.25 gras. On the average, the adults weigh about half a gra. Do onarchs eat the sae thing everywhere they live in North Aerica? Yes and no: larva require ilkweed as food but the adults will nectar on any different flowering plants. There are any species of ilkweed, and onarch larvae eat ost of the. Because different ilkweed species grow in different regions, there are regional differences in what they eat.

23 Is it true that butterflies taste flowers with their feet? Monarchs have sensory organs on their feet and heads that help the identify different plants. It is uncertain whether insects taste as we are able to do. Can onarch larva eat other plants in addition to ilkweed? Host plants in the ilkweed faily are essential to the developing larva; without it, they would not survive. However, there are any species of ilkweed, and onarchs can eat ost of the. They also eat a plant that is not called ilkweed, but is in the sae faily: Cynanchu laeve, or sand vine. What do onarchs eat in Mexico when overwintering? Monarchs store enough fat so that ost if the do not need to eat when they are overwintering. That is why it is so iportant to have flowering plants available along their spring and fall flyways. They do need to drink during the winter, so it is crucial that water or dew is available to the.

24 Do all onarchs go to Mexico to overwinter? Monarchs west of the Rocky Mountain Range overwinter in California along the coast. There are any roost sites along the California coast. The coastal forests provide a siilar icro-habitat to the ountains in Mexico where the onarchs east of the Rocky Mountains overwinter. If onarchs live several weeks as adults, then how can they overwinter as adults? Typically, onarchs live between 2 and 6 weeks. The last generation of the year (deterined by the decline of nectar plants and environental factors) do not becoe sexually ature right after they eerge as adults, as the suer generations do. The late suer butterflies go into what is called reproductive diapause, which eans they cannot reproduce. Once spring arrives, the onarchs becoe ature and reproduce starting the new first generation that ake their way north. These onarchs can live uch longer for two reasons. They are not using energy to reproduce, and they are in a very cool location. Cool teperatures slow their

25 etabolis, allowing the to live longer. Why do onarchs gather on trees? This is called clustering. There are no definitive answers to the question of why they do it; they could either all be attracted to the sae conditions that exist in a particular spot, or they could benefit fro being a group. Possible benefits they could gain fro being together include protecting theselves fro the eleents and or overwheling predators. Perhaps a group of onarchs can share body heat, and thus gain protection fro cool teperatures. Alternatively, a single butterfly in a large group would have a saller chance of being eaten by a predator. What happens to other butterflies in the winter? They do not igrate and yet they survive? Most butterflies can survive freezing teperatures during soe stage of their lives. Each species winters in a particular stage. For exa, swallowtails overwinter as pupae, ourning cloaks overwinter as adults, and viceroys overwinter as sall larvae. Monarchs cannot tolerate the cold

26 winters and ust igrate to survive the winter teperatures. Is there ore than one generation of onarchs each year? There are ulti generations of onarchs each year. The onarchs that arrive in Texas in February are usually those that overwintered in Mexico, but the offspring of these onarchs ove further north. The onarchs that arrive in the northern part of their range are the offspring of the generation that wintered in Mexico. There are then two generations that do not igrate. The onarchs that travel south in the late suer to Mexico have never been there before! How any eggs do onarchs lay? Feale onarchs can lay over 1,000 eggs in their lifetie. However, in the wild they probably lay an average of about 400 to 500 eggs. How long do onarchs stay in their cocoon? The pupa of a butterfly is called a

27 chrysalis rather than a cocoon. The difference in the structures is that any oths spin a layer of silk for protection and this structure is called a cocoon. They reain in the chrysalis for about 8-12 days, depending on teperature. What is a chrysalis ade of? The chrysalis is siply the word for the butterfly during the pupa stage. The outside of the chrysalis is the exoskeleton, or skin, of the pupa. When it becoes tie for the larva (caterpillar) to becoe a chrysalis, the caterpillar spins a silk button fro which it hangs. The larva fors its body in a J-shape and the skin splits and falls away. Underneath the old skin is the jade green chrysalis. How do onarchs get out of the chrysalis? The front of the chrysalis splits open and the butterfly eerges. At this tie, their wings are folded. How do the wings unfold? The wings have veins that fluid is puped through which inflate the wings

28 to their proper shape and size. The butterfly waits until its wings are dry to fly. If the butterfly cannot hang upside down while its wings are inflating and hardening, the wings will not for properly and the butterfly will not be able to fly. Can you tell fro the chrysalis whether the butterfly will be a ale or feale? Yes, but it is a little difficult. There is a very sall line present in one of the abdoinal segents of the feale that is not present in the ale. How can you tell a ale onarch fro a feale? Males have a dot on the vein on their hind wing. The dot is not coloration; it is ade of specialized scales. In related species, the ale produces a scent called a pheroone that attracts feales. The ale and feale also have differently shaped abdoen, and the feale s wing veins look slightly wider than the ales. How long do onarchs live? Monarch butterflies typically live fro 2 to 6 weeks except for the last

29 generation of the year, which can live up to 8 to 9 onths. How can I get onarchs to coe to y flower garden? Any flowering plants will attract onarchs, which will nectar on the flowers. Planting ilkweed in your garden will assure that onarchs will be present and will give you a close-up look at their eggs and larvae. Color the above Monarch orange is desired.

30 My Monarch Butterfly Lapbook

31 Optional Lapbook Booklets Four Life Stages

32 Directions for the above booklet. The onarch butterfly, has four distinct life stages. What are they? Describe each one on each card. Cut out cards. Next cut out Pocket, fold tabs back glue into lapbook. When dry insert cards. The annual igration of North Aerica s onarch butterfly is a unique and aazing phenoenon. Why? Directions for the above booklets. Cut out, fold in half and write inside. Glue into lapbook. The eastern population of North Aerica s onarchs overwinter where? Monarchs living west of the Rocky Mountain range in North Aerica overwinter where? Directions for the above booklets. Cut out, fold in half and write inside. Glue into lapbook.

33 What is the host plant for the onarch butterfly. What would happen without it? Milkweeds contain what kind of poison? Directions for the above booklets. Cut out, fold in half and write inside. Glue into lapbook. Directions for above booklet. What are three differences between onarch and viceroy butterflies? Cut out booklet, cut on dotted lines. Fold in half. Write one ite under each flap and glue into lapbook.

34 Milkweeds are listed in soe states and provinces as noxious weeds. Why? What are swallow-worts? What are nectar corridors? Directions for the above booklets. Cut out, fold in half and write inside. Glue into lapbook.

35 How uch do onarchs weigh? How any eggs do onarchs lay? What is the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis? What is a chrysalis ade of? Directions for the above booklets. Cut out, fold in half and write inside. Glue into lapbook.

36 How can you tell a ale onarch fro a feale? Directions for the above booklet. Cut out, fold in half and write inside. Glue into lapbook.

37 Monarch Butterflies Optional Questions 1.) The onarch butterfly, has four distinct life stages. What are they? Describe each one.

38 2.) The annual igration of North Aerica s onarch butterfly is a unique and aazing phenoenon. Why? 3.) The eastern population of North Aerica s onarchs overwinter where? 4.) Monarchs living west of the Rocky Mountain range in North Aerica overwinter where? 5.) What is the host plant for the onarch butterfly.

39 What would happen without it? 6.) Milkweeds contain what kind of poison? 7.) What are three differences between onarch and viceroy butterflies? 8.) Milkweeds are listed in soe states and provinces as noxious weeds. Why?

40 9.) What are swallow-worts? 10.) What are nectar corridors? 11.) How uch do onarchs weigh? 12.) How any eggs do onarchs lay?

41 13.) What is the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis? 14.) What is a chrysalis ade of? 15.) How can you tell a ale onarch fro a feale?

42

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