Magnificent Monarchs by Linda Glaser

By Linda Glaser

Describes, in basic textual content and full-color illustrations, the actual features, behavior, and existence cycle of the monarch butterfly.

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Without milkweed, there would be no more monarchs. Monarchs need milkweed to survive. Are caterpillars a type of worm? No. Worms always stay worms. They never change into another shape. Caterpillars change into butterflies or moths. Monarch caterpillars change into butterflies. This change is called metamorphosis. How long does it take a monarch caterpillar to become a butterfly? A monarch is a caterpillar for about two weeks. During that time, it sheds its skin four times and grows about 2 inches (5 cm) long.

They all rest, close together, staying warm until spring. Then my little friend starts back north again. Here she finds young milkweed plants. She lays her eggs. At last! Soon a wiggly caterpillar pushes out of the egg, a tiny new life, an amazing new friend. Monarch Facts For children who want to know more, here are some answers to questions they may have: How many eggs does a monarch butterfly lay? She lays about 400 eggs-all on milkweed plants. She usually lays only one egg per plant. Do monarch caterpillars eat any other plants besides milkweed?

She grows right out of her small tight skin. She now has a bigger, looser one.  .  .  . and AGAIN. " She sheds her skin once more. And look! A chrysalis has formed. My little friend is safe inside. She stays in there for days and days, while her whole body changes in wonderful ways. When she comes out she's not fat or wiggly. She's become a monarch butterfly with magnificent wings. Now she's ready for an amazing journey. It's autumn. She must not get cold. She quickly heads south for a warm winter home.

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