Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarchs live as caterpillars for 10-14 days.  During this time they grow and consume mostly milkweed.  From here they enter a chrysalis stage, and emerge as an adult butterfly.  I assume the gaudy colors of these caterpillars serve as a warning to predators that the caterpillars are poisonous.  This type of warning is called aposematic coloration.  I found this caterpillar on a milkweed we planted in Erika's garden in hopes of attracting monarchs.

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