Fun facts about Monarchs

  1. Each year, about 4 generations of monarch butterflies occur.
  2. A monarch butterfly can migrate up to 3,000 miles away.
  3. On average, monarch butterflies weigh less than 1 gram.
  4. A female monarch butterfly can lay as much as 1,000 eggs in her lifetime.
  5. Monarch butterflies usually live 2-6 weeks long.
  6. On average, a monarch butterfly’s wingspan is 90-100 mm wide or about 4 in.
  7. Monarch butterflies have no lungs.
  8. They breathe through tiny vents in the thorax or abdomen called spiracles.
  9. Their senses of smell and vision aid them in assessing their environment.
  10. The last monarch generation of the year can live as long as 8-9 months.
  11. Monarch butterflies can smell with their antennae as well.
  12. Their wings flap slower than other butterflies at only 300-720 times per minute.
  13. Monarch caterpillars feed on poisonous milkweed plants, making monarch butterflies deadly to birds and other creatures.
  14. They have a rapid growth rate. The monarch caterpillar may grow to a weight of 2,700 times its initial size. Given that it is only in its caterpillar form for 10 to 14 days, this is rather amazing!
  15. Caterpillars eat the skins they shed. In reality, this caterpillar is quite resourceful! It consumes the eggshell when it initially emerges from the egg.
  16. The male monarch butterfly is distinguished from the female monarch butterfly by a black dot on the inside surface of the wings.
  17. Monarch butterflies are the only butterflies that migrate in both directions, just like birds.