1 2 3 4 Monarch Butterflies Danaus plexippus
Monarch Butterfly Nectars on Milkweed
Monarch Butterfly Nectars on Milkweed
Monarchs are a great choice for a first time butterfly gardener. They're big enough to see, and stick around long enough to enjoy. Their long distance migrations increase your chance of their finding your garden. As an added bonus, at least where I live, you might get Queens on your milkweed too. Check out my Milkweed Host Plant page.
This Monarch (left) is laying an egg on a Milkweed leaf. It will hatch into a tiny caterpillar that will eat and grow until it looks like these:
In the photo below, the Monarch is laying an egg, and under the leaf you can see one she's already laid.
Close-up of Monarch Eggs:
Monarch Butterfly Laying Egg On Milkweed Leaf
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar
Monarch Butterfly Lays Egg On Milkweed
Monarch Butterfly Eggs
Once the caterpillars have eaten (sometimes every bite of milkweed you've provided) their fill, and are plump and mature enough, they hang upside-down in a J-form to make their chrysalis.
The monarch below is a male, you can tell by the two large black spots on the back wings; the female does not have those.
Click to visit my Emerging Monarch Butterfly Page to see a Monarch Butterfly emerge from it's chrysalis.
Monarch Butterflies use Milkweed as their host plant.

They are large reddish-orange butterflies, and some people confuse them with other large reddish-orange butterflies that live here in South Florida. This Compare Butterflies page shows the Monarch, Queen, Viceroy, and Soldier Butterflies together so you can see their differences for yourself.

Monarch Butterflies "Birds and the Bees" and Monarch Emerges

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar
Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis
Male Monarch Butterfly
Newly Emerged Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterflies Nectar On Milkweed
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