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Eggs Of Migrating Generation Of Monarchs Hatching

7-19-12 monarch eating eggshell IMG_4494

The Monarch eggs that are hatching now contain the larvae that will metamorphose into the butterflies that will migrate this fall to central Mexico. Unlike earlier-hatching generations that only live six to eight weeks, the Monarchs that result from late summer and early fall hatchings live six to nine months. Part of the reason for this difference in life span is that, unlike the earlier generations that mate soon after emerging from their chrysalides, late-hatching Monarchs postpone mating (reproductive diapause) until the end of winter, thereby conserving energy for their two to three thousand-mile, two-month migration. (Photo: monarch larva’s first meal – its eggshell.)

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8 responses

  1. Alice Pratt

    It’s so amazing to think about a Butterfly flying that far. Have a wonderful trip!

    August 22, 2016 at 8:12 am

  2. What an incredible photograph Mary1

    August 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

  3. Libby Hillhouse

    Mary, did you see this in the wild this year? Nary a one up here in the NEK….yet….

    August 22, 2016 at 9:03 am

    • I have found one caterpillar this year – none last!

      August 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm

  4. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Wow, I have never seen a Monarch egg!

    August 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm

  5. Jean Haarrison

    Fantastic photo. I have told groups of children and adults dozens or hundreds of times about the first meal, but I was never sure it was true.
    Yesterday I saw a monarch in Windsor and Saturday a possible one (just seen about a second) in Hartland.

    August 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

  6. What if we were to bring more southerly caterpillars early in the milkweed season north to give the chance for more generations to take place here in Vermont? No this doesn’t correct the problems that they face but a possibly larger population would then migrate south. I saw my third monarch yesterday.

    August 23, 2016 at 8:27 am

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