Monarch butterfly, all the info

Monarch butterfly, all the info

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Its scientific name isDanaus plexippus, better known asmonarch butterflyor simplyMonarch. It belongs to the Nymphalidae family, native to America and is probably thebutterflymost popular in the world thanks to its "glorious" migration.

Monarch Butterfly:symbolic meaning, migration and life cycle. How long does a monarch butterfly live and curiosities about the species and its migrations from the United States to Mexico.


ThereMonarch butterfly it holds a remarkable resistance to flight thanks to which it can make a long onemigrationbefore ending its life cycle. It is estimated that one specimen ofMonarch, in the duration of its life, it manages to fly 2,112 km in 46 days. The ability to cover long distances allows thedispersal of the specieswhich on many occasions has also been found in locations far from the original area.

The monarch butterflies of North America in the fall begin to fly south orienting themselves with a particular characteristic calledmagnetoreception. Butterflies startmigrategrouping into groups of thousands of individuals.

The Monarch Butterflies of the western United States migrate to the mountainous areas of California where they spend the winter in a state of semi-hibernation (a sort of hibernation) which, clinging to the trunks and branches of trees, allows them to overcome the winter cold.

Monarch butterfly and migration to Mexico

Mexico is a very popular tourist destination for us Europeans who want to spend the winter on exotic beaches ... It is a bit like that for the butterflies that live in Southern Canada and the United States. Thesemonarch butterfliesthey perform amigrationaimed at reaching a small valley located in Mexico at 3,000 meters above sea level. More than 14 million arrive in this town in Mexico during the wintermonarch butterflieswhich cover a very small area (one and a half hectares).

In the following spring, after mating, the butterflies begin their return journey. It is during the return that the females ofmonarch butterfliesthey stop to lay eggs. In some cases, monarch butterflies fail to complete the return migration and end their life midway. It will then be the new generation to complete the recolonization journey of the northernmost regions.

The number of eggs that the female can lay is very variable: from 290 to 1180 eggs. Eggs take 3 to 8 days to develop and give birth tocaterpillars.

Migrations to the North can cover up to three different generations. Theremigrationin Mexico, on the other hand, it occurs in a single generation. The return trip north is a rare case of migration over several generations.

Sexual dimorphism: To an untrained eye, the male and female specimens appear identical. However, there are several differences.

Males tend to have larger wings than females while chest sizes are similar. Female monarch butterflies tend to have thicker wings, which allows them to show more traction on the fly than male specimens. Thanks to this thickening shown in the female sex, female butterflies have less chance of damaging their wings during flight. Females need less energy to fly in order to allocate adequate energy for egg production. This information only emerged during a 2015 study.

Monarch butterfly: meaning

If you are thinking of doing thetattoo of a butterfly, you are probably considering the speciesMonarchand you wonder about its meaning.

In general, the butterfly is a symbol ofnatural beauty, its intrinsic meaning is thefreedom and transformation. The monarch butterfly, most of all, has been reconnected to femininity.

Monarch butterfly meaning: among all butterflies, that Monarch is a symbol of royalty. In Mexico, the monarch butterfly is attributed a spiritual meaning: here the monarch butterflies indicate the return of lost souls as a link between life and death.

How long does the monarch butterfly live

Eggs take up to 8 days to give life tocaterpillar. A caterpillar can take only 25 days to reach maturity and turn into a chrysalis if the climatic conditions are favorable. Only 10% of the eggs laid by the monarch butterfly give life to caterpillars, 90% are preyed upon or damaged by parasites and diseases.

The adult butterfly takes four to five days to reach sexual maturity, the breeding season lasts from two to five weeks. The adult monarch butterfly can be both migratory and stationary… this means that not all monarch butterflies migrate south. Generally speaking, it can be said that monarch butterflies come to live by two weeks at eight months.

If the Monarch is the most popular butterfly in the Americas, here in Italy the swallowtail butterfly stands out.

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