Summer means monarch butterflies! Have you seen them around your neighborhood yet?
Monarch butterflies are becoming endangered as a result of climate change and increasing carbon dioxide levels affecting the only food they will eat - milkweed!
Looking for monarch eggs and caterpillars when you are out on a hike is like a fun little scavenger hunt for kids. The eggs look like little crystals and are often found under leaves and on the flowers. A butterfly can lay up to 6 eggs in one day!
If you are interested in planting milkweed in your own home, and raising monarch caterpillars Save Our Monarchs is a great resource for you. Live in the Buffalo area? You can purchase native milkweed from Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm in Clarence, NY. Interested in just following along with how raising monarchs is going for one local family? Check out @BuffaloButterflies on Instagram. Your kids will love seeing daily check ins on egg counts, caterpillar grown and monarch butterfly releases!
The gold flecks on the chrysalis are to help keep predators away.
Monarchs will only lay eggs on milkweed and will only eat milkweed.
Monarch caterpillars go through four stages before forming their chrysalis.
Their "feet" are like little suction cups. If you let them crawl on you, you can feel them! Kids think this is especially funny because it tickles.