Monarch butterflies migrate through Iowa
*Video by Courtney Turnis, 2007 INHF Land Stewardship Intern.
This September, watch for Monarch butterflies as they migrate through Iowa. They can be spotted by their bright orange wings with black lines and spots. The month of September sees the heaviest migration period for Monarchs, migrating down to the Sierra Madre in central Mexico.
Monarch butterflies hatch as larvae and eat their eggshells and the milkweed plants on which they were layed. They especially love common milkweed. After the larvae stage they become a caterpillar. After they have gained enough fat, they start to build a hard outer shell, known as the chrysalis. This stage is known as the pupa. Around mid-summer the pupa starts to hatch and migrate south. Monarchs live between six to eight months and then the process begins again.
Information courtesy of The Butterflies of Iowa and the National Geographic.