Caterpillar of Monarch butterfly, D.Plexippus

Caterpillar of Monarch butterfly, D.Plexippus

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caterpillar of the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus). This is in the final instar larval stage of development, and is seen fixing itself to a leaf of the milkweed Asclepias rotundifolia prior to pupation. The caterpillar is brightly coloured, this is a warning to potential predators. D.plexippus contains cardiac glycosides derived from its food, and is thus toxic to birds and other animals.

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Keywords: animal, caterpillar, colour, danaus plexippus, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, monarch, monarch butterfly, nature, type, warning, warning colours, wildlife, zoology

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