Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

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Credit: GARY RETHERFORD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Monarch butterfly. Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) resting on the protective chrysalis from which it has just emerged. It is in the process of inflating its wings. During pupation, the caterpillar changes into a butterfly. Monarchs are migratory butterflies native to North America. Millions of them migrate thousands of kilometres to the southern USA and Mexico for the winter. They spend this period in semi-hibernation, before mating in the spring and laying eggs from which caterpillars hatch on their journey back north. For a sequence showing part of the life cycle of this butterfly see images Z355/590-593.

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Keywords: animal, central, change, chrysalis, danaus plexippus, development, inflate, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, metamorphosis, mexico, monarch butterfly, nature, north america, pupate, pupation, united states, usa, wildlife, wing inflation, zoology

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