Monarch butterfly head, SEM

Monarch butterfly head, SEM

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Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Monarch butterfly head, eye and proboscis (Danaus plexippus). In two to five weeks of egg-laying a female will lay about 700 eggs. Generally, eggs hatch in 4 days, but cool temperatures delay hatching up to 12 days. Newly hatched caterpillars feed on milkweed, their sole source of food. Milkweed contains a poison that is harmless to monarchs, but which sickens predators. A caterpillar eventually attaches itself to a twig, sheds and forms a chrysalis from which an adult monarch butterfly emerges. An adult lives six weeks in summer but those that migrate can live six to nine months over winter. Magnification: x4 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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Keywords: 99782b, butterflies, butterfly, colored, coloured, compound, danaus, electron, eye, false-colored, false-coloured, head, insect, insects, invertebrate, invertebrates, lateral, lepidoptera, micrograph, migration, milkweed, monarch, mouth, mouthpart, nymphalidae, ommatidia, ommatidium, plexippus, pollinator, proboscis, scale, scales, scanning, sem, wing, wings

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