DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Monarch butterfly egg (Danaus plexippus) on a milkweed leaf. 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: x10 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
Model release not required. Property release not required.