Fact Sheet about the Monarch Butterfly: The Monarch begins as an egg and then transforms into a caterpillar. The caterpillar moves in a circular motion while eating milkweed. In the chrysalis stage it hangs from its legs. It resembles the letter J. When it emerges from its case, which has become transparent, it remains hanging until its wings are dry. Then it flies.
In “A Field Guide to the Butterflies of North America, East of the Great Plains,” the flight of the Monarch is described as “slow and sailing.” This wafting can take them over three thousand miles to their overwintering location in Mexico. The adult weighs less than a gram and has sensors on its head, legs and feet. Hairs on their bodies give them information about movement.
At the Lewis & Clark Butterfly Festival last fall: Dancing the Lifecycle of the Monarch
A Monarch wafts up the stairs at the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center, heading to Mexico