Monarch Butterfly Fun Facts
These school holidays we're all about conservation and in particular helping everyone to learn about the Monarch butterfly. It's nearly on the endangered list in New Zealand so we want to do out bit to help it survive. But before you come on down to your local centre and either decorate and pot a swan plant or make a butterfly feeder we thought it would be great to team up with someone who knows a fair bit about Monarchs to give you some fun facts.
Enter Maria Romero from the Butterfly Musketeers. Maria is the author of “An educational guide on monarch butterflies” which has sold over 1200 copies in NZ since its release in Dec 2016 and is currently finishing her 2nd edition, out this spring. She’s a proud stay-at-home mum of three and the driving force of The Butterfly Musketeers, based in Christchurch. She believes that monarch butterflies are special creatures and she is a passionate advocate for their conservation. She loves giving talks around New Zealand to children at schools and pre-schools in the spring and summer months, about these beautiful butterflies so that they can learn how to nurture and preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations in the face of growing threats to their survival.
TOP FUN FACTS
1. A group of butterflies is officially called a kaleidoscope. A group of butterflies is also called a swarm or flutter.
2.Monarchs don't eat for 24 hours after eclosing.
3. Female monarchs normally start mating after 3 days of eclosing.
4. Monarch butterflies taste with their feet.
5. The summer monarchs may live from two days to 4 weeks. The monarchs that are born late summer live approximately 9 months through winter months.
6. When the monarch butterfly caterpillar is two weeks old, it weighs 3,000 times as much as it did when it was born.
7. A female monarch will lay one egg at a time, on average 400 in their lifetime! Therefore we really need to be planting heaps of swan plants so the female monarch can lay her eggs on.
8. A monarch caterpillar’s first food is the shell of its own egg.
9. Monarchs are excellent pollinators.
Images provided kindly by Butterfly Musketeers.