Danaus plexippus: Four Monarchs

Photo of Monarch hanging onto a milkweed stem while the wings fill out with hemolymph.
Hanging onto a milkweed stem while the wings fill out with hemolymph.

Three of the butterflies, two males and one female, emerged on November 16. the fourth, a male, emerged the following day. The fourth was about one day behind the first three in its development. In the video, the fourth Monarch’s chrysalis is still opaque green.

I kept the first three butterflies in their enclosure overnight because they emerged too late in the afternoon to be safely released. The next morning, November 17, was windy, but I found a spot on one side of our house that was sheltered from the gusts with both sun and shade options.

As it turned out, the two males flew off without much hesitation and disappeared. The female took off shortly thereafter; but she was a bit more cautious. We watched her land at a few spots in a neighbor’s yard and then she came back to land briefly on our roof, then she was gone as well.

Monarch number four emerged from its chrysalis that afternoon. My next post features a video of his release on November 18.

By S. Felton

S. Felton is a writer, photographer and amateur naturalist.

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