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Monarch Butterfly Migration

Posted by Jane | Added on : October 23, 2008 07:20am | Last edited: October 27, 2009 6:52pm | Viewed 3042 times | 0 Comments


We all know that birds migrate and bears hibernate during winter. A lesser known fact is that even butterflies migrate and hibernate to survive through the cold winter. Monarch butterfly is an interesting topic for butterfly lovers because they migrate during winter.

Monarch butterflies travel all the way to Mexico during winter. Not only do they know when is the right time to start their journey, but also know their exact route of travel. Somehow they end up at the same place where there ancestors came from. They reach a place which they have never seen before!

Migration of birds is a well known phenomenon. They travel south and keep themselves warm during the winter. Monarch butterfly is the only insect which mimics this behavior. They travel more than 2000 miles with their tiny wings and frail body. They park themselves in the mountains and settle down. Their heart rate slows down and they  hibernate.

Once the harsh winter ends, these hibernating butterflies wake up and become active again. They start their journey northwards. They find a mate and lay eggs. From these eggs come out what are called first generation monarch butterflies. These in turn give birth to second generation monarch and so on. Finally, when it is winter, it is time to migrate.

The life span of a monarch butterfly is only 4-6 weeks. But, the monarch butterflies which hibernate to south live as long as 3-4 months in hibernation. Butterfly enthusiasts all over the world keenly follow the migration path of these monarch butterflies hoping to understand this puzzling activity of monarch butterfly migration.



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