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A monarch butterfly has orange wings with
black wing veins and outer margins. It has small
white spots on the outer edge of the wings and
three orange patches on the top of the
forewings. Its body is black with white spots.
The monarch butterfly lives
all around the world. It
lives in various climates
such as tropical areas and
subtropical areas. It can
live in meadows, fields,
marshes and cleared road
sides. During the summer
the monarch butterfly is
seen in Canada and the
United States.
Milkweed plant
A butterfly eating nectar
As caterpillars they
eat their own egg
shells and as adults
they eat milkweed
leaves. Milkweed is
a poisonous plant
that will cause will
cause other animals
to get a stomach
ache. Monarch
butterflies drink
nectar from many
Monarch butterflies, like all butterflies, can only
sip liquid food using a tube-like proboscis, which
is a long, flexible tongue used for sucking nectar
out of
A monarchs colours tells
predators: “Don’t eat me!
I’m poisonous!”
Male monarchs are distinguished
from females by the blank spot
on each hind wing.
The butterflies get their toxins from
a plant named milkweed which is
their only source of food.
• Monarch butterflies can fly up
to 3000 miles before stopping.
• Beware! The monarch
butterfly is a poisonous
Scientists have found that fewer monarchs are returning each year due to natural
disasters that are taking place in their Mexican wintering grounds. The milkweed that
the monarchs eat is being reduced each year due to logging. The logging has greatly
reduced forests where these butterflies roost (nest). Efforts to protect these lands are
helping but illegal logging still takes a toll. Since 1983, the International Union for
Conservation of nature has listed the monarch migration as a threatened phenomena.
We can help protect the milkweed that the monarch butterflies eat. We can raise
awareness about illegal logging to help protect the butterflies habitat.
The end!