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Monarch Butterflies & Milkweed

Monarch butterflies are an endangered species. You can help monarchs by avoiding pesticides, planting native milkweed, and spread the word!

Males have two black spots on the center of their hindwings, females lack the spots.

Milkweed is named after the milky sustenance that exudes out of the plant once it has been broken.

Milkweed produces toxins to deter animals from eating them, monarchs have become immune to the toxins. Eating milkweed has helped monarchs evade predation due to the toxins staying in their bodies as adults. The colors on monarchs is called aposematic coloration which lets predators know that they do not taste good.

 

https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Invertebrates/Monarch-Butterfly

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/asclepias_syriaca.shtml

 

milkweed

Top photo: Bill Thompson

Bottom photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS