Life Cycle of Monarch Butterfly

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The life cycle of a monarch butterfly is outlined above. Once the female lays an egg on a milkweed leaf, the journey begins. The egg stage lasts between 3-6 days. Once the caterpillar hatches from the egg, it is considered in its first instar, which is a stage of development for caterpillars. Once the caterpillar reaches the fifth and final instar, it sheds its skin and enters the pupa stage, or becomes a chrysalis. The chrysalis stage lasts between 10-14 days. At the center of the life cycle is milkweed. Without it, monarchs cannot survive.