Have you ever seen a distinctive orange, black, and white monarch butterfly? April brings monarchs north to Arkansas from Mexico. A female will lay a single egg on the underside of a milkweed leaf. The caterpillar that hatches will molt five times before it forms a chrysalis. Out will hatch a butterfly, who will mate and continue the next part of the migration north, as far as Canada.
The fourth or fifth generation of the year will fly thousands of miles to Mexico where they will winter, to begin the cycle again in spring. Monarchs are endangered because monarch caterpillars can eat only milkweed plants. Milkweeds have disappeared as agriculture and development have destroyed natural habitat. You can help monarchs by planting milkweed varieties native to Arkansas.
You can learn more at Arkansas Monarch Conservation Partnership website.