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A Tiny Life: Notes from a Monarch Butterfly Lover

By Devon Elizabeth Barrett, Age 10

Ottawa Lake, Michigan

Hi! I love monarch butterflies. I have raised almost 500 of them. Here are some cool things I noticed about the life cycle of one monarch that I named Tiny.

­ TinyÔs egg was about the size of a pinhead.

­ After hatching, it took Tiny seven hours to eat his egg.

­ When it was time to turn into a chrysalis, Tiny first made a "button." A button is like sticky hair that keeps the chrysalis stuck to where its built.

­ Next, Tiny held onto the button and hung down in a "J" shape. Then he wiggled out of his skin. Under the skin, Tiny was shiny and emerald green. What was weird was the emerald green chrysalis was Tiny.

­ Tiny emerged, head first. His wings were very small and crinkled, and his body was enormous. He hung upside down and dripped. TinyÔs body grew smaller, while his wings grew bigger.

­ Tiny turned out to be a female because she had no perfume pocket. Only male monarchs have a perfume pocket, which is a black spot on the lower part of the bottom wing.

Here is an artist's view

of the Metamorphosis of a Butterfly

created by John, a second grader at the Blake School

The second graders at The Blake School study the life cycle of butterflies. They used KidPix to create the metamorphosis of a butterfly through the stages of egg, larva, pupa and adult. Using
KidPix Slide Show they then took their illustrations and created an animated this kind of video showing this metamorphosis in QuickTime. The Blake school has campuses in Minneapolis, Hopkins, and Wayzata Minnesota.

Come up with your own question about monarchs!

Don't forget to feed them fresh milkweed leaves every day!

P.S. To find monarch eggs, look on the bottom of milkweed leaves!

You can order Monarch butterflies and milkweed seeds from The Milkweed Cafe.

People east of the Rocky Mountains can order monarch eggs here:
 Monarch Watch
 c/o O.R. Taylor
 Department of Entomology, Haworth Hall
 University of Kansas
 Lawrence, Kansas 66045 USA
1-888-TAGGING or 1-785-864-4441; monarch@ukans.edu
 Or go online to www.MonarchWatch.org.

(If you live west of the Rocky Mountains or in Canada, Monarch Watch can direct you to similar programs in your area.)

to Monarch
Tiny Life Monarch

Photo courtesy of Laura Hansen at Iowa State University.

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