Nymphalidae

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    From larva to a majestic winged monarch butterfly, the transformation a caterpillar undergoes in its quest to become a butterfly is truly unique. In such process a sixteen legged pest morphs into a beautiful butterfly. Though a beautiful sight, what a caterpillar actually goes through on this journey is quite gruesome. Many wonder how this 180 degree transformation is possible, but broken down it is much simpler to comprehend. Monarch butterflies lay their milky white eggs on milkweed, insuring their offspring will have food upon hatching. The eggs patiently house and develop the larvae for four to six days before the young caterpillars break free. Freshly hatched from its egg a caterpillar is famished and on the hunt for food. The larva inhales milkweed leaves bits at a time. During this stage monarch caterpillars are able to eat their bodyweight in milkweed a day. A monarch caterpillar becomes fully grown at two inches long. Depending on how many leaves each caterpillar stuffs itself with it can take nine to fourteen days to reach its full growth. While growing at this rapid pace a monarch caterpillar sheds its skin five times. Their body releases a hormone called ecdysone instructing the larvae to moult. As the caterpillar grows it outgrows it’s skin, new layers are readily awaiting the larva’s growing body. Fully grown, the monarch caterpillar no longer has use for the milkweed plant. The caterpillar eagerly seeks refuge, sometimes twenty to thirty feet away from the…

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    What do you think of when you hear the words, “butterfly”? Do you imagine a small, majestic, winged creature that you often see fluttering around the garden or backyard? Yes, I thought so. But that’s not how everybody may see monarchs. Farmers, gardeners, and even you depend on butterflies! Whether we know it or not. The Process of Pollinating Take farmers, for instance. They depend on pollinators, including this insect, or insecta, for their plants to blossom and develop. Do you often see a…

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    The monarch butterfly, also known as Danaus plexippus, is recognized as America’s state insect with a wing span of 4 inches and 10 centimeters long – the longest wing span ever recorded within the monarchs’ insect population (Conant, 2012). Monarchs are notorious in the United States because of their spectacular migration across Canada and the United States to the overwintering sites in central Mexico – and back again. In this case, monarchs migrate between 2,000 to 3,000 miles every single year…

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    ground squirrels are members of the squirrel family of rodents which generally live on or in the ground, rather than trees [Wikipedia] they are living in fields and grassy locations in the west. In winter, they all live in the basement, or store their food in the cave. Cave entrance and exit is hidden, they are hidden in the rocks and bushes, when these squirrels hibernate in winter, the predator wouldn't find them, the squirrel hole can be protected Squirrel store enough food they can eat in…

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    Krockenberger, 2002) D.J. Kemp and A.K. Krockenberger (2002) stated the three basking mechanisms are dorsal, lateral, and reflectance. They also propose a fourth basking mechanism they call “appression” that is the focus of their paper. They argue that butterflies find a resting place with their wings spread to their full span and then angle them down towards the ground at approximately 130 degree angle. (Kemp & Krockenberger, 2002). Kemp and Krockenberger (2002) stated, “we pursue the…

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