This Monarch Caterpillar was munching on milkweed Friday (September 8) when sharp-eyed neighbor Sherry Streeter pointed it out to us. It and its larval siblings recently emerged from eggs attached to that plant by a female Monarch Butterfly that probably is now dead.
This Caterpillar soon will pull a hooded chrysalis over itself, do a quick-change trick while hidden in there, and emerge to fly to Mexico as one of the most beautiful butterflies. Here's an adult Monarch gracing a Zinnia a few days ago:
Monarchs produce four generations here during the warm months, three of which die after a short life. The fourth generation butterflies, born in September or October, are the ones that migrate south to start the cycle again. The good news about this threatened species: we’ve seen more Monarchs here this summer than in the past three years. (Brooklin, Maine)