Monarch butterflies flutter around the globe
Monarch butterflies are known to flit and float across North America, but they live on other continents as well. Take a look at this regal butterfly from around the world in our slideshow.
Caterpillars, which transform into monarch butterflies, sport yellow, black and cream bands. This one feeds on a leaf in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images
After the larvae stage, caterpillars create a cocoon from which they emerge as monarch butterflies, looking like this one in Assateague Island, Md. Photo: Joel Achenbach/Washington Post/Getty Images
A monarch butterfly alights on a flower at Point Pelee National Park in Ontario, Canada. Monarch butterflies live in other places besides North America, including Indonesia, the Canary Islands and Australia. Photo: DeAgostini/Getty Images
A Lesser Wanderer butterfly (or Danaus petilia) is photographed at Buffalo Beach in western Australia. Photo: Auscape/UIG via Getty Images
A monarch butterfly lands on a flower in a field near Earth University in Limon province, Costa Rica, where students from around the world come to study sustainable agricultural sciences. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images
Butterfly as balm
The residents of Christchurch, New Zealand, released 185 monarch butterflies at a ceremony remembering the 185 people who lost their lives in a 2011 earthquake. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
Efforts began in the 1930s to track the monarchs' migration routes. In the 1970s, researchers found 12 forested spots in Mexico where the butterflies liked to flock in winter. The Mexican government labeled five of the sites as protected biosphere areas in 1986, but privately owned plots continue to be logged, which reduces the monarchs' habitat. Photo: Richard Ellis/Getty Images
Generations of monarchs
Monarch butterflies can have up to four generations of offspring in one year. The first three generations live for about two to six weeks. The fourth generation, which can live up to nine months, are the butterflies who travel south for the winter, to either California or Mexico, according to Defenders of Wildlife. Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images
Some researchers have seen a steady decline in the numbers of monarchs that travel to the Oyamel forests in Mexico. They think the decline might be due to the loss of forest from logging, the occurrence of droughts in the United States and the eradication of milkweed, which larvae feast upon before becoming a caterpillar. Photo: Mario Vazquez/AFP/Getty Images
Blanket of orange
Monarch butterflies are known to flit and float across North America, but they live on other continents as well. Take a look at this regal butterfly from around the world.
Monarch butterflies smother a tree branch in at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico. Each year hundreds of millions Monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. and Canada to Oyamel fir forests in the highlands of central Mexico.
Read more about this mass butterfly migration. Photo: Richard Ellis/Getty Images
After winter, monarch butterflies travel back north with the warmer weather. This one takes a break, sipping nectar from a flower in Minneapolis. Photo: MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images