This tiny egg, the size of a pinhead, holds a creature that will grow and change into a magnificent Monarch Butterfly! This entire process takes a mere 30 days.
The egg was laid on a very special plant- a milkweed. Milkweeds are the ONLY plant a monarch caterpillar will eat. There are over 100 species of milkweed, 75 here in the U.S. Unfortunately, milkweed is losing habitat to development and agriculture, and being eliminated by herbicides used along roadsides and farm areas.
The Monarch butterfly population is measured by the number of acres they inhabit during seasonal hibernation. In 2003, Monarchs inhabited 27.48 acres. In 2013 they inhabited a scant 1.65 acres. Efforts are now underway to plant milkweed to help bring back Monarch butterflies. The Greensboro Science Center has planted three Monarch waystations in our zoo to provide milkweed as well as other nectar and host plants for butterflies.
Milkweed and Monarchs need our help! Learn more while you enjoy our breathtaking new 3-D movie, “Flight of the Butterflies,” which starts June 6th. Member preview night is Friday, May 30th, from 6:00 PM to 8:00PM and includes the movie, snacks, milkweed seed give-away, crafts for kids, and more! For more information on the member preview night, visit http://greensboroscience.org/support/membership/documents/FOBPreview.pdf.
You can keep up with the progress of the Monarch caterpillars when you visit the Greensboro Science Center, or follow them on our blog.