A Day in
the Life of a Butterfly Egg
Can you tell it is ready to hatch?
abandon their eggs the instant they're laid. (And the fathers are long
gone. A female monarch can lay eggs her whole life after a single mating.)
If you were a butterfly egg, your mother could not afford the time to
raise you. You would be one of the several hundred siblings she'd try
to produce in her short life. So she'd have to move on!
your chances of survival she would try to:
- Find your
host plant, milkweed; (Milkweed is the ONLY food you'd eat when you
- Lay only
one egg on the plant, so you'd have it all to yourself;
- Lay the egg on
a young milkweed plant, to provide you with the freshest leaves;
the egg with a sticky substance, so you won't fall off the leaf!
- Lay the
egg on the underside of the leaf (so you'd be hidden from the strong
sun and a little less visible to predators).
your parents would not be there to protect you, your egg would have a
hard shell and even a wax coating to keep you from drying out. You'd be
tiny and somewhat camouflaged but still, a nutritious meal for a predator...
a story from the perspective of a young monarch (an egg, caterpillar,
or chrysalis). What will you need from your habitat at each stage of
your life? What gives you confidence that you can survive on your own?
Is there anything you are afraid of?
write a short story from the perspective of a mother monarch butterfly.
How do you depend on good habitat for the survival of your young? What
worries do you have?
This! Insect Egg Hunt
Spring is a perfect time to look for insect eggs. Inspect the leaves of
as many different plants as you can. See how many insect eggs your class
can collect. Bring them to school and inspect their different colors,
sizes, and shapes. Pay close attention to milkweed. What other animals
do you see? How do they seem to use milkweed?
Science Education Standards
Organisms have basic needs. Organisms can survive only in environments
in which their needs can be met. (K-4)
animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults,
reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are
different for different organisms. (K-4)