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Egg-loading & Milkweed  
Monarch Butterfly Larvae and Milkweed Growth

Monarchs often arrive in the spring as milkweed is just beginning to emerge. When milkweed is in short supply, a monarch may lay more than one egg per plant or leaf. This is called egg-loading. If milkweed were plentiful, monarchs would not lay so many eggs so closely together.

A woman in Pennsylvania was concerned about egg-loading in her garden one spring. She measured the milkweed while she waited for the eggs to hatch. It was a cool spring so it took 14 days. She wondered:

Will the milkweed grow fast enough to feed the hungry larvae?

How many larvae will the milkweed be able to feed?


Journal: Monarch Butterfly Larvae and Milkweed Growth


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Can milkweed grow fast enough to feed hungry larvae?




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