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    Posted March 22, 2012 by
    New Plymouth, New Zealand
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

    More from JherryPhons

    Summary: The Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JherryPhons says he captured these photos from the months of February through March, documenting the life cycle of monarch butterflies in his New Zealand backyard. When he first started photographing these images he says he knew the basics about butterflies, but with daily monitoring and observation, he says he has learned a greater deal about butterflies. 'Every stage was a learning experience for me,' he says.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    The four stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle are the following:

    1.The Egg (no photo)
    Adult female monarchs lay their eggs on the milkweed leaves. In one to two weeks, these eggs will be hatched depending on the temperature and place.

    2. The larvae or caterpillar (photo no.1)
    After they were hatched, the larvae will be busy crawling and eating all the plant leaves for about two weeks or more and turn into beautiful caterpillars about 2 inches long. But sometimes, their sizes vary.

    3.The pupa or chrysalis (photos 2,3,&4)
    Once the caterpillar reached their maturity stage, they attach themselves head down (a J-shape position) to a convenient twig, they shed their outer skin and begin the transformation into a pupa (or chrysalis), a process which is completed in a matter of hours or less.

    4.The adult butterfly (photos 5,6,&7)
    In about two weeks, a beautiful and colourful adult butterfly will come out from the pupa. The butterfly waits until its wings are strong enough to fly away to start the cycle of life all over again.

    Thanks guys for viewing my story on the Monarch Butterfly. I enjoyed covering this life cycle and I learned a lot from this wonderful creature.
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