Of the nearly 17,500 known species it appears that no real numbers can be applied to this question because the numbers are constantly changing and with certain species such as the Monarch butterfly its incredibly difficult due to the large decrease in their population.
There are approximately 5 generations of Monarch butterflies born every year -in the spring and then in the summer. However, only the last generation of butterflies born in the summer will survive past 5 weeks so they can travel the 8-month southern migration to Mexico, breed and then wait out the winter in the cooler, elevated areas of California. After there eggs hatch and their children make the transition from catepillar to butterfly, the new “adult monarchs continue the journey north that was left unfinished by their parents,” (National Wildlife Federation).
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