The monarch’s lifespan is highly dependent on what part of the year the adult butterfly emerges from the cocoon. Adults that emerge in early summer only live up to five weeks. Monarchs that emerge late in summer are the ones that migrate south for the winter. These butterflies may live up to nine months!
It is true. In the U.S., the year’s first three generations of monarchs iive 2-6 weeks, but the fourth generation, the one that migrates, can live up to eight months. The “Mesuthelah generation” is born in September and October. To extend their lifespans, the butterflies enter a nonreproductive phase called disapause. After the winter they migrate north again, lay their eggs and die.
Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico
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