Protecting & raising awareness for the Monarch butterfly, through interactive educational talks within schools. Monarch Butterflies are the doorway to nature & connection with the magical world.
There are over 20,000 known species of butterfly around the world. The most popular here in New Zealand is the monarch butterfly. Danaus plexippus is its scientific name. Originally from North America, the monarch butterfly is considered a native species having established itself in New Zealand in the 1870s, and has now become one of our national icons. Their Māori name is Kakahu.
Butterflies live on every continent on earth except Antartica, and the majority are found in tropical rainforests. They have also been to space in 2009 as an educational experiment on board a space station with astronauts. Their habitats range from dry deserts to swampy marshes and luckily for us, local parks and in our own back gardens. The monarch butterflies have also established themselves in Hawaii, Samoa and Tahiti, as well as Australia, transported by ship or carried by the wind. The largest population is located in Southern Canada and Northern United States, from where the monarchs migrate every year to Mexico for winter. Most adult monarchs are herbivores, meaning they have a plant diet. They use their proboscis (long curly tubular mouth part) to suck in nectar from flowers, and water. The larvae of monarchs are called caterpillars. Their job is to eat, grow, store food and develop into chrysalises. Caterpillars are bright yellow, green and white to warn predators that they might be poisonous to eat.
Life cycle (Metamorphosis):
Butterfly coloring in:
To have some fun coloring in your own monarch butterfly, simply download the PDF above and print it out! Designed by my amazing artist friend Denise Manns.