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Monarch butterfly UPSC NOTE

 

  • The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a fascinating creature with a lot to offer.

  • Its vibrant colors and fascinating life cycle to its impressive migrations

  • Its current status as an endangered species.

Appearance:

  • Easily recognizable for its striking black, orange, and white wing pattern.

  • Wings have a wingspan of 3.5 to 4 inches (7 to 10 centimeters).

  • Males have two black scent glands on their hind wings, absent in females.

  • Bodies are black with white markings.

  • Starts as an egg laid on a milkweed plant, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

  • The caterpillar goes through 5 instars, changing color and size with each molt.

  • Forms a chrysalis, a beautiful jade green with tiny gold spots, where the metamorphosis takes place.

  • Emerges as a winged adult butterfly after about two weeks.

Migrations:

  • Eastern North American populations embark on an incredible southward migration each fall.

  • Travel up to 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) to overwintering sites in Mexico and California.

  • Sierra Chincua butterfly sanctuary is in which country is in Mexico.

Why in News

  • The 2023-2024 winter figure marks the second-lowest since the population survey began over three decades ago, and is down nearly 60% from just the previous winter.

  • The population of monarch butterflies in the Mexican forests where they spend the winter fell to the second-lowest figure on record this season, offering a grim snapshot of the already endangered orange-and-black insects.

  • The iconic butterflies' presence was only documented in 2.2 acres (0.9 hectares) of forest spanning a couple Mexican states where they traditionally hunker down for the winter, according to the latest annual study published on Wednesday and conducted by Mexico's protected natural areas commission and the Swiss-based World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an environmental group.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Monarch butterfly UPSC NOTE
Monarch butterfly UPSC NOTE
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