Minnesota State Butterfly
Visit Minnesota Website
The Minnesota State Butterfly is the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch is one of our Minnesota State Symbols. The Monarch is also called the milkweed butterfly because the milkweed is its favorite food. The Monarch was designated as the state butterfly in 1998.
We snapped this photo at Dunton Locks recreation area near Detroit Lakes.
We raised our five kids on a hobby farm in central Minnesota. Milkweed plants were abundant on the farm therefore Monarch butterflies were everywhere in summer.
Sadly, that is no longer the case. The Monarch population has decreased by 90% since the 1990's. This is due to increased population growth in their breeding areas as well as environmental threats.
A good book to help us understand what Monarchs need to survive and thrive is: Monarchs and Milkweed
Milkweed seed can be ordered online. We add to our milkweed garden every year and are rewarded with lots of visits from Monarchs and other beautiful butterflies.
Raise Monarch Butterflys
A favorite activity of our children was to "raise butterflies." Here is how we did this:
- Use a large 1 quart size glass jar with a lid.
- Poke holes in the lid.
- Fill the jar with milkweed.
- Find a couple of Monarch catterpillars and place them in the jar with the milkweed.
- Make sure the lid is on tightly. (We had a few escapees over the years.)
- The caterpillars will soon spin cocoons (anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks after you place them in the jar.)
- It will be about another 2 weeks before the Monarch butterlies "hatch."
- As the Monarch butterfly develops within the cocoon, you will see the chrysalis darken and become somewhat transparent. You will be able to see the orange and black wings.
- At this point it is just a day or so until the butterfly will emerge.
- Keep a close watch and, when your butterfly does emerge, give it a while to rest and allow its wings to dry.
- You can now release your butterfly into the outdoors and enjoy watching it fly.
This photo was taken in September, 2016 by our niece.
You can help save Monarch Butterflies by planting Milkweed in your garden. Learn how: Save Our Monarchs
The Minnesota State Butterfly does what some other residents of the state do in winter. It heads south! While most species of butterfly live their lives in one location, the Monarch is famous for being a migrating butterfly.
They are found as far north as Canada, yet migrate south to Mexico and Baja California.
A Monarch butterfly lives about four weeks so, obviously, they do not all make the trip south. Usually there are four cycles, or generations, of Monarchs that hatch during a Minnesota summer. Those who come last are the ones who migrate to a warmer climate. These butterflies fly at a height of up to 400 feet and for up to eighty miles a day to reach the mountains of Mexico. They then spend the winter in semi-hibernation.
Minnesota State Bird
Minnesota State Fish
Minnesota State Flower
Minnesota State Tree
Minnesota State Flag
Minnesota State Motto
Minnesota State Song
Back to Minnesota State Symbols
Today's Best Travel Deal
Extra 75% Off Select Hotels with Expedia App Coupon
Hotels.com: Save big NOW on all hotel bookings with Up to a $100 Cash Back Rebate with code REBATES18! Book by 12/31/18, Travel by 3/31/19.
Minnesota Gifts & Souvenirs
Plan Your Minnesota Vacation
Minnesota Vacation Rentals - A vacation rental will give you the feel of your own cabin or chalet in Minnesota. Choose a vacation rental in a specific area or get ideas about some of the best Minnesota vacation destinations before you decide. There are fantastic rental properties and amazing locations that will be perfect for your group of any size.
Best Prices on Minnesota Hotels at Hotels.Com
Best Prices on Vacation Packages at BookingBuddy!
25 Best Minnesota Family Resorts
Ticket Liquidator: Minnesota Events Tickets and Venues
Get deeply discounted tickets on top Minnesota sporting events, concerts, and shows. Timberwolves, Golden Gophers, Top Concerts ....More. Continuously Updated
with current ticket offers.
Enjoy doing the things you love while saving with the discounts in the Entertainment Book. Many offers are two-for-one deals, 50% off and more. Get Your Entertainment Book Today!
Lake Superior Maps
Boundary Waters Maps
Only in Minnesota
Minnesota Nice: Adult Coloring Book Full of Minnesota Love
Minnesota Travel Books