12th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Monarch caterpillar eating milkweed

Monarch caterpillars need our help. Their host plant, milkweed, has been decimated due to over use of weed killers and the clearing of fields for cattle. Upon reading about the decimation in the Monarch population over the last few years, I planted milkweed in my yard and was immediately rewarded with the joy of watching a Monarch grow from egg to caterpillar to butterfly. This is a late instar Monarch caterpillar chowing down on milkweed in my yard.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2014
Photo Location: Palm Harbor, Florida, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D600
Copyright: © Melissa James