The monarch butterfly or simply monarch is a milkweed butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. Monarch butterflies are the most beautiful of all butterflies, some say, and are considered the “king” of the butterflies.
Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year.
The caterpillar goes through five major, distinct stages of growth and after each one, it molts.
Each caterpillar, or instar, that molts is larger than the previous as it eats and stores energy in the form of fat and nutrients to carry it through the nonfeeding pupal stage.