About 24 hours before the monarch is ready to emerge, the bright green chrysalis will begin to darken and become transparent. The monarch’s beautiful orange and black wings will be visible inside the chrysalis. Once the monarch emerges, its wings will be crumpled, and it will begin pumping fluid into its wings as well as working to get the two parts of the proboscis zipped together. Think of the proboscis as the monarch’s tongue or drinking straw.

The monarch’s wings need to dry. During this stage, it’s important that the monarch can hang its wings freely, with nothing touching them. Otherwise, the wings may not form properly. In less than half an hour, the butterfly’s wings will be fully expanded.

No growth occurs in the adult stage, but Monarchs need to obtain nourishment to maintain their body and fuel for flight. Adult monarchs are not very picky about their source of nectar and will visit many different flowers. Monarchs use their vision to find flowers, but once they land on a potential food source, they use taste receptors on their feet to find the nectar.