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Gardening Articles

Our most recent article, as published in the Mt. Democrat newspaper:  

Monarch Butterfly I-LP-DPLE-AD (1)

Fascinating Butterflies!

by Laurel Rady
UCCE Master Gardener of El Dorado County

The life cycle of a butterfly is made up of four parts: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis) and adult. Once a caterpillar is fully grown, it attaches itself to a twig or leaf before shedding its outside layer of skin to reveal the chrysalis beneath, which is made of a hardened protein.
After a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, it waits for a few hours for its wings to fill with blood, dry, and warm up, before taking its first flight. A butterfly is a cold-blooded creature. Unable to regulate its body temperature internally, it is reliant on the external thermal temperature for its muscle motors to function properly. A butterfly cannot fly if its body temperature is less than 82-86 degrees Fahrenheit.

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