Once the caterpillar eats the milkweed the chemical is passed into its body. In short, if it dissolves in water, a butterfly can eat it. What do monarch caterpillars eat? For example, Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed plants, but Monarch butterflies eat milkweed nectar as well as other flower nectars and other liquids. You can get started one of two ways: raising your own from a kit or ordering newborn monarch butterflies through the mail. If your neighbors think these “common weeds" are too easy to grow, reassure them that you are gardening by planting zinnias, liatris, or candytuft. The adult Monarch Butterfly eats through its tubular proboscis, so it can consume only liquids. Monarchs visit lots of different flowers while flying about in search of milkweed. The adult Monarch butterfly drinks the juices of soft fruits (usually fallen fruits), and nectar from flowers. Add fruit that is going bad. The adult Monarch butterfly is relatively large. In the process of sucking nectar out of flowers, it pollinates those flowers. Some butterflies will feed on the sugars in rotting fruits. Fuel for the metamorphosis comes from food stored up by the caterpillar. In the winter, in the Monarch Butterfly groves in Mexico and California, the butterflies rest and live on nutrients stored in their bodies. Suite101 suggests using a plate feeder. 1 decade ago. Insects > Monarch Butterflies > Monarch Butterflies The King of Butterflies and His Royal Family Welcome to Monarch-Butterfly.com, the web site for fun facts about monarch butterflies—everything from what they look like, what they eat, where they live, to where to find cool coloring pages and temporary monarch butterfly tattoos, to how to rear your own butterflies in a butterfly garden. You now know what do butterflies eat, how they eat, and how you can encourage and provide for butterflies in all stages of their lives. In about ⅘ of its molts, the caterpillar may eat its shed skin. Monarch Butterflies sip plain water. They especially like to eat rotting grapefruits, oranges, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, apples, and bananas. They do little else but eat milkweed until they literally burst out of their skins (molt). Monarchs will help garden carrots go feral and evolve back into Queen Anne’s Lace if you let the plants go to seed. ¦        Like every other butterfly species, monarch butterflies are herbivores. You now know what do butterflies eat, how they eat, and how you can encourage and provide for butterflies in all stages of their lives. The larval stage of a monarch butterfly is spent feeding on a plant species called milkweed. All the gardener needs to do is leave these plants room to grow: As caterpillars, monarchs feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, wildflowers in the genus Asclepias. Insects > Monarch Butterflies > What Do Monarchs Eat? A few devour blood, sweat, and tears. Either way, you need to feed them in order for them to thrive. However, some tidy individuals will eat their old skins after they crawl out in their new ones. But don't limit yourself to these two common species; there are dozens of milkweed varieties to plant, and monarch caterpillars will munch them all. Birds that attempt to eat monarchs will often regurgitate, and quickly learn that those orange and black butterflies don't make a good meal. They usually feed on nectar from plant flowers or tree sap. Each species of butterflies has nectar plants that they prefer but many adult butterflies will feed from a wide variety of nectar sources. Monarch Butterfly larvae do not. Monarch butterfly caterpillars take advantage of this poisonous substance and use it to drive away potential predators. In the fifth instar the finger-long caterpillars are very efficient eaters and may be able to dispose of a whole milkweed leaf in five minutes. In the process of sucking nectar out of flowers, it pollinates those flowers. 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