MUniversity of Minnesota OneStop | Directories | Search U of M

Growth and Development

Research Projects

Monarchs, like other insects with complete metamorphosis, undergo a development process that appears to be very different from that undergone by humans. They go through stages in which their body form changes radically, whereas human infants have approximately the same form that they will have as human adults. However, we humans do an incredible amount of developing before birth. Insects hatch from the egg at a relatively earlier stage of development, so many of the changes that take place are simply more visible to us. The pictures below illustrate this; the human adult and his newborn son are much more similar in form than the immature monarch and it's adult mother.

human father and baby larva and adult monarch

This human father and his newborn (immature) son are much more similar than this immature monarch and its adult mother.

Research on monarch development has been focused in two main areas: