(Danaus plexippus)
Indiana, USA – August 2021

Feeding and growing is the main occupation of these impressive caterpillars. These adult specimens are about to pupate.

Their food plant Cynanchum laeve, also called “honeyvine milkweed”, is a climber that overgrows other plants and is often considered a weed. I, too, initially tried to remove it from our garden until I learned its importance to monarch butterflies.

While the caterpillars eat the leaves, at the same time the adult butterflies are attracted to the sweet-smelling flowers.