What Do Monarch Butterflies Eat

Did you know that monarch butterflies have straw-like tongues that they use to suck up food? The scientific word for this suction tube tongue is proboscis, and this feature has a major impact on a monarch butterfly's diet. So what do monarch butterflies eat?
Because they eat through a proboscis, monarch butterflies are limited to a liquid diet. They cannot suck food particles through their tongues, so instead they find nourishment by drinking the liquids found in fruits, plants and flowers.
It would not be uncommon to see a monarch butterfly enjoying the natural juices from fruits like bananas, oranges and especially watermelon, which is a very juicy fruit.
Monarch butterflies also drink the nectar from a variety of plants. Nectar is a sweet, sugary liquid produced in plants. Plants such as red clover, alfalfa, thistle and wild carrot are good sources of food for the monarch butterfly. Monarch butterflies are also attracted to the nectar from flowers like lilacs and golden rods.
One plant that offers more than just nourishment for monarch butterflies is milkweed. When monarch butterflies drink the juice from milkweed, it makes their bodies poisonous to predators.
There are more than twenty different types of milkweed plants available for monarch butterflies across the Untied States. Some different types of milkweed include California milkweed, swamp milkweed and common milkweed.
These different varieties of milkweed are very beneficial for the monarch butterfly, because this type of butterfly migrates, or travels south each year when it gets cold. With so many different types of milkweed available, monarch butterflies are better able to protect and feed themselves.
Sometimes, male monarch butterflies can absorb nutrients directly from soil. When male monarch butterflies place their bodies on wet dirt or gravel, they can take in the moisture and minerals from the earth. This process is called mud-puddling.