I had the opportunity to attend an out of town training where I learned all about the Monarch butterflies, their life cycle, migration, etc. It was a great workshop.
If you look really closely you can see Monarch eggs on the piece of milkweed. They are small like a sesame seed and have ridges. Right before the caterpillar hatches out you can see a black spot at the top of the egg. It's the caterpillar's head.
After they hatch and eat their egg case, they are tiny little caterpillars. This photo shows the first, second and third instars.
Here you can see the fourth and fifth instars.
After the caterpillar completes it's five stages of growth it forms a chrysalis. Here you can see how interesting a Monacrch chrysalis is.
Right befor the butterfly emerges from it's chrysalis, the butterfly inside turns from that jade color to the black and orange Monarch we are familiar with. The chrysalis is actually clear the whole time. This photo shows one of the adult Monarchs we had in the workshop nectaring on some apple juice.