In 1998 Minnesota chose the monarch to represent it as the state butterfly. Although monarchs are very common to Minnesota and very beautiful I am not sure that it is the best choice to represent Minnesota and its population.First off as a larva, or caterpillar, the monarch eats only milkweed. The monarch above is perched on butterfly weed which is a type of milkweed plant. The liquids inside the milkweed are toxic to many creatures so as the monarch caterpillar eats the milkweed it too becomes toxic. This is a great defense mechanism to keep predators away but as a representative of Minnesota what does it say about the state. Second the monarch is one of the few butterflies that migrate south for the winter. While we do have a population of snowbirds here in Minnesota most of us can not afford to spend the winter on the southern California coast or in the mountains of central Mexico, like the monarchs do. Most of us have to stick around Minnesota during the winter and do our best to survive. There are several species of butterflies, like the mourning cloak or eastern comma, that over winter in Minnesota as an adult butterfly. Perhaps they might have been a better choice but I am sure that the legislators that chose the monarch as the state butterfly did not put as much thought into it as I am.