This remarkable time-lapse video reveals in full the moment a monarch butterfly emerges from its chrysalis.
The stunning images depict the butterfly as it exits from its shell after developing from a larvae into the brightly-coloured winged insect.
The pictures were captured by Ken Rohling, a retired inventor from Troy, New York.
He said: ‘It’s the obvious miracle of nature that is depicted here, where a beautiful monarch suddenly emerges from a beautiful green chrysalis.
‘If you look closely at the chrysalis you can see it as it was just a couple of hours after a caterpillar morphed into the beautiful shell with golden accents.
‘On its surface, highlighted between the shadows, you can see very detailed outlines of structures that will be present in the final butterfly.
‘The eyes, antennae, wings, proboscis virtually every detail of the adult butterfly is painted in the structure of the chrysalis.’
Scientists say monarch butterflies’ orange color tells potential predators they taste awful and are toxic to eat thanks to chemicals from the milkweed plants that nourish them in their larval state.
Each winter, the butterflies travel thousands of miles from the United States and Canada to central Mexican forests.
Monarchs use their large, compound eyes to track the sun’s position in the sky, combining the information with the time of day to know where to go.
They make the trek back in the spring but the trip requires six generations to complete because of the insects’ short lifespan.
However the insects are threatened as their food supply of milkweed – which is also their home across the United States – is decreasing.