Ever wonder about the various stages that a Monarch butterfly goes through? The entire 'process' takes about four weeks-from egg to butterfly. *Note: Click on individual pictures for an up-cl0se-and-personal view!
After munching, it will soon stop to rest and it is time to molt (shed its skin). When a caterpillar stops moving for awhile, it does not mean it is dead! Chances are the caterpillar is between instars and is getting ready to shed its skin. Note: Leave it alone. It is vulnerable at this stage...
Note that when a 5th instar caterpillar eats, it will 'break' the petiole in the leaf so that the leaf falls down. So if you see a leaf that looks broken, check under it! There just may be a big caterpillar munching away.
Now, a butterfly is ready to be released and enjoyed!