My daughter recently got some monarch butterfly caterpillars from a friend, and we kept them until they hatched from their chrysalides and then released them once their wings had fully unfurled and dried. Here is what the caterpillar looks like:
Here’s one of the hatched butterflies as I released it onto hydrangeas in our yard:
I never thought of these butterflies as calico, or tricolor, but there you have it!
One resource I read notes that, “[t]he orange and black color pattern is often thought to be a warning signal to predators.” (www.monarchwatch.org/read/articles/nivosus.htm)
Monarchs are unpalatable to birds, “due to the ingestion of cardenolides from milkweed host plants” when they are larvae (ibid).
Now here is the next one ready to go out to the garden. I got it in the same picture with Callie without risking its life . . . which was easier said than done!