Sharing Monarch Information
Yesterday, I attended a presentation called The Mystery and Magic of Monarchs at our local community college. The presenter was Wanda Dewaard. She is an outdoor educator who holds a Masters degree in recreation and outdoor education. She is very passionate about Monarchs. I thought that I would share what I learned for any here who are interested. You may already know all of this, or you may learn something new.
1. 1% of butterfly eggs make it past the egg stage.
2. There are 3,000 species of Milkweed world wide. North America has 110 species, and there are about 25 species of MW that the Monarchs use.
3. Monarch caterpillars eat their eggshells after birth, and then they eat the hairs on the MW leaf.
4. There is a 2,000x increase in the size of the cats from birth to pupation.
5. The gold spots on the chrysalides have been studied by scientists, and they still don't know exactly why they are there. However, when the gold spots were removed, the butterflies that eclosed seem to lack some color.
6. The 2 dark spots on the Monarch males were once thought to be scent glands, but scientists have now discovered that they are not scent glands.
7.Monarch butterflies may migrate up to 2,800 miles.
8. Monarchs in Mexico last year were at an all time low. The hot fires in Texas 2012 destroyed a lot of Milkweed. The cold weather in March 2013 held back the migration.
9. Late arrivals in the northern part of North America will equal low populations in Mexico after migration.
- Genetically engineered crops and roadside maintenance practices cause problems.
- Asclepius was the Greek God of Healing, and this is where Milkweed gets its scientific name.
- Monarch tagging began in the 1950's
- The longest recorded Monarch flight over one day was 265 miles.
- Butterfly Weed has a larger amount of latex inside, and as a result won't be the first choice of ELF Monarchs.
- We should cut our Common Milkweed back in early June here so that there will be new growth for the ELF Monarchs when they come through.