Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#90143
Monarch ovipositing in December - Danaus plexippus - female

Monarch ovipositing in December - Danaus plexippus - Female
Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, Orange County, California, USA
December 12, 2006
She's laying eggs on Asclepias curassavica, which is certainly past its peak. There are few flowers on the many plants here, and most of the leaves are gone, apparently devoured by caterpillars. Milkweed bugs in the vicinity are at the seeds.

While I've seen scores of Monarchs this year, I've never seen them mating, nor ovipositing before today. This individual was cautious but not shy, so I was able to get very close. Images are from a 105mm lens with 1.4x converter and 36mm extension, and much closer to full frame than most of my insect images.

Images of this individual: tag all
Monarch ovipositing in December - Danaus plexippus - female Monarch ovipositing in December - Danaus plexippus - female Monarch ovipositing in December - Danaus plexippus - female Monarch ovipositing in December - Danaus plexippus Monarch ovipositing in December - Danaus plexippus

Great find!
Both, the fact that it is ovipositing and that it is December, amazing!

 
Thanks, Beatriz
I believe Monarchs are present - and not simply overwintering - in Orange County year-round and am working to document this premise. Fullerton Arboretum is a special place for them, with several (four?) types of milkweed planted.

County records going back to circa 1917 indicate two flight periods - January to March and September to November. Well, we see what happens in December! Also, a butterfly count reports them here in July in several recent years.

 
Definitely year-round residents
Substantiated by photos at Bug Guide.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.