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Monarch - Danaus plexippus

Monarch - Danaus plexippus
Jim Thorpe, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, USA
September 29, 2007

You're getting some great shots these days!

Thank-you! ^__^ BTW-Mona
Thank-you! ^__^

BTW-Monarchs seem to be getting hard to find, when I was a kid they were the most common butterfly around now I'm lucky to see 3 this year.. very sad. :(

Scarcity of Monarchs
That's a shame. If you need a Monarch fix, they're in Orange County, California year 'round. (I think the same holds true for Florida and Texas.)

I think Monarchs are doing better than many other spp.
- for many people, milkweed is the only butterfly host plant they even know about. Also, I see very few butterflies in my city neighborhood, but monarchs and cabbage whites are the two I have noticed. That's not to say they are doing well. I believe the destruction of overwintering sites is what's impacting the monarchs most severely, but there are also threats from modern farming practices. Butterflies are very visible indicators of the wholesale habitat destruction that's happening everywhere all the time.

That's the thing I noticed-we
That's the thing I noticed-we have a huge amount of Milkweeds and nothing eating them. I was searching everywhere I know that Milkweed grows in abundance and no Monarchs. A few Frittaries-did I spell that right? A few Tiger Swallowtails and the Black Swallowtails-can't think of the name. Maybe a couple dozen Skippers and alot of Cabbage Whites and that one American Lady. That was about it.

Usually my Nasturtiums are covered in Cabbage White caterpillars-none at all this year! I was sure I saw them laying eggs (I don't use any insecticides) Something around here is not right. Unless it has to do with spraying for mosquitoes and Gypsy Moths?? (Just a thought)and over development of land which is at a high right now in this area.
(I hate it and I won't even get into what is happening to the larger wildlife!)

All I know for sure is that it's spelled "fritillaries"
I haven't seen documentation from very many butterfly counts, but those I've viewed do show large variations in numbers of different types of butterflies from one year to the next. Here's hoping for a bumper 2008!

Drought problems here
Skippers thrive in the bermuda grass used in watered lawns, while cabbage butterflies are in short supply. Fullerton Arboretum in Orange County, California has Monarchs year 'round. (At least six varieties of milkweed have been planted there and is frequently watered.) Monarchs, one of my favorites, are not just overwintering, but breeding during the winter in the warmth of costal California, as Bug Guide posts prove.

I hope we continue to see an ongoing flow of nice Monarch shots like these, but fear they'll dwindle to a trickle because of the debate over data posting.

What is the debate over data posting? Curious?

Uh, I almost hate to say this.
Data posting/data points refers to posting a photo to say that a particular insect was found in a particular state in a particular month. Hope that's enough of an answer for you.

If not, here's a link to the forum. Now, before using it, you must cross your heart and say "I will keep posting butterflies".

Okay. ^__^ I just posted a bu
Okay. ^__^ I just posted a butterfly.

Now I will go read this forum post.

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