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More Than 50 Monarch Butterflies Passed Through CV This Fall!

13 Dec

We’ve just filed our annual report with the conservation group Monarch Watch as part of their tagging program. Gardeners placed small numbered ID stickers (tags) on the dorsal wings of 50 Monarch butterflies between August and October 2021.  With luck, a tagged (expired) butterfly will be found in Mexico, the migration destination, recovered and reported.  

A Record-Setting Year for These Special Pollinators

By far, this is the most Monarch butterflies we’ve counted in one season.  No doubt the special new net helped with catching, but a fair amount of the butterflies were found as caterpillars on milkweed plants.  The native plant species is the only type that Monarchs use for egg-laying, which is why conservation efforts call for planting as many of the drought-resistant host plants as possible. (Continued below)

Learn more about Monarch Butterfly Migration, habitat conservation and the Monarch Watch tagging program here. To date, there are 36,863 official way stations in the United States; sadly the species remains at risk, due to deforestation and the ongoing loss of natural habitats.

Migrating Monarchs Need Waystations for Food and Shelter

CVEarthlab Garden was launched in 2013 and a few years later, the play area was registered as an official Monarch Waystation.  This means it provides shelter and food for the migrating butterflies. At CV, food is three different types of milkweeds and a variety of continuously blooming nectar-providing flowers, including annuals such as marigolds and Zinnia and native perennials (plants that come back every year) such as bee balm, black-eyed Susan, echinacea, sedum, coreopsis, goldenrod, violet, and hollyhock.  

We have participated in the tagging program since 2019, but only started documenting CV Monarch caterpillar sightings around 2018.  See the tag numbers we registered in 2021 on this spreadsheet; when a butterfly with the tag number is found it will be reported here.

Want to help support the 2022 Migration? In March we will start to grow butterfly-friendly flowers at our seed-starting event; there are many ways to help with conservation in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Send your contact info to CVEarthlab@gmail.com and we’ll keep you in the loop! -CVEarthlab Core Committee Members

Related posts: Monarch Butterfly was Tagged, Released Today (2019) ; CV Has Monarch Caterpillars! (2018) ; Why I Love Mulch! (2017) ; What’s In Our Butterfly Garden? (2014)

Captured! Monarch Caterpillar

19 Aug

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Found this gal on milkweed today; she’s in the butterfly house hanging by the garden shed behind 195 Adams. Have a look! But please don’t remove or touch her — as bacteria from humans may harm her.

-Denise

Related:  What’s the Big Deal About Monarchs?

See Captive Monarch Caterpillar In Chrysalis 

Monarch Butterfly Was Tagged, Released Today

 

Will This Butterfly Overwinter in Chrysalis and Emerge In 2020?

26 Oct

Remember Greta, the Monarch caterpillar captured in August?

She didn’t emerge from her chrysalis on schedule, but we’re hoping she is just waiting until Spring 2020 to reveal herself.

We’ll do more research and share what we learn.  In the meantime, check her out!

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See the wings?

 

Welcome Monarch Caterpillar #2

28 Jul

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Just call us Monarch Village!

I discovered several caterpillars on the milkweed today and moved one into the habitat container.  You can find the netted cage hanging on the persimmon tree outside the wooden garden-border fence.

All residents are welcome to observe this Monarch caterpillar.  You can move the habitat for observation but please do not touch the actual caterpillar. If you move the netted cage, please return it where you found it:  under the tree in a shaded are.  The caterpillar habitat should not be placed in direct sunlight.

You can read more here.  If you’d like to be involved in the raising and care for this caterpillar over the next 3 weeks, please post a comment or send an email message to cvearthlab.com. 

We will keep the evolving creature outside, making sure she has fresh milkweed, and after she’s in pupa stage, making sure to note when she emerges so we can release her within 24 hours.

With luck we can try to tag and track the butterfly that will likely emerge mid-August.

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Day 10 of Monarch Chrysalis: Butterfly Will Emerge Within Days

14 Jul

Day10Monarch The caterpillar went to chrysalis about 9-10 days ago, so it should be nearing emergence!  The warm weather likely speeds the process.

Benji and I may tag this butterfly and track it through the Monarch Watch program, if we can get tagging materials in time…  (more).

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