More on Monarchs
Photo credit: Baltimore Sun/Sarah Kickler Kelber
Michael Raupp is an entomologist at the University of Maryland and man behind the lively Bug of the Week blog.
Here is what he had to say when a Monarch butterfly appeared in his garden:
Flit on over to Raup's blog to read the rest.
One of the true delights of the steamy summer season in Maryland is the return of the monarch butterfly. I saw my first female monarch two weeks ago (in August) sipping nectar from a swamp-milkweed.
Last autumn the grandparents of this beauty survived a dangerous and arduous migration from the eastern United States to their overwintering sites in central Mexico. During the long winter, they bested predators and weather in their highland retreats.
This spring the vagabonds flew several hundred miles from Mexico to the southern United States before finding suitable milkweed plants to serve as food for their young.
The female monarch lays her eggs, usually one per plant, on the undersurface of a leaf. After several days, the egg hatches and the tiny monarch caterpillar begins to consume the nutritious leaves.