About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monarchs Mating

Mating Monarch butterflies - Vlog
Walking home from work I saw two Monarch Butterflies flying...together, mating? Yep, I looked it up. Mating monarchs often remain paired for 16 hours or longer.

Males and females are similar in appearance, but the the black veins are thicker on the female's wings and the male has small pouches on their hind wings where they store pheromones.

For an in-depth explanation and pictures go to: https://monarchlab.org/biology-and-research/biology-and-natural-history/breeding-life-cycle/reproduction/

I've spotted a lot of monarchs this year. Luckily all the rain in the early spring seems to have helped the Milkweed along. I have several butterflies circling the plants at home. Common Milkweed is a perennial native to Michigan and much of the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada.
Monarch caterpillars like Milkweed because it contains a variety of chemical compounds that make them poisonous to potential predators. The adult monarch and monarch larvae are both brightly colored serving as a warning to potential predators that they are poisonous. Unsuspecting predators only need to taste a monarch butterfly or larva once to learn not to eat them again. Most animals quickly spit them out.
Female monarchs may lay only one egg per plant, which hatches into a caterpillar in about five days. Tiny little larva or caterpillars emerge and begin eating milkweed. Once fully grown the caterpillar forms a chrysalis and emerges as butterfly two weeks later.

Resources:
Attracting Butterflies tip sheet
Milkweed Species Beneficial to the Monarch Butterfly
And watch the video:
https://youtu.be/4jeCNVjUGEg


Related Articles:
- Do Monarch Butterflies just wake up in the spring? http://goo.gl/5tkUk
- Monarch migration route http://goo.gl/L66ty
- Punctuation Butterflies: The First Butterfly of Spring! http://bit.ly/JHUpG1
- How Fast Does a Monarch Butterfly Fly? http://bit.ly/ywhpZr
- Did you know butterflies have ears on their wings? http://bit.ly/x04qEi
 

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