Dear Monarch friends,
A small and enthusiastic group met in my garden on July 19. Together, we were able to identify a healthy number of Monarch eggs and instars on my Swamp Milkweed plants. Participants left feeling more confident knowing what to look for on their own plants.
The group had several questions regarding life cycles and migration. Here’s what I discovered:
- Egg laying: Females can lay between 300-500 eggs over a period of 2-5 weeks. When laying eggs, the female secretes a small amount of glue to attach the egg directly to the plant. Eggs generally hatch about 4 days after being laid.
- Super-migrators: The ability to migrate, and what differentiates the super-migrators from those who don’t, might hinge on a single gene. Check out this article in the Washington Post.
One of our participants asked if solar activity affects migration. I am still looking for an answer to this question, but did find this interesting article about how climate change affects migration, in Scientific American.
Please continue to keep us posted as to what you’re observing and learning, and keep those questions coming!