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Old 11-23-2014, 11:34 PM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default Monarch behavior and life cycle could be adversely affected by admirers.

NYT's article on tropical milkweed and the problems with growing it for monarchs.


In recent years amateur conservationists have sought to replenish drastic declines in milkweed, the only plant female monarchs lay eggs on. But the most widely available milkweed for planting, the scientists say, is an exotic species called tropical milkweed — not the native species with which the butterflies evolved. That may lead to unseasonal breeding, putting monarchs at higher risk of disease and reproductive failure.
Butterfly enthusiasts shouldn’t feel bad for planting tropical milkweed, monarch researchers say. But they should cut the plants back in fall and winter. Or even better, replace them with natives. There are native plant societies across the country that can offer advice.
Recent work by Dr. Oberhauser’s lab found that some migrating monarchs are laying eggs in the Southeast when they find tropical milkweed.
Last December, Dr. Villablanca found breeding in overwintering sites in California. “We’re in shock by the number of monarchs that are coming through and laying eggs,” he said.
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

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Old 11-24-2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Jersey

Thanks Gloria! I meant to post this over the weekend but got side-tracked. I'm sure many of the people reading here already know that it's even more critical for those trying to help in the Midwest.
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