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Old 09-24-2017, 07:53 AM   #1
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Default Monarchs

After not having any monarch caterpillars for about 5 years, I found one in September. I have spotted a few adults this year...late summer and early fall.
Monarchs-20170924_084445.jpg

Monarchs-20170924_084424.jpg

Monarchs-20170924_084304.jpg

How late do the last stragglers tend to come through (I am in Pennsylvania)? Do the late ones still make it to their winter destination?

Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:57 AM   #2
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One more from yesterday.

Monarchs-20170924_085553.jpg
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:43 PM   #3
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Whether they make it depends on the weather. Unfortunately, "late" has become later with all the people planting tropical milkweed and swan plant.
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Old 09-30-2017, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Clark View Post
Whether they make it depends on the weather. Unfortunately, "late" has become later with all the people planting tropical milkweed and swan plant.


Sad.

I am also concerned that all if the hurricanes will have a negative impact on their success.
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Old 09-30-2017, 05:46 PM   #5
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KC Clark,

I have tried to get the word out against planting tropical milkweed, but I don't feel knowledgeable enough to explain it well--or even worse, how to respond to someone's rebuttal.

Could you give me a few tidbits in layman's terms to better prepare me?

Thank you.

Also, I've not even heard of swan plant.
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:54 PM   #6
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You've heard about swan plant but it did not stick. At the end of this thread:

Asclepias curassavica

American marketing has turned it into "hairy balls" milkweed. I figured it was a problem but had not seen/heard about it causing problems. Then last year I got to read about someone in VA who was using it and wanted to know what to do with her monarchs in November. So, swan plant is causing the same late monarch problem as tropical.

Main two anti points are:
1) Messes with migration. One of the migration cues monarchs use is the condition of the leaves they are eating. Since tropical milkweed leaves are wonderful until the first frost, the caterpillars miss out on the cue. We don't know how a monarch caterpillar processes all the cues so something besides good leaves is necessary to keep it from going into migration mode but leaves going bad because of autumn approaching seems to be good enough for migration mode.

2) Typhoid Mary. Tropical milkweed helps with the spread of OE (explained in the other thread I linked). Tropical helps monarchs tolerate OE. That way infected monarch cats are more likely to make it to adulthood and those infected butterflies will live longer to spread the OE spores.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Clark View Post
You've heard about swan plant but it did not stick. At the end of this thread:

Asclepias curassavica

American marketing has turned it into "hairy balls" milkweed. I figured it was a problem but had not seen/heard about it causing problems. Then last year I got to read about someone in VA who was using it and wanted to know what to do with her monarchs in November. So, swan plant is causing the same late monarch problem as tropical.

Main two anti points are:
1) Messes with migration. One of the migration cues monarchs use is the condition of the leaves they are eating. Since tropical milkweed leaves are wonderful until the first frost, the caterpillars miss out on the cue. We don't know how a monarch caterpillar processes all the cues so something besides good leaves is necessary to keep it from going into migration mode but leaves going bad because of autumn approaching seems to be good enough for migration mode.

2) Typhoid Mary. Tropical milkweed helps with the spread of OE (explained in the other thread I linked). Tropical helps monarchs tolerate OE. That way infected monarch cats are more likely to make it to adulthood and those infected butterflies will live longer to spread the OE spores.
Thanks, KC. That doesn't surprise me...I'm sure quite a few things don't stick.

I do remember that conversation...just not the swan plant part. I did an image search, this time in hopes that it will stick.

Thanks for reinforcing the two points that I had read about before--I don't think that I realized the "Typhoid Mary" aspect of the OE infection.

I feel a little bit better armed now...I still think I should read me in depth about the topic, but I'm. It sure I will make the time for that.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:04 PM   #8
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I am happy to report that I again have monarch caterpillars. I really missed seeing them those many years I was without. I'm hoping never to have another year without them. So far, I am only finding them on my butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). I will keep looking on my common milkweed.

Monarchs-20180705_201943.jpg

Monarchs-20180705_201753.jpg

Monarchs-20180705_201824.jpg

Monarchs-20180705_200938.jpg

Also, I am growing some local swamp milkweed (A. incarnata) from seed...they will be added to my future wetland. I hope to offer plenty of milkweed and become a true waystation for them in the coming years.

Monarchs-20180705_164543.jpg
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:24 AM   #9
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My old Hay Field has lots of Common Milkweed. Its one of the plants that came back with a vengance after the cutting of hay stopped.


I typically see several Monarchs at a time flying around the field. I really don't look for the caterpillars. But I have noticed the caterpillars on the Poke Milkweed that grows in the woods.


I'll spend some time looking for caterpillars in the common milkweed.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:12 AM   #10
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I went and did my morning watering of some transplants in the old hay field.
Decided to see if I could find a Monarch caterpillar. It didn't take long, less than 15 seconds and here it is.


Also is a shot of one of the many clumps of common milkweed I have in this field.
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