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Old 03-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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butterfly How Monarch Butterflies Recolonize Northern Breeding Range

How Monarch Butterflies Recolonize Northern Breeding Range
ScienceDaily
Mar. 19, 2012

How monarch butterflies recolonize northern breeding range
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Each year, millions of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) migrate from overwintering grounds in central Mexico to colonize eastern North America, but just how these delicate creatures manage to reach the northern part of their breeding range in spring has largely remained a mystery.

New research from the University of Guelph led by Prof. Ryan Norris, Department of Integrative Biology, former graduate student Nathan Miller and Environment Canada, reveals how monarchs recolonize the northern reaches of their breeding grounds -- information that will help preserve this migratory species threatened by loss of critical food and habitat…
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #2
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Miller sampled monarchs from 44 sites across Ontario and the northern states. By analyzing chemical markers called stable isotopes and examining wing wear, the researchers found that about 10 per cent reaching the northern breeding range in the spring come directly from Mexico.


That amazed me! I know it is only 10%, but I'd have thought that they all would be progeny of the generation that left Mexico.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Monarchs have serveal generations that fly in any given year, no one gen actually makes it to mexco and back., the longest lived gen is the one that overwinters, live about 6 or 7 months and then they die along the way back and it is their offspring we see here. Which live about 2 to 3 weeks. Protecting the migatory habatat, plus planting milkweeds is the best way to ensure succeuss.

Morning cloaks are actually the longest lived butterfly. they can live 8 or 9 months if they are lucky.
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