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Of Counts and Queens...
Mike Quinn (MQnature@tamu.edu)
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 11:51:23 -0500
At 2:19 PM - 6/29/97, Donald Davis wrote:~
>Over the next few weeks, across North America, a number of "Fourth of July
>Butterfly Counts" will be taking place. Information about the location of
>some of these counts can be found on the N.A.B.A. Web Site.
>If any dplexers participate in one of these counts across North America,
>you could perhaps provide us with details concerning the date of the count
>and how many monarch butterflies were counted, and how this compares to
I think it's important that we post Queen (Danaus gilippus) count data too.
We should learn much about Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) by studying Queens.
For example, since both species require milkweed for their developement,
Monarchs may have begun migrating to the northern range of Asclepias to
avoid competition with the more southerly ranging Queens. Interestingly,
the Queen ranges south to Argentina.
On a local note, Carrie Cate and I were at the National Wildflower Research
Center in Austin over the 4th of July weekend. We found a dozen Queens, the
most abundant butterfly seen. Of all the native wildflowers being grown
there, the Queens nectared on Eupatorium greggii (Blue Mist Flower) above
all others. Bill Calvert, Texas MW Coordinator, reminded me that male
Danaids visiting Eupatorium get nectar AND a chemical to help make their
pheromone with. (No larvae/ova seen on the few A. curassavica at the
Mike Quinn, Park Ranger
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
Route 2, Box 202A
Alamo, TX 78516
(956) 787-3079 ext. 112