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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
    >previous years.
    >Don Davis

    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
    Center.) Mike

    Mike Quinn, Park Ranger
    Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
    Route 2, Box 202A
    Alamo, TX 78516
    (956) 787-3079 ext. 112