|The first monarchs of the new generation are now being seen! Outside of Texas, faded monarchs have been reported. Presumably those butterflies have traveled all the way from Mexico to Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and even Virginia.
"A very pale, worn monarch flew low through our garden but did not stop." Wichita, KS April 27, 2014
"While hiking we saw a monarch that lighted on the trail in front of us. It was ratty and faded." Roan Mountain,, TN April 26, 2014
Signs of the New Generation
- Wings: Fresh-winged butterflies signify young butterflies of a new generation.
- Numbers: An increase in monarch numbers occurs when a new generation appears.
- Timing: It takes about a month—and a little longer in cool temperatures—for a generation to develop. Monarchs entered Texas over a month ago, so their offspring should be appearing now.
Got Enough Milkweed?
This week, reports of newly-emerging milkweed coincided with concerns about whether caterpillars will have enough to eat.
"I have seen several monarchs the past few weeks around by emerging swamp milkweed. Today I noticed quite a few larvae. I hope there is enough milkweed to sustain them!" April 26 Pittsburg, KS
How much milkweed does it take to feed a monarch from egg to chrysalis?
"They eat very small amounts as early instars, but the fifth instar can eat up to about 4 fairly good-sized leaves during that stage," says Dr. Karen Oberhauser.
However, she explains, the leaf-count varies between milkweed species because leaf-size varies so much.