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Monarch Butterfly News: May 7, 2014
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Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
With wings to the wind, the monarchs will soon fly swiftly into new northern territory. Look closely at the wings that can carry them thousands of miles.

Image of the Week
Magnified Monarch Butterfly Wing
Magnified Wing!
Raul Gonzalez
News: Few and Far Between
The quiet interlude between generations that we're experiencing now is typical for early May. New butterflies are on the wing, but not in the numbers we'll see in a week or two. Get ready! There will soon be as many sightings in one week as we have had all spring.

Surprise sightings were reported in the far north, from Iowa and Minnesota. The monarch in Minnesota was 400 miles north of the migration's leading edge and well ahead of the milkweed.

"I was astounded to see the monarch because I know it's way early for them to be here."
Marte Hult    Plymouth, Minnesota   May 4, 2014

Each year a few far-flung monarchs such as these are seen in the north. Based on their timing, it's possible they have flown this far from Mexico.

This year's northern sightings are particularly surprising because cool spring temperatures have persisted there. Note the strong north-south temperature gradient the temperature map shows. The migration has not surpassed latitude 40°N, the extent of the warm temperature (60°F) band.

Let's see if the migration expands substantially during the next two weeks as we predict.

Breeding in Mexico
It's often said that monarchs don't reproduce in spring until they reach Texas. However, such a perspective is likely due to a lack of information. Biologist Alfonso Banda, Director of Natural Resources in Tamaulipas, documented the complete life cycle this spring in his state in northern Mexico.

Conservation News
In a landmark meeting in the history of insect conservation, the White House convened diverse stakeholders last week to address catastrophic declines in pollinators — including monarchs — and prioritize their recovery on a continent-wide scale.

Monarch butterfly wings: wing-size and migration
Wings and Migration
Andrew K. Davis

Early Monarch Butterfly in Minnesota
Monarch in Minnesota!
Marte Hult
 
Temperature Map: Cold in the North
Cool in the North
 
Breeding in Mexico
Breeding in Mexico
Alfonso Banda

Spotlight: Butterfly Wings
Monarch wings are strong. They can carry a monarch thousands of miles. But wings that begin as fresh as a flower become faded, tattered, and torn over time.

Butterfly Wings

Maps: Report Your Sightings
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2014
What to Report First Adult
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Milkweed
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Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map
First Egg
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First Larvae
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Other Observations
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Next Update May 15, 2014
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