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Monarch Butterfly News: May 29, 2014
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Your Sightings!
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A dramatic increase in monarch eggs reported this week brings a hopeful start to the breeding season in the north. Image of the Week
Monarch Butterfly Egg on Milkweed Bud
Egg On Bud
Jody Vernay
News: Eggs Galore
A 150-Mile Advance
What a week! The migration advanced 150 miles from its position last week and the number of sightings doubled. Half of this month's sightings occurred last week. Our northernmost monarch reached latitude 47°N in Minnesota.

"So excited to see our first monarch. We've had incredibly hot temperatures—in the 80's—for the past 4 days, with lots of spring growth."

Finding 1st Eggs
Egg reports increased dramatically this week as the butterflies got down to the business of breeding in the north. Among those who saw their 1st eggs were 4th graders at Ventnor Elementary in New Jersey.

"During reading class at 10 a.m. we observed a female monarch laying eggs on common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in our pollinator garden." May 27, 2014 Ventnor, NJ

The number of reports is encouraging, especially when compared to last spring at this time. Look at comparative maps of 1st egg reports from 2009-2014.

Egg-laying Preferences
Thank you to obervers who submitted pictures showing various parts of the milkweed plant where monarchs laid eggs. Explore the images and consider how oviposition selection could be related to offspring survival.

Rates of Survival
Fewer than 10% of eggs laid survive past the first instar caterpillar stage, and predation is a central cause of mortality, according Dr. Oberhauser's research. Egg-laying strategies that avoid predation are critically important. Assess the rate of survival in your milkweed patch by counting eggs each day.

"Of the 40 eggs I counted on May 12th, only 22 were found a week later." May 22, 2014 Goshen, IN

Monarch Butterfly Egg Under Milkweed Leaf
Under Leaf
Harriet McCarthy 
 
Monarch Butterfly Migration Maps
1st Eggs
 
Monarch Butterfly Egg Near Tip of Milkweed Plant
Near Tender Tip
Sue Fox McGovern
 
Monarch Butterfly Egg on Milkweed Stem
On Stem
Conservation Spotlight: Students in Action
Fourth grade students in Charlotte, North Carolina are working to help restore milkweed habitat in and around their town. They propagated Swamp Milkweed from their school garden and grew over 2,400 plants. The students donated the plants to local schools, businesses, and residents. Take a look at their blog to discover how this student-driven project is growing community support for monarch conservation.

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 June 5, 2014
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