the Experts Think
migrating butterflies are not monarch butterflies. They are a
smaller species of butterfly called the "Painted Lady." The
Painted Lady butterfly does appear suddenly in the spring by the millions,
especially in the west.
were the best clues?
number of butterflies observed: People
usually see no more than 1-2 monarchs migrating at a time in the spring,
especially in California. If you had no other clues, the number of butterflies
being observed in California is enough to make you suspicious.
size of the butterflies observed: Although we did not receive
a picture of the butterflies that were migrating in California, several
observers mentioned their small size. This graphic shows the actual
size of each species.