Migration in California--But Are They Monarchs?
What Does the "Painted Lady" Butterfly Expert Think?
I think that most, if not all, of these observations are of Painted Ladies,
especially since I'm receiving similar Painted Lady reports from other
observers in the same areas. I've received at least 60 map points so far
- some people send in multiple observations from different places or times.
a long-time observer of Painted Lady migrations who lives in Big Pine,
alerted me on February 12 to the possibility that there might be a substantial
migration this spring. He predicted a migration on the basis of the heavy
rains that occurred in much of the Southwest this winter. I started getting
actual reports during the first week of March, with increasing numbers
of reports coming in this week.
Following is the message that Derham Giuliani sent me back on February
following the weather on accuweather.com and there has been amazing
winter rains through the southwest, lots of flooding. Oct through Jan
was 200 to 300% of normal for my area, such as Bishop and Death Valley.
There will certainly be a migration of some kind, quite possibly a very
large one, and their Amsinckia foodplant will be a jungle everywhere
northward. Can't predict yet about the center of migratory emergence
(Tucson, Nogales, Hermosillo) as their rains were a little below normal,
however the rains there were distributed THROUGHOUT that 4-month period.
JMA is low though positive, a very mild El Nino. I have a report of
many very worn cardui on the southern Mojave desert this month, but
as yet no migration, larvae, or fresh specimens.
by Dr. Royce Bitzer, The Red Admiral and Painted Lady Research Site
2005 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
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