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Butterfly Spider OOR

Butterfly Spider OOR

Butterfly Spider OOR

The large and brilliantly-colored monarch butterfly is among the most easily recognizable of the butterfly species that call North America home. They have two sets of wings and a wingspan of three to four inches (7 to 10 centimeters). Their wings are a deep orange with black borders and veins, and white spots along the edges. The underside of the wings is pale orange. Male monarchs have two black spots in the center of their hind wings, which females lack. These spots are scent glands that help males attract female mates. Females have thicker wing veins than males. The butterfly’s body is black with white markings.

Butterfly

From September into early October, fall southern migration to Mexico begins, with the majority of monarchs following the reverse path south along the central migratory corridor. Monarchs from the Northeast head south along the Atlantic coast, concentrating in the states that make up the Delmarva Peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay on the journey. Florida is a stop for many monarchs before they fly over the Gulf Coast to Mexico. A much smaller population of monarch butterflies lives west of the Rocky Mountains. During summer, western monarchs live in canyons or riparian areas of the West, Southwest, inland California, and the inland Northwest states up to British Columbia. A small number of monarchs can be found in the coastal Pacific Northwest during summer months. Instead of making the long journey to Mexico, western monarchs only migrate as far south as coastal areas of central and southern California.Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed, their only caterpillar host plant. It takes three to five days for the egg to hatch.

After hatching and consuming their empty egg case, monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed.The caterpillars grow and molt several times over roughly a two-week period and then form a chrysalis in which they undergo metamorphosis. After approximately another two weeks within the chrysalis, they emerge as adult butterflies.The annual monarch life cycle and migration begins at the monarchs’ overwintering grounds in Mexico (for the eastern population) and the central to southern California coastal region (for the western population). Around March, the overwintering monarchs begin their journey north. Once migration begins, monarchs become sexually mature and mate. The females begin their search for milkweed plants on which to lay eggs. After mating and egg-laying, the adult butterflies die and the northward migration is continued by their offspring. It takes three to five generations to repopulate the rest of the United States and southern Canada until the final generation of the year hatches and does the return journey to the overwintering grounds. (Source: www.nwf.org)

 

 

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