Earlier tagging.

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  • #14639


    As I release the 50th monarch for the season (half last years total) I wonder what happens to them, in my garden over more than 10 years of releasing, I have observed almost 2 separate seasons, early and main.Should we not be tagging from start of season? Do these over winter or is it only the latter ones?

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  • #26327

    lawrence pope


    we are also down from last years releasing around half of last years to date this year i have released 250 monarchs last year we released 800 monarchs for the total season.



    Hi Don

    Only the last generation (whenever that is – wish the butterflies would tell us, it would help!!!) sense that winter is imminent, and although they’re sexually mature they do not mate/lay eggs, but go into diapause and they’re the ones that overwinter.

    If your Monarchs are like mine, they’ll be hanging around your neighbourhood somewhere on dull days. I have a series of males flying up and down patrolling the milkweed, just waiting for a female to come along.

    The females will fly around the area, they can smell milkweed from up to 2kms away, and lay the eggs. If they come by a male and he still has sperm, and she still has unfertilised eggs, he will mate with her. And so the process continues. She will lay eggs and then fly off, sensing another milkweed somewhere nearby…

    When they’ve used up all their (males) sperm and (females) eggs, then they will die 4-6 weeks later.

    Now that last two paragraphs is the summer Monarchs, the ones we see in our garden throughout the summer. Some people have told me that the ovewintering ones have “thicker” abdomens as they need those fat reserves for the overwintering process, but I haven’t myself observed this.

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