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Monarch butterflies

Don’t Miss the Migration of the Monarch Butterfly This Spring

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Texas Hill Countrye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Butterfly fans, get ready!  The central Texas Hill Country is a great place to view the Monarch Butterfly each spring.  The migration route of the Monarch goes right through the Texas Hill Country.  Areas along the Frio, Llano and Sabinal rivers are included in the 300 mile wide swath of Monarch migration from central Mexico to the northern United States and southern Canada.

Usually in late October and early November the Monarchs fly south to warmer climates in Mexico over the winter.  When temperatures begin to warm in the early spring, the butterflies trek back northward through the Texas Hill Country, where they mate and then lay eggs on milkweed sprouts, avoiding predatory birds that find feed upon them.  Although poisonous to birds, they are still susceptible to being killed as the bird first tries it, then spits it out when it tastes the poison.

The first caterpillars emerge shortly after the laying of the eggs, and then metamorphose into the familiar and beautiful orange and black winged adults.  The Monarch is the only butterfly to migrate both North and South as do migratory birds, although no individual butterfly makes the entire journey.  The females make only a portion of the trip, lay their eggs, and then die off.  The rest of the journey is left to the offspring, as in a baton relay.

You can encourage Monarchs onto your Hill Country property by planting milkweed in your garden.  The butterflies are very particular about where they lay their eggs, and milkweed is the nursery of choice.

The courtship of the Monarch is especially fun to witness, as the males pursue the females during the aerial phase, nudging them and frolicking about, before mating occurs during the ground phase, in which the couple are attached for up to an hour at a time.

Numerous Texas state parks in the Texas Hill Country are home to the spring breeding grounds of the Monarch.  The flyway from central Mexico to Texas and on to Canada sweeps from San Angelo to Eagle Pass.  Wimberley is an especially great place to view Monarchs in the spring.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides information regarding the arrival of Monarchs in state parks each spring, so be sure to call the park you wish to visit for estimated arrival and mating dates, which usually occur during March and April in central Texas.

Original Author: Carolyn Boden Full Bio

Carolyn Boden is a marketing consultant at Belvedere, Texas hill country land for sale real estate community. They sell beautiful hill country acreage located west of Austin near Hamilton Pool. For more information please visit http://www.belvedereaustin.com
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Tags: hill country areas, Monarch butterflies, Monarch migration, Texas Hill Country

Defense Tactics of The Butterflies and the Caterpillars

Oh! look at the butterfly,

She is so tender and bright,
Wherever she wants to fly,
Whether it is dawn or night,
She fly and fly and fly.

Whenever we think or see a butterfly a very gentle, tender emblem figures out in front of our eyes. The vivid color patterns of its wings, its delicate soft body, alluring eyes, soothing antennae, its magnificent act of sucking nectar, all fills us with immense pleasure. Butterflies are very commonly seen hovering here and there in the environment. Children are often seen trying to catch them in the gardens.

Butterflies are bewitching insects belonging to the Class Insecta and the order Lepidoptera. They are very well adapted to escape from their foes.Their bright contrasting patterned wings help them to remain protected from their rivals. Butterflies are fragile, defenceless creatures, easily preyed by mites, birds, spiders, reptiles etc. They prevent themselves in a number of ways.

Butterflies have well developed property of camouflage. Some butterflies blend into their environment so eminently that it becomes impossible to trace them out. Some resemble the dead leaves as the Indian leaf butterfly. Some butterflies are poisonous, when a predator consumes them it becomes sick, vomits them and learns not to eat this type of butterfly again. Thus, the sacrifice of one butterfly saves the life of a million of butterflies. Many butterflies have bright warning patterns. The Monarch butterfly eats the milkweed plant to become poisonous and becomes protected from the predators.

The technique of mimicry is well developed in butterflies. Mimicry is when two unrelated species have similar markings. Batesian mimicry is acquired when a non- poisonous butterfly attains patterns similar to those found on the poisonous ones and gain protection. Mullerian mimicry is attained when two poisonous species have similar markings, fewer ones have to sacrifice their lives in order to teach the predators that they are unpalatable for them. Viceroy and the Monarch butterflies fall under this category.

Flying is another defence mechanism of butterflies. Slow flying butterflies fly at a rate of 5 mile per hour and the fast flying butterflies fly at about 30 mile per hour.

There are four stages in the life cycle of butterflies- egg, larva, pupa and adult. The delicate larva is popularly called as ‘caterpillar’. The caterpillar is the most vulnerable stage. It has developed a number of defence tactics.

Caterpillars are soft bodied and slow moving so fall easily in the hands of the predators. They have a number of techniques to defend them. Some caterpillars are poisonous to the predators. They obtain the poison from the host plants they eat. Their vivid, potent color reminds the predators regarding their toxicity. Caterpillars of Monarch and Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies are poisonous. Some caterpillars like the Tiger Swallowtail butterfly blend itself with the color exactly similar to that of a bird’s dropping and remains safe. Similarly many caterpillars attain various shades of green and resemble the leaves and remain protected.

Few caterpillars contain eye spots which gives them the look of dangerous animals like snakes so they prevent themselves from their enemies. Eye spots are large eye like circular spots on the bodies of the caterpillars. Some caterpillars conceal themselves in the folded leaf or some other places to remain safe. Some caterpillars emit bad smell when molested by the predators. These caterpillars have osmeterium an orange y- shaped gland on their neck which gives off strong unpleasant odor to ward off enemies. Wasps and other flies are driven away by this technique. The caterpillar of Zebra Swallowtail possess osmeterium.

Whether it is butterfly or caterpillar both have well developed tactics to escape from their enemies in order to stay alive. This fight for survival have led them to adapt suitably in the environment.

Original Author: Navodita Maurice Full Bio
Navodita Maurice
Tags: class insecta, Butterflies, Monarch butterflies, Monarch butterfly, milkweed plant

The Worsening Plight and Scary Prognosis for Monarch Butterflies

There is more and more evidence that Monarch butterflies are rapidly disappearing due to the dwindling of milkweed, on which their caterpillars feed.

TYWKIWDBI (“Tai-Wiki-Widbee”): Monarch butterflies in trouble

http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:39:00 GMT

In recent months a variety of publications have highlighted observations made by people across the United States – that the population of Monarch butterflies seems to be in jeopardy. First, from the Monarch Larva Monitoring 

Formerly milkweed plants flourished at the edges of fields and roads, providing enough habitat to keep Monarchs supplied with the only plant on which they can lay their eggs and their caterpillars can develop.

Now Roundup-resistant seed developed by Monsanto Corporation allows farmers to spray weedkiller all over and around their fields. And that kills milkweed.

Some people are planting milkweed on their land, but that is unlikely to supply enough habitat to keep Monarch butterflies from going extinct.

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Tags: Roundup, milkweed, Caterpillars, extinction, Monarch butterflies, Habitat, weedkillers

Know More All Around Monarch Butterflies

The Monarch Butterflies are through the Nymphalidae family members of butterflies. Theyre one particular from the greatest butterflies and are very commonly found due to which it will get the name Monarch. These butterflies are simply acknowledged through the orange and black patterned wings. Its wingspan ranges from 8.nine to 10.two cms. And just therefore you know the male monarch butterflies are greater in dimension than the feminine monarchs.

Lifestyle Cycle

The Monarch Butterflies goes via 4 stages during one particular lifestyle cycle

Egg The eggs are laid on milkweed plants in March and April spring and summer time breeding months.

Larvae The egg is hatched in four days forming the larvae referred to as caterpillars. The caterpillar eats the egg scenario as well as the milkweed plant. In the course of this stage the monarchs store fat and vitamins in the form of power to carry them towards the next stage. This stage lasts for about two weeks.

Pupa In this stage the fully grown caterpillar attaches by itself on a twig leaf etc and spins a silk pad close to it. It will get wrapped close to within a cocoon known as the pupa or chrysalis. It then hangs from this pad with all the help with the final pair of its prolegs. Hormonal changes happen throughout this stage and this process is known as metamorphosis. The pupa turns into transparent each day just before and emerges revealing its orange and black wings.

Adult butterfly The mature butterfly emerges and hangs through the split pupa till its wings are dry. Throughout this time fluids are pumped in to the wings to produce it complete and stiff. Lastly the Monarch Butterflies spreads its wings and flies absent. It then will get its nourishment by feeding on selection of flowers which consists of milkweed flowers goldenrod and red clover.

Migration

The Monarch butterflies cant survive winters which is prevalent all through The us. As a result throughout the winter months period they begin migrating towards the South as well as the West during autumn until the very first frost. They hibernate inside the warm weathers of Mexico and a few elements of Southern California where their ancestors migrated the earlier spring. Additionally they hibernate within the exact same trees oyamel fir tree if they migrate to Mexico and eucalyptus tress if theyre in California. It is incredible how the monarchs journey above 2500 miles every year towards the spot theyve got never observed just before.

Lifespan

The typical lifespan of adult Monarch Butterflies from the initial three generations that are born in early summer is about 26 weeks whilst the fourth era Monarch can dwell as much as eight months due to the long migration habit.

The Monarch butterflies are intriguing species which has 4 generations within a year. It forms one particular of the greatest groups of butterflies and it is known to become the most gorgeous of all butterflies.

Original Author: Dee Brizeno Full Bio
Furthermore do you want to find out more about all the different types of butterflies ? Look into our butterflys site.
Tags: milkweed plant, male monarch, milkweed plants, Monarch butterflies

Symbolism of Butterflies

beautiful butterfly

beautiful butterfly (Photo credit: Amy Berry)

There are many things that people associate with other living creatures. Just as a black cat may mean misfortune for some people, butterflies also symbolize so many things to some people. In the life cycle of a butterfly, it starts out as an egg that turns into a caterpillar.

Then it becomes a cocoon before it turns into a beautiful creature capable of fluttering through the skies. The beauty of the butterfly and the unique transformation cycle are the most noticeable characteristics of this creature.

Butterfly sanctuaries and farms grow butterflies for commercial use. Whether for a butterfly releases during special events such as weddings or for framed butterflies, there are a lot of hobbyists and other people who truly admire the beauty of butterflies.

Butterflies come in different colors and sizes, but there seems to be one common perception about them. For some people, butterflies mean soul, change, and transformation. Here are some of the most common beliefs and symbolisms associated with butterflies.

In Chinese culture, butterflies symbolize having long life and men who are in love often use the image of the butterfly to show this in letters or on other items. The Japanese have such great reverence for butterflies that the image is often incorporated into the family’s crest. The butterfly for them means marital bliss and the vibrancy of youth.

In Greek mythology, butterflies are meant to show the souls of loved ones. In Russia and for Irish people as well, butterflies are seen as souls of people waiting to pass through purgatory. There is a town in Mexico where Monarch butterflies migrate, and when swarms of butterflies appear, they celebrate this as the Day of the Dead.

In all of these beliefs, three things are common in their belief about what butterflies mean – transformation, change, and a new and better life. Butterflies go through many different stages in their lives before truly blossoming into a beautiful butterfly. The transformation, change and renewal of their lives can be synonymous to the life of a person.

Just as when a person undergoes changes and faces difficulty and not so beautiful phases in their life, what happens next is that all these things are then transformed into a learning experience where the person grows and changes for the better. Just as the butterfly leaves behind its cocoon and transforms from a low crawling creature, the person now reaches his full potential is able to reach new heights.

The mystery and perception of people about butterflies will never seem to change. People attach themselves to not just the beauty but their belief in what the butterflies symbolize. So next time you see a butterfly, you can start to wonder whether a loved one who passed away is just nearby, or a special message and blessing is being sent to you.

Whichever you think it might be, the butterfly is truly one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful, most amusing, and most mystifying creature of all. It is a living creature that deserved to be protected and revered by all.

Original Author: Criss White Full Bio

Criss White is a professional article writer for arts, wedding, and various other topics. To view some butterfly favors or to get more planning tips and wedding favors, visit Bridal and Wedding Favors. Note: This article may be reprinted in your ezine, blog, or website as long as the credits remain intact and hyperlinks remain active.
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Tags: Butterflies, butterfly lore, butterfly symbolism, life cycle of a butterfly, Monarch butterflies

The Best Way to Watch Butterflies? While Lounging in the Pool!

What is the best way to watch butterflies? Outdoors, of course. So you can see them close up. But even better than that is watching butterflies will lounging in or around the swimming pool.

Plant butterfly bushes (buddleia) near your swimming pool and watch butterflies hovering around the blooming flowers on warm, sunny days. Butterflies often need a place to get a drink of water, so you can make shallow puddles for them near your pool, too, to keep them around you longer.

Be sure you also keep your own pool sparkling clean with well-chosen pool filters and pool chemicals, and everyone will have a lovely day outside. It’s easy. You can order them on line and have them delivered to your door, along with the proper instructions for maintaining your pool.

It is fun to have coffee, breakfast by the pool to watch butterflies in the early morning sunshine. Their colors just seem richer in the early light. Lunch by the pool with friends and family is just more fun with butterflies, too.

You may even want to stay out after dusk to watch their cousins the moths as the night-blooming flowers open up. Some moths, like the luna, can be spectacularly beautiful. And dinner by the pool can be delightful as the day cools down.

When your favorite species of butterfly are swarming, for example, when the monarchs migrate through your area, you’ll want to take advantage of the opportunity to stay outside with them as much as you can.

Just make sure that your pool is well maintained, as healthful and beautiful as breakfast among the butterflies.

Tags: Butterflies, luna moth, pool chemicals, pool filters, swimming pool, butterfly bush, moths, Monarch butterflies, buddleia

Monarch Butterflies Head South for the Winter

Monarch male showing its wings to attract a mate

MONARCH MALE SHOWING ITS WINGS TO ATTRACT A MATE Image via Wikipedia

Each year, some 250 million monarch butterflies arrive to the luscious volcanic highlands of central Mexico. Guided to the area by an inexplicable internal clock known scientifically as circadian, the monarch butterflies travel up to 3,000 miles to the state of Michoacan, which becomes the butterflies’ winter getaway.

Nature-goers can visit the butterflies anytime between November and March, although the best time to see them is in February and early March, right before they head north again.

Originally from southern Canada and the northern United States, the orange and black monarchs hibernate during winter and mate in spring before returning back north.

Each year from late October to early November, the delicate creatures flee the north’s freezing temperatures and embark on a month-long trip south, flying some 70 miles per day to reach the Oyamel mountaintop fir forests of the Mexican state of Michoacan. Those fortunate enough to live along the monarchs’ route south are frequently exposed to the sight of large groups of butterflies flying overhead on route to their winter sanctuary.

Tags: beautiful butterflies, Monarch butterflies, fir forests, oyamel forests, winter sanctuary

Harmless or Poisonous? Butterfly Mimicry and Survival

If you were a harmless butterfly what would you do to protect yourself?  Nature has created many ways for animals to protect themselves.  One common way is called mimicry.  What is mimicry?  It is when a harmless creature (the mimic) comes to look like a harmful creature (the model).
One butterfly, which is not so well known, is the Viceroy Butterfly.  These butterflies are harmless and defenseless.  They have no means of protecting themselves.  However, they have protected themselves by looking  very much like the popular Monarch butterfly.  To the untrained eye, the Viceroy Butterfly and the Monarch Butterfly look almost exactly alike.   They have the same orange coloring and black markings, except for one small detail.  If you look carefully at the Viceroy Butterfly, it has one barely detectable black horizontal vein going across its bottom wings.  To the untrained eye, they look identical.

Why does the Viceroy Butterfly mimic the Monarch Butterfly? To understand this, we have to look at the Monarch Butterfly.  What many people don’t know is that the Monarch Butterfly is poisonous to its predators due to its steady diet of the poisonous milkweed.  Birds have over time “learned” the pattern of the Monarch and have come to avoid the Monarch.
The Viceroys inadvertently have come to look more and more like the Monarch over time. The ones that don’t look like the Monarch have been picked off over time.  The remaining ones were those that looked like Monarch Butterflies.  The Viceroy Butterfly, by looking like the Monarch, has benefitted by looking like the Monarch as the birds avoid the Viceroy, thinking it is a Monarch.  This mechanism of survival is mimicry.

Mimicry is a common phenomenon that can be found animals and plants and is a way that harmless living things with no defenses can survive.

Teacher and owner of The Butterfly Grove butterfly decor to inspire. Nylon butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, bees, ladybugs and more!
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Tags: orange coloring, animals and plants, Monarch butterflies, viceroy butterfly, Monarch butterfly

The Amazing Life of the Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies are easily natures most beautiful creatures. Read on to learn about the amazing behaviors of Monarch butterflies.

An Impressive Migration

The most common variety, and well known type of butterfly in North America is the Monarch butterfly. Monarch’s are fairly large for a butterfly, with a wingspan of about 4 inches, with beautiful orange, black, and white coloring on their wings – Monarchs are often highly sought after by butterfly enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Scientists believe that Monarch butterflies are the only family of insects that actually migrate. As winter approaches in colder climates, the Monarch starts to slow down and reproduction stops. Over the summer, they store fat reserves in their stomach in preparation for the winter.

As temperatures drop, Monarchs begin to journey south for the winter. In the west they tend to travel south of the Rocky Mountains. Throughout the U.S., they travel to Florida, Texas and Mexico. Canadian and Northwest American Monarch butterflies travel south to the coast of California and down to Southern California. The migration distance is truly amazing considering these are such small insects. Unbelievably, once the weather warms up again, the Monarch will return north to the exact same locations where they originally migrated from. While migrating, Monarchs are known to travel as fast as 30 miles per hour. Somehow, those little wings work miracles.

A Journey of Life

The migration of the Monarch is not just a way to escape from the cold of winter. These butterflies have actually incorporated the migration into the course of their life cycle. As these butterflies travel south, they also stop to mate and lay eggs on milkweed plants along the way. In the course of traveling, the older butterflies end up dying during the trip. Eventually, after only a few days, young butterflies are born and join with the existing population of butterflies. This means that the migration patterns of the monarch are also part of their reproduction cycle, and add to their population.

The Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch is from the species Lepidoptera, with a very unique life cycle. Monarches start their lives as tiny eggs, which eventually hatch into butterfly larvae. The first stage of the butterfly’s life is a birth as a caterpillar. The caterpillar eats a tremendous amount of food relative to its body size, and eventually finds a tree where it attaches and forms a pupa. Within this pupa, the caterpillar transforms itself into the stunningly beautiful Monarch butterfly. It is easy to understand why so many traditions and cultures across the world embrace the Monarch butterfly as a symbol of extreme transformation and change from something earthly and material into something spiritual and free. It is no surprise that Greek culture has embraced the butterfly as a symbol of the soul.

The Monarch butterfly has captured the imagination and love of butterfly enthusiasts around the world.

Learn everything you could possibly want to know about butterflies at TypesOfButterflies.net.

Ryan Dube has been freelance writing for over 10 years for publishers both online and offline and has covered topics including the paranormal, finance, relationships, and more. Learn more at Invisible Inc.
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Tags: Monarch butterflies, Monarch butterfly, winter in the west, milkweed plants, butterfly enthusiasts

Learn About the Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies mating

Image via Wikipedia

The most familiar form, and well known form of butterfly in North America is the Monarch butterfly. Monarchs are somewhat large for a butterfly, with a wingspan of about 4 inches, with charming ginger, black, and colorless coloring on their wings – Monarchs are regularly highly required after by butterfly enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Scientists deem the Monarch butterflies are the only family of insects that actually migrate. As chill approaches in colder climates, the Monarch starts to dense down and reproduction stops. Over the summer, they amass fat coffers in their stomach in preparation for the chill.

As temperatures drop, Monarchs originate to journey south for the chill. In the west they lean to trek south of the Rocky Mountains. Throughout the U.S., they move to Florida, Texas and Mexico. Canadian and Northwest American Monarch butterflies voyage south to the coast of California and down to Southern California. (more…)

Tags: butterfly enthusiasts, milkweed plants, Monarch butterfly, adult butterflies, Monarch butterflies