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Posts Tagged: monarch butterfly

The Making of a Monarch

A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're addicted to monarchs--and lament that they're overwintering in coastal California and in central Mexico and nowhere near you--no worries. The Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis, has butterflies in its gift shop that...

A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). Monarch puppets are available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch t-shirts at the Bohart Museum of Entomology ask the question:
Monarch t-shirts at the Bohart Museum of Entomology ask the question: "Got milkweed?" Milkweed is the host plant of monarchs; monarchs lay their eggs only on milkweed and caterpillars eat only milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch t-shirts at the Bohart Museum of Entomology ask the question: "Got milkweed?" Milkweed is the host plant of monarchs; monarchs lay their eggs only on milkweed and caterpillars eat only milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Drama in the Pollinator Patch

A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So here's this newly eclosed male monarch trying to sip a little nectar from a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). A female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis, seeks to claim it. There's no such thing as sharing, especially when nectar is at stake and...

A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A pollen-packing female longhorned bee, probably Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis) wants the same flower that the male monarch has claimed. This is a Mexican sunflower, genus Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just a blur, a male longhorned bee, probably Meliossodes agilis, targets a monarch. The monarch's wings are deformed; they did not fully expand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Just a blur, a male longhorned bee, probably Meliossodes agilis, targets a monarch. The monarch's wings are deformed; they did not fully expand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Just a blur, a male longhorned bee, probably Meliossodes agilis, targets a monarch. The monarch's wings are deformed; they did not fully expand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 4:53 PM

Miracles Do Happen

A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

For the last several months, we've seen monarchs laying eggs on our narrow-leafed milkweed. A daily check yielded "zero" caterpillars. Zero. Nada. Zilch. One reason is apparent: two nearby nests of Western scrub jays filled with chirping babies. ...

A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A fifth instar caterpillar partially hidden in the narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hidden, but there it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Hidden, but there it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hidden, but there it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The chrysalis turned from jade green to transucent. You can see the butterfly inside, almost ready to eclose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The chrysalis turned from jade green to transucent. You can see the butterfly inside, almost ready to eclose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The chrysalis turned from jade green to transucent. You can see the butterfly inside, almost ready to eclose. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The newly emerged male monarch dries its wings. At left is the second chrysalis, which turned out to be a female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The newly emerged male monarch dries its wings. At left is the second chrysalis, which turned out to be a female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The newly emerged male monarch dries its wings. At left is the second chrysalis, which turned out to be a female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The first male monarch of the season, ready to be released. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The first male monarch of the season, ready to be released. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The first male monarch of the season, ready to be released. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 11:52 AM

It's Mine; Not Yours!

A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology) targets a male monarch on a Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So here's this hungry male monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia "Torch"). He's sipping, sipping, sipping. He's minding his own business. He's tending to his own needs. It's a good day in the pollinator...

A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology) targets a male monarch on a Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology) targets a male monarch on a Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis (as identified by Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology) targets a male monarch on a Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm coming at you! The male Melissodes agilis returns to claim his territory. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I'm coming at you! The male Melissodes agilis returns to claim his territory. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm coming at you! The male Melissodes agilis returns to claim his territory. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, does a barrel roll and attempts again to push the monarch off the Mexican sunflower.  (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, does a barrel roll and attempts again to push the monarch off the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The longhorned bee, Melissodes agilis, does a barrel roll and attempts again to push the monarch off the Mexican sunflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 6:01 PM

Happy Father's Day!

A monarch caterpillar chewing on a narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Where have you been? For the last several weeks, we've been watching for signs of the first seasonal monarch caterpillar on our narrow-leafed milkweed. The lush leaves refused to yield any secrets. They looked untouched, undisturbed and intact. But on...

A monarch caterpillar chewing on a narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar chewing on a narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar chewing on a narrow-leafed milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). How can you tell it's a male? Note the distinguishable black spot on each hind wing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). How can you tell it's a male? Note the distinguishable black spot on each hind wing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male monarch butterfly on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). How can you tell it's a male? Note the distinguishable black spot on each hind wing. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female monarch butterfly on lavender. Note the absence of the black spots on the hind wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female monarch butterfly on lavender. Note the absence of the black spots on the hind wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female monarch butterfly on lavender. Note the absence of the black spots on the hind wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2016 at 2:55 PM

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