The Monarch butterflies have not only made it to St. Louis, Missouri, but they are laying eggs in abundance. A couple of days ago, I saw a flash of orange out the window and when I headed out I discovered forty Swamp Milkweed plants with anywhere from one to three eggs each.
Two days later, I watched as two distinct females laid eggs on another forty-two plants plus a number of Swamp Milkweed in my gardens.
I’ve never had this many eggs laid in the past. I usually might get one to five eggs, and in some years none. It is interesting that these females looked older and one had part of a wing torn away.
Addendum – April 17 – Monarchs still around and laying eggs.
You might wonder how I ended up with so many Swamp milkweed plants and the answer is that these are from seeds I planted in the fall of 2015. Last year I let them grow in place and this year I dug them up for potting.
If you haven’t already, get your milkweed outside and hope the Monarchs will find it.
EDIT – April 19th – Monarchs are still laying eggs on my milkweed. This makes a week of Monarchs in my garden. They don’t seem to have any preference.
I’m doing a program on Monarch butterflies and what you can do to attract them into your garden.
Saturday – April 8th – 9:30 a.m.
Whitecliff Recreation Center
9245 Whitecliff Park Ln, Crestwood, MO 63126
It’s free and everyone is welcome.
I’ll be giving away free seeds and plants to get you started.
Here’s a video of the Monarchs in my garden last fall.
October 6, 2016 – I still have around a hundred Monarchs nectaring on Tropical Milkweed mostly. This was the nicest migration I have ever seen. The migration came through a couple of weeks late, but they stayed around for a week or so.
October 7, 2016 – We are having a cold front come through with winds from the Northwest.
By the end of the day, all one hundred Monarchs have left.
It will be interesting to see how many Monarchs make it to Mexico. From my sightings, the numbers should increase significantly.
I’m doing a program on Monarch butterflies tomorrow at Grants View Library at 7 p.m.
9700 Musick Ave, St. Louis, MO 63123
Tuesday – Sept. 27, 2016
I hope you can make it.
Here’s a video of the Monarchs in my garden.
If you live in the St. Louis area, we are going to let the kids tag some Monarch butterflies.
Sunday – Sept. 18, 2016
Time 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
9016 Robyn Rd
Crestwood MO 63126
In a recent newsletter written by Chip Taylor, he mentioned a phenomenon that is new to me. He called it the “Premigration Migration.”
In Missouri, the Monarchs have been quite scarce during the early part of the year, but in the last month or so they seem to be everywhere. Chip reports that Missouri seems to be one of the states where reproductive Monarchs seems to have flown south and have been laying lots of eggs. As a result, I have seen numerous Monarchs flying around and laying eggs in my yard. I reported seeing seven Monarchs a couple of weeks ago and an acquaintance mentioned that she had seen twenty-five. I also noticed twenty Monarch caterpillars in a brand new butterfly garden at one of our city parks. I’ve never seen so many caterpillars at one time.
Two days ago, I counted twenty Monarchs in my yard and assumed the migration was going through Missouri, but now after reading Chip’s newsletter, I think it’s more likely the “Premigration Migration.”
It looks like Missouri is definitely helping the Monarch population during this last month before the real migration.
Dr. Lincoln Brower has just posted a new program on the Monarch Migration via YouTube. Unfortunately, the news is not good. While the population was up last year, 2016 looks bleak for a number or reasons.