Category Archives: Monarchs

Monarch from Egg to Butterfly

Six Weeks from Egg to Butterfly

June 2nd in St. Louis. as I was weeding the gardens, I found two newly emerged Monarchs. The first eggs I saw this year were around April 21st. Doing the math, it turns out that these Monarchs took six weeks to go from egg to Monarch butterfly. The extra long time period probably has to do with the cooler temperatures and extra spring rain.

If you are weeding in the garden, take some time and see if you can notice these newly emerged Monarchs.

This also emphasizes the importance of having early spring milkweed. My favorite is Ascelpias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed.

Note – June 6th – Monarch is flying around the garden. I’m not sure if it is MY monarch, but it’s nice to see.

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Monarch News

The Monarch eggs have hatched and it’s fun to watch the caterpillars chew up the Swamp Milkweed.

Below is a fun video on the Monarchs as they hibernate in Mexico.

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Swamp Milkweed Importance

It’s April 21st and in St. Louis we have just been visited by our first Monarch butterfly. This was a female looking for milkweed to lay eggs on.

What is interesting to note is that just six days ago, we had frost yet the cooler temperatures have not hurt the monarchs or the milkweed.

Unless you have started milkweed from seed, most people won’t have any milkweed to provide the visiting monarchs.

Swamp Milkweed is one of my favorites in spring as it has a lovely form and beautiful flowers.

The problem we have is that it only lasts three or so years before it dies off. The problem is probably the hot dry summers we have, which is not conducive to any plant with swamp in it’s name.

To avoid having to buy new plants every year, make sure you collect the seeds when they ripen on the stem, put them in a paper bag and then plant them in late fall where you want them to grow. Next year you will be rewarded with lots of new plants free of any cost. You can also buy seeds online and plant them outside in the fall.

Another trick I have learned is that your can dig up plants early in the spring and divide them. This way you may end up with six plants instead of one.


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Monarchs in California

Webinar Title: Western Monarch Population down by 99%: How you can help 

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 26th at 2PM ET (1pm Central, 12pm Mountain, 11am Pacific)


Description: Have you heard about the steep decline in the Western monarch population? Are you wondering how you can help? This webinar will explore the citizen science effort that tracks the California overwintering monarch population and will discuss the results from this year’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, a record low and a 99.4% decline.


·         Katie Hietala-Henschell, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, the Xerces Society

·         Nick Stong, Programs Manager, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

·         Emma Pelton, Western Monarch Lead, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, the Xerces Society

The webinar will be offered through WebEx.  The link and participation details will be provided the day prior to the webinar.

Please feel free to share this announcement and registration information!We look forward to your participation!
MJV/NCTC Webinar Team

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Monarch Population Increases

monarch-popoulation-up-2019According to Monarch Watch, the Monarch population has the largest population in twelve years. The population more than doubled going from 2.48 hectares to 6.05 hectares.

It will be interesting to hear what the experts say about this large increase. In St. Louis Missouri we had a great year last year for Monarchs.

In the mean time, keep planting milkweed and plenty of nectar plants to keep the trend going.

Here’s what it looked like on October 1st, 2018.

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Monarch Watch’s Discussion List

I came across this from a posting by Chip Taylor.
If you’d like to be a bit more informed about Monarch Butterflies, here is the link where you can signup.

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2018 Monarch Migration

This was another great year for Monarchs in St. Louis Missouri. Here is what my front yard looks like right now.


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Monarch Tagging Party

monarch-dsc04726Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with Monarch butterflies.

Tom Terrific is hosting a tagging party where you will learn how to tag a Monarch and send it off on it’s trip to Mexico.

This party is mainly for kids, but adults are welcome also.

Date – Saturday – Sept. 29th

Time – 2 to 4 p.m.

Place: 9016 Robyn Rd. 63126
You can park at the school.
Come around to the back yard.

Below is some more information on tagging the Monarchs.

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2% Make It

I have received a couple of emails recently wondering why their caterpillars were not doing well or dying.

One of the experts,Dr. Karen Oberhauser, in a recent Monarch program says that only 2% of Monarchs make it from the egg to butterfly stage. She mainly talks about insects and parasitoids, but there are also diseases and even the milkweed liquid can kill the small caterpillars.

If you do want to increase the odds of the Monarchs, you can raise them yourself. It’s a fun process and fairly easy to do.

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Monarchs and Climate Change

This recent video is by Dr. Karen Oberhauser, one of the leaders in Monarch butterfly research. It’s a bit technical at times, but she does explain topics so that most people can understand. Please FF to the 8 minute mark.

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