... Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), but not just any milkweed is recommended. Monarch butterflies are among the most beautiful and familiar butterflies in North America. While there are many species of butterflies, Tara and Kylie mostly raise and release Monarch butterflies. In the spring, this eastern population of monarchs returns to the U.S. and Canada to breed. Its range actually extends worldwide and can be found in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the Pacific Islands. This year, there's some good news: Monarchs seem to be rebounding. Remove Monarch caterpillars from a milkweed foodsource and they will die. They know this because Monarchs tagged in Pennsylvania have shown up the very next day in Virginia! Once there, the butterflies hibernate in the mountain forests, where a less extreme climate provides them a better chance to survive. And reports coming all over the Eastern range, from the Rockies all the way to Maine and Virginia, there are very few butterflies breeding anywhere. Native trees are the ultimate caterpillar factories, though, with oaks leading the way with over 500 species. Each fall, thousands of monarch butterflies stream across the southern U.S. on their journey to wintering grounds in central Mexico. I observed a hornet attacking a monarch repeatedly when the monarch was trying to feed on some aster blooms. Fish and Wildlife Service said the monarch … You can create a monarch habitat from scratch or modify an existing landscape space. The scientific name for milkweed is Asclepias and there are over 100 species of Asclepias which grow in the USA, and over 200 different species growing worldwide. Each year, there are four generations of Monarchs. Monarchs carry out one of the most incredible cross-continental journeys in the animal kingdom, travelling upwards of 3000 miles from Canada and the northern United States to the oyamel fir forests in the mountains of Mexico. There are three species of monarch butterflies: D. plexippus, described by Linnaeus in 1758, is the species known most commonly as the monarch butterfly of North America. Life of the Monarch sculpture at the NC Arboretum. The Best Plants For Attracting Butterflies in Virginia. But not all monarchs migrate to Mexico. Monarch butterflies are still many flights away from federal protection. . Here’s the latest map from Journey North which shows reports on May 2nd (Alexandria), May 3rd (Fairfax) and May 4th (Newport News). The monarch is in trouble. So … Without milkweed, there would be no Monarch caterpillars, and without Monarch caterpillars, there would be no Monarch butterflies, and without Monarch butterflies, there wouldn’t be any eggs that Monarch caterpillars hatch from. Goldenrods support 115 different species of caterpillars. The monarch (Danaus plexippus) migration is underway as these incredible butterflies begin their journey from as far away as Canada to overwinter in Mexico, coastal California, and the southern tip of Florida. And there reports of egg laying! The butterflies are covering about 10 acres (4 hectares) of forest, compared with 2.79 acres (1.13 hectares) in … We’ve been seeing plenty of monarchs a the Garden this week since Virginia is on the way for many of them. They can fly up to 265 miles in a single day. Lincoln Brower, a leading entomologist at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, said in a statement that "the report of the dwindling Monarch butterfly winter residence in Mexico is ominous." 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